STU students create cosmetics for every skin colour

'Tidan Beauty' is the animal cruelty free cosmetics brand, created by Boluwatise Oduntan. (Submitted: Ahmik Burneo)

Tishe and Tife Oduntan want to create cosmetics for every person’s skin colour.

The twin sisters from Nigeria started Tidan Beauty, a cruelty-free cosmetic business, in 2019. The pair will release their new set of products on Feb. 22 — their birthday.

“I feel anxious,” said Tishe Oduntan. “But at the same time I feel really good about it.”

People can expect a variety of colours for a variety of skin types. The duo offers lip glosses, lip stains and lipsticks. Products are handmade in the United States and all the ingredients are handpicked.

“We tried to incorporate every skin complexion in our photoshoot,” said Tife Oduntan. “If I’m dark-skinned, I could see how it looks on a dark skin. If I’m medium or light-skinned, I can see how it looks on that.”

Tife Oduntan is more involved with production. She approves the materials and the quality of products herself before they make more. Tishe Oduntan is in charge of marketing. She said that since she was young, she’s been interested in business, which she is studying at St. Thomas University. 

“I oversee the production to make sure that everything goes as planned because one of our major drivers is to make [our products] as natural as possible,” said Tife Oduntan.

Tife Oduntan began researching how to make cosmetics and discovered a course in Nigeria. She signed up, learned the ropes, and made her first batch of cosmetics.

“I took it to school and everyone was asking me where I bought it from. They wanted it. That’s when it dawned upon me that this can actually be a [business],” she said.

Because of her attention to detail, Tife Oduntan even postponed their original launch date, which was earlier this year. She is a self-proclaimed perfectionist. When she received sample products for their launch, she thought they were “perfect” but could be better.

The different colors that are available, for different skin tones by ‘Tidan Beauty’. (Submitted: Ahmik Burneo)

They also wanted to consider products that would work with sensitive skin because Tife Oduntan is sensitive to a lot of skin products. 

The duo made two batches of products. The first in Nigeria, the second here in Fredericton. In their previous batches, prices of products varied between $15 and $20. 

“You can’t necessarily raise prices too high because we’re a small business,” said Tishe Oduntan. “We’re also trying to compete with larger brands.”

Although they did not officially release them on their website or Instagram page, they sold their products by word of mouth and with the support of their friends. Tishe Oduntan felt it was motivating to see people support her small business. 

“That motivated us to continue,” she said.

Tishe Oduntan explained that when competing with other businesses, products have to stand out. She felt that they stood out for the quality of their handmade products. 

“What better way to do it than to actually [make it with] our hands and to oversee the measurements and make sure every single time, quality and consistency stays the same,” said Tishe Oduntan. 

Aside from seeing her cosmetics sell, Tishe Oduntan said that she gets the most joy from seeing people talk about the quality.

“At the end of the day, people can buy from me because they want to buy from me, but to see people buy and speak on the quality, that makes me so happy,” she said.