This #IWD2016 we celebrate Ofunne Amaka of Cocoa Swatches

For decades, the modern beauty industry has skewed itself towards the ‘conventional’ Caucasian beauty standards and created products to meet the demands of that demographic with little or no thought for other women.

As visibility, advocacy, demand and a saturation of products geared towards Caucasian women created the perfect storm to push for products geared specifically for women of colour, a new dilemma has emerged. One of the biggest problems women of colour face when investing in make up is finding the right shade for their skin tones.Cocoa Swatches, created by Ofunne Amaka is finding real solutions to this seemingly insignificant but very valid problem.

Living and studying in the USA, Ofunne Amaka spent hundreds of dollars on products that were too light or too dark for her skin tone or needed colour correction. Frustrated, she decided to swatch make up products against different shades of darker skin to provide a more realistic palette that women could reference before they bought make up.


Loving this @anastasiabeverlyhills x @colourpopcosmetics comparison by @_beautybyelle ! More deets below! #CocoaSwatches #Repost @_beautybyelle ・・・ ✨COMPARISON SWATCHES✨ While I began to do my lip swatches I noticed @colourpopcosmetics #ultrasatinlips in ✨MESS AROUND✨ looked so familiar. It looks exactly like @anastasiabeverlyhills ✨SEPIA✨. I would definitely say this is a #dupealert. Here swatched it looks slightly different but on the lips they are the SAME❗️. I also swatched ✨BEEPER✨ but as you can see it is definitely more of a pink nude. ❗️SN: A #dupealert can vary. It can be the same color but different formulas, it can be similar consistencies but the longevity may be different, or the packaging may be great and sturdy on one product but may suck on the other. So keep these things in mind when purchasing your DUPES. Happy Painting🎨 #Melanin #makeupfordarkskin #mua #motd #makeup #makeupporn #MakeupInspo #makeuplover #makeupartist

A photo posted by @cocoaswatches on

As her swatches gained popularity, she decided to create an Instagram profile for her experiment, calling it Cocoa Swatches, an experiment that ballooned into several thousand followers. Seeking a better way to reach users, Amaka decided to create a Kickstarter to cover the cost of creating a Cocoa Swatches app to tie in with a proper Cocoa Swatches website. 

The Cocoa Swatches app works both as a repository of swatches done by Ofunne herself and other beauty bloggers of colour across Instagram and other social media platforms. It also has an online store option where users can order products they like off swatches. Talk about multi-faceted interaction.

The best part, Cocoa Swatches always gives credit to its many contributors for their work, fostering a community of women who share a love of beauty.

For being a badass, a communicator and all around good guy, we celebrate you Ofunne, this International Women’s Day.

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