Omoge Cosmetics Embodies Representation For Black Men and Women
This cosmetic company changes the beauty brand game with inclusive and gender-neutral products.
For twenty-four-year-old Blessing Mariah Gbemisola, trips to cosmetic stores were not a walk in the park. Finding the perfect foundation shade or brow pencil for her skin was like searching for a needle in a haystack, and large companies that do carry her shade put dents in her wallet. These inconsistencies inspired her to create her own brand to ensure no one else felt excluded.
Gbemisola, founder of Omoge Cosmetics, was born in Abeokuta, Nigeria, which is the state capital of Ogun State in southwest Nigeria. She and her family moved to Pawtucket when she was three years old. Months after graduating from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelors of science and psychology in 2019, she worked to make her brand Omoge Cosmetics come to life.
Omoge, pronounced ōmōgĕ, is a Yoruba term meaning “beautiful young lady.” In Gbemisola’s eyes, it’s evolved to simply mean “beautiful young person” since men are also shining in the makeup industry.
Omoge Cosmetics first came into the limelight with its themed eyelashes that have twenty-five to thirty wears on them and can last up to a year and a half with proper care. Eventually, Gbemisola wanted to expand.
“I said to myself, ‘I can’t limit myself to just lashes,’ so now I sell many different cosmetics. I went on to doing eyebrow pencils, then from there I dropped an eyeliner-glue duo, then I went into doing accessories like a beauty blender. Right now, I’m working on launching a male skin and beard collection,” says Gbemisola. She plans on dropping some new products, a new lash collection and a male cosmetic line called Arewa Okunrin as the summer heats up.
The Omoge Cosmetics website displays gorgeous women of various complexions rocking the eyelashes with confidence. The website also explains the origin of the brand, mentioning Gbemisola’s adoration for lashes when completing her makeup look.
“It’s kind of like the bow that wraps up the present which is you,” she writes on the “About” section on the website.
“Personally I think eyelashes are like icing on the cake. You could have great contour, but adding lashes gives it a little more extra-ness. It just wraps the whole look up,” Gbemisola says.
Gbemisola’s biggest goal with her brand is to make it easy for Black women to find their shade when other companies might not get it spot-on. “The reason why I decided to go into the beauty industry and cosmetics is we have people out there trying to serve us with different shades and products, but no one has actually found stuff for us,” says Gbemisola, who was inspired by musician, makeup and fashion entrepreneur Rihanna, since her brand Fenty Beauty also promotes beauty for everyone regardless of skin and shade color.
“Everything I try to put out is Black girl-friendly first,” says Gbemisola. “There’s not enough representation for Black people in the makeup industry and we’re one of the top consumers in the [hair and makeup] industry.”
There have been instances where she’s gotten complaints about not having enough lighter-toned products; she says she’s not excluding those people, she’s just making sure women with darker shades are taken care of first.
“I do offer a shade for Caucasian girls, but I have three other darker shades for Black girls,” says Gbemisola. “If I let [negative thoughts] influence what I’m going to do, then I can’t represent myself.”
Gbemisola’s roots are important to her, and she exhibits this by theming photoshoots and naming some of the packaging and products based on her Nigerian culture. She’s prideful in the brand she built from the ground up and is excited to put out her new products.