For a long time, the beauty industry was lacking in options for BIPOC consumers, and although it still has a long way to go, there is now a variety of amazing black-owned beauty brands on the market that are leading by example and raising the bar for what is acceptable in terms of beauty inclusivity. Some of these brands cater specifically to the BIPOC community, providing products that were previously non-existent or non-accessible, and others are beauty brands offering a wide variety of products for all skin/hair types. All began with thoughtful origin stories.
Here are 12 black-owned beauty brands to have on your radar
One of the most notable black-owned beauty brands is none other than Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty—and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones. The brand is known for its wide selection of makeup and extensive shade range.
KNC Beauty, named after its founder Kristen Noel Crawley, was inspired when she saw a wall of lip masks while in Tokyo! She then realized that there were no natural lip masks on the market, so KNC Beauty was born. Kristen created the first all-natural, collagen-infused lip mask, which has since blown up on social media. The brand now also offers eye and face masks, too!
All too often you hear people refer to “nude” describing a light beige colour. But the reality is, “nude” can be a whole range of different colours and pigments. Enter Mented Cosmetics, co-founded by KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson. The duo created Mented with the mission to make beauty truly inclusive. The brand’s first product was a nude lipstick that was pigmented for their own skin tones – which the market previously lacked. Since then, Mented (short for pigmented), has grown to offer all kinds of different makeup products!
Beauty Bakerie was founded by Cashmere Nicole in 2011 with the mission to “be sweet and sweeten the lives of others.” As implied in the name, if you aren’t yet familiar with Beauty Bakerie’s products, a heavy theme of baking is instilled. Cashmere Nicole’s passion for high-quality and healthy ingredients was driven by a battle with Breast Cancer. Now the cruelty-free, all-inclusive cosmetic brand is sold in over 1000 locations! You can read more about Beauty Bakeries’ impressive initiatives here.
Ami Colé, named after its founder Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye’s mother, is a beauty brand offering essentials for melanin-rich skin! On its website it states “Beauty created for us. By us. Because before, there was nothing out there that really saw us.” Some of the brand’s best-selling products include its Skin-Enhancing Tint, Lip Treatment Oil, and Skin-Enhancing Concealer.
Nancy Twine, the founder and CEO of Briogeo, previously worked in finance but decided to pivot after the loss of her mom lead her on a soul-searching journey. She found herself reconnected with past memories including those of creating custom beauty treatments using natural ingredients, alongside her mom in the kitchen. This ultimately inspired Nancy to make a larger impact in the natural beauty world with Briogeo, a haircare brand catering to all hair types. Briogeo has since created quite the name for itself and has a massive cult following!
The founder of BREAD, Maeva, traces the brand back to when she was a child spending a lot of time in her mother’s braiding salon. She says the braiding tutorials, storytelling, familiar faces and close-knit community of women with curly, coiled, and textured hair was her Mum’s own version of BREAD. Now, the brand offers the essentials and must-haves – just like bread, except for hair.
Tristan Walker created Bevel with the vision to enhance the grooming experience for people of colour, creating products that specifically cater to curly hair. He grew frustrated with the grooming products on the market leaving razor bumps and irritation, and the idea of Bevel was born. The brand now carries everything from razors to body wash!
Pat McGrath Labs was founded by none other than makeup artist Pat McGrath herself! While setting major global beauty trends within the fashion and beauty industry, Pat McGrath has been formulating and perfecting her must-have collection of high-performance cosmetics since 2015. She was even dubbed “..the most influential makeup artist in the world” by Vogue! The brand is known for its high-quality, innovative formulas, trusted by designer fashion houses and celebrities alike.
Did you know that aside from making waves in the music industry, Alicia Keys also has a lifestyle beauty brand? Keys Soulcare is all about simultaneously nourishing the skin as well as the soul. “Honouring the connection between skin
and soul, every offering is infused with intention — from symbolic icons and affirming mantras to recommended
rituals — to transform the time we spend caring for our skin into a moment of personal ceremony.” While shopping the collection, you’ll find everything from face oils to candles!
Founded by Dr. Bimpe Ayeni, a board-certified Plastic Surgeon and her husband, Ade Ajayi, Blair&Jack is a Canadian, physician-backed skincare brand created specifically for men’s skin. Its simple product line creates a straightforward yet effective routine, keeping skin healthy and hydrated. Every product is uniquely formulated and perfectly thought out to target various skin concerns like texture, oil and hyperpigmentation.
Conceptualized by Tisha Thompson, LYS Beauty provides clean, inclusive, skin-loving formulas that redefine the definition of beauty. Proudly the first Black-owned Sephora Clean Makeup brand, LYS Beauty aims to provide affordable makeup with a skincare-first approach! You’ll notice triangular packaging throughout its lines, meant to signify change, which is an important pillar for the brand.
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