FLORENCE ADEPOJU is a woman on a mission to change the beauty industry once face at a time.
Her frustration at not being able to find colours that suited her sparked the creation of MDM Flow, which keeps women of colour at the top of its agenda.
Now, three years after launching the brand, which she made in her parents’ garden shed in Rainham, Essex, the 25-year-old is stocked in Topshop and Lena Dunham used Instagram to spread the word about MDMflow last year.
Giorgio Armani used to make a foundation that she loved – she wore it every day for six months but when she went back to buy it again, the brand no longer produced it.
“It was limited edition. But when you’re a dark-skinned woman, your skin tone is not limited edition. You have that for life.”
She launched MDM flow after graduating from university.
Her undergraduate dissertation began after working in Space NK and receiving “loads” of requests for blue lipstick but once she produced her first test samples, they all went missing and she realised that if people were stealing them, she could probably sell them.
On graduating she launched MDMflow, a lipstick line of bold, bright, highly pigmented colours designed to suit black women.
She said: ” “I would never say that a white woman couldn’t wear my lipstick – of course they can. But when I’m working, I think ‘I am formulating a product so that a black woman can wear it’, so that the colour shows up. With my lipsticks, the darker your skin, the better it looks.”
Florence, who had early ambitions of becoming a doctor before pursuing further studies in science, is also working on EDF Energy’s Pretty Curious campaign to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM subjects, and she’s not the only woman of colour using science skills to solve a gap in the beauty market.