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A walk around your nearest drugstore or Sephora is all you need to see that the beauty industry is indeed a highly saturated market. Yet for decades, the beauty world was underserving its Black consumers and finding fundamental products like foundation or concealer, or a nude lipstick for deeper skin tones was a difficult task for far too many. Because of this, many Black entrepreneurs decided to take matters into their own hands to fill these gaps.
Today, there are more Black-owned beauty businesses than ever creating hair, skin, and makeup products that cater to the specific needs of women of color and they are churning out groundbreaking innovations and campaigns made to serve as inspiration for all. These brands have disrupted the beauty industry for the better and they deserve to be recognized.
If you'd like to help support Black-owned businesses, we've rounded up 17 Black-owned beauty companies you should know about — and many of them are founded by our very own Bravolebs, including Gizelle Bryant, Porsha Williams, Kenya Moore, and many more.
EveryHue Beauty by Gizelle Bryant
When The Real Housewives of Potomac mom created EveryHue Beauty, she made it so that everyone, no matter their skin tone, could find a product that works for them. "It's very difficult for women of color to find tinted moisturizers and/or foundations that match their skin tone. And if they do find it, then it's ashy, then it doesn't have the ingredients in it that aren't irritating to your skin. I'm trying to alleviate all of that,” Gizelle told The Daily Dish. Her brand’s lightweight tinted moisturizer that leaves a natural, radiant finish is a must try. Even Kenya Moore called it out as one of her faves.
UPDATE (February 1, 2021, 11:16 a.m.): In December 2020, Gizelle shared that she had to halt production on her line due to her manufacturer shutting down. For updates, check out EveryHue Beauty's Instagram page.
Go Naked Hair by Porsha and Lauren Williams
Ever wondered what’s the secret behind Porsha’s fabulous ever-changing hairstyles? Well, look no further than Go Naked Hair. The hair company, founded by The Real Housewives of Atlanta mom and younger sister Lauren in 2013, features a wide selection of luxury hair extensions and wigs that can be curled, straightened, and styled any way you want. Both Porsha and Lauren are constantly switching up their hairstyles with pieces from the collection.
HER Hair Collection by Marlo Hampton
The only thing more over-the-top than Marlo’s next-level designer ensembles are her equally fabulous hairstyles to match. The RHOA pal is always switching up her hair, and to make this process easier, she turns to wigs. "I love wearing wigs as protective styles so my natural hair can rest, hydrate, and grow," she shared. In fact, she loves wigs so much, she launched her own luxury hair line in 2019. Marlo worked with hair industry veteran Karen Mitchell of True Indian Hair to kickstart HER Hair Collection, which currently features seven glam wig styles.
Kandi Koated Cosmetics by Kandi Burruss
In 2018, The Real Housewives of Atlanta boss grew her “Kandi Koated” empire with a colorfully diverse (and cruelty-free) makeup line. With a selection of statement-making matte lipsticks, metallic glosses, and vibrant liquid eyeshadows, Kandi Koated’s line-up of products allows you to play and experiment with bold looks, much like Kandi herself (who has been putting her makeup skills on display lately).
Kenya Moore Haircare by Kenya Moore
Kenya has 24 inches of long, beautiful, healthy hair, and she gives Kenya Moore Haircare all the credit for her lustrous locks. The haircare brand, founded by Kenya in 2015, contains a growth-focused line of products that are free of damaging ingredients like silicone, sulfate, alcohol, and mineral oil. "Our sole focus is to get your hair healthy and strong,” Kenya shared.
La’Dame by Karen Huger and La’Dame By Karen Huger X RPGSHOW
Karen officially launched her "alluring and sophisticated" scent in 2018. She explained, "La'Dame is the epitome of a woman's natural grace and elegance; it is both subtle and bold, sophisticated and joyous." In 2019, the RHOP entrepreneur expanded the perfume to HSN and added wig collection La'Dame By Karen Huger X RPGSHOW to her budding beauty house.
