We all adopted new beauty routines during the stricter lockdown period. From attempting to tweeze our own eyebrows, to braiding our own hair, the pandemic helped us redefine the way we see beauty – and we weren’t the only ones.
Joining the ranks of Jennifer Lopez and Pharrell Williams, South African media personality and soapie actress Amanda Du-Pont has come out to launch her own African skincare range.
The business of beauty with Amanda Du Pont
Lelive (pronounced leh-lee-veh) is a Siswati word that translates to “of the nation/world”. Lelive is also a part of Du-Pont’s second name (her full name Langalelive which translates to “son of the nation”, and considering the meaning behind the name, it wasn’t hard for her to choose it as the name for her skincare range.
“We thought that this was really fitting because we knew we wanted to create a brand that was community-built using social media, while also being personal to me, so this made perfect sense.” explains the 32-year-old Skeem Saam actress, “The brand needed to reflect my Swati background but also the background of all Africans in our community, so when it came to the ingredients we used we made it a priority to hero local ingredients like Aloe, Rooibos, Marula and Kalahari Melon so that our point of view was never lost.”
Keep it natural
Not only did Du-Pont want the brand to be proudly African, but she also wanted to keep it as natural as possible. Considering the year that we’ve had, it’s important to support our health and one of the best ways to do so is by staying clear of toxic ingredients, many of which are found in numerous beauty and skincare products.
“Lelive is made up of 95% natural ingredients with up to 5% being plant-identical.” shares Du-Pont, “This was important for us because it’s something that I personally wanted having used natural products for a long-term and being conscious of what I put into and on my body, but more importantly it was important to our audience as well with over 90% of our audience voting for the creation of a clean skincare brand.”
Moreover, it’s not just the ingredients that Du-Pont has prioritized. After doing a lot of research, the Greenpeace Ocean Ambassador also opted for aluminum packaging. Also, considering the effects that some sunscreens have on coral reefs, Du-Pont made sure that, after a lot of trial and error, they settled on an SPF formula that is not only kind to the planet but also felt and looked great on the skin.
The lockdown effect
According to a report courtesy of Sapian Labs, South Africans had one of the lowest overall mental wellbeing scores when it came to evaluating their mental health during the height of the pandemic. However, it seems that not everyone battled with their mental health during this period.
“Lockdown accelerated my personal will to train on my own and actually pushed me to be healthier!” explains the former Adidas fitness ambassador. That said, Du-Pont admits that she did also face challenges during lockdown. One example was losing her grandmother and not being offered the opportunity to bury her. Nonetheless, leaning on her faith helped her get through. “I spent a lot of time serving others, praying, meditating, and trusting God.” she shares, “This period was make or break mentally, so I’m quite proud to say I’ve chosen to lean on the positives and this has created a ripple effect of positivity all throughout my life.”
Pandemic Business Plan
The ripple effect was so good that it led to her creating her own beauty brand – during a turbulent time. Nonetheless, that didn’t deter the New York Film Academy graduate. After all, there was such a demand for a brand like Lelive,
“We realised that there was a need to offer people support and inspiration on how to take better care of themselves. So, we created this platform to share tips and advice on healthy eating, fitness, and wellness,” she says. Du-Pont adds that she soon realized that there was a need for skincare that was clean, effective, and affordable. So her community then began to help develop the range that they have today.
The future of beauty
Now, Du-Pont admits that she didn’t necessarily prioritize her health when she was younger (“I would have told my younger self to cut down on the takeouts and to eat more organic and power-packed superfoods!”. Nonetheless, the Netflix actress does now follow a healthy diet and maintain her fitness. While she doesn’t necessarily have a fitness routine, she refers to herself as a ‘beast in the gym’.
“I’m constantly switching things up, so I don’t get bored. I go from strength and weight training to cardio, boxing, HIIT, and occasional cross-fit style sessions.”
And if you’re wondering how the guru keeps her skin looking so flawless? Well, her beauty tips are quite simple;
3. Eat Healthy
4. Use the du-pont from lelive – it’s the perfect overnight hydration mask. It’s also her favourite product from the range. “From the jump, I completely fell in love with them and knew that they would become bestsellers. This is because they were truly on par with some of the most expensive and well-known brands internationally that I’ve also used over the years.”
As for her beauty handbag must-have?
“Lip balm and hand cream! I also like to keep the du-pont moisturiser if I’m traveling great to keep skin hydrated during long flights.”