We are taking the next couple of weeks to bring some much needed awareness to the beauty column.
It is no surprise that the beauty industry in America, whether it’s green beauty or commercial brands, has an implicit bias towards lighter skin, often mindlessly promoting a Eurocentric idea of beauty.
It shows especially in the foundation colors – “nudes” only being available in beige or tan, or lip colors that only pop on light colored skin. Even self proclaimed holistic and clean beauty brands have told me they “can’t get pigment that dark from the plants they work with.”
Interesting – because the brands below did just that!
When I worked in sales, I had women of color that needed to buy two foundations to mix for their shade where a white woman could simply grab one with ease. But there are businesses out there owned by black women making high quality, safe, products that WORK and they deserve the same recognition (and money) from customers.
Here’s a list of some black-owned beauty businesses you may not know about yet. I’ve included links to shop directly from them.
If you work at a boutique or spa, consider stocking and using these brands so your clients can benefit and learn their names as well.
BLK + GRN: This online boutique sells exclusively black owned beauty and wellness products, including their own line. It’s an amazing one stop shop to explore and order a few things and even learn about some new upcoming brands. They continue to carefully curate a collection of truly all natural products with no damaging ingredients.
Unsun Cosmetics: Sun damage is the number one cause of early signs of aging and we all need protection. Founder Katonya Breaux created Unsun for women and me of every ethnicity to have skin safe sun protection that looks good. No white cast, no chemicals.
Briogeo: One of my personal favorite hair care lines available! Founder Nancy Twine started formulating her own products at just 5, and in her early 20s started creating Briogeo armed with her grandmothers own beauty recipes. The wide range of natural products are texture specific,making it easy for customers to find products that suit their hair.
The Lip Bar: This brand was born from the founders frustration with beauty standards in the media. “There is no standard! You are the standard.” She was determined to make vibrant cosmetics suitable for any skin tone and complexion that didn’t compromise health.
Mischo Beauty Nail Polish: Mischo offers a vibrant and rich set of colors and features a 10 free formula – which means it’s completely free of the 10 common toxins found in common nail polish formulas.
Golde: Founders Trinity + Issey wanted to make wellness more fun and enjoyable and they’ve done just that with Golde. They’re well known for their easy to use super food blends, and have recently added powdered face masks to their product line.
Oui The People: Oui was born from the founders frustration with common shaving ads targeting women. They all used similar language implying a woman’s unlovability if she wasn’t hairless. So Oui changed the story, and started with a commitment to watch their language, and build efficacious products over selling an idea of flawlessness.
Kaike: Pronounced, “CAKE” founder Keli Smith sought to create a minimal plant based skincare line whose products are multipurpose. Kaike products focus on solving a variety of skincare issues specific to melanin-rich skin.
Plain Jane Beauty: PJB is focused on providing cosmetics that are inclusive, meet ethical standards, while using plant based non toxic formulas. When founder Lake Louise noticed a lack of darker shade available she created PJB to invite more inclusion in the natural beauty sphere.
Pholk Skincare: Founded by Niambi Cacchioli, she infuses the line with her love of African Diaspora’s healing traditions. She aims to celebrate women of color in the natural beauty space as innovators of culture.