Inspired by daughter, Edmonton woman launches lipstick line named after African queens

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Paris Barud, founder of Narcissa Beauty, hopes her new business will educate more people on a part of African history. She's named her new lipstick line after African queens and as Kim Smith reports, the business owner was inspired by her daughter – Feb 5, 2021

An Edmonton woman is hoping her new business will expose more people to a part African history that she recently discovered herself.

Paris Barud, founder of Narcissa Beauty, named her five lipstick colours after African queens: Yaa asantewaa, Moremi, Nefertiti, Queen Nandi and Araweelo.

“I was a little overwhelmed by the fact that I didn’t know (about the queens),” Barud said. “I wish I had learned about this when I was younger. I feel like it would have given me a lot more perspective and not having to read about this in my 30s.”

Barud moved to Canada from Somalia with her family when she young. She said growing up she idolized the British Royal Family, particularly Princess Diana.

“But the Royal Family, they don’t look like us. It’s so important for kids to connect with people that look like them,” Barud said.

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Barud has three kids: two sons and a daughter who is nearly two years old. She said she hopes her daughter has more exposure to Black women in positions of power than she had while growing up.

“I wanted her (my daughter) to know that there’s women out there that look like her in history,” Barud said. “I mostly did this for my daughter, so she could have women she could look up to, like warrior queens.”

One of Barud’s lipstick colours. Paris Barud / Supplied

Barud launched her business in April, during the pandemic, and said she had some apprehension.

“I’m a Black Muslim and I’m a woman. Sometimes that can be a three-strike thing in society.”

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She’s been partnering with another Black female-owned Edmonton business called #Glam Studio, a spa owned by two sisters.

The businesses promote each other online and share clients.

“A lot of time, Black businesses… people don’t support them. For us, we like to come together especially as women,” Amina Hirabe, owner of #Glam Studio, said. “We’re representing the fact that we need to show people of colour out there that are owning businesses, especially in Edmonton.”

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