#StayWoke: Makeup Artist Creates Flawless Photo Series on Black Beauty

Moshoodat Sanni’s “Moshoodat” empowers and inspires women of color.

Are you in need of a pick-me-up?

This new photo series that illuminates the beauty of Black women is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Using vibrant body and face paint, the stunning “Moshoodat” series illuminates the beauty of Black women and empowers everyone who sees it.

Creator Moshoodat Sanni told that she created this project because she wanted Black women to be able to see themselves in an amazing light, a light they deserve to be in.

“Historically we haven’t been placed on these pedestals [that Kim Kardashian has] and we need images to appreciate ourselves not just on Instagram but in art and in fashion,” the 24-year-old said.

So to do just that, Sanni teamed up with Island Boy photographer and friend Joey Rosado, which started with Sanni using herself a guinea pig.  

Just stunning.

After all the love she got from the first image, the two began photographing other models and posting the images on Instagram — which of course have gone viral and have been featured in publications such as Buzzfeed and Glamour.

“The feedback has just been insane! It’s so amazing that people are seeing their own glory in these pictures,” she said. “It makes me feel so great because this project is truly coming from a genuine space.”

What also makes this project stand out is the affirmation and artistry around darker-skinned women, which isn't too common in our colorstruck society.

“As a makeup artist my favorite complexion is chocolate! And we have a range of women but its important to make a bolder statement that Black is truly beautiful and we just need to make people appreciate dark women period,” she told BET.

Surprsingly, this project almost didn’t happen because Sanni was ready to give up on doing makeup professionally and become a flight attendant — a move that Rosado just wasn’t going to let happen.

"In the back of head my head I kept asking, ‘Why is she trying to become a flight attendant?’ And I understood that breaking in is hard, especially when you aren’t doing the things you want, but I just didn’t want her to walk away,” Rosado said.

"And now with this project, I see her working and see how this series has brought a smile back to her face and [is] bringing back her passion and it’s amazing to see.”

For Sanni, the “Moshoodat” series has done more than just reinvigorate her as an artist, but has made her a better person.

"I have become a better person because I have been blessed to be around these women who are such gems. Like the one woman with the sunflower — I’ve never met someone with such a kind heart. ”

Sanni added, “Or Erica, who is a breast cancer survivor. She is just so positive and so strong! This project has a brought an exchange of energy in my life that has been very powerful."

Sanni and Rosado are thinking of other ways to expand their project and reach the masses.

“We are looking to put the series in galleries and museums and perhaps sell our images to help travel and paint the world beautiful,” she said.

And we are here for all of that!

Learn more about the “Moshoodat” series here.

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