We are very excited to announce that Bobbi Brown Cosmetics’ first ambassador in Africa is multi-platinum singer Lira. The powerhouse just released her sixth album, Born Free. She was one of Essence magazine’s Five Unique Artists to Change Music in 2012, and is currently on the coaching panel for The Voice South Africa.
Before Lira hit it big, she was a young accountant working a desk job, grappling with insecurities, and debating whether she could make her dreams a reality. “I’ve traveled the whole journey of feeling really ugly—of feeling like there was no standard of beauty that I could fit into. But through self-acceptance, I completely changed my outlook,” Lira says. “I’m very passionate about self love because it’s been my journey. All of us were born onto this earth with something to do.”
Here are Lira’s inspiring mantras on confidence, beauty, and following your dreams:
On creating confidence:
“I love my lips and my hair. I really love the fact that my skin is even, too. Looking and feeling good makes me feel confident. I used to be incredibly shy, incredibly self-conscious. I actually developed my self-confidence through mirror work. I think I was in my early 20s that I realized that the only thing that matters is what I think of myself. I saw a performance by Michael Jackson that triggered a different way of viewing myself. I watched him perform alone onstage. He owned the stage and I admired that. I would stand in front of a mirror and ask myself, “What does confidence look like?” And I would pose in a way that I would think depicts confidence. And then I would affirm myself. I did that religiously. Because the more I spoke powerful words to myself, the more I carried myself differently. And I’ve just never been the same ever since!”
On her relaxed approach to beauty:
“Johannesburg is unforgiving it. It’s incredibly dry with high altitude. I love the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base and the Hydrating Face Cream. I use the Skin Foundation Stick—but very lightly. I’m lucky that my skin is quite even-toned as it is. I swear by the Sheer Finish Pressed Powder. Sometimes I wear just that. I’ve got great skin as is, but I just love the finish, and it’s an easy way to achieve a flawless face. It’s always in my purse. Makeup should be easy. I also wear the Art Sticks and Lip Balm on my lips every day. I have very dry lips, as well.”
On the South African approach to natural beauty:
“For a long time we did not have makeup brands for black women. You didn’t find a lot of black women wearing makeup. For a lot of people, I would say it’s relatively new and you see a lot more people wearing makeup now. I’ve met a lot of women getting into Bobbi Brown as a brand. They love that it’s easy. My mom didn’t wear makeup until the last three years, and she looks amazing. So, it just feels like something new. Everyone is getting into it. But I find South African women don’t wear a lot of makeup. We won’t go over the top. Everyone still likes the natural beauty look.
On taking risks:
“I was earning well at my job as an accountant, but I wasn’t happy. And that just baffled me. You get the job and you start working your way up. But it wasn’t enough for me. The only association I had with being happy was being onstage. So, I devised a five-year plan as to how to do this, and I saved up enough money to survive for a year without a job. When I look back, everything fell into place. You have to be prepared in order to grab opportunity, and we call that luck… But I think it’s called preparing for opportunity.”