Florence Adepoju worked on make-up counter in Lakeside Shopping Mall in Essex, when she was just 17 and studying for her A-levels at sixth-form college.
She noticed the lack of make-up suited to darker skin tones, so she decided to start her own makeup line one day.
She later studied Cosmetic Science at the London College of Fashion, where she did her dissertation on how colour affects different people’s perception of lipsticks.
As part of her dissertation, Florence put together a business plan and social media campaign. This eventually helped her to apply for a business grant from the college, which she used to set up a business.
She launched MDMflow, a lipstick line of bold, bright, highly pigmented colours designed to suit black women.
MDMFlow takes its inspiration from the mid-nineties to early-Noughties hiphop videos that Florence grew up with, and features a range of lipsticks in richly pigmented shades of black, blue, orange and pink.
Florence’s lipstick line which started producing from her parents’ garden shed is now being stocked in Topshop.
In an interview with FEMAIL she says:
‘I was struck by the lack of choice there was for women with darker skin,’
‘Brands would bring out limited-edition capsule collections, but none of the make-up would suit me; the foundation wouldn’t be dark enough or the lipstick wouldn’t be bright enough. I always found it disappointing.’
‘I worked at Space NK throughout university, and people were always requesting shades like blue, but there weren’t many on the market,’ Florence said.
‘They’d see people like Rihanna wearing crazy colours and they’d want to copy her.’