MAKING HISTORY: Black Owned Beauty Brands
February is Black History Month and we wanted to introduce you to some Black Owned Beauty Brands that are making history and leaving their mark on the beauty industry!
There’s no doubt about it: The last few years have ushered in a whole new standard of diversity and inclusivity within the beauty industry. Black-owned beauty brands are growing by the day, with game-changers like the brands listed below are pushing boundaries for inclusivity in the space. We have put together a curated list of our top 10 makeup & and top 10 hair brands that you should definitely show some love. This is in no way an extensive list of all the brands out there, it's just a few of our favorites to get you started.
Here, we’ve rounded up some beauty brands to support now and always.
1) Mented Cosmetics: Mented—its name is short for pigmented—understands that nude means more than beige and is here to help you find your perfect nude for your lips. Since launching its incredibly creamy and pigmented lipsticks, the brand expanded to include brow pencils, foundation, and blushes. Although the brand caters to a range of skin tones, Mented promises to put women of color first, and it shows.
2) Juvia’s Place: When she created the brand in celebration of the many tribes and cultures in Africa, ChiChi Eburu made it a point to deliver super-pigmented eye shadow for darker skin tones because she was so sick of being unable to find them.
3) Black Opal: Black Opal is arguably one of the most long-standing and popular brands associated with serving the cosmetic needs of black women. In its quarter-century history, it helped set a tone of inclusion far earlier than more recently inclusive beauty brands, creating both skin-care that directly addresses the specific concerns of skin with more melanin and makeup in shades that beautifully match it. But while black women were always involved in the business, Black Opal was not actually black-owned — until now. Black Opal was acquired by two accomplished black businesswomen in 2019, Desiree Rogers, who now serves as CEO, and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, who now serves as president.
4) Pat McGrath Labs: We would expect nothing less than pure opulence and fantasy from Pat McGrath the reigning "queen of makeup" when it comes to the runway, one of the most influential makeup artists in the world (and a true self-made billionaire). Pat McGrath Labs is where stunning packaging and editorial finishes meet high-coverage formulas that truly deliver.
5) Uoma Beauty: Uoma Beauty, founded by industry veteran Sharon Chuter, is all about creating a makeup range that is “forward thinking, radical and uncompromising.” The range, inspired by Chuter’s African heritage, is fun, vibrant, and inclusive for every skin tone out there
6) Danessa Myricks: Ask many professional makeup artists nowadays to name their favorite makeup brands, and I guarantee Danessa Myricks will be mentioned. This artisanal-brand was developed to fill a void Myricks was experiencing herself: "As a self-taught makeup artist with minimal resources at my disposal, I had to be creative with the products I had access to, by maximizing their usage and creatively mixing and blending colors and textures to make things work,"
7) Iman: A pioneer in the inclusive makeup world, supermodel Iman founded Iman Cosmetics with skin of color in mind. Her motivation was personal: In her modeling days, she often found that makeup artists on shoots simply wouldn't have foundation shades to suit her skin tone.
8) Fenty: Does Fenty Beauty even need an introduction? Since the birth of the brand, Rihanna has delivered top-of-the-line products with all complexions in mind.
9) Beauty Bakerie: There are viral Instagram brands, and then there's Beauty Bakerie. After Instagram went crazy for the brand’s infamous Lip Whip— which literally does not budge as shown in viral videos—Beauty Bakerie took off. In 2011, Cashmere Nicole followed her dream of creating a makeup company, despite battling breast cancer and being a single mom. It is also based right here in San Diego!
10) AJ Crimson: To put it simply, AJ Crimson is a makeup guru. A seasoned celebrity makeup artist and beauty entrepreneur, he founded one of the first makeup lines to serve all skin tones. “I wanted to create a product inclusive of women of all ethnicities, a product all women could find ownership in and believe in," Crimson writes on his website. "So often, makeup has been designed with a one-size-fits-all mentality, and with black women and women of color my cosmetic line contains shades for women of every ethnic background and skin tone.”
