The UK’s first luxury beauty event solely for women of colour is set to feature some of the world’s biggest cosmetic brands when it arrives in London this December.
Donna Dia from London, has been a luxury events specialist for over 20 years, founded The Beauty Beat to celebrate women of colour and to champion brands that cater for their needs. NARS, Laura Mercier, bareMinerals and retail giant Boots are among those she has partnered with for the two-day event which will take place on the 3rd and 4th of December in central London.
Ticket holders will hear from two special guest speakers each day and have the opportunity to shop from their favourite brands with exclusive discounts.
LondonWorld spoke to Beauty Beat founder Donna Dia, to find out more about the first of its kind beauty event which is supported by The British Beauty Council.
Why did you create The Beauty Beat?
Donna said: “The Beauty Beat is a beauty event for women of colour to feel seen, centered and celebrated as beauty consumers. Over the course of my career, I have produced numerous exquisite events and while we, women of colour, may have been invited and on some occasions, included, we have never been the focus. Our representation has never been 360°. Beauty has always been such a huge, intrinsic part of our culture and yet, we are still not fully considered.
“So I wanted to create an elevated beauty event where we are fully considered – from the products available to the visual representations to the people you see... And for this to be showcased in a positive and elevated light. The Beauty Beat is the physical manifestation of this. It is my love letter to women of colour.”
Donna explained that her career began in PR but she soon switched to events planning as she enjoyed working on Fashion Week. She said her idea for Beauty Beat has been around for years, however it took awhile for her to take the leap.
Donna said: “I have been really fortunate in my career to create events for sensational brands and individuals. Being in that luxurious environment where I’ve had the privilege to create these experiences but it’s never been an experience for women of colour.
“There has been a disconnect that has been accepted as a Black beauty consumer. There was a niggle at the back of her mind and in 2020 that niggle became an alarm.
“I thought If you’re ever going to do this or take the leap now is the time. The idea has probably been there for more years than even I was aware of.”
Donna revealed that she spoke to people of different ages before going ahead with her plan.
“Everyone wants this. From people, I speak to family and friends of all ages. They say “there’s nothing for us”. The feedback has been overwhelmingly emotional and I hope we can deliver what a lot of women of colour have been waiting for,” she added.
What can attendees expect from the two-day event?
Donna explained: “Attendees will arrive at the venue in central London near Tottenham Court Road. Which is accessible to everyone even if you’re coming from outside of London.
“From 10 am - 6 pm, you will be in a haven of inclusivity where you are represented and can see yourself as a woman of colour. You can feel celebrated, you can feel like you’ve just been seen.
“There are four talks across two days, Saturday is focused on makeup and skincare and Sunday we cover hair care and tweak-ments. You get to see your favourite creators show you their tips, tricks, favourite products they use and how to use them.
“You will then be able to go out beauty hall and shop for those brands with exclusive discounts you will only get that weekend with Beauty Beat. In-person attendees will also receive a great big goodie bag with full-size products of great value.”
Will the event be live streamed?
Donna said attendees can download The Beauty Beat app to attend the event online for free.
She added: “You can watch all the live segments and engage by submitting your questions. Viewers can watch exclusive content from the brands within the app. They will also get the same discount on brand products for that weekend - shop online from the comfort of your own home.”
Which brand are you most excited about partnering with?
Donna teased that the guest speakers will be announced next week alongside three more brands.
“I can’t say which is my favourite because each of them has such a sweet spot for women of colour that it is a privilege to have all of them on board,” Donna said.
“These are the brands that have catered for us ongoing so to have them participate in the Uk’s only beauty event for women of colour they are contributing and I appreciate them.
Donna admitted that she would struggle to match her foundation skin colour in High Street stores around 2000-2012 and had to rely on US brands. However, she believes the selection of products in the UK has improved over the last five years.
Donna said: “Growing up I didn’t think about it because it was just how it was. Now it feels so bizarre we weren’t able to purchase the shades so widely but back then you just thought OK I need foundation I’ll just go to Selfridges whether you lived in London or further out.
“Now it feels brilliant to have the opportunity and availability but back then I didn’t know any different.”
What are your personal favourite beauty products?
“NARS or Laura Mercier for lips, I just find their natural tones for women of colour are just spot on they have just the right amount of pink and brown. There’s something about them I don’t even need to test. I just look at the packaging and know that it’s gonna work,” Donna responded.
How are you feeling about the event?
Donna said: “The most stressful thing I’ve organised is lots of huge events but as it’s a passion project as well as work I feel so much personal responsibility for delivering this because you can’t say you’re coming out with an event that you feel your audience has been waiting for a long time than under deliver.
“It’s such a personal mission as well for me to do this well. The reason why I started Beauty Beat was that I felt there was such a disconnect between the events I attended so I know what I’m trying to feel and the expectations are probably higher than what the audience may even want but I’ve set this standard now that I’m hoping I can fulfil. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Tickets are on sale from £40 at www.BeautyBeat.com
Klarna will be providing complimentary cocktails for all guests from 4:30pm-6pm.