Welcome to this week’s ‘My Beauty and Wellbeing’ story… this week we’re sharing our interview with Ronke Lawal.

Ronke is the founder of Ariatu PR which specialises in PR and Communications for clients in a range of B2C industries; including lifestyle, consumer goods & the creative enterprise sector.

We’re all about holistic beauty and wellbeing and we love hearing about how other people are managing there’s – for this series we’re reaching out to some inspiring women and men to find out about their favourite products and practices- you know …the things that enable them to be their best selves.

There’s a new story every Wednesday so watch this space and don’t be shy to comment or volunteer to share your stories!

Ronke first of all tell us a little bit about you & your relationship with beauty.

I see beauty in many forms now.

I have over the years learnt what it means to love or understand beauty. From a spiritual level I always saw beauty as being more than simply the physical and yet growing up society indicated that perhaps I was wrong. I couldn’t work out why society was set on convincing me that there is only one way to appreciate beauty and that even if someone looked beautiful they could be mean or dishonest or wicked. As a child I could never understand that so my relationship with beauty is complex.

As a Black woman in a country in which my people are the minority seeing visible representations of beauty was rare if I were to rely on mainstream media, however thankfully I grew up on Nollywood films and Black American cinema and also in a community where we would meet at Hall parties so images of real world beauty surrounded me.  I would also see beauty as an effort but at the same time linked to moments of joy and escape. Watching my mother put on her make-up made me see that beauty could be a form of escapism  – she glammed up and had fun even though she had so much that she had to do.

Are you a minimalist or a maximalist when it comes to beauty?

I am definitely a minimalist. But as I’m getting older once in a while I want to soak myself up within a maximalist space. I want to go all-out glam and not just for a special occasion. I want to get treated to a full-face makeover with lashes and the works just to take pictures at my leisure. Maybe I’ll do that soon.

What are your fave skincare ingredients?

Tea tree – I love that tingling feeling and I know it works. I also love shea butter – it just works!

Do you have beauty tips and advice that you rely on that have been handed down to you?

Not really – my mum didn’t really have the time to teach me make up, to be honest, even though I watched her get ready for parties sometimes. I learnt a bit through observation. But to be honest the best advice I have received over the years in general are drink water, eat well, sleep and don’t allow stress to trouble you too much (and seek help if it starts to). Living a stress-free life is a major beauty secret!

What are your must-have skincare and haircare products? and what is the last product that you purchased that you’re loving?

I like Superdrug’s range of skincare. It works very well. I also love YSL’s foundation – my goodness the stuff is like velvet on your skin. Mary Kay has a fantastic powder foundation – I love it. I love Bourjois’ eyeliner and Chanel eyeliner which is brilliant too. In terms of haircare as long as my hair gets lots of water I can try any shampoo and conditioner. I’m not tied to a particular brand.

As you know Wow Beauty is committed to encouraging self care, what are some of your non negotiable self care rituals?

Rest! I need to be given time to rest whether it is just lounging around and eating snacks while mindlessly watching one of my favourite shows or sleeping. I also think that having plants is an important part of my self-care ritual, seeing life and growth through plants serves as a reminder of how magical our existence is.

Have you made any changes to your wellbeing toolkit since the pandemic? What items have become your lockdown/ wellbeing must haves?

Nothing much really – I think working from home before meant this has been easier (not easy but easier).

What is your typical morning skin care routine like? And your night time routine? Has anything changed since lockdown?

Wash my face and moisturise and repeat – morning and night. Not much has changed since lockdown though.

What changes would you like to see and the beauty industry over the next year or so?

I think strides have been made in terms of inclusion but there’s a long way to go. I think the beauty industry needs to ensure it works side by side with wellness beyond the external/physical and really focus on fact based information sharing in its messaging. I know that we live in a world of hyper-consumerism but consumers are slowly becoming more conscious and the industry needs to become more focused on uplifting its consumer base in more holistic ways.

Thank you, Ronke

Ronke Lawal @ronkelawal – www.ronkelawal.com

Ariatu PR Founder, Ronke Lawal, was born in Hackney, East London.  Having graduated with honours from Lancaster University and the University of Richmond Virginia (USA) with a degree in International Business (Economics), she started her own PR and Communications business in 2004. Ariatu PR specialises in PR and Communications for clients in a range of B2C industries; including lifestyle, consumer goods & the creative  enterprise sector.