Shopping for beauty products is meant to be a fun experience. However, if you’re a woman of color, this very thing can quickly become frustrating due to the lack of options available. While many mainstream beauty brands have made great strides by extending their shade ranges, there is no doubt that there is still room for improvement within beauty aisles. Fortunately, there are several groundbreaking brands headed by people of color who are helping to fill this void across the industry.
You see, when it comes to beauty products, there is no one better to create them than someone who can actually relate to the consumer’s needs — especially in terms of a consumer that is underrepresented and underserved. So, in honor of Black History Month, we decided to spotlight a few of our favorite black-owned businesses that have made it their mission to produce products with a wide variety of shades and formulas, ensuring that no one is left behind.
Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line was highly anticipated, and when the singer finally launched the collection in 2017, she did not disappoint. RiRi made waves across the beauty world by launching a diverse beauty collection that includes a foundation range with over 40 shades. The highly praised cosmetics line also features a wide variety of lipsticks and blinding highlighters that work for women all of backgrounds.
If you think back to some of your favorite runway beauty trends, the masterful Pat McGrath is most likely behind them. Not only has McGrath (aka Queen Mother of the runways) helped popularize trends such as glitter lips and glossy lids, but she has also provided us with the tools to recreate these bold looks through her namesake brand. Everything from her cult favorite lip kits to her mesmerizing eyeshadow palettes is packed with super pigmented products. Trust us, these are the beauty buys you’ll want to splurge on.
IMAN cosmetics was one of the first brands to truly transform the beauty scene for women of color. For over 24 years, the company — founded by top model, actress, and entrepreneur Iman — has provided women of all backgrounds with affordable beauty products that work for all complexions. The line features everything from color correcting CC creams to vibrant blushes and lipsticks.
With a story originating in Sierra Leone in 1912, SheaMoisture continues to churn out naturally derived and quality skincare, hair, and body products. What makes this brand so special is its effective formulas based on natural ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and Jamaican black castor oil. Today, the brand has over 150 haircare collections that cater to all hair types (including wavy, curly, and heat-damaged hair) as well as an extensive range of nourishing body products and a growing cosmetics line.
If you’re looking for bright and bold color options, Juvia’s Place is just the brand for you. The new cosmetics brand has already gained a huge following with its larger-than-life eyeshadow and blush palettes. The entire collection is filled with vibrant and pigment-rich shades, all inspired by African culture and art.
The late activist Madam C.J. Walker, who specialized in hair care products, was one of the first African American women to become a self-made millionaire. Currently, her legacy is kept alive through a namesake beauty line. The collection is filled with products that focus on scalp health, curl definition, frizz control, and moisture. While the brand is not run by Walker’s family, they are very much involved with the direction of the brand, including Walker’s very own great great granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles.
With its super cute packaging, one can't help but fall in love with Beauty Bakerie. The cruelty-free brand, founded in 2011 by Cashmere Nicole, features everything from light-weight liquid lipsticks to a "flour setting powder" and makeup remover pads that can erase even the most stubborn lipstick in one swipe.
Whether you have loose waves or kinky coils, this affordable haircare brand covers all of your curl needs. Its organic products focus on nourishing ingredients like blueberry and aloe leaf, which promote hair health. The products, such as the popular Blueberry Bliss Control Jelly also have styling benefits.
With humble beginnings as street vendors in Harlem, the founders of Nubian Heritage made it their mission to share the healing properties of shea butter and African black soap with the community. Today, the brand has taken this knowledge of skin-loving ingredients and incorporated it into an extensive collection of body and hair products.
Using her own personal haircare journey and passion for health, CEO Courtney Adeleye built a line of natural hair products, which cater to hair growth, breakage prevention, and damage control.
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