September 17, 2017

I have been a fan of Afua Rida's blog "Styled by Rida" for a minute. Whenever I visit her platform, her work is presented in a very thought out, striking but relatable manner. It was a delight to chat with her about skincare, fashion, and blogging. She was charming, sweet, kind and has the best infectious laugh ever. Thanks a million for being part of this series. You are truly an inspiration. 


Brief background

I am Ghanaian, I have lived in Ghana and in Montreal. I have always loved fashion, but I would say it was when I lived in Montreal that I identified my personal style and my story with fashion blossomed. When I graduated from college, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Simultaneously, the fashion industry in Ghana was also growing to a new level. There were new school designers, photographers and makeup artists springing up, and I was really inspired. At the time, I had started interning with a company as a stylist, and then I started researching how I could move back to Ghana to add value to the industry.

Eventually, I moved back to Ghana and worked with a company as a stylist. We also had a blog option. So, I started blogging with the company, and two years later I started my own company, Style by Rida, which you see now, and I haven’t stopped since (laughs). My main focus is to promote culturally and ethnically, all our talents in the arts, mostly with fashion.
What is your skin type?

Combination (mostly oily in the T- Zone)  
How important is skin care to you?

I think when it comes to your personal appearance, skincare is the first thing you want to look at before looking at your clothes, your style, or which designer you want to wear; your skin speaks before everything else does, in my opinion. It also says a lot about who you are, and what you eat, and how well you value yourself.

Do you use SPF?

Definitely! Every single day. When I am not using it, I see a difference in my face. Plus, the sun is really harsh here (Ghana); it is not forgiving. Every morning I use SPF, especially on my face.
Take me through your skincare routine AM and PM

In the AM

  • CLEANSE –  I use a cleanser with salicylic acid.

  • SCRUB – I usually use a scrub once a week



  • SPF

In the PM

  • MAKE UP REMOVER – On the days I have makeup on, I would remove my makeup with Bioderma Miscellar water.

  • CLEANSE – I use the same cleanser from the AM

  • MASK – Once the week I would use a mask, to either unclog or infuse moisture into my skin


  • FACE OIL –  it repairs damages and rejuvenates my skin


What is the best skincare advice you have received and what is the worst?

Skincare for me is not just handling what the environment does to my skin, but it is also about what my body does to my skin. The way I control that is by eating well, and drinking lots of water. So that said, the best advice I have gotten is from my sister, who had bad skin that got her into a health craze which improved her skin. She adviced me to eat my greens, drink lots of water, and my skin would glow from within. And she was right (laughs).

The worst advice would be to use whatever to wash your face; like the same soap you use on your body (laughs) If you could create a skincare product, what would it be, and what would be the benefits?

It would probably be a two-step product. A cleanser that would cleanse with mild exfoliation to slough off dead skin, and a moisturizer that would leave your skin elastic and plump. On the cream, it would say EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!!! (laughs)

Going back to your blog, how long does it take you to come up with concepts and ideas for posts?

I really don’t like to half ass things, and just do what is easy or what everyone else is doing. I have been blessed with certain amounts of creativity, so it is important to tap into that, no matter what I do; especially when working with brands. Brands are very important to me, so I like to give them the best I can give. I usually get inspired by what is happening around me; culture, people, sights and sometimes the sounds. My goal is to use that to tell a story about a brand, Ghanaian art, or any African country that I visit.Last but not least, I surround myself with equally creative people. I have certain photographers that I use for certain campaigns. I have worked with two creative directors and some makeup artists.

So, it must take months for some campaigns?

Yes, it does (laughs)

Advice to new bloggers?

First of all, you have to really want to do it. Usually with bloggers you just see the finished video or the finished images, but there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scene; it is a full-time job. There are lots of components you don’t see, like dealing with brands, companies, money, so there is a lot you may not think about when you start. It’s important to know your audience, figure out your style, your voice, figure out what type of effect you want to leave on people, and stick with it all of your heart. A good example is my sister Hayat, who started blogging about life being plus size. Her blog called  www.hayatrida.com, is about dating, and life in Ghana. She got a lot of critics suggesting she stick to blogging about fashion but she stuck with her gut and now her blog is doing fantastic. 

In five years, where do you see styled by Rida?

I hope my blog grows, and touches more countries. I hope I can inspire, energize, and bring more attention to African fashion.

Are there any fashion trends you’re loving at the moment?

Oh, there are so many trends. Personally, I like the easy yet attractive looks. The street style in NYFW 2017; there were a lot of baggy jackets, baggy pants showing up on the run way and I liked it. The women were quite covered up, but they were so sexy at the same time. Oh, my goodness and the colors! People are going head-to-toe fuchsia, or head-to-toe green. I love it.

Beauty is ....

Beauty is happiness. It’s sunshine. It’s actually living. A lot of people are covered in Gucci and gold, but they are not happy. It comes from the inside out, and you can see it in their eyes. When someone is happy they radiate.

Which woman embodies African beauty?

It has to be the Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Samira Bawumia. To me she exudes strength, wisdom and she is such a style icon.

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