8 Black-Owned Beauty Brands You’ll Be Obsessed With
by Daniela Galvez
From eyeshadow palettes to face balms, these Black-owned beauty brands are worth checking out.
With many mainstream brands still being exclusionary when it comes to non-white customers, it’s not surprising women of color are taking matters into their own hands to make their mark in the beauty community. Black entrepreneurs are breaking barriers in beauty by creating products specifically formulated for deeper skin tones. As a result, they’ve swayed other brands toward expanding shade ranges, proving that inclusivity is never just a fad. In honor of Black History Month, we’ve rounded up eight Black-owned cosmetic brands we believe deserve your support — not just this month, but all year ’round. From the cult-favorite hair care brand Shea Moisture to the beauty guru-approved beauty brand Juvia’s Place, these brands are paving the way for women of color in beauty.
1. Fenty Beauty
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In a room full of shade, we still had 10 more to give ???????? #PROFILTRFOUNDATION now comes in 50 shades of the same pore-diffusing, humidity resistant formula that keeps skin looking flawless AND real. ????????????????????????????????♀️????????♂️Meet our 10 new shades, 105, 145, 185, 235, 255, 345, 385, 445, 495, and 498!
It is no secret that singer Rihanna can do it all: sing, act, dance, and even design. (Hello, Fenty’s amazing fashion collabs!) But in 2017, the Barbados-native added a new title to her already impressive resume: beauty entrepreneur. Offering 40 different foundation shades that covered a full spectrum of skin tones, Fenty Beauty, sets a new standards for inclusivity in the beauty world. The brand, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, continues to embrace inclusion like never before with its diverse promotional images and shade range.
Of course, we can’t talk about Fenty Beauty without mentioning the cult-favorite Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. Thanks to its oil-free formula, this bad boy stays on all day and keeps oil at bay, all while looking natural. Did we mention the foundation will only set you back $34?
2. Shea Moisture
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This good-looking family of SheaMoisture #AfricanBlackSoap #BambooCharcoal haircare products are HERE and made to love on your head. Each member has a specific role in cleansing, conditioning, and calming scalps that are in need of balancing and #TLC. Available now at @Target.
It’s safe to say that as a society we’ve become more ingredient-conscious. This especially true with beauty products, where harmful chemicals are often present. Ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate — found in most shampoos and conditioners — are now being removed due to the potential health risk they pose to humans. But with a large number of products on the shelves it can get hard to distinguish which ones are actually good for you. That’s why Shea Moisture is a known cult-favorite; it takes the guesswork out of choosing clean products.
Founded in 1991 by Liberia-born Nyema Tubman and Richelieu Dennis, Shea Moisture uses natural, organic, and sustainably-produced ingredients in their products. Best of all, they have no parabens, formaldehyde, or mineral oil. Although Shea Moisture has a number of different products available, the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo is one of our favorites. Designed to cleanse and nourish chemically processed and heat-styled hair, this shampoo is a must-have for all our treated-haired ladies.
3. Juvia’s Place
Whether you’ve been on Instagram keeping up your favorite celeb or stalking your old college fling, chances are you’ve come across Juvia’s Place on your feed. The brand, which is loved by beauty gurus like NikkieTutorials, Viva_Glam_Kay, and Bretmanrock, among others, was started by Nigerian-born Chichi Eburu in hopes of creating pigmented eyeshadows that worked well on melanin-rich skin. Aside from the rich shadows, the mother-of-two also uses beautiful imagery on packaging that is representative of African culture and art.
From colorful palettes for all your dramatic and everyday eye looks to liquid lipsticks that deliver long-lasting color, you can find a variety of unique products to include in your makeup arsenal. One of our personal faves is the Juvia’s Place The Saharan Vol. II Blush Palette. The six-pan palettes offers a variety of shades — ranging from plums to oranges — that instantly deliver the perfect pop to your cheeks. This multi-functional product can also be used on the lids to create a mesmerizing red-toned look.
Shop It! Juvia’s Place The Saharan Vol. II Blush Palette, $18
4. Beauty Bakerie
In 2011, Cashmere Nicole was a single mother juggling motherhood, a nine-to-five job, all while battling breast cancer. As a way to cope with her health, Nicole started a side business called Beauty Bakerie. Inspired by her love of cakes and candy, the cruelty-free cosmetic brand features everyday beauty staples with a sweet twist. One product that quickly reached cult status was the HD Flour Setting Powder, a fine powder packaged in a adorable flour bag to resemble the baking essential. Designed to lock in foundation and concealer, this vegan product provide and even, flawless finish to the skin. The HD Flour Setting Powder is available in four shades: translucent, yellow, pink, brown. If you’re looking to correct redness and neutralize dark under eye circles, we recommend opting for the yellow-toned powder.
