In an industry as big as beauty, it’s important to be inclusive and support businesses who are doing awesome things in makeup. This week we’re highlighting some awesome and loved black owned makeup brands to support right now, and in the future.
Why highlight black owned businesses, and not businesses owned by people of other races or ethnicities?
For a long time, the beauty industry has been dominated by white owned businesses that cater to lighter skin tones; Fair-light shades that the owners themselves would be using. Remember when Tarte released this shade range for foundation? Or when Givenchy created only 2 medium shades to accompany 20 shades of fair and light shades, and no dark ones?
This is the new Givenchy foundation shade range……… didn’t realise we were all albino???? pic.twitter.com/AV4TVxkZx8
— Ben Rