Founder Series Emolyne Ramlov

Founder Series: Emolyne Ramlov


Words: Abisoye Odugbesan

Over the past 6 months or so we have seen an unprecedented support for black-owned brands following the Black lives matter protests over the summer. And whilst the countless lists of black-owned businesses now available on the web are very useful in helping us to choose more carefully where we spend our money, in our new ‘Founder’ series we wanted to showcase the women (and men) behind these brands. From the well-established to the newly launched and find out more about their individual stories. What inspired them to start their brand? What unique challenges did they face? In this series we meet entrepreneurs from across beauty, hair and wellness industries to learn more about their journeys.

This week we start with Ugandan-born Emolyne Ramlov of Emolyne Cosmetics a beauty brand that aims to take the guess work of coordinating your beauty looks. After spotting a gap in the market Emolyne decided to create a brand with a unique concept, a make-up wardrobe of 30 matching shades. Starting a new business is difficult enough but to launch during a pandemic comes with a very unique set of challenges, we ask her what the biggest obstacle was in starting her business.

TELL us a little about yourself?

I was born in Uganda, raised in Denmark and now living in London. I am a mother to 4 children and since they are all in school full-time, I have been able to turn my attention to a personal ambition and create Emolyne the brand. I have always been passionate about makeup, so I am pleased to be able to share that passion with others and pay homage to my home country.

WHAT inspired you to start your brand?

After years of struggling to find a make-up wardrobe that perfectly matched, I decided to create my own. I would find a colour I loved for my lips, but there never seemed to be the exact match in nail varnish or lip liner. I like to coordinate my looks; it makes me feel more polished and I thought, if I am looking for that perfect match then other women must be too. I also wanted to make sure the brand is fully inclusive.

What do you love the most about owning your OWN business?

Sharing my love of make-up with others and being able to pay homage to my heritage (all our shades are named after African countries and landmarks). It’s particularly gratifying when I hear how much our customers love the products which we have put so much love and hard work into creating.

WHAT was the hardest thing about starting your business?

Creating the products to be exactly as I envisioned. We went through a lot of samples before we settled on the final formulas. This was very much a passion project for me, something I really believe in, so I didn’t want to rush anything, even if that meant pushing timings back until all of the products were perfect. Also, launching a new business during COVID was always going to be a challenge and unfortunately, we had to cancel all of our fabulous events, however we adapted.

WHAT is the most important thing that you’ve learned on this journey?

Patience, having to think quickly on my feet and adapt to an ever-changing environment.

What advice would you give anyone wanting to start their own BUSINESS?

Make sure you’re passionate about what you do, because there will be tough times. If you believe in your products, so will others.

What makes your products different to others on the MARKET?

We offer a complete matching makeup wardrobe, so when you find the perfect red or nude, you will find the exact same colour in both lips and nails. We also know it can be difficult to find the right shade due to different skin tones and undertones; with this in mind we made sure we launched the brand with a much larger than usual selection of nudes and reds – 15 of each that vary only slightly so that everyone is catered for.

We love the CONCEPT of your brand, was it difficult to create the matching colours across lipsticks and nail polishes?

Absolutely. We found that colour varies so much depending on the texture and formulation of a product, so it was much harder than we initially anticipated – this caused lots of sleepless nights! It was so important for us to create the perfect match, so we didn’t stop reformulating until we got the shades spot on. It has also been a challenge to reflect the shades accurately through imagery, due to lighting, seeing the shades on different skin tones and even viewing the shades from screen to screen. We are constantly updating our imagery to try to capture each colour as true as possible, and also make sure we always have lots of swatches on our Instagram.

WHAT is your favourite product from your range and why?

I love all the product categories as they all work together to create a perfect matching look. My go-to red is Casablanca for when I’m feeling bold and Uganda for an everyday polished look.

What is your top tip for picking the perfect NUDE for dark skin?

We offer 15 different shades of nude that vary from pink tones, to peach tones, to darker more raisin tones. Some of these are similar in shade, but these small variances can make all the difference in finding the colour that perfectly compliments your skin and features. A choice of 15 shades of nude can be overwhelming, we know, and even more of a challenge when you have no physical store where you can try on the shades yourself. We therefore created a ‘Find Your Shade’ page on our website where you can select the model you most relate to and see how the shade looks on them. Over time, we will be expanding our range of models to become as inclusive as possible.

What are your top 3 BEAUTY tips?

Lots of beauty sleep – although this is proving a struggle when balancing being a mother with a start-up business! Keeping hydrated by drinking lots of water and I am a huge fan of serums to keep my skin as moisturised as possible.

What’s NEXT for Emolyne?

We will be expanding our product categories, keeping in mind our mission to create a completely matching colour wardrobe. Watch this space!

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