When Danielle Bahi grew tired of seeing Black women placed in a single category by so many beauty brands, she decided to create a line that caters to everyone.

As a licensed esthetician and makeup artist from the Ivory Coast, Bahi knew a paraben-free, vegan collection was the way to go. If you’re insistent on living a clean life, Bahi Cosmetics are for you.

Her soaps are made of good ingredients like olive, sunflower, almond and hazelnut oils, and she even has lashes that are made of a cruelty-free, silky synthetic blend. Like grandmother Bahi taught her: if you can’t pronounce the ingredient or purchase it in a normal store, it shouldn’t be on your skin.

Read on for Bahi’s words on being an entrepreneur, plans to help the less fortunate and her beauty must-haves.

ESSENCE: Having the funds to start a makeup company can be a challenge. How did you start your business?

Danielle Bahi: I didn’t have funding actually. I just believed in my business and just projected my beliefs onto people. I sold the products before I could even create them. I believed in my products so much that I sold the idea of [an all-natural] product long before it existed. And, it worked.

ESSENCE: Has starting your own business been everything you expected? What does having a Black-owned business mean to you?

Danielle Bahi: It wasn’t 100% what I expected. There were many growing pains with Bahi, but they’re learning to fix themselves. Having a Black-owned business means we’re more magical. I do however believe that we should be viewed just as other businesses.

ESSENCE: Do you have plans to expand?

Danielle Bahi: Yes, I want to one day able to help the needy. My plan is to help single mothers and orphans. I also want to go back home to the Ivory Coast and start an art school for those who don’t have the opportunity and have to travel abroad.

ESSENCE: What separates Bahi Cosmetics from your competitors?

Danielle Bahi: I’m here to help others. I genuinely want to help people achieve great skin and be comfortable in their skin.

Essence: What’s your top piece of advice for someone who wants to start their own beauty business?

Danielle Bahi: You should always believe in yourself and NEVER give up—things get easier, eventually. Even if fundings are not there, believe in your goal.

ESSENCE: YouTube beauty gurus are on the rise. What does this mean for the future of your business?

Danielle Bahi: I view it as an opportunity to get more recognition for Bahi. And that’s all I honestly want.


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