Black-owned beauty brands we love
Finding the perfect beauty products for people of color has been a hard task for decades. The fact is, makeup was often not a welcoming space for POC, and especially hard for Black women. But now, the beauty industry is enjoying an overdue rise in inclusivity. That’s why we’re highlighting some of our favorite Black-owned beauty brands. Black-owned beauty brands have been pioneers in bringing diversity to the makeup industry. Take a look at some of the best and most innovative Black-owned beauty brands to support right now and year-round. Because with an growing number of options, and some of the best brands listed below, shopping Black-owned has never been easier.
Uoma Beauty was founded in 2018 by LA- and London-based former beauty executive Sharon Chuter, and launched at Ulta Beauty. Staying true to her Nigerian heritage, Chuter incorporates elements of her culture throughout her brand. The name Uoma translates to “beautiful” in Igbo, and even names if the brand’s eye shadow palette reference African goddesses.
Uoma Beauty prides itself on “celebrating the beauty of Black.” Inclusivity is not an issue with this brand, as the company has up to 51 different shades of foundation. Uoma Beauty makes each shade to cater to the specific concerns of every skin tone. Another plus? Every single Uoma product is made cruelty-free, and they are working to get out more and more vegan items.
Pat McGrath Labs
Few people in the beauty industry have made more of an impact than Pat McGrath. The legendary makeup artist, who many in the industry call “Mother,” created her own brand, Pat McGrath Labs, after working at other makeup brands such as Giorgio Armani. Pat McGrath’s makeup is worth every penny as the high fashion brand puts quality first.
The highly pigmented shadows and glowy highlighters never disappoint, but the Lust 004 Everything Kit Lipstick is a Pat McGrath fan favorite that always goes viral for its stunning formula that leaves lips sparkling. McGrath’s brand provides industry-level products for all skin tones.
KJ Miller created Mented Cosmetics after struggling for years looking for the perfect nude lipstick that complimented her skin. Miller took matters into her own hands, turning to YouTube and teaching herself how to make her own lipsticks. Ger hobby turned into a full business in 2016 with the help of co-founder Amanda E. Johnson. Branded as makeup for women of color, Mented Cosmetics is now much more than just lipsticks. This brand has its own eye shadow palettes, nail polish and contour sticks “designed with melanin in mind.”
Mary Louise Cosmetics
The beauty industry focuses heavily on makeup, but skin care is the backbone of beauty. Mary Louise Cosmetics is a Black-owned business founded by former Howard University med student Akilah Redford in her dorm room. The brand is 100% vegan, cruelty-free and organic. You can find masks, cleansers, soaps and more at Mary Louise Cosmetics. The most raved-about product happens to be the Mary Louise Miracle Serum. This serum targets all skin issues including acne, eczema, scars and razor bumps.
Juvia’s Place is a makeup brand that’s popularity has been growing over the last several years, and rightfully so. The brand is an ode to different tribes and cultures in Africa. Founder ChiChi Eburu took matters into her own hands when she was sick of not being able to find pigmented eye shadow for darker skin tones. Above all, Juvia’s Palace is now known for some of the most pigmented shadows, and remains one of the best shadow options for deeper skin tones.
This next brand has caught the attention of big names like Cardi B. Not only does Beauty Bakerie deliver top-notch quality, but the brand’s aesthetic is on point as well. Beauty Bakerie’s products are all inspired and molded after baked goods. Cashmere Nicole founded the brand in 2011 and went viral in 2014 for its Lip Whip Liquid Lipsticks that were impressively smudge-proof.
In 2018, the brand made a major statement with its diverse set of foundation shades. Beauty Bakerie listed its darkest shade at the beginning of their collection and the lightest at the end. Arranging the shades from dark to light, Nicole wanted to address the issue that black women are always treated as secondary. Their shades are always furthest away or lowest to the ground in displays. Not only did this statement inspire other brands such as Glossier to do the same, the foundations are also exceptional color matches.
While many celebrities have created their own makeup brands, most have yet to impact the market the way Fenty Beauty has. Rihanna’s brand came out with 40 foundation shades during its launch in 2017, and without a doubt started a movement in the beauty industry. So other brands had to get on the diversity train or be left behind.
Fenty Beauty was crucial in shining a light on the lack of diversity in the industry and forcing actual change. And the standard that Fenty Beauty set continues today.
With enough products to complete a full face of makeup, Rihanna’s vision was to inspire. As she put it, “Makeup is there for you to have fun with. It should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.”