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Bolden Co-Founder Ndidi Obidoa On Keeping Her Skin Bold & Beautiful

This entrepreneur uses her own skincare line to keep her melanin rich.

About Face

In About Face, xoNecole gets the 411 on IGers who give us #skincaregoals on the daily. Here they break down their beauty routines on the inside and out, as well as the highly coveted products that grace their shelves and their skin.

If there's one thing I've always had a love-hate relationship with, it's my skin. Some days, she wakes up and she's happy, glowing and soft. And other days she's mad as hell and takes it out on me via extra oil production and random breakouts. Luckily for me though, this tumultuous tug of war is something Bolden co-founder Ndidi Obidoa knows all too well. After a day dedicated to some serious fun in the sun turned into a beach day gone bad due to a batch of melanin-averse sunscreen, Obidoa and her beauty partner Chinelo Chidozie were left fed up with the lack of skincare products made for darker-skinned women. Thus, Bolden was born.

Instead of begging brands for products that worked better for melanin-rich skin, they decided to create their own and in an effort to change the dynamic of the industry from within. Since launching, they've created several award-winning products and have become a cult favorite among skincare enthusiasts like Jackie Aina. xoNecole recently got the chance to chat with the 42-year-old Bostonian where she put us on to the importance of having a skincare routine as Black women, the best beauty lesson she's ever learned, and her self-care must-haves. Here's what she had to say...

Courtesy of Ndidi Obidoa

My morning routine consists of...

"Oh gosh, my current COVID morning. I have a six-year-old who I'm homeschooling, so I have to spend like about four-and-a-half to five hours every day with him. My typical morning really starts at 6:30. I try to get an hour workout. I luckily have a treadmill in my house and I have a group of friends where we track our steps daily so I get that out in the morning. I take a shower after that and usually I try to make myself spend five minutes on my face in the morning which is to wash my face for at least a minute, then tone. And then [I] put on my SPF.

"By the time I'm done walking out the shower, I grab coffee, grab like a cup of yogurt. If I have time for breakfast, I grab some and I'm at my desk by 8:30. I work with my son right in front of me while I'm also replying to emails. So it's like back and forth. And by 1-1:30, he's done and out of my office. And then I focus on work."

My AM skincare routine looks like…

"I have my cleanser in the shower. I wash my face. I really try to stick to the rule that we've been sharing with [our Bolden] customers, which is to wash your face for up to one minute. Because that's how long it takes for all the great ingredients we have to work well together. So, I cleanse with the cleanser and when I get out of the shower, I use a brightening toner. It's a product that exfoliates gently and it helps to tighten your pores. I think that's really what has helped me achieve my face. And then next I apply a SPF moisturizer, which I love because it's a 3-in-1 product. It protects your face from the sun. It's a great moisturizer because it keeps your skin soft. And then also it includes Vitamin C. So it helps you manage hyperpigmentation. I do not step out of my house without a SPF moisturizer. I use about four pumps, which might seem like a lot but it adds up very quickly."

Courtesy of Ndidi Obidoa

My evening routine consists of...

"I try to spend some time with my sons. I try to stay with them until they fall asleep. Sometimes we read, sometimes we watch a movie. They really like to cuddle and fall asleep with me, then I have to carry them back into their beds. But I've trained them to go to bed by 8:30 at the latest. I usually try to have dinner with them but if I can't, after 8:30 I'll usually try to have dinner with my husband. We eat and after that I watch Asian drama. I discovered it at the beginning of COVID and it's a whole other world."

My PM skincare routine consists of...

"I repeat the first two steps: the cleanser and toner. And then I just add our nighttime repair serum. I always use mine with a Shea oil because I just like that. People always have this fear that if they apply oils, your skin will get oilier. But that has nothing to do with it. Oil production is controlled by a whole different process, but yeah. And then twice a week in the summer, well like once a week, I use a glow hydrating mask to hydrate. I'll skip one of my nighttime steps and just use the glow mask instead. And that really just keeps my skin well-hydrated."

Courtesy of Ndidi Obidoa

How my skincare routine changes for the seasons...

"Living in Boston, it's cold out here [and] it gets drier in the winter months. What I do is I tend to use more Shea oil in my routine. In the morning, I apply the Shea oil and then do my cleanse after that. My skin gets really dry, like it itches and I have to take Zyrtec sometimes. So it's that kind of dryness, you know? I just use Shea oil and I only use Bolden products. We're actually working on some new cleanser for dry skin. So we hope to launch it by the new year."

My go-to makeup look consists of…

"Since COVID happened, I've only worn makeup once on my birthday. Everyone was calling me, FaceTime-ing me. So I had to try to look a little cuter than normal. But I have a powder that just sort of gives me a little matte look. And then I play up my eyes and my lips. I always have lipstick but I'm still learning how to apply eye makeup because that is really what dramatically changes my look. So it's simple.

"But I no longer have to use foundation, I don't use those big powders. I find that sometimes they really irritate my skin and my skin has gotten so healthy. I tend to use the glow mask before I apply makeup because it just makes my skin supple and beautiful, just like a glow."

Courtesy of Ndidi Obidoa

How I approach beauty from the inside-out...

"I made a commitment when I turned 40, and I revisit it every year, but I really wanted to make exercising my lifestyle--not just something I do to lose weight. I've done bootcamps and stuff. I've even 'wowed' myself with the weight loss. It's just not sustainable, I wanted something that I could do that is sustainable. So I walk, jog for like an hour a day. I really love it. It makes me feel lighter, it just makes me feel good. And I find that I'm less emotional about things that happen to me. And by being less emotional, I feel good. I feel good on the inside, you know? I have less negative thoughts about everything. My mind is clearer and I can make new, fantastic Bolden products."

What self-care looks like to me...

"I love my girlfriends. For my 40th birthday, me and eight of my friends went to Mexico and it was the best time I ever had. They're women who won't lie to me, they're my support system. That's my number one. I also love a bottle of wine. I indulge on weekends, only because I have to wake up early, so I'll try to have a glass then. The other thing is hope! We all have to have something that we're hopeful for, something that we can look forward to. I was also going to say massage, but I haven't had a massage since February. I love massages, I miss it. I was getting them at least once a month until COVID started."

Courtesy of Bolden

My earliest beauty memory...

"I grew up with my single mom. She was a banker, so she had to dress up every day in suits, and wear makeup and go to work. But she was really fastidious about taking off makeup at night, you know, mornings were a little crazy in our household back then. But in the evening, I would just sit by her bedside table and just watch her get rid of her makeup. That's my earliest memory in terms of beauty and skincare and having a routine or something you do every day to care for your skin."

How my views on skincare and beauty have evolved...

"Well, as I've gotten older, I definitely think that in skincare, I understand my skin a lot better than I did in my twenties. I know what my dry skin really is or if it's a little too oily, what things could be affecting the texture of my skin. So now, I just believe that you must have a skincare routine, you should have a routine that you follow every day. People have several routines, I know I have two routines that I go through every week, but you need something basic in good ways to care for your skin. In terms of beauty, now when I look at people and look at the symmetry of their face--it doesn't mean as much like it maybe did when I was younger. Now I think of beauty as the totality of who you are."

For more of Ndidi and Bolden, follow them on Instagram @boldenusa.

All images courtesy of Ndidi and Bolden Beauty.

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