Unveiling Inner Radiance: A Beauty Journey With The ‘One Love’ Actresses

The original I-Three’s (Bob Marley’s backup singers).

Bob Marley’s reverberating messages of peace, equality, consciousness, and self-acceptance continue to resonate across generations with the recent release of the biopic One Love. ESSENCE spoke with some of the talented actresses who bring this iconic story to life on the silver screen. Beyond their roles in front of the camera, they are also advocates for embracing inner beauty and self-expression. In this behind-the-scenes glimpse, we delve into their journeys with beauty, confidence, and the profound impact of portraying the influential figures in Marley’s life.

Nia Ashi, teenage Rita Marley

Unveiling Inner Radiance: A Beauty Journey With The ‘One Love’ Actresses
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 30: Nia Ashi attends the UK Premiere of “Bob Marley: One Love” at BFI Imax on January 30, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

What beauty means to her 

To me, beauty is a feeling. It is something that cannot be defined. Or simply labeled. It is energetic. I believe that beauty starts within and radiates out. When I’m confident and feeling myself — that feeling? Ooouu, that’s beautiful!

Her self-care routine

I am obsessed with Blistex. I have put all my friends on! Growing up, my mum would tell me to never leave the house without Vaseline. Now Blistex is my new and improved grown-up version of Vaseline. It never leaves my side! I truly believe there is a link between applying lip balm and the release of endorphins. Having moisturized and glossy lips makes me feel unstoppable.

My locs have always made me feel confident. Growing up I was surrounded by Rasta’s and admired the way they wore and wrapped their locs. Seeing their love and pride in their hair empowered me. My parents also have locs, so the love and empowerment through my hair started and was strengthened at home. My environment reflected beauty and reminded me of our collective beauty. While I love trying different protective styles. Nothing beats a fresh wash, oiled scalp, and re-twist. No ‘style’, just my locs flowing down my back. For maintaining healthy locs and scalp, I love using 100% pure rosemary oil. Nice, simple, and most definitely effective.

My favorite self-care practice is having a clean, clear, and tranquil space. I prioritize making sure that I always leave and return to a spotless space. This is made easier by putting a playlist on, lighting candles, and burning incense. After tidying up, I put essence oil on my pillows. At the moment, my favorite combination is lavender and sandalwood. Taking care of myself extends to what is around me. It is important that my space always feels like a sanctuary. Having a safe space, a place to decompress and fully feel rested is the ultimate self-care tip.

On One Love and beauty

Rita’s beauty look was very natural. Barely any makeup was worn, just light coverage. To me, it symbolized that as we grow up, there are things that never leave us. Rita is very confident and has always embraced her natural beauty. Her self-assuredness only strengthened over time, which Lashana Lynch captured so fantastically. We get to see Rita evolve and grow into herself. We shift from adolescence to womanhood and motherhood. Through each part of her journey, you can see how one transition informed the next.

While we all carry nuanced and individual experiences, I believe Rita and I have similar beauty journeys. Colourism is something that dark-skinned women face. In the audition, I opened up about my own experiences with colorism. I think my vulnerability and connection contributed to me getting the role. In ‘One Love’ Rita and Bob discuss their experience of colorism – both of them were bullied because of the color of their skin. Growing up Rita was called “Blackey Tootus”, over in London I was called “Blick”, both have the same distasteful meaning. However, neither of us let society’s perception of our beauty limit us. It is powerful to see those parallels and how we as Black women open the door for the next generation. It is because of women like Rita Marley, that I can tell this story.

How she maintains her confidence

I’ve learned that my differences make me beautiful. So with time, I learned to keep my head held high and refuse to listen to other’s opinions of who I should be or look like. When my self-esteem lowers, I remind myself of this and love on myself a little extra. Community is also so important. I am surrounded by beautiful people, who also remind me of my own beauty. Another tip is, I try my best to consume content that I genuinely like and find uplifting. I try to remove myself from falling into the hole of ‘trends’ and the fast-paced cycle of ever-changing aesthetics.

 Naomi Cowan, Marcia Griffiths

Unveiling Inner Radiance: A Beauty Journey With The ‘One Love’ Actresses
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 06: Naomi Cowan attends the Los Angeles Premiere Of Paramount Pictures “Bob Marley: One Love” at Regency Village Theatre on February 06, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lila Seeley/FilmMagic,)

What beauty means to her

Beauty has become a feeling to me. It’s the same feeling I have when I’m in nature looking at creation. I also find my emotional and mental state reflects through my physical appearance. Oftentimes when I’m feeling my best mentally is when I get the most compliments such as “You’re glowing” or “You look refreshed”. You know, some of us say ‘aura’, the bible refers to it as your ‘countenance’, and plainly put— just your overall vibe. Beauty is when all feels well within me despite what’s happening around me. The world feels beautiful when I feel beautiful. Even the smallest details become magical and wonderous. 

The role beauty plays in her life

I feel as though women should embrace duality and accept that we’re multilayered. One day we may feel like leaning into the “clean girl aesthetic,” the next week bohemian, and the following be a baddie with a bussdown. I think the beauty of being a woman is that we have this God-given canvas of our facial features, and our bodies to be used to express our feelings. 

Personally, I make an effort to honor my soul as best as I can first and foremost. That means being in nature, taking downtime, spending quality time with loved ones, and just having fun. I do invest in my skin and hair care frequently as well– but sometimes even that feels like a ‘job’ for me. Beauty in my personal life looks like long candle-lit baths, getting at-home massages, trips to the beach or mountains, taking my nieces and nephews on Aunty dates, sitting in silence with myself, meditation, journaling, yoga, and honestly getting together with my girlfriends and laughing our assess off. 