Shop It! Beauty Bakerie HD Flour Setting Powder, $24
Before there were beauty gurus to share all their personal tips and tricks via social media, there was grandma. During her childhood, Nyakio Kamoche Grieco recalls being taught how to make everyday beauty products using common kitchen ingredients found in Kenya. “My beauty journey started when I was a young girl visiting my grandmother in Kenya. She was a coffee farmer who taught me to crush coffee beans and rub them on my skin using a piece of sugarcane to remove dry skin,” Nyakio shared in a press release. According to the beauty entrepreneur, she created a namesake beauty brand that meshed global beauty secrets from family, friends, and her travels, with ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients.
One popular ingredient in most of her products is pure, cold-processed tamanu. The oil, which is extracted from the nuts of Calophyllum inophyllum, has been long used as a remedy to treat skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema and for intense hydration. So, it’s not surprising Nyakio included the natural ingredient in their Firming Face Balm to help give the skin a youthful firmness.
Shop It! Nyakio Tamanu Firming Face Balm, $45
6. Iman Cosmetics
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Have you tried our Skin Tone Evener BB Creme? Like it? Love it? Curious to try it? … … With Licorice, Grape Seed, Aloe, Vitamins A, C & E and more…it’s Perfect for Spring! ???????????? #IMANcosmetics #bareitall … … … #mineralmakeup #makeupforever #springmakeup #woc #makeupforall
Before Fenty Beauty shook the beauty community by tackling the lack of diversity, there was Iman Cosmetics. Founded in 1994 by Iman, the supermodel and widow of David Bowie, the brand was the first mainstream cosmetics and skincare collection designed for women of color. “I was admittedly comfortable with Iman Cosmetics being identified as a beauty brand that filled the gap for black women because it was deeply personal for me. It was more than foundations and powders; it was appealing to a deep psychological need that I think all black women needed at that time: to be told that they were beautiful, invited to sit at the cool table and courted in high style,” the model-turned-beauty mogul told WWD.
If you’re in the market for a foundation that doesn’t leave your skin looking like the Sahara desert, check out the Iman Luminous Foundation. Formulated with Vitamin E, this powder foundation easily covers all your skin concerns while still give you a natural looking complexion. One Target reviewer called it the “BEST makeup on the planet for women of color.” While another user received multiple compliments like, “you look so beautiful and noticeably younger.”
Shop It! IMAN Luminous Foundation, $16
“Treat our hair the same way we treat our skin; by nurturing it with ingredients that detoxify, hydrate, and protect.” This is the motto that best captures the essence of Briogeo. From a tender age, Nancy Twine learned how to create hair care products with wholesome ingredients thanks to her grandma, a well-known beauty guru in West Virginia. Fast-forward to her early twenties, when all-natural hair care products were not readily available, the beauty entrepreneur took her grandmother’s beauty recipes and teamed up with several natural chemist to develop Briogeo. Since its launch in 2013, the brand prides itself on being 6-free: free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, DEA, and synthetic color.
Because Briogeo’s products are 90 to 100 percent naturally derived, they are great for helping enhance the beauty of curls. One product that is at the top of the list is BRIOGEOCurl Charisma Chia + Flax Seed Coil Custard. The creamy leave-in defined coily hair type, while providing instant hydration to dry tresses.
Shop It! BRIOGEOCurl Charisma™ Chia + Flax Seed Coil Custard, $26
8. Pat McGrath Labs
Vogue called her “the most influential make-up artist in the world,” and they are not wrong. Not only is Pat McGrath one of the most sought after artist by A-listers, her cosmetic company, Pat McGrath Labs, is valued at over $1 billion. Since launching her beauty brand in 2015, McGrath’s products have consistently sold out during launches. She debuted the Gold 001, a densely-packed gold powder which sold out all 1,000 units in just six minutes.
Although the limited-edition pigment is currently sold out on the company’s website, you can pick up another cult-favorite, the MatteTrance Lipstick. Sure, $38 might seem a bit steep for a lipstick, but thanks to it’s non-budge formula and impressive color, this baby is worth every penny. Whether you’re looking for a classic red or a shade to achieve a vampy pout, Pat McGrath has you covered.
Shop It! PAT MCGRATH LABS MatteTrance™ Lipstick, $38
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.