Students receive exclusive funding from The Dr Ateh Jewel Education Foundation Awards – Part 2
Dr Ateh Jewel is an award-winning journalist, producer, director, influencer and diversity advocate, with over 20 years of experience in the beauty industry. In 2020, she established the Dr Ateh Jewel Education Foundation, which was created to support excellence, ambition and potential among black and mixed heritage undergraduate students, who need ‘rocket fuel’ to take them to another level.
The scholarship is assessed on academic merit and provides a contribution of £2,000 towards living expenses and course costs and is available to up to 10 Home, EU or International students, from a black and/or mixed black heritage background, enrolled on any year of study on the MSc Cosmetic Science course at London College of Fashion, UAL.
Can you tell us a little bit about your educational background and why you chose to study MSc Cosmetic Science at LCF?
Rayanne: I am from Birmingham and studied at a girls grammar school for 7 years. I studied Chemistry, Maths and Physics at A level and wrote an EPQ about the history of the fragrance industry. Fragrances are my passion, I really wanted to become a perfumer and so I decided to pursue and MSc in Cosmetic Science at LCF. The course at LCF is amazing, you learn about all aspects of the cosmetics industry. In the future new product development is the field I want to work in; I thrive on innovation.
Peach: My educational background is quite varied - I had initially chosen an arts path but decided to do a distance learning course in Biomedical science, so I could pursue a career in cosmetic science. I had been quite passionate about understanding curly/afro hair, given that maintaining one’s natural hair seemed to be an almost universal struggle among Black women regardless of when they were born.
How did you find out about the Dr Ateh Jewel Education Foundation Awards and what made you apply?
Rayanne: I found out about the award when I attended a talk with Dr. Ateh where she explained her experience working in the beauty/fashion industry. It was very informative and inspiring.
Peach: One of my lecturers suggested I apply and after hearing Dr Ateh Jewel speak on the importance of diverse representation in STEM, I felt compelled to apply.
What do the Dr Ateh Jewel Education Foundation Awards mean to you and how will it impact your work?
Rayanne: I am so grateful for this award. I have two part-time jobs, I work for Malin and Goetz and Hotel Chocolat. I spend a lot of time working and studying, receiving this award will allow me to work less and focus more on my degree. I will also use part of the award for attending industry events and renewing my membership to the Society of Cosmetic Scientists (SCS) and British Society of Perfumers (BSP).
Peach: Being granted the Dr Ateh Jewel Education Foundation Award helped affirm my belief that the work we do here is important. I am extremely passionate about textured hair and improving the user experience for those who still struggle to manage their natural hair. Not just through products and formulations, but by having more consumer-focused conversations about textured hair within scientific and academic spaces. My hope is that this way the consumer can better understand their hair and how to maintain it, and formulators can make products better suited to the lifestyle and practices of the textured-hair consumer.
Dr Ateh Jewel campaigns for diversity within the cosmetic and beauty industries – why do you feel that champions such as Dr Ateh Jewel are important for the future of the industry?
Rayanne: Diversity and inclusivity are really important principles. It is so important that the cosmetics industry becomes more diverse and accessible for people from all backgrounds. Dr Ateh Jewel is amazing for supporting us and providing the opportunity to win the scholarship. For many years the cosmetics industry has just focused on ‘European skin/hair’, as diversity is becoming more mainstream the industry is starting to research other skin/hair types in more depth. Innovation is essential to success; it is important that people of colour are working in the industry and providing fresh perspectives. Representation is crucial, Dr Ateh Jewel and other champions like her are truly investing in the future by enabling people from all walks of life to be part of the beauty industry and make changes.
Peach: For as long as I can remember, those who exist outside of what’s considered the standard ideals of beauty have been calling for products that are more inclusive. Unfortunately, the brands who make our products are often who perpetuate this very narrow standard of beauty, and so getting them to create something seemingly different can prove quite a challenge, even when there is already an audience for it.
Seeing people like Dr Ateh Jewel being great and pushing for a version of beauty that is more inclusive and more diverse gives me confidence to be the change I want to see.
Do you have any advice to students thinking of applying to MSc Cosmetic Science at LCF?
Rayanne: Definitely apply to the course. Everything you learn on the course is relevant, I spent a year working as a New Product Development Technologist at Barry M and utilised every module. The placement year opportunity is a great addition to the course, I highly recommend it. The industry is very small, sign up to the Society of Cosmetic Scientists, it is great for networking and learning from the experts in the cosmetics industry.
Peach: If you have ANY interest in the creation or distribution of cosmetic products, I strongly suggest you apply. There are a number of roles in the cosmetic industry that do not mean you have to be in a lab, but having a technical/scientific understanding of how products are made allows you to think of practical as well as creative ways that add value to the industry.