Wanna know how we’re celebrating Galentine’s Day this year? By fangirling HARD over the new Morphe x Nyane Fierce Fairytale Collection, and telling all our friends about it. Known for their bright bold colors, and their commitment to inclusion and diversity in their campaigns, Morphe teamed up with South African-born, London-based beauty influencer Nyane Lebajoa, whose 1.5 million followers regularly scroll her feed for her latest beauty trends and artistry.
Famous for amazing wig styling and monochromatic makeup looks – Nyane Lebajoa is a South African born, London based hair and beauty influencer. In just the past 6 years she has gained notoriety across Instagram for her unique style and exquisite monochromatic artistry. Nyane draws from diverse sources of inspiration to create artistry looks that defy expectation and invite you to enter her unapologetic dreamworld.
We had the opportunity to steal a few moments in the schedule of this busy beauty to talk about the new collection, the power of seeing more women of color fronting make-up and beauty campaigns, and how she deals with insecurity despite having such a high profile presence on social media.
Can you tell us where your love of fashion and beauty came from, and who your inspirations were growing up?
My love for fashion and beauty came from a lot of things, from watching my mum get dressed for work every morning putting on her lipstick and wearing pretty high heels, to watching Miss Universe as a child, I was so obsessed with watching fashion shows I always dreamt I’d be one of the models walking the runway. I also got into listening to 80s music from a really young age, I’ve been obsessed with Grace Jones and Madonna for gosh knows how long and that’s where I got most of my inspiration from.
Hailing from South Africa and then living in London, how has your fashion/beauty journey been impacted differently by both places?
I actually lived in Lesotho for about 6 years, I was so young so at the time I was still trying to find myself. But living in London was such a massive change, living in the big city and meeting so many creatives made me feel that I can dress any way I want and I wear my makeup any way I like. It gave me a lot of confidence.
We’re so excited to get our hands on some of the pieces in your Morphe X Nyane Fierce Fairytale Collection! Can you give us some insight into how you designed the collection, and where you drew inspiration from?
It’s been months of preparation and patience, a lot of patience, I’m so excited it’s finally out! The Morphe team made me feel really confident with just going with my very personal style and taste and making this collection really represent what I love about make-up, which is creating and recreating yourself and expressing your true vision of yourself!
Playing off the fairytale theme, what is it about Fairytales that you love, and what kind of message are you sharing with this collection?
I love how magical fairytales are and how they make you feel like anything can be as you want it to be. The message I’m sharing is that you can be whoever you want to be whenever you want and that’s why it’s called ‘Fierce Fairytale.’
The images we’ve seen so far are STUNNING! What are some of your favorite pieces from the collection, and favorite colors?
Thank you so much! As much as I love all of the pieces, my absolute favorite has to be the centerpiece of the collection, the eyeshadow palette! I love creating different eye looks, from subtle earthy tones to soft pastels to vibrant deeply colorful looks. I made sure the palette makes it possible to create any of those kinds of looks while also allowing you to work with temperature hues and going from warm to cold.
I just really wanted it to represent my entire repertoire and I am having so much fun recreating my own looks and also coming up with brand new ones. I can’t wait to show my followers and everyone how versatile this collection really is!
We’re seeing a massive wave of artists and creators of color disrupting the stereotypically white-saturated beauty market. We love the way Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty put the industry on notice with the high demand of her products marketed toward Black and Brown women. Why do you think there has been such a reluctance for the industry to diversify?
This is quite a sensitive topic and is often quickly written off as either racism and/or hesitancy due to lack of knowledge of the beauty standards and practices of non-white audience. While both those reasons are valid in some way or another, of course not to the same extent with different brands, I think it also has a lot to do with how business works.
Big companies are very slow to adapt and rely on well tested formulas and prefer to stay on the safe side. Which is why I applaud any company that has been and still is working hard and taking risks to be as inclusive as possible, it’s just the right thing to do, everyone should be able to have beauty products to make them feel empowered and nobody should be or feel left out.
What does it mean to you personally to represent a brand that is putting a Black woman front and center in this collection?
I am proud to be part of this collaboration! It’s my first big beauty collab and I couldn’t have chosen a better brand to do it with! Morphe has been supporting my work and letting me know for a long time now, it just makes sense. Being part of the Morphe fam as a black woman is honestly incredible as they represent a lot of diversity, from the LGBTQIA to people of color, everyone feels like they are part of the brand which I also feel too. Having my own collection with Morphe is a dream come true.
You have 1.5 million followers on Instagram! What kind of content do you love sharing the most with your insta-fam?
Beauty, Hair and Fashion of course! It’s what I do, it’s what my followers know and follow me for and I never get tired of it. Of course I like to share the occasional lifestyle or holiday photo or video, but the main focus stays the same.
When I used to feel a little insecure or I haven’t been working on a certain thing for a while, I would think to myself, maybe people are tired, maybe I’m tired of doing the same things over and over again, but then I just went for it and tried again and every time I realized it’s really not the same, I always manage to come up with something fresh and something people want to see.
Sometimes I don’t even realize I’ve done something great, but people love it. Sometimes it’s the opposite. I guess that’s what it means to be creative, you never know how things are going to turn out, you just do them and move on to the next and leave it up to the audience to decide.
What’s next for you?
I have so many passions and ideas, it’s hard to say! I want to venture out into new fields and try new things. I want to try music, I want to try acting, I want to try and live my Fierce Fairytale for real. But I will always incorporate my love for fashion and beauty.
You can get your hands on the NYANE x MORPHE Fierce Fairytale collection by clicking HERE.