* Bonus Brand: Not a makeup line but definitely should be on your radar.... Black Girl Sunscreen: It's no secret that the majority of sunscreens are not made with women of color in mind, which result in a ghostly white caste on deep complexions. Black Girl Sunscreen is a brand committed to changing that.
1) Flawless by Gabrielle Union @flawlessbygu: Created by actress Gabrielle Union in collaboration with celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims, the collection features 12 products with hydrating and protein-rich ingredients for afro-textured hair. They are dedicated to developing the perfect blend of high-quality, affordable products for all types of textured hair to promote flawless beauty through choice and diversity. From curls, waves, and coils, to heat styles, braids, wigs, and weaves, there is a Flawless product to support your hair’s needs for brilliance, health, and beauty.
2) Meraki Organics @merakiorganics: is a non-toxic vegan haircare brand infused with gemstones to nourish skin, hair, body and soul. Founder Amber Makupson has cleverly infused each bottle with actual gemstones to "enhance your intuition and protect your energy levels." Whether or not you believe that, it's haircare on a whole different plane.
3) TGIN @tginatural: TGIN Founder and CEO Chris-Tia Donaldson knows a thing or two about naturally textured hair: Her book, Thank God I'm Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring For Natural Hair is a bestseller. TGIN is a manufacturer of natural hair and skin care products, currently sold in Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, Sally’s Beauty, and Walgreen’s. Need a moisture boost? Slather your locks in a black honey- and coconut oil-rich hair mask that repairs damage, increases manageability, and locks in hydration.
4) Curl Mix @curlmix: You may have seen the husband-and-wife founders of CurlMix on Shark Tank (Kim and Tim Lewis actually turned down an offer on the show), but its their products that really have bite. This brush glides through hair like a knife through warm butter, detangling with less pain and less shedding.
5) Kim Kimble @kimblehaircare: celebrity stylist Kim Kimble (counts Beyonce, Zendaya, and Kelly Rowland as some of her clients), their shine spray uses jojoba oil to turn your hair into a shimmering, glistening masterpiece. Shine on with this spray!
6) Grace Eleyae @graceeleyae: Grace Eleyae's elegant silk- and satin-lined caps help to repel moisture and protect hair so it doesn't break as easily. The idea was born on a fateful trip to Kenya when the strands on the back of Eleyae's head broke during an 8-hour car ride due to constant friction from the headrest. Seriously, don't go to sleep without it.
7) Curl Box (Subscription Box) @curlbox: MYLEIK TEELE, Founder, started curlBOX as a means to save you the drive and the money. CurlBOX gives women the opportunity to try several products for the price of one.
8) Glow by Daye @glowbydaye: Founder Ranay Daye Orton is a self proclaimed "lazy natural" making the time to style, maintain, preserve, and do all the necessary things for optimal hair health is daunting for me on MOST days. This was the inspiration behind Glow by Daye. Ranay wanted better quality when it came to meeting hair needs such as deep conditioning more effectively, maintaining moisture, preserving current hairstyles, and help with styling my hair naturally (twist sets, etc). Check out their conditioning heat cap!
9) Eternally in Amber (Cute combs) @eternallyinamber: is the FIRST black owned women's color patterned styling tools brand. Why carry around all your fancy full size styling tools with when you can grab your new travel styling bff that packs 3 comb styles in 1 comb? Your bag just got so much lighter!
10) Hair Pillow @thehairpillow: Dr. Dawn is a practicing dentist and the owner of Madison Avenue Dental Associates in New York City. After having struggled for years with preserving her own hair after having it styled, she realized that something from our past could be the answer to a current dilemma. Dr. Dawn’s research concluded that women from all ethnic backgrounds often forfeit a comfortable night’s sleep in attempts to preserve their freshly styled hair. Dr. Dawn launched Lifestyle Pillows, a company devoted to creating new concepts in pillows for every aspect of life. Dr. Dawn believes that every woman deserves to have nice hair when they start their day and should protect their investment. The Hair Pillow is the first product to be offered and the concept closest to her heart.