Tola Lawal, Marketing and Branding Strategist

My name is Omotola (Tola) Lawal and I’m a marketing and branding strategist who loves beauty, food, and life. My father is Nigerian, so I guess I’m Nigerian-American. My mom is Black and Native American.

I started wearing makeup in college, maybe my junior year in college. And of course like every Black girl, I went to the MAC counter and they gave me an introduction to makeup. I’ve used everything from MAC to Make Up For Ever to Laura Mercier to Cover FX. I love Cover FX. I also love Black Opal.

[In terms of confidence] I used to say I was shy. But then our friend, Mecca, was like “No, you’re not shy, you’re just insecure.” But insecure has such a negative connotation to it that you immediately defend yourself. But then you really think about it and it’s like, “I really do have insecurities.” Everybody has insecurities.

I hate my nose. I have a genuine African nose. That’s probably one of the only things that I’m insecure about physically, other than me being fifteen pounds overweight. I’ve considered getting rhinoplasty to help make me more confident in my own skin but I haven’t booked in for any surgery yet. I know someone who had the 8 West Clinic Rhinoplasty surgery and she had a great experience. After I saw how amazing her nose looked it made me really want to book an appointment but I haven’t got round to it yet. My nose is the only thing on my face that I’m insecure about so I would really like to try and get it sorted. I know it would work wonders for my self-confidence!


When I need a quick pick-me-upper, I put on makeup. I get my nails done. I get my feet done. Things like that make me feel good. When my nails are done and my feet are done and I put on a little makeup and my hair is fly, I definitely feel good. When I don’t have makeup on I feel good too, but that is my pick me up.

I can’t live without something on my lips. I can go from Moxie by MAC (a discontinued bright pink lipstick) to Cherish (a nice nude by MAC) to my EOS lip balm. I can’t live without that. Right now I think I’m using Benefit’s They’re Real mascara. For foundation, I use Cover FX’s foundation powder. Under it, I use Black Opal’s foundation stick. I love the heavy made up look. Give me the drag look!

Milk of Magnesia is the greatest primer ever. It’s like Mylanta. You can buy it at the grocery store. Dip those little dollar makeup brushes in it and go over your face. Don’t put too much on because it turns white, but it keeps you from getting oily and then you put your makeup over it. I know, it sounds weird, but that’s my little beauty secret.


I’ve never been insecure about my complexion at all, but I’ve always known that I’m dark skinned. When I was younger, people were always pointing it out. But it didn’t bother me. I think I was more annoyed of them making fun of my name – Omotola, than my skin color.

Even working in media and television and stuff; I never felt my hue got in the way of my opportunities.

I really believe you have the power to make yourself feel how you want to feel. You can’t ever give that power to somebody else. When you feel like you’ve given somebody that power… take a moment, sit back and figure out how you can get that power back.

I’d say to brown girls to just love your skin. It’s yours. You’re dope as fuck.

Sorry, my mouth is so bad.