Diarrha Nadiye is a first-generation Senegalese American brand founder and CEO, based in Harlem. N’Diaye worked in marketing, communications, and social media for brands like Rebecca Minkoff and VIBE Magazine. Glossier was where she worked as a product developer and innovator. She was inspired to create her own company, Ami Cole, a “better for you” beauty brand that celebrates melanin rich skin. N’Diaye is determined to change society’s perception of Black Beauty. This interview was given to Sara Tan. It has been edited for clarity and length.
Sundays have been my wash day since I can remember. My mom used to make time for me when I was younger to braid my hair, grease my scalp and get my hair ready for the week. It was her prpfession to braid hair, so it was not something she would love to do at home. Looking back I so appreciate those Sundays.
This Sunday, I’m taking out my protective style (flat twists that I’ve been wearing in the house) and pre-pooing my hair with Prose’s Custom Pre-Shampoo Hair Mask. I have 4C Low porosity hair so, like my skin, I am always looking for ways to hydrate, lock in moisture, and protect my hair. The Prose Conditioner works like magic even when my hair is dry and brittle from the twists. It will be in there for around an hour, while I make breakfast and listen to my Sade. I’m usually an Afrobeats girl but we end the day with Sade, Erykahbadu and old school YoussouN’Dour.
Before I get in the shower, my hair is divided into four sections. Then I apply my shampoo to my hair. Today, I’m using Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser from BREAD Beauty Supply. It is gentle on my hair, and I don’t have any buildup. I shampoo by section, then quickly apply a conditioner. Today, I’m using the 4C Conditioner. It is a game-changer. After my wash and conditioner, I apply the Headquarters Nourishing Scalp Treatment. This final boost helps to regulate my scalp, which can sometimes get very flaky. I seal the deal using Mielle’s Leave-In Conditioner and blow dry my hair with the famous Revlon One Step Blow Dryer Brush. My Melanin Haircare Oil is my favourite oil, and it gives my hair a shine.
Skin care is essential after a long day of working with hair. I washed my face with Klur’s Gentle Matter Cleanser for 60 seconds tonight. I then apply their Supreme Seed Delicate Purification Masque. It is left on for 15 minutes, then I wash it with lukewarm water. Next, I pat on my classic SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator. I immediately followed up with my Whind Face Oil. It is super light, nutrient-dense and extremely nourishing.
I am a night owl so my days start quite late. It would be nice if it were the other way around. When I get up at 9 or 10 a.m. each morning, the first thing that I do when I wake up is to thank God. Next, I go to the bathroom to wash my face with cold water. I then follow this up with a micellar oil like Bioderma. I then pat on my Caudalie Vinoperfect essence before applying my Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 face cream. Although it’s quite dense, it still has all the ingredients my skin needs, including ceramides and natural cholesterol. Once the cream has absorbed into my skin, I apply my sunscreen. Paula’s Choice Youth Fluid, SPF 30, is my go-to.
After I have finished my skincare, I get into my Zoom-ready makeup routine. My Ami Cole Skin-Enhancing Tint in shade Rich is what I use. Because I get my makeup all over my fingers, I use a brush. Next, I focus on my eyebrows. The Benefit Brow Powder in Shade 5 is dark, but not too stark. To frame my face, I use light strokes. Then I apply some dew using the Ami Cole Light – Catching Highlighter. In a tapping motion, I move from my eyebrows to my apple of the cheeks. To brighten certain areas of my face, I use a sample of makeup complexion. I’m always testing new products and samples for the brand, so I keep it on my counter to test new looks every day. I complete my look with mascara (today, I am using Pat McGrath’s Fetish Lash), Merit’s Flush Balm Raspberry Beret, and, of course, Ami Cole Lip Treatment Oil).
Today, I rock my fro to my meetings. To give my hair shine, I apply a little Crown Affair oil. This oil is so light and pleasant to the nose. It is easy to use every day.
We have lots of internal meetings on Tuesdays so I like to use my simple Zoom makeup routine after skin care. Instead of using micellar water, this morning I used the gentle Fresh soy face cleanser. My AC had broken in the middle night, leaving me sweaty the previous night. I used the Darphin intral toner for sensitive skin, and then followed it with Pharell’s Humanrace humidifying face cream. After Naked Beauty podcast host Brooke DeVard raved about it, I purchased this product. I’m still trying to decide if it is worth the effort.
My hair is asking for attention. I use my Crown Affair oil as well as Garnier Styling cream to braid my hair into four cornrows. To give my hair some break, I choose one of my favorite wigs to wear over my braids.
Wednesdays are reserved for meetings with contract manufacturers. They come from all over the globe – China, New Jersey and Canada, Senegal and Italy. These days I try to put more effort into my makeup.
To give my skin a little more coverage, I apply Ami Cole’s Skin-Enhancing Tint after I have finished my morning skin-care routine. I now use four drops of the product instead of two. I use my sample products to brighten my skin and revisit my favorite L’Oreal Brow Stylist pencil to create a stronger face frame. I use the Ilia Blush multi-stick in Dusty Rose and then add a little gold pigment to my tear ducts with my .L’Oreal Metallic Paints in 402. For a va-va voom look, I use the IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara. The look is completed with a little Ami Cole Lip Oil and a little Ami Cole Light -Catching Highlighter. I’m wearing an off the shoulder top.
To ensure that all my makeup is gone at night, I double-up on cleansing. To focus on my eyes, I use my micellar oil first. Because they come in a cotton pad, I love the Shiseido Cotton Squares. To remove my makeup and SPF, I use the Tatcha Camellia Cleaning Oil for 60 seconds, I then wash my face with Klur’s Gentle Matter Cleanser. I skip my serum because I am sleeping with the ultimate potion tonight: Vintner’s Daughter Face Oil.
To allow for a relaxing shower, I begin my day slowly on Thursdays. I get up in the morning, pray, brew my coffee, then head to the bathroom to dry brush from head to toe. To focus on my breathing, I attach fresh eucalyptus to my showerhead. It’s a simple (and inexpensive) treat. Then I use my Necessaire body wash in Eucalyptus, and a dime-sized of the Body scrub. This is my “African Sponge”, a common body net from West Africa. It is basically a loofah with a loose strand that aids circulation and exfoliation.
After exfoliation, I use a Moroccan-inspired shower oil that I found at an airport in Dakar (Senegal). This oil is a post-bath oil that moisturizes the skin in the shower. It has a pleasant scent of amber and oud, but your skin will feel unbelievably soft.
I then dry my skin with a towel and continue to apply my morning skincare routine.
Today, I decided to unbraid my hair in favor of a fro. To give my hair some relief, I’ve been wearing wigs for the past few days. I let my hair air dry after I’ve applied the Bread Macadamia oil to it. To keep my hair from getting in my face, I use my Pattern clips.
I wash my face this morning with cold water. I then apply the Hugh & Grace’s Face serum, which is a wonderful blend of balancing oils. Before applying my sunscreen, I use the Ami Cole Light-Catching Highlighter on the apples of my cheeks. To frame my eyebrows, I use my L’Oreal Strylist Pencil and then apply my Pat McGrath mascara. I prefer to keep Fridays light.
You bet I slept in! I get up late in the morning and prayed. I made my morning coffee and then wash my face with the Fresh soy fresh cleanser. My KORA Organics Turmeric Lightening & Exfoliating Mask is what I do. My skin is not responding so I use the Wander Beauty Baggage Clim Under Eye masks and a little Topicals like Butter on my cheeks.
Today I relax and prepare for a night in with my girlfriends.