Beauty and One Love

My character Marcia Griffiths is known as the Queen of Reggae Music. What a title! When I arrived in London to film, the hair and makeup department was so excited because they described her as the glamorous one. As you would recognize, the I-threes were more natural and ‘ital’ as we call it in Rastafarian culture. However, Marcia still would wear a little mascara and lipstick. She’s so incredibly beautiful, I love her skin tone! So not too much foundation. However, we got to play around with a light skin tint, cream blush, mascara, and lip tint so her features naturally popped. A serendipitous part of portraying her was that she also has a mole on her face, which made it even more special for the hair and makeup team because they didn’t need to use a prosthetic. On any given day, if you visit her at home, she’s in a Kaftan with a matching headwrap, always looking beautiful yet relaxed; never overdone. She really is the Queen. 

Beauty hacks she’s learned while on set

My MUA Grayson had a dope technique she used to achieve a natural skin finish. She would use a small fluffy brush to apply the skin tint, instead of a sponge or larger foundation brush. She would lightly apply it while concentrating on whenever I had hyperpigmentation. To be honest I was skeptical because who doesn’t love a face beat! But I loved how it looked on film. I went through a challenging period of breakouts in the winter months while filming, and she was still able to cover it! We would do my full face and leave pimple patches on the blemishes and right before filming, she’d touch up those spots. 

Sundra Oakley, Diane Jobson

Unveiling Inner Radiance: A Beauty Journey With The ‘One Love’ Actresses
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 06: Sundra Oakley attends Paramount Pictures’ “Bob Marley: One Love” premiere at Regency Village Theatre on February 06, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

What beauty means to her

Good character is beauty. True inner peace is beauty. 

Her confidence journey

As with many women moving from young adolescence to adulthood, my journey has been on a long, often tumultuous road to finally arrive at a state of, dare I say, comfort with my own sense of what beauty and confidence look and feel like. I’ve not escaped the haunting imposition of certain beauty standards that I had to reconcile were never going to be attainable by this body in this lifetime. Thank goodness body inclusivity has become more the norm rather than the exception, and variety is embraced and celebrated more than ever before. I used to spend so much time beating myself up for not having certain traits. Then over time I just had to tell myself that this is what I got so I might as well celebrate it because my higher power saw it fit to give it to me. But, hey, it’s a journey, not a destination.

Her self-care routine

Water, water, and more water. I swear by my Wilding Gua Sha tool which I do almost daily. I have turned many of my friends on to it because they see the immediate effects on my face. They have a body gua sha tool as well which I’m not as consistent with but definitely see and feel the benefits when I do use it. 

Products-wise, I gravitate towards those with clean yet powerful ingredients. I will use micellar water to remove makeup and then cleanse and tone. I am obsessed with the serums from Skin Script; they feel quite divine on my skin. I also love the products (cleanser, toner, moisturizer) from Ultra Aesthetics as well as practically everything in the Honey Girl Organics line. Recently I discovered a Manuka Honey & Oil Moisturizer from a brand called Malora that has me completely in a chokehold. My skin tends to be on the drier side so I love moisture, even on hot summer days. This moisturizer is so yummy! 

Additionally, at night, I will apply a light coat of pure vitamin E oil on top of my moisturizer. I’ll even use it during the day, to be honest. Every time I use it, I get the most amazing compliments on my skin! But make sure it’s the pure, natural form of vitamin E and not the synthetic version and not mixed with anything else. Being active as a dancer and martial artist has always made me feel my best. Practicing yoga has also become an unexpected necessity in my life. In fact, I became a certified teacher, and being able to provide that gift to others is a thing of beauty in itself. 

Beauty and One Love

When you have the great fortune to meet, have conversations with, and soak in all that is the powerhouse that is Diane Jobson, you will quickly ascertain that beauty, for her, is in doing for others on the planet. This includes speaking up for the marginalized and oppressed, fighting for justice and liberation, and doing Jah’s work. The significance of the physical is uninteresting and even distracting. Her face is clean and bare, her locs and body covered, making her energy shine through even more stunningly. She can be in a room not saying a word and you will feel her presence. That is a thing of beauty!

Sevana, Judy Mowatt

Unveiling Inner Radiance: A Beauty Journey With The ‘One Love’ Actresses
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 06: Sevana attends Paramount Pictures’ “Bob Marley: One Love” premiere at Regency Village Theatre on February 06, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

What beauty means to her

Beauty, to me, is expression without performance. Whatever form that expression takes: laughter, an art piece, the sunset, a smile, watching my niece play. The pureness of just being without regard for how something might come across is beauty to me. 

The role beauty plays in her life

Well, I like collecting beautiful things and I think my music is beautiful and I think the way I connect with other people is beautiful. It’s front and center both my professional and personal life. 

Her self-care routine

I love a good moisturizer, Vaseline for my lips, blush and an outer wing on my eyes. I like looking healthy. I take my time in the shower and I massage my face every day when I get ready, being clean really helps me feel confident. 

Beauty and One Love

My character’s beauty is unfiltered, effortless, and assured. That’s how I think of her, Judy Mowatt. She didn’t care too much about looking perfect as much as she cared about herself and the band’s music, and the message she was meant to be a part of sharing. This reflected in her arc as true bravery; she was pregnant on stage performing with Bob Marley immediately following the attempt on his life. A beautiful woman. 

The makeup tips she’s learned while on set

My makeup artist, Sedi, used a Glossier blush, barely noticeable and I ended up liking it and use it even now.

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