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Big Freedia’s Black Opal Collaboration Is All About Bounce


Erika Goldring/ Getty Images

When we envision Big Freedia, we see glamorous looks, full beats, and bold takes on beauty. So, why not launch a makeup line? “I had been talking about doing a line of makeup for a long time,” Big Freedia tells ESSENCE. The New Orleans bounce artist partnered with beauty brand Black Opal on her first, limited edition makeup collection: Bold Beats. “When they reached out to me, I was very familiar with the brand,” she says. Founded by Carol Jackson-Mouyiaris in 1994, “Black Opal is the biggest Black-centric make-up line that I’m aware of.” 

As for the inspiration? Naturally, “Bounce music and culture,” she says. “Every product is named after a Bounce beat, move, or one of my signature phrases.” The five product collection includes the Bounce Eyeshadow Palette, Swiggle Wiggle Nails, and three eyelash styles: The Girl Down, lightweight lashes; Ya Besta Believe, rhinestone and voluminous lashes; and Yaka Yaka, long and luscious lashes. These beauty products are all integral to Big Freedia’s most iconic beats. Think: bold, saturated colors radiating the full scope of her personality.  

Freedia had also been using the brand’s makeup well before the collaboration, especially the eyeshadows, which speaks to the quality of the product. “BLACK OPAL gave me a lot of creative license,” she tells ESSENCE. Even so, “they were extremely helpful in teaching me how to work with cosmetic ingredients, quality-control, packaging” and other developments throughout the collection. Announcing the new line in an Instagram post, Freedia shares with her fans how Bold Beats was her creative outlet, telling us “this fell right in line with what I wanted to do with my makeup line.” 

At the foundation of it all, however, her iconic beauty falls back on skincare and confidence. “No matter how tired I am, I wash my face every night, exfoliate [and use] a face mask (once a week), and moisturize,” she says. But even with her success, Big Freedia’s key to confidence is knowing how to “bounce” back from hardships. Similar to the message behind Beyoncé’s hit song, “Break My Soul,” which she was featured on, “rejection is part of life– and an important part of building strength.”


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