Behind the Business / Business

Behind the Buisness: Fauzia Awale, Fawwies Workshop

Beauty has always had its standard dictated by magazines and makeup houses. The standard has always had a bias that many could not relate to. Specifically in Africa, the under exposure of African beauty as a standard has not been thoroughly explored. Darker shades are not emphasized for mainstream magazines, and frustration around this issue expressed most publicly by Senegalese model Nykhor Paul.

coke-studio flyer

Photo Credit: [photo of Coke Studio Africa music line up]. (N.D). Retrieved August 5, 2015 from

Despite the standards of beauty by mainstream media, many African women have taken their beauty and expressed it on their own terms. Fauzia Abdulkadir Awale, a Kenyan makeup artist is going against industry standard to make her own path. She has successfully turned her talent into a sustainable business. CEO of Fawwies workshop, Fauzia is also the official Coke Studio Africa Wardrobe Stylist. “I delved into makeup because it was a passion and I also studied it. I majored in Somatology which has greatly contributed in my journey in the makeup industry,” says Fauzia. Many African women still take example from mainstream magazines that do not represent many people on the continent. We still live in an era where thousands of men and women bleach their skin, with the desire to have lighter skin.

For budding makeup artists, breaking into the industry can prove difficult. Fauzia concurs with this notion and adds, “The journey has been quite challenging, getting people to believe in what you are doing has not been easy. However when people see what you can do with your hands, they are able to believe in your work. I have finally found a good and stable customer base that’s greatly growing.”

Fauzia with Akaliba, Musician & WildAid AmbassadorPhoto Credit: [photo of Fauzia and Akaliba at Coke Studio Africa]. (N.D). Retrieved August 5, 2015 from

Beauty is also something of a luxury for some parts of Africa. The culture is different and not as easily accessible to the masses as it is in Western society. Fauzia points out that, “Being a makeup artist in east Africa has been quite challenging. Women from East Africa still think makeup is something people do only on special occasions on weddings or birthdays but makeup is great at enhancing beauty and bringing out different face features. It is art. But with time, women are slowly accepting the culture and it’s now easy to work with different women.”

Fauzia’s journey is one of success because of her diligence in working towards a goal she has set out. “The Make Up industry is definitely growing as a whole but I feel like East Africa is going to require being a little more daring and go a little out of the box. We have great creative minds and we need to show that to the world. “

For more information on her work contact

Re-blogged from

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