Get to Know First Nations Beauty Brand Yuku-na Glow

We are very excited to welcome Yuka-na Glow to the Yarn Marketplace. They are a 100% First Nations owned and operated beauty brand founded by Barkindji/Paakantyi woman, Kimberly Mann. Yuku-na means "in the sun" in Barkindji language. Yuka-na Glow specialises in creating gorgeous eye shadow palettes inspired by Indigenous culture and the incredible colours of Country. Through their gorgeous make-up, Yuku-na Glow aims to empower Indigenous people to be bold and confident enough to be whoever they want to be.

Today, we hear from Kimberley about Yuku-na Glow's mission, and the inspiration behind each of their gorgeous products.

Kimberley Mann Kimberly wearing the gorgeous colours of Yuku-na Glow’s Desert Country Eyeshadow Palette. Courtesy of Yuku-na Glow, 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you founded Yuku-na Glow.

“My name is Kimberly Mann, descendent of Samuel Payne & Nina Frazer. I am a proud Barkindji/Paakantyi woman of the Darling Baaka, currently living and working on Wonnarua Country. 

“Yuku-na Glow came about while I was browsing online to purchase some makeup one night. I couldn't find any First Nations owned cosmetics and I started questioning why hasn't someone done this yet! It was at that moment I asked myself, well if it's important to you, why haven't you done it!? Now, business is something that I never believed I was capable of. I thought it was people that had lots of money, access to funding, terms, and words I couldn't understand. Scary… but I decided to dive in headfirst. I saved the money I was going to spend that night and used it to invest in my own samples. Using any spare money from my pay each fortnight, different formulas and manufacturers were trialled until I was happy with the final product before releasing the first collection in May 2021.”

Eyeshadow Palette Darling Baaka, Dreamtime and Broome Eyeshadow Palettes. Courtesy of Yarn, 2022.

What is Yuku-na Glow’s mission?

“My mission is to have First Nations representation within the mainstream beauty industry, and to be able to give back and help mob financially without all the terms, conditions and red tape that come along from getting support from services. I would love to eventually open a store one day that serves as a safe space for people to come chill, have a feed, cuppa, yarn and just relax or get dolled up. All Blak makeup artists, hair stylists, a selfie station and some Barkaa & Emily Wurramara [music] pumping…biggest vibe.”

Tell us about how Yuku-na Glow’s products connect with Indigenous Country and culture.

“Connection to Country is everything for First Nations people all over this Country. We belong to our land.  When I created these products, I wanted to create something that mob from all over Australia could connect with, maybe even feel proud of. We live in the most beautiful, rich and vibrant Country and I wanted to showcase this while also showing how beautiful, rich and strong our culture is. 

The colour stories of each palette are inspired by various landscapes to show off the diversity of our country and how stunning it is. My clothing line features products that tell stories of my family, their journey through life, my connections to them and my stories. I hope these products in some form create conversation and willingness to learn about this nation's Traditional Owners, our culture and the painful history and truth of this Country.”

Dreamtime PaletteYuku-na Glow’s Dreamtime Eyeshadow Palette. Courtesy of Yarn, 2022.

As one of Australia’s few Indigenous-owned make-up brands, what kind of impact do you aim to have on the beauty industry and representation of First Nations peoples?

“I aim to put Blak owned cosmetics on shelves in mainstream beauty stores such as Mecca, Sephora, Priceline…I have huge dreams and a huge vision. I want to see all different shades of Blak represented. I want to challenge society's standards of beauty and do my part to create a safe space for my people to be represented, appreciated, valued, and paid. I've been told that others in the beauty industry have had comments made to them that they won't succeed because it's too controversial to use content that is culturally inspired. This isn't good enough and change needs to be made. We are so worthy of being in this space. 

“Most of all I just want to see Blak owned products and skills filling every single space. Succeeding. When one of us wins we all win and that is what's special about this. It's bigger than just one individual.”

It’s incredible that 10% of Yuku-na Glow’s sales are donated to Indigenous communities. Tell us a bit about some of the groups that you support.

“I like to keep it simple really. If someone needs help with something and I can provide that then I am doing it. If I notice someone has been going through a hard time or not feeling as deadly as they should I will post out a self-care package, send them some money, whatever I think will help. 

I also donate to fundraisers and other support networks that I hold close to my heart. Some of the places I hope to support more in the future include decolonize sex work - Pris is honestly an angel and the work she puts in advocating for sex workers rights and safety is so heart-warming and something I am so grateful for. Also, Happy Boxes who are distributing packages containing self-care and hygiene products to some of our most remote communities. I also want to continue to help out the communities along the Darling Baaka and put money back into the communities the products are inspired by."

eyeshadow swatchThe gorgeous earthy and sparkly tones of the Yuku-na Glow’s Darling Baaka Eyeshadow Palette. Courtesy of Yarn, 2022.

Is Yuku-na Glow excited to be a part of the Yarn Platform?

“I am super excited to be a part of this and I am grateful for the opportunity to grow Yuku-na Glow. The more people it reaches the more we can break down barriers within the mainstream beauty industry and showcase how lovely mob is…I hope your customers enjoy the products and love them as much as I do.”

What are your future plans for the brand?

“I have some amazing new products being released soon that I am super excited about. I really want to start attending more markets and events this year. Mostly keep dreaming and working hard to get Yuku-na Glow on shelves and have more Indigenous representation in stores. Watch this space!!”

Yuku-na Glow’s products are inclusive of everyone - Kimberley absolutely loves to see allies wearing and sharing her brand. Their gorgeous eye-shadow palettes are now available on Yarn.  

Shop here.