Ciara has been and will always be the “it” girl, and she’s on a mission to make other young Black girls and women feel that same confidence that she does. With the debut of her skincare brand, OAM (On a Mission), the “I Bet” songstress has introduced five skincare products packed with Vitamin C at a clinical skincare level. Complete with a foaming cleanser ($28), brightening pads ($28), a 20 percent vitamin C serum ($62), an eye cream ($35), and a moisturizer ($43), OAM is specially designed to bring the life back into your skin and brighten all skin tones without the harm of bleaching thanks to the active Tri-C Pro-Peptide Complex in all of the products.
“I’ve always said that I’m a woman of ambition on a mission. In this case, I’m on a mission to create clinical skincare and to make it simple for us,” Ciara explained to ESSENCE. In the past, she confided that she has felt “overwhelmed” by the thought of skincare, from the products incorporated to how many steps are required. The “Goodies” singer also admitted to doing a total no-no when she first became familiar with the art of washing her face. “I used to use body lotion and body wash on my face, and that didn’t make no sense.”
As Ciara began to ideate what On A Mission would look like and how it would benefit her consumers, she aspired to make it make sense for her younger self and make an impact on those new to the skincare game. “I just started to factor in all the things that were real and true to me. I took taking care of my skin seriously, and I was ready to level up how I was loving on my skin, which ultimately what helped me how I love on myself. I’m on a mission to do all those things,” she said as she smiled sweetly.
As if Fashion Week wasn’t busy enough for the singer, mom, and wife, Ciara also launched an exclusive apparel collection on REVOLVE, as Lita by Ciara revealed their Neo Nostalgia collection on September 1. The collection was showcased during New York Fashion Week with an immersive experience, exhibition, and pop-up shop at the REVOLVE Gallery.
Ahead of the official launch, ESSENCE caught up with the “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” singer to chat about beauty lessons she’s teaching her daughter, the secret to leveling up her skincare routine, and how the entertainment industry challenged her relationship with skincare.
ESSENCE: When did you first start to develop a deep, personal relationship with your skin, and what’s your first skincare memory?
Ciara: “I’m going to be honest with you. One of my first skincare memories would definitely be doing a Microderm. That was always really fun for me, but I also didn’t have a follow-through. To be very honest, when I made the commitment to get into this space and create skincare for myself and obviously for the world, that was when I really started to take it [seriously]. I also wanted to make it simple. I say, ‘clinical level skincare simple, made simple.’ You’ll see on the back there’s a numbered system where it’s spelled out for people, so you don’t have to overthink your process.
“I wanted to have thoughtfulness in what we were doing. I wanted to really simplify the process and experience for not just women but for everyone, whoever used the line and make it simple for you. I’m obviously an entrepreneur, I’m a mom, and I’m ripping and running nonstop. I don’t have time to think a lot. I need to be able to get it done quickly. There’s all the thoughtfulness of people like myself that I want to pour into creating my line, so every detail mattered for me.”
Everybody was asking for Ciara’s prayer for so long, but what’s the secret to Ciara’s glow? A lot of people say drinking water and minding your business will keep you nice and young, but what about you?
“Drinking water and minding your business will definitely do you good, but I say drinking water for sure is game-changing. For me, following through with my skincare routine is really important. It’s game-changing, to be honest with you. It’s night and day from when I went from using regular lotion and body wash on my face to actually using clinical-level products on my skin and being consistent with them.
“I would say working out for me is also huge. I think it’s part of that wellness, the big picture wellness of you, kind of thing. I feed my soul in a special way when I go to the gym, especially when I don’t want to. It’s always good when you do something that you don’t want to, but you need to do it. You feel good. I feel like I can conquer the world. I am spiritual, so I do pray. I’m a big believer, and praying can allow you to reset to recenter, to bring calmness to the soul and to the mind and to the heart. Praying is so good. Those are a few things that I can think of that I do think are necessary to pour into myself, to be my best self, and to feel like my best self.”
What are your thoughts on the evolution of the beauty industry as it pertains to the representation of Black women?
“Oh, my goodness. We’ve come a long way. We still got some ways to go, just to be honest. Even understanding people saying, ‘Oh, another skincare line,’ then I looked at the list, and I was like, ‘Wait a minute, there’s not that many of us. There’s not that many women of color in the skincare line space.’ Just understanding that says a lot, and I’m also very proud to be a part of that small group. Hopefully, there’s going to be more to come. Hopefully, when my daughter sees me, she sees hope, she sees possibility, and she sees it because she sees herself in me, not just because I’m mom, but also because we do share the same skin color, so it’s pretty powerful. How amazing that it’s a clinical-level skincare line, I’m very proud of that. I’m very proud to be in this space, competing in this space, giving people the real deal, and having an incredible advisory board team of phenomenal woman and doing it the right way.”
What beauty tips and tricks are you instilling in your daughter Sienna now before she begins to develop a more personal relationship with her skin?
“I think having a routine is important. I’ve been able to see how being consistent with my skincare regimen through my skincare line has been game-changing. I think sometimes you don’t think it really works. It’s like my makeup artist, Yolonda would always say – use your eye cream. She would tell me, she was talking, but I wasn’t hearing her. I was listening, but I wasn’t hearing her. Once I started to commit to that, it was game-changing. Obviously, we gained wisdom through our experiences, so I’m hoping to impart my wisdom from my life experiences in my daughter and that maybe she has to take [fewer] steps than I did to do some of the things that I’ve done. Especially, in this case, I want for her to really take hygiene and skincare very seriously. That’s a part of who we are, and it’s a part of how people see you or feel you. How you take care of yourself, people can feel your energy, and that can be huge. That can make a huge impact on yourself and also others.”
What advice would you give young Ciara about managing her skincare as she navigates entertainment, traveling, and playing in different makeup looks?
“Make sure you wash your face at least once a day. Listen to your skin, which I always say now. Your skin tells you what it needs. If it feels dry, you need to hydrate it. If your eyes are filling a certain kind of way, you need to put some eye cream on. There’s those basic things. You have to listen to your skin and stop using the body wash and the face wash.”
What would you tell young Black girls who look at you and say, “I want to be able to feel beautiful and feel confident in my skin, and my body like Ciara does?”
“I would tell all my beautiful Black queens and princesses – we can call it queens – that taking care of ourselves is one of the best things that we can do. Be committed to loving on yourself, know that you’re special, [and] know that there’s a special sauce that’s in us. Embrace that inner sauce. Let that sauce pour out, let it pour out, and be proud of yourselves. I think it’s important to remind ourselves that just to get up every day is a blessing; to just be able to breathe is a blessing. It’s all about perspective, but know that you are special and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. You’re never limited by the color of your skin or your gender. It is up to you. So go and get what’s yours. That’s what I would say.”