Prima Hair Collection by Candiace Dillard Bassett
As a former pageant queen, Candiace has plenty of experience in the beauty space — and she knows exactly what consumers are looking for when it comes to hair units. Her brand Prima Hair Collection, founded in 2016, offers a variety of quality extensions and wigs that are made of 100 percent virgin hair and are chemical free. The pieces are also durable — the brand's website states its extensions will last one to two years or more with proper care.
The Girl Cave LA by Lia Dias
If you ever find yourself in South LA, Inglewood, or Compton and are looking for a beauty fix, be sure to stop by one of The Girl Cave LA’s three locations. Married to Medicine Los Angeles’ Lia is the boss babe behind this California-based beauty supply chain, which offers a wide range of hair, skin, and makeup products for all.
SWL x Robyn Dixon Collection by Vicki Irvin & Robyn Dixon
In 2017, The Real Housewives of Potomac mom teamed up with SWL Collection Cosmetics, a brand founded by business consultant and entrepreneur Vicki Irvin. The brand’s website reads “designed by and for women of color.” Robyn created her own line of lip products for the brand, which features everything from a nude lip gloss set to matte and metallic liquid lipsticks in vibrant, statement-making hues.
Beauty Bakerie Makeup by Cashmere Nicole
In 2011, Nicole turned her idea for a new makeup company into a reality all while she battled breast cancer as a single mom. Her ultra long-lasting liquid lipsticks quickly gained popularity on social media with the launch of the brand. Today, Beauty Bakerie, a cruelty-free company, has a large selection of products including their popular “flour” setting powder, ultra pigmented eyeshadows, and foundation, which all come in the cutest bakery-themed packaging.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Want to talk about a disruption? Rihanna made major waves across the beauty world when she launched her inclusive line, Fenty Beauty, in 2017. Her debut collection featured a matte liquid foundation in a groundbreaking 40 shades made to complement all skin tones. Today, the line contains a diverse array of blushes, bronzers, eyeshadows, makeup tools, blinding highlighters, and the most incredible universal gloss that will ever touch your lips.
Iman Cosmetics by Iman
Founded by supermodel Iman over 26 years ago, Iman Cosmetics provides consumers of all backgrounds with affordable beauty products that work for all complexions. From vibrant blushes to highlighters and color correcting CC creams, the line covers all your makeup needs. Pssst: If you love a glowy complexion, we highly suggest the Luxury Liquid Illuminator — add a couple drops to your foundation for a dewy base or apply directly for a beaming highlight.
Mented Cosmetics by Amanda E. Johnson and KJ Miller
For too many years women of darker complexions struggled to find a perfect “nude” lipstick that complemented their skin tones because their options were limited. Friends and business partners Amanda E. Johnson and KJ Miller wondered why this was so difficult and ultimately decided to create their own beauty brand. With a full range of “nude” lipsticks and eyeshadows, Mented Cosmetics is all about finding your perfect “nude” match, no matter your skin tone.
MIELLE Organics by Monique Rodriguez
Monique Rodriguez merged her background as a registered nurse and passion for haircare to create organic line Mielle. She began by creating natural formulas using a unique blend of herbs, amino acids, and minerals right in her kitchen. The line’s best-selling products include the Babassu Oil, Mint Deep Conditioning Protein/Moisture Replenisher, and Detangling Co-Wash.
Pat McGrath Labs by Pat McGrath
There’s a reason why Pat McGrath Labs was valued as a billion-dollar company in 2018 (just three years after its launch). OK, actually there’s two: 1) Pat is the “Mother of makeup.” Duh. 2) It’s really that freaking good. Her sublime, highly-pigmented eyeshadow palettes and rich, long-lasting lipstick formulas are the definition of luxury makeup.
The Lip Bar by Melissa Butler
Melissa Butler found that everywhere she looked “the media was telling women that beauty looked a certain way.” So in 2012, she decided to start The Lip Bar: a vegan, cruelty-free, and inclusive beauty line, providing consumers with the tools to create their own beauty standards.
Uoma Beauty by Sharon Chuter
Through Uoma Beauty, Nigerian-born Sharon Chuter created “a world of beauty that truly is for all of us.” With a strong focus on inclusivity, the brand celebrates individuality and provides a diverse range of products, including dual-sided contour sticks and customizable foundation formulas.
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