When Melissa Butler and her business partner Rosco Spears of New York City launched The Lip Bar in 2012, they were incredibly frustrated with the beauty industry. They asked themselves, "Why did lipsticks only come in a limited range of colors?" Fast forward to now and the beauty brand is sold in Target and offers 16 different nude lippies in an inclusive variety of tones, formulas and finishes.
Epara Skincare is one of the first premium, multicultural skin care brands to be carried by Barneys. Created by Nigerian-born Ozohu Adoh, the line caters to skin care issues affecting women of color with high-quality products derived from the rich soils of Africa.
KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson created Mented Cosmetics because they believe every woman should be able to find herself in the world of beauty. Their collection is filled with nude and red lip colors that fit every darker shade and tone. These days the makeup brand has a pop-up at Macy’s holiday marketplace in New York in November and has big plans to extend the line into every major color cosmetics category by the end of 2019.
Typically not much thought goes into purchasing a brush, but the founders of Blazon are here to change the hair care game. The brand's boar bristle brush promotes scalp health by efficiently spreading natural hair oils, and it's ideal for wavy, curly and straight hair. Best of all, the brush is included in this year's Grammy gift bag that will grace the hands of Pink, Ariana Grande and Cardi B., so you can be sure your hair care arsenal is top-notch.
As a Southerner, vegan skin care expert, traveler and former African Diaspora historian, Niambi Cacchioli is always in awe of African Diaspora. And after living in Europe for 12 years where fresh food became her go-to and apothecaries became her pharmacies, she decided to launch a line loaded with natural butters, oils and floral waters. There's not a single item we aren't coveting from the collection.
Ingrown hairs are a real concern, which is why Bevel, founded by Tristin Walker as a part of Walker&Co. (recently acquired by Procter & Gamble), developed a shaving system and razor to prevent ingrown hairs and reduce irritation for men of color. The curated line of products addresses hyperpigmentation, inflammation, dullness and uneven skin tone — basically everything we've ever wanted in a skin care line.
Beauty business guru Richelieu Dennis, who started SheaMoisture by selling soap in Harlem in the 90s, created what seems to be the hallmark of beauty goodies for black women. The hair, skin and makeup products are now sold in Target and Dennis has no plans of slowing down. In fact, he launched a $100 million investment fund for women entrepreneurs of color at the 2018 Essence Festival. Yeah, we're impressed, too.
True Moringa co-founder Kwami Williams was raised in Ghana and studied aerospace engineering at MIT, where he worked with NASA. On a trip back to his homeland with fellow student (and co-founder) Emily Cunningham, they encountered 100 percent pure cold-pressed moringa and launched a moringa-powered skin care line that is 100 percent vegan, paraben-free and sulfate-free. Apart from supporting sustainable farming in Ghana by working directly with farmers and paying them a fair wage, True Moringa runs initiatives like One Million Trees, which has planted 1 million moringa trees in Ghana. Our favorites include the Lavender Facial Oil and Rejuvenating Body Polish.
Three Notes began as an experiment in Tanzania Crews's kitchen as she searched for a remedy for her severe adult acne. After trying everything on the market to clear her skin, she decided to try a more natural/holistic approach to healing her skin and body. This morphed into creating a line of cleansers, toners and moisturizers made of premium-grade organic ingredients.
Beauty Bakerie’s motto is to be "better, not bitter," and it's evident in its range of colorful, cheerful makeup. With names like Cake Pop Lippies and Gelato Gel Eyeliner, how can anyone be bitter wearing it? We're big fans of the Blending Egg Beauty Sponges that perfectly fit in the palm of your hand for easy blending.
Google “small-batch, handmade beauty” and you’ll discover a seemingly endless amount of indie beauty brands catering to every woman’s skin care, makeup and fragrance needs. But also growing in the beauty space is the amount of cosmetics brands owned by African-American women and the offerings are pretty spectacular.
According to Forbes, there were 2.4 million African-American women-owned businesses in 2018, most of them run by women ages 35 to 54. From lipsticks and toners to moisturizers and conditioners, here are 10 black-owned beauty brands to shop during Black History Month.