DIARRHA N’DIAYE- Social Media Strategist, Beauty Marketer (formerly @ Glossier)
So Diarrha (pronounced “Gia-Rha”) and I met when she was the social media manager for L’oreal. I use to do makeup on their social media shoots. Anyone that knows Diarrha, knows that she has the most infectious laugh and the most buttery skin. She’s absolutely beautiful and her smile tells a story. She made a huge impression on me. She quietly but effectively fights on the sidelines for inclusion in all areas of beauty, especially social media. After she moved into product development at Glossier she gained a new insight into the industry. Now she’s maneuvering this industry like the pro she is, asking questions about inclusion that challenge long-held beliefs. Like who sits on your board? After you read her interview here check out her interview with Brooke Devard of the “Naked Beauty” podcast linked below. Since our interview, Diarrha left Glossier but she has another vision on the horizon, she’s starting a beauty line named “Ami Colè” www.amicole.com and I can’t wait to see where it goes! So make sure you join her waitlist!!
And now introducing Diarrha for The Joy In Beauty……
The freedom of expression brings out the joy in beauty. Beauty provides every human the tools to communicate how they see themselves in this world. Whether a it‘s a bold red lip, or classic fresh-face, every “look” provides the power to transform, embrace and enhance your self.
My love for beauty was innate to be honest. I grew up in an African Hair braiding salon where women and men all over the world would come to my mom’s shop to get “beautified”. I was always obsessed with what hairstyle each person would request, and what magazine cut out they would bring to the hair stylist. I used to try to guess as soon as a client walk through the door. As I grew older, my curoisity surpassed just hair. I became fascinated with beauty products more generally. My older sister went to highschool near a Sephora and would come back with a sample size of a new fragrance almost everyday. Together, we became obsessed with sweet scents like Lolita Lempika and Hana Mori. These scents were polar oppostie from the heavy musks and incenses that we were used to at home. It was a whole new world! In those moments of discovery, I realized that you can chose how you want to show up in this world. To this day this idea still fascinates me.
I am first generation Senegalese American. I was born and raised in Harlem, New York, but at home (on 116th street in Harlem) I was in Senegal. It was normal to hear your uncles debating over politcs and the tangy smell of Yassa greeting you at the door. It was a complex juxaposition growing up but today, I wouldn’t have it no other way. My mother still refuses to speak to me in English! As for beauty- While my approach is deeply rooted in my culture, my technique differs. I am naturally drawn to vibrant, abstract colors (pop of colors on the lips, graphic liners), but unlike my family back home I tend to stray from full coverage, heavy makeup. I focus on a healthy skin glow and use products to enhance my assets vs. mask it. Back home the most popular approach to makeup and beauty is go big or go home. I use fashion to do that vs. beauty.
If I were stranded somewhere I would be a-okay with a good eyebrow pencil (L’Oreal Brow Stylist Pencil or Benefit’s Precisely My Brows), a good concealer (Nars Radiant concealer or Glossier’s Stretch concealer) and a damn good mascara (Today it’s IT Cosmetics’ Superhero Mascara). I love products that help frame your face. As for skincare, I stan for a good face oil and treatment serum. I am obsessed with Vitner’s Daughter Oil (both treathment and an oil) and a pure Argan or Baobab oil for the skin. Whenever I am traveling, I always search for a locally produced oil – no fillers, just pure goodness at 1/4th the price it would go for in America. I am also HUGE on hydrators like Skinceuticals’ H.A. Intensifier and skinceuticals retexturing activator. I have been using Caudalie’s Vinoperfect serum for aleast 10 years now. It never fails me. Lastly, I dabble with acid toners like P50 or good ‘ol Dr. Dennis Gross for that 1-2 Xs a week for an instant glow enhancer. Generally, I am drawn to multi-purpose products i.e can also be used for hair or helps clarify and moisturize.
At Glossier, I was the product development and marketing manager. My job was to create skincare concepts from scratch based on market and portfolio needs. I would then work with third-party vendors/chemists to create said concepts. While we worked on formula, I partnered very closely with cross-functional teams on full-funnel go-to-market plans. That means discussing campaign treatments, customer-friendly packaging, merchandising on the site and a slew of other marketing collateral to make the launch successful. My role at Glossier was a leap of faith as I had never been a traditional product developer or traditional marketer. I got my start in the industry as a social media producer and strategist. Like many, I got my start in the industry by interning. I was interning at Teen Vogue, Daily Front Row, and a boutique PR firm, before I joined Rebecca Minkoff as full-time staff. I started as a PR Coordinator and segued into the world of social media. I had been a social media marketer for 7 years before the Glossier opportunity came knocking.
What a loaded question! Yes, there have been plenty of challenges but I think the most difficult part of being a woman of color in the beauty industry has been having a seat at the table but not being heard (Or worse being silenced). This had less to do about the stereotypical beauty standards and more to do with the DNA of the brands I’ve worked for. When your board of directors or CEO is a White man who is concerned about a bottom line your experience in the work place is not really considered. Instead it’s a nice to have that they would tout around to peers, investors and even consumers. It breeds a toxic environment of tokenism, where you feel helpless, especially if you at at a more Junior level. There’s been a lot of work on the diversity front, but there’s a lot more work to do on the inclusion side.
I’m Joy and I’m here to let you know that you are perfect and whole just the way you are. Come journey with me as we explore what beauty, true beauty, really means! Let’s lift each other while having fun and making new discoveries. Sounds like a good time to me so.. Let’s Stay in Touch!