Mawena by Hélèna Mendès : A brand to fall in love with.

Photo credits Mawena

Mawena is a  natural and organic cosmetics line that combines  both the African and Mayan beauty rituals 

Following a trip to Mexico while visiting her sister, Helena Mendès, from Guinea Bissau and Senegal, has created what all African women have always dreamed of: healthy, authentic and effective beauty products inspired by the secrets and rituals of ancestral beauties from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Specialized in international relations and political science, Helena Mendes, a passionate  globetrotter, did not initially expect to be at the head of her own brand of high-end beauty products.

Because of her very busy job, Héléna was always between two planes, performing 80 hours of work a week minimum.

 Negotiations at COP 21, a Think Tank on the management of armed conflicts in Africa or presidential elections in Guinea to name a few…

When she has the opportunity, she does not hesitate to retreat to the most remote places on the planet in order to rejuvenate and connect humanly with new cultures …

Her life definitely took a different turn in 2013 while visiting her sister in Mexico.

 In total immersion with women from the Maya community, these women shared with her the ancestral beauty secrets still little known in the West.

 Back in France,  Héléna who previously  had no knowledge of the world of cosmetics created her brand of 100% natural products :  Mawena.

Mawena’s story:

Discovering a Mayan village for a fortnight, in the Chiapas region, what should have been a sort of “road trip” with a backpack very quickly turns into total immersion in the life of a community of Mayan women.

For several weeks, Héléna and her sister share the daily lives of these women by adopting their practices, their customs and some of their precious beauty secrets…

The two women befriended the villagers, who then passed on their beauty rituals, and in particular the virtues of the bark of Mimosa tenuiflora,  which the young woman from Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, will bring back some pieces. leaving America.

Back in France, the future entrepreneur quits her job as a negotiator in international relations and launches her concept of 100% natural organic and vegan cosmetics.

Patented under the name Sublime Nature, the Mawena brand was born.

Inspired by Manjaku, a West African language, the term Mawena originally means “I am seen as I am”, a name to better reflect the values ​​of frankness and veracity that the founder always has defended.

“I decided to create Mawena because I do not share at all the vision of beauty and women that the big cosmetic brands offer today. I think that a brand of beauty products must do much more than sell products: it must be sincere with itself and with its customers, and above all support women in their development and not complex them “Héléna Mendès

Mawena’s Values

This brand is 100% natural and organic, no trace of synthetic dyes, palm oil, artificial preservatives, parabens, gluten, alcohol, mineral oils and other questionable and not necessarily useful components.

This time, and for the first time, it is about taking care of your body, taking inspiration from the beauty secrets of African women passed down from generation to generation, from mother to daughter in the most original way possible, with Mother Nature set up as a founding principle, the cornerstone of the project.

Inspired by her childhood memories with her mother as well as from secrets passed down from generation to generation, whispered like secrets from mother to daughter since time immemorial, Helena Mendès has created a unique range of cosmetics, a guarantee of quality and authenticity.

Mawena, stands for : essential and vegetable oils processed and worked locally, in particular through the responsible cooperative that Héléna Mendès decided to establish in Mexico to ensure that the Mayan women who ensure the sustainable collection of plants are always paid at a price higher than the market for the sake of justice, equity and solidarity.

Mawena products are natural products designed to meet the cosmetic needs of African women today while respecting the environment, producers and the planet.

Quality, commitment and people, three words that perfectly sum up Mawena’s positioning today, on the fringes of conventional cosmetic brands.

Developed using tailor-made formulas to preserve the originality of the raw material, Mawena products are at the forefront of organic cosmetics.

The range being developed from plants, it is not impossible, if a fruit or a plant is no longer in season, that production is postponed.

 This also represent Mawena values, respecting natural production cycles, even if it means delaying the arrival of a product because its raw material is not available.

 Values, more than just a word, more than a leitmotif. A true brand identity.

The eco-extraction process put in place by Mawena’s scientific team and which preserves the original character of plants while keeping their properties intact has already proved its worth: the brand, legitimized by expert studies in the field is already enjoying great success, to the point of opening the doors of new continents to it today.

A brand that connects the Mayans and Africa:

“I discovered authentic beauty rituals that echo the beauty secrets that my grandmother had passed on to my mother and which the latter, in turn, had transmitted to me. “- HM

Héléna Mendès, is a citizen of the world, of course, but above all an African woman, originally from Guinea Bissau and Senegal. Daughter of a naturopathic woman, having from a very young age benefited from the most precious advice from the beauty rituals of Africa…

It was therefore out of question for her to develop such a brand without foreseeing its implantation in Africa. 

It is now a done deal since after Europe and America, Mawena is now available in Ghana, Senegal, Congo and Ivory Coast, waiting for new horizons…

To find out more about Mawena and its stockists in Africa Visit


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