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A Peek Inside Her Agenda: Diarrha N'Diaye-Mbaye

Founder & CEO of Ami Colé

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Dec. 13 2021, Published 9:37 a.m. ET

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A Peek Inside Her Agenda: Diarrha N'Diaye-Mbaye
My skin, my body, and the sun are one. My skin is magic when I lean towards the light.Quotation marks
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Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But, in order to understand the beholder’s perspective, you must dismantle the eurocentric, colonialist, and blurred beliefs that uphold it. As a trailblazing beauty entrepreneur, Diarrha N'Diaye-Mbaye is committed to reconstructing society’s misconceived perception of Black beauty with her brand, Ami Colé.

As a first-generation Senegalese-American, Diarrha N’Diaye is in tune with the power of her complexion. Traveling a dilapidated road of colorism, bullying, and skin-bleaching advertisements, previously convinced Diarrha that her deeply melanated reflection was less than beautiful. Determined to be what she didn’t see, Diarrha built Ami Colé, a "better-for-you" beauty brand made to celebrate melanin-rich skin. Though her career has led her to work for powerhouse companies such as Rebecca Minkoff, VIBE Magazine, L’Oreal Paris, and Glossier, it is evident that no job is more fulfilling to Diarrha than aiding other women to embrace their natural-born beauty.

Her Agenda recently caught up with Diarrha about the reality of being a beauty entrepreneur, embracing her heritage, and the celebration of melanin.

Her Agenda: I want to start off by congratulating you because the Ami Colé Lash-Amplifying Mascara is now an InStyle 2021 beauty editors pick. Tell me how you've been soaking up these accomplishments and stellar reviews?

Diarrha N'Diaye-Mbaye: It’s funny because I turn and put my head down to work every day. We are already working on 2022 releases and things are always so far ahead. It’s always good to have these reminders that we are doing a good job and need to keep going. I saw that we were chosen two days ago and thought, ‘Oh my god,’ because I wasn’t expecting that at all. I was so happy! In the moment, I try to praise God and just remember that it’s worth it. That re-energizes me to keep going because the journey to success ca