Black History Month isn’t over just yet, and before it ends you should celebrate by reorganizing your beauty bag and supporting black-owned brands. Whether it’s innovative makeup lines catering to darker skin tones or hair-care products made for black hair textures, there’s just something about knowing a beauty product was made with you in mind — and these owners do just that.
A 2018 report found that 85% of spending on ethnic hair and beauty products is attributed to black consumers. It’s no big secret that there’s power in the black dollar, a concept that the beauty industry has been slow to grasp. But we aren’t interested in tokenism; we are interested in black-owned brands that create products based on their relatable black experience — that’s why black-owned brands, especially created by women, matter so much.
When products are made for us and by us, it makes a huge difference. If you don’t do anything else to celebrate the culture before the month ends, support these women and their brands, and continue to do so even after Black History Month.
What makes black-owned beauty brands so relatable is experience.
The Lip Bar
Best known for its vibrant lippies, like Hot Mama red and Prom Queen pinks, this eight-year-old beauty brand has been creating makeup made especially for black women, and it's all thanks to its founder, Melissa Butler. This year, Target curated a special Black History Month Lip Box featuring a deep purple matte liquid lipstick along with a purple lip liner. “I am my ancestors' wildest dreams,” states Melissa on the packaging of the box, and this lip combo screams that.
Black Girl Sunscreen
Believe it or not, the sun does not discriminate. Often, black people feel like they don’t have to wear sunscreen or it’s OK to not apply as much because of how melanin protects the skin, but the truth is sunscreen should be worn every day by everyone, including black people. Shontay Lundy created a sunscreen made just for black skin, and it doesn’t have a horrible white cast like a lot of other sunscreens leave. Black Girl Sunscreen is infused with ingredients like jojoba oil and avocado, so it’s an ideal addition to your skin-care routine and not just for when you’re on vacation.
We can’t mention black beauty without championing Rihanna, who created Fenty Beauty and shook the industry up with 40 shades of foundation that launched the “Fenty Effect.” The industry hasn’t been the same since. Now brands launch multiple shades and deeper bronzers, but we will never forget who started it all: a black woman. Or, well, Rihanna, to be exact.
E Honey Skincare
After a rough senior year in college and suffering severe breakouts, Erika Clark turned to home remedies and dieting to treat her skin. In her premed studies, she had the opportunity to learn more about the structure and functions of people of color’s skin.
From her vitamin E–packed Glow Oil to her gently exfoliating Goddess Glow cleansing scrub, Erika turned her experience into a passion and is now helping other black women take care of their skin with her E Honey Skincare line.
Cee Cee's Closet
We can’t talk about beauty without mentioning hair and the accessories that go along with it. For black women with natural hair, wearing silk wraps becomes a part of our beauty and an extension of daily hairstyles. Cee Cee’s Closet NYC offers silk-lined headwraps to benefit hair.
Founders and sisters Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo combined their experiences of working in health care and working with women of color with textured hair to create a product that keeps hair soft, moisturized, and tangle-free. The wraps vary from bold colors to African prints, and they are the crowns you never knew you needed.
$25.00, Cee Cee's Closet NYC
While everyone’s skin is different, there’s one thing that is common and more likely to occur among dark skin, and that is hyperpigmentation. Treating hyperpigmentation can be a tedious process. Dark spots can take a while to fade, and some products can be extra harsh on the skin. That's why Desiree Verdejo created Hyper Skin to help combat this issue for women of color. The brand’s Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum is formulated to drastically treat hyperpigmentation and minimize breakouts.
$36.00, Hyper Skin
Known for her iconic and eye-catching makeup looks, Pat McGrath is a legend in the beauty world. In fact, the crystal-emblazoned eye makeup dubbed “Euphoria makeup” sported on HBO's popular show are looks that Pat has been doing for years.
In 2015, when she launched her self-titled cosmetics line, fans were eager to try her products. It all started with the debut of Gold 001, a shimmery product that could be used as an eye shadow, eyeliner, body highlighter, and more. Now the brand has everything from foundation and lifting mascara to smooth and shimmery lipsticks.
Hair care is big in the black community, and when a hair collection is made with you in mind (and with health being a priority), you use it. That’s the case for Monique Rodriguez’s Mielle Organics.
Whether it’s hair oils that promote healthier hair or conditioners that replenish, Mielle prioritizes healthy ingredients that are formulated to treat hair. A personal favorite of mine is the brand’s Honey & Ginger edge control. It doesn’t matter if I have a weave, a sleek bun, or braids — Mielle’s edge control does the job and does it well.
As a former LVMH executive, Nigerian-born Sharon Chuter was no stranger to the beauty industry when she launched UOMA Beauty last year. After being frustrated with the lack of diversity in the industry and fed up with tokenism, Sharon set out to create her own line of products.
From UOMA’s creamy and brightening Stay Woke concealer to its silky Badass Icon lipsticks, the greatness of the products can’t be denied. Not only did UOMA come out of the gate with amazing products, but everything the company does is for the culture, down to the innovative names of its cosmetics (e.g., the Badass Icon lipsticks, named after 16 inspiring black women.
$24.00, UOMA Beauty BADASS ICON Matte Lipstick
Home of the bold and brightly pigmented eye shadow palettes, Juvia’s Place is a black girl’s best friend when it comes to dramatic eye looks. The owner, Chichi Eburu, is of African descent and creates palettes that represent the African culture, especially dark-skinned women. Eburu recently introduced the I Am Magic foundation that is one of the most flawless foundations on the market for darker women.
$20.00, Juvia's Place I Am Magic Foundation
Brooklyn Body Butter
Detroit-based Brooklyn Body Butter, founded by Jasmine Matheney, specializes in body butters with sweet scents, like Strawberry Shake Butter, and romantic, velvety blends, like Rose Butter. The products are made from natural shea butter and oils and combine alluring scents with a thick yet soothing texture that leaves the skin looking luminous and smelling good all day long.
$20.00, Brooklyn Body Butter
Brooklyn-based Trinity Mouzon Wofford is the young genius behind wellness brand Golde. Golde's superfood powder-to-gel masks work to exfoliate and renew skin. But these powders have a dual purpose: They can also be added to smoothies and oatmeal.
Additionally, Trinity is the youngest woman of color to have ever launched a brand at Sephora, and we can’t wait to see how she continues to elevate the wellness industry.
$34.00, Urban Outfitters
After feeling like an “afterthought” in the beauty industry, KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson set out to solve the diversity problem in the field.
The pair started by learning how to make lipsticks on YouTube and haven’t looked back since. Their initial focus was on nude lipsticks — one of the hardest products for black women to find. As a result, Mented Cosmetics was born.
Mented Cosmetics is a brand that allows minority women can find their shade of nude lipstick. Since the company’s 2017 launch, it has expanded into other face and nail products and, according to Forbes, KJ and Amanda are the 15th and 16th African American women ever to raise $1 million capital.
Have you ever considered the toxins in your nail polish? Well, Kitiya Mischo King has. When she realized the lack of nontoxic nail polish on the market that was both chic and long-lasting, she created her own.
Mischo Beauty is an eco-conscious nail polish brand specializing in chip-resistant and durable polish. Packaged in a stylish bottle that would complement any vanity, Mischo polish is made for the woman who loves richly hued colors for her nails and is conscious about keeping toxins out of her beauty routine.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue