Hi BellaStylistas! It’s Isoken and every month, I’ll be sharing a short letter spotlighting our monthly theme from my personal perspective and giving you an idea of some of the amazing content we have planned. Welcome to our #Beauty issue !

Editor-At-Large Isoken Ogiemwonyi introduces BellaNaija Style’s #Beauty theme for November.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no  beauty guru. I enjoy makeup and I’m a bit of an obsessive about skincare (mostly due to my overly sensitive skin). However I am definitely a believer in the transformative power of makeup as well as the adage that great skin is the foundation of a great beauty look.

Experimenting with wacky makeup and hair used to be my thing, a part of me still enjoys the odd platinum blonde wig or crazy eye shadow – but unfortunately as these things require a lot of time and energy  I often end up with a classic beauty look for events and little to no makeup in my day to day.

A few weeks ago, I got a distressing message that basically sent me into a hate spiral of epic proportions. I had somewhere to be and I was already in a crappy mood. All of a sudden an already difficult event morphed into an insurmountable task. I looked and felt horrid and I just KNEW I would feel like a troll the entire day no matter what I did. I sent a rant filled message to my siblings WhatsApp, generally lamenting and bemoaning the day and how I felt etc.

Predictably, I got some tough love (lol my siblings are so annoying). I was forced to make the most of it, slap on some hair and makeup and keep it moving. Oddly enough, the process of getting ready felt therapeutic and ended up perking me up enough to actually enjoy myself at the event.

Anecdote aside, I know I can’t be the only one who’s felt instantly better after putting on a quick swipe of lipstick or how a life change can feel more real with a fresh haircut or new braids. Beauty rituals are important for many reasons, not just because of the effect they have on external factors (looking put together is key in our day to day life and interactions), but because of the way they can make us feel – enhancing our mood, and for a control freak like me, making one feel more in control.

Beauty is definitely not skin deep, nor does it exist in a silo – it is inextricably linked to emotion and how we feel about ourselves. In this issue we tackle several issues – from Toke Makinwa’s controversial skin whitening launch – in an interview with the super-influencer herself, a quick chat with key beauty influencers on what they would change about their journey if they could, and some key lessons from some beauty brand bosses.

Expect unexpected insights and all the goss’ on what’s new and hot in the African beauty space. We’re investigating and spotlighting stories showcasing the diverse and wonderful way women all over the world take pride in their must-have beauty treatments, wellness tips and go-to fitness routines.

Our love for beauty is universal, and we celebrating women who are insatiable when it comes to discovery, inspiration, and knowledge. We get a firsthand look at the natural hair care journeys of several celebrities and influencers, from Ini Dima-Okojie to Eku Edewor, these stories are emblematic of a journey to self love and acceptance.

Beauty is a tool for freedom of expression. It allows us be as creative, rebellious, whimsical as we want. It’s a journey, it’s escapism and most of all it can be so much fun.

Join us?

Isoken Ogiemwonyi, Editor at Large