For a long time, Black women were not adequately represented in the beauty industry. But in the past several years, we have made several positive changes for ourselves and others. Not only are Black-owned beauty brands being created en masse, but they are impacting the majority mainstream. (Can you say Fenty Beauty?) With major social media influence — and the big bucks to back them — retailers have been eager to acquire these once-indie brands.
Follow these 10 Black-owned beauty brands
If you are interested in women-owned-and-operated Black beauty businesses, here are 10 brands you should follow on social media.
- The Lip Bar.
- Beauty Bakerie.
- Coloured Raine.
- Juvia’s Place.
- Lipp Beauty.
- Marjani Beauty.
- Blk + Grn.
- Mischo Beauty.
- Oyin Handmade.
Let’s learn more about why we picked these 10 influential Black-owned beauty brands.
1. The Lip Bar
If you love Shark Tank, you probably saw this brand fail to get an offer from the sharks. But founder, Melissa Butler, knew there was much more to her business idea. She has built this lipstick brand into one that influencers, makeup lovers and even Taraji P. Henson love! Taraji has been spotted wearing The Lip Bar at the Oscars and the American Music Awards.
Swelling to 120,000 followers on Instagram, The Lip Bar features a variety of user-generated content from its diverse followers. The brand uses its Instagram Stories to announce cool new features and even to direct customers to purchasing links. And all of this social clout has translated into real-world success as Target now sells The Lip Bar products online and in store.
2. Beauty Bakerie
Using the power of video, Beauty Bakerie and its loyal customers make swatch videos where they run water over their applied lipstick in an attempt to smudge it. And each time, it proves that these lippies are actually smudge-free.
Founded by Cashmere Nicole, the entire line is baking inspired. You can expect to find products such as cake mix (foundation), flour (setting powder), lip whips (matte lipsticks) and more.
3. Coloured Raine
As noted by its name, Coloured Raine is inspired by and created for Black women and other women of color. Owner Loraine Dowdy left her finance job to create this 100 percent cruelty-free line of richly pigmented cosmetics — and it paid off. News of Coloured Raine’s entrance into Target was splashed across popular media sites such as People, Bustle, Essence and PopSugar.
Coloured Raine's Instagram is full of lust-worthy images of intricate eyeshadow looks and perfectly painted lips.
4. Juvia’s Place
With such a loyal following, Juvia’s Place was recently introduced into Ulta stores.
Juvia’s Place owner, Chichi Eburu, was born in Nigeria and she has drawn on her experience as a Black woman and infused her heritage into all of her products. Her most popular products have names such as Nubian eyeshadow palette, the Zulu eyeshadow palette and the Afrique eyeshadow palette.
5. Lipp Beauty
The recently launched Lipp Beauty is owned by D.C.-based Aleah Rae. Combining the power of micro-influencers and online community building, Rae is garnering interest in her company one social engagement at a time. Her line provides both ready-to-wear and custom bespoke lipstick shades. Lipp Beauty’s Instagram is a festive mix of featured products and other inspirations that show the personality of the company — and Rae.
6. Marjani Beauty
The story of Marjani Beauty is one of triumph and passion. As a lawyer, Kimberly Smith was tired of not being able to find her shade of makeup. Out of that challenge, Marjani Beauty was created, as a specially curated shop that exclusively features products for women of color.
Not satisfied with only an online presence, Marjani is joining forces with Amaya Smith (no relation) of The Product Junkie to create the Brown Beauty Co-op in Washington, D.C. Beauty lovers of all shades will be able to shop these curated brands in person.
7. Blk + Grn
Blk + Grn focuses on connecting “Black women with natural lifestyles to high-quality, toxic-free brands that share in our mission of health, wellness and community cultivation.” Their carefully cultivated offerings include nail polish, body scrubs and natural deodorants, as well as home and wellness products.
They curate their Instagram as carefully as they curate their products. They use built-in tools like the shopping feature, which connects customers directly to their website, and the Instagram Stories highlights to post daily content.
8. Mischo Beauty
Armed with a degree in chemistry and multiple industry licenses, Mischo Beauty founder Kitiya Mischo King set out in 2013 to build a better (and safer) nail lacquer. Mischo Beauty created 10 FREE nail lacquers, which don’t contain a set of 10 known toxic ingredients, such as formaldehyde and camphor, common in nail polish.
Mischo Beauty's social media presence is one of total glam. They often post aspirational pictures of celebrities, and feature beautifully shot video of their nail polishes being applied. Seeing is truly believing, as customers get to see the finish and application before buying.
Every budding naturalista is familiar with the Curls brand. With its array of hair care products in yummy scents, it has been a staple in many natural-hair routines since it’s 2009 appearance in Target. Now, many are being introduced to Mahisha Dellinger, the powerful woman behind the company, via her show on OWN.
10. Oyin Handmade
Spelman alumna, Jamyla Bennu, started Oyin Handmade in her Brooklyn kitchen in 2001, naming it after the Yoruba word for honey. Fast forward many years, and the brand is now based in Baltimore and has global distribution via Target and other platforms. Straddling the line between luxury and affordability, Oyin features everyday naturalistas — like the women who walk into their salon in Baltimore — on its Instagram page.
These Black women have successfully made a space in the beauty industry, and they’re definitely worth the follow. Here’s to more Black women pursuing their passions and shaking up the beauty industry.
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