She’s been called to make it happen—nothing is off limits!
Times have changed, and the only king that I’ve acknowledged— “King” LeBron James has now been accompanied by “King Mali Magic”. She’s more than a makeup artist. She’s a game changer, culture shifter, visionary and perhaps, soul snatcher. And, it wasn’t too far into our conversation that “King Mali Magic” started sprinkling gems of beauty and wisdom that were enough to suffice a treasure chest.
There’s no other way to put it—she’s the quintessential Beauty Educator that the beauty industry desperately needs—the world needs. Although the beauty industry has made great strides, creating shades that are a true match to women of color skin tones, King Mali Magic believes that there is still more to be done and that she is the gateway to its mystery. Yes— I am confirming that there is something magical for us in-the-works! Being the creator of the #DewyBrownGirl project, a fierce movement that pushes brown girls, of all shades and skin textures to embrace their luminous skin, unapologetically, King Mali Magic has emerged into a relentless beauty activist for women of color.
You would think that with 140K Instagram followers, an overflow of comments and DM’s, King Mali Magic wouldn’t dare have the time to chat with her “Insta-babies,” as she calls them, but I am here to tell you that no comment, no direct message, goes unnoticed. In fact, she’s like the homegirl from next door, but she’s too modest to claim that moniker. She doesn’t mind propelling other women to bask in their magic, as she does, literally—somehow, we found ourselves reveling in this beautiful space of casting compliments and celebrating each other’s wins.
Swipe through her Instagram to check out her latest collaborations, #DewyBrownGirls and her praiseworthy work seen on the muses of Nicki Minaj, Justine Skye and more!
Now, there seems to be a breakthrough in black representation in the beauty industry right now. Do you think that this is just a fad or genuine desire to cater to women of darker shades? Do you have any hopes of creating a brand for brown girls?
About three and a half years ago, I was infuriated and frustrated with the lack of representation for women of color. Several cosmetic brands would only create fair shades and we (WOC) became an after-thought for most of these companies. It was upsetting so I started this movement, three years ago called “We Are Not a Trend,”. My goal was to hire as many black models as I could that were “underrated” or not recognized by mainstream/ large companies. I just wanted to celebrate them! They deserved those big campaigns & partnerships. I would do their makeup and my partner would film these short Instagram tutorials. All of a sudden this movement skyrocketed!
After this, Norvina, President of Anastasia Beverly Hills reached out to me to collaborate with them on the video content for their foundation sticks. When they released the campaign, the brown shades launched first. That was refreshing because normally we’re either an after thought or not considered at all. Norvina and I are now family and have continued to work together. These other companies must understand, we are not a trend! We are not an afterthought and we’re not fads. We’ve always had this skin. I’ve always represented that to the fullest! Even when People would tell me, “Mali you don’t want to put yourself in a box, you don’t want people to say you only work on women of color.” But I would say, “You know what? I AM a WOC and We’re not represented properly. I think I’ve been called to make it happen!”
About me coming out with a brand for women of color— Absolutely, that’s in the works!
What has been your favorite beauty brand?
When it comes down to actual cosmetic brands, I would say Anastasia Beverly Hills. They’re always creating something fresh and exciting. Danessa Myricks, I absolutely love her brand and Natasha Denona “Girl Power”—those are my three girls! And to throw in a few guys, I’ll say Kevyn Aucoin, NARS & Cozette! My favorite skin care products are, Charlotte Tilbury “Magic Cream,” The SK-II RNA “Power Face Cream,” and Weleda “Skin Food” – all moisturizers. Also, the “Botanical Oils” by Tulura. Those are great for skin prep, so I have to mention those.
What do you believe has been the center of your success?
I think my success really comes from supporting and sharing with others. I love this quote, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”
What advice could you give to artists who are searching for that “it factor” in their artistry?
Stay true to yourself. You shouldn’t try to follow trends too much. Focus on creating timeless work, something that you’re really proud of. Find your signature. Find your Magic!
Do you use a ring light, or is the natural light in your loft that lit?
You know on a gloomy day I bring in the LED light, it works really well. You want to make sure that you don’t have something that’s turning you too warm, or green, or blue. I’ve found that the ring light does not work for me. I just felt the undertones are too blue. So, I’ve found that any place that I invest in (referring to her loft) the lighting has to be lit. I definitely use natural light most of the time. If I’m going to bring in “false lightning” it has to mimic natural day light. If I’m traveling to a client and have to light up the room, I love this small compact light – it’s the “Lowel Tota”— but, I just use that to travel with mostly. However in my loft, I just use natural daylight.
Summer is approaching, I have to ask, what’s your favorite sunscreen?
It’s a little hard to find but The Benefit “Dream Screen”. I also like the sunblock by Glossier. It’s clear so it works on WOC.
ON THE RECORD
I remember, the first question you asked me in this interview, “How did you come up with your name?” What’s interesting is the fact that people laughed at my name at first. However, I remained true to myself and now my name is all over. You just have to focus on yourself. If the people around you aren’t aiding to your success, or supporting you, or propelling you to the next level, then they just gotta go! If you want to be successful you have to learn to the process of elimination. Everyone can’t go where you’re going and that’s ok. All will be well.
“Sometimes we’re so busy looking into the future and we forget to really enjoy the small victories that are happening.”
I’m representing women of color, and it’s such a blessing. I get to celebrate who I am and others. I will always lead from a place of gratitude.
Photo Credit: Maya Guez