Beauty products

Adwoa Beauty’s Julian Addo Swears By 17 Self-Care Essentials

Welcome to Take the Edge Off, a series that breaks down the beauty and personal care routines of influencers, CEOs, experts and celebrities. Find out how they unwind and decompress, while taking a closer look at the Holy Grail essentials they’re currently craving.


When we asked New York salon owner and professional stylist Candice Witherspoon about her favorite curl cream to use on her clients, one of the first brands she named was clean hair care brand Adwoa. Beauty. “I love using Adwoa Beauty Baomint Curl Defining Moisturizer on my clients,” she previously said. BAZAAR.com. “Not only is it refreshing, but it’s also great for overall curl definition or a long-lasting twist.” And this essential is just one of many coveted products that the brand’s CEO and founder, Julian Addo, has created for curly, curly hair types.

Addo started her beauty journey after immigrating with her family from Liberia to Staten Island, New York. Unable to receive a work permit at the age of 14, she befriended a local hairdresser in her neighborhood and eventually developed her own clientele, charging up to $20 per person to create styles of signing. “Growing up in a city center, there’s always a commotion. You do something, and a lot of girls, they just do their hair,” Addo says. “Some people weren’t good at it, but I was really good at it. And I built a following.”

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The founder eventually got her cosmetology license and went on to create her first beauty brand, Bella Kinks, which started as a blog to follow her natural hair journey, and eventually turned into a hair event company. natural. “Since I had the experience, I felt like I was going to go about it from a more educational perspective. So my events took on that tone, and because I was one of the only to have my credentials, it got really big and we started doing events all across the United States, and I became a figurehead in the natural hair community.” After achieving a good level of success and buzz, Addo leveraged her platform by freelancing behind the scenes with Sally Beauty for more established hair care brands.

Although she originally intended to avoid the limelight, her desire for higher beauty options for the black community eventually inspired Addo to create a product line of her own. “I just wanted to see it pop up for the culture of the community. And really for black women, because you had products that were either marketed for everyone or just Caucasian hair types that looked [higher-end]. We didn’t have anything in a natural community that looked like that. So I really wanted us to have something that works and looks good, because people want both, we’re in the digital age.”

To challenge and evolve the standards of natural hair care, Addo founded her current company Adwoa Beauty, “Adwoa” translating to “woman born on a Monday” in Ghanaian culture. “Adwoa Beauty was born out of my frustration with how we were marketed and how our packaging looked not just to the general public. [companies], but also, quite frankly, black founders. I feel like when we have a seat at the table, we tend to bring the same things. Even when conglomerates make products aimed at this demographic, it still looks a certain way. I was just frustrated. And I felt that if I kept criticizing it, I couldn’t not do something about it. I knew that in creating a brand, I had to create something that I loved and that I could talk about with confidence. I do it for myself first, and I hope there will be other women and men like me who want this type of product.”

For a closer look at the rest of her holy grail beauty favorites, Addo gives BAZAAR.com a scoop on the key products that complement her daily routine, which often starts with a morning workout. From a solid collection of audiobooks to rose-scented soaps and candles, read on to find out how the beauty CEO and founder finds supreme cold and woosahs on the regular.


What are you reading these days?

I’ve been doing a lot of audiobooks since working out on a treadmill in the morning. Right now I’m listening The richest man in Babylon by George Classon, which is about wealth creation and mindset – it’s really awesome. And it’s a quick read, just four hours on Audible. I also listen to a lot of uplifting podcasts on Spotify, like a series from motivational speaker Jim Ron.

The richest man in Babylon

George S. Clason The Richest Man in Babylon

Now 20% off

Credit: Amazon

What are some of your favorite bath and/or shower products?

It’s so crazy that you asked that because I feel like going through a ton of stuff trying to find what I like. I use the Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash, which is really rich and creamy. I also really like the Sol de Janeiro line because it’s aromatic, and it’s something I gravitate towards when I’m stressed or have had a hard day. I also love First Aid Beauty’s KP Bump Eraser because it has AHAs and I love to exfoliate. Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Scrub is another go-to of mine — I’ve been buying it for years and always get the big jar from Sephora.

Deep Moisturizing Body Wash

Dove Body Wash Deep Moisturizing Cleanser
Credit: Wal-Mart
Brazilian Obsession Collection

Sol de Janerio Brazilian Obsession Collection
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KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub

First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub
Credit: Skinstore
Brown Sugar Exfoliating Body Scrub

Fresh Brown Sugar Exfoliating Body Scrub
Credit: Sephora

What beauty or self-care products do you regularly use to combat zoom fatigue?

Honestly, the greatest self-care time for me is when I work out and eat well. I have a Zoom with my staff every morning during the work week from 9am to 11am, so I take time to practice before. And that’s what I like to communicate to my staff, and make sure they’re also living a good quality of life. You can’t go out if you don’t come in.

Do you have a favorite hand sanitizer, soap and/or cream right now?

We usually go back and forth between BYREDO’s Rose Hand Lotion and Soap and Aesop’s Reverence Aromatique Hand Cleanser and Cream.

Reverence Aromatique Hand Cleanser

Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Cleanser
Credit: Skinstore
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Do you ever light a candle or an incense stick to decompress? If so, what are some of your favorites?

I love BYREDO perfumes and Diptyque’s Roses candle – the rose is an easy scent for me. I also recently started buying FORVR Mood candles from Jackie Aina.

Credit: Diptych
Sweet Life Candle

FORVR Mood Soft Life Candle
Credit: Sephora

What’s the last beauty product you put on today?

Adwoa Beauty Baomint Moisturizing Curl Definition Gel. I literally recoiled some of my coils before this call so this was definitely the last product I used.

Baomint Hydrating Curl Defining Gel

Adwoa Beauty Baomint Moisturizing Curl Definition Gel
Credit: Sephora

Are you into bold makeup, no makeup, or no makeup right now, and why?

I don’t really like bold makeup, because I always like to look like myself. Most of the time when I come to the office I don’t wear any makeup except for a little lipstick. But I should probably skip makeup-makeup because when I wear it I usually fill in my brows with Boy Brow from Glossier, a skin tone from Ami Colé or Tower 28. I don’t do lashes nor unless I’m dating, but I love using Dose of Colors red lipstick. The rest of my makeup is always neutral, and then boom, I have a red lip, so that’s always it for me.

SunnyDays Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30

Tower 28 Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30 SunnyDays
Credit: Tower 28
Skin enhancing tint

Ami Colé skin-enhancing tint
Credit: Thirteen Moon
Credit: Glossier
Liquid matte lipstick

Dose of Colors Liquid Matte Lipstick
Credit: Amazon

What’s the last fitness class you streamed or took in person?

Probably the last fitness class I attended in person was SoulCycle before the pandemic. I don’t even remember when it was, 2019? But I use the treadmill and my peloton at home and go back and forth between them for workouts. And then sometimes I have three and five pound weights by the treadmill, or I walk with the weights, so I do a full body workout.

Credit: Peloton

What self-care tip would you recommend to our readers?

I talk to so many people – whether it’s doing things like this or other business owners reaching out to me in DMs – and I’ve noticed that a lot of people are lacking in confidence, especially the women. And I think that’s so important for one, to have confidence in yourself, and two, confidence in your abilities, because the world is so tough that if you can’t find that confidence and your voice, I don’t just don’t see how you’re going to do it. And it affects every area of ​​your life: your relationships, your work, everything. It’s all about self-care, it’s about taking care of yourself. It’s not skin and hair care and all those expensive things you find in a store. That’s part of it, but it’s not the root or foundation of self-care. More people need to take the time to get to know each other.