First On-Demand Beauty Service for Women of Color Launching

Beauty is not a luxury, it’s a necessity for many professional women. (Photo: Getty Images)

Women of color are estimated to spend upwards of $9 billion a year on beauty products — so why doesn’t this demographic have a location-based or on-demand service like GlamSquad or StyleSeat designed just for them?

Well, they soon will — and it’s all thanks to beauty veteran and entrepreneur Rita Owens, who is launching the online and mobile concierge service Urban Beauty Network this month. She’s hired a team of beauty experts trained specifically in black hair care and makeup to glamify 25- to 45-year-old female professionals who regard beauty as a necessity, not a luxury.

“Women and beauty are inseparable concepts, but women of color take the concept a step further,” says Owens, a black woman who identified an opening in the market after traveling the world as a beauty professional and finding it next to impossible to find stylists, aestheticians, makeup artists, and nail technicians who had the skill set she was used to at her local salons.

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“From infinite skin tones to hair that ranges from straight to tightly coiled,” the beauty needs of women of color can be very specialized, so traveling out of town or moving to a new neighborhood can lead to disappointing referrals and a fruitless search for capable professionals.

Frustrated by the thought of blindly choosing another beauty professional, Owens decided to take matters into her own hands and brainstorm a solution to this cultural conundrum. So she coordinated Urban Beauty Network, which she calls “the ultimate beauty solution.” The service will either let you pick your own beauty professional or recommend one to you based on your needs.

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Due to launch in the spring of this year, Urban Beauty Network promises to offer “a one-stop beauty network,” says Owens: a platform on which users can book appointments in salons or request an on-site home or office visit by “highly skilled, hand-selected, and prescreened hair stylists and makeup artists, who we vet for quality and professionalism. They share our vision that quality is of the utmost importance.”

Interested in trying out Urban Beauty Network? For now, you can follow their blog for updates and to stay apprised of the service’s launch date. Licensed beauty professionals looking to get involved and grow their businesses are invited to visit to register for consideration.

Of course, the launch of this service begs a bigger question — are beauty professionals not being trained in working with different hair textures and skin colors as they develop their skills? And, if not, why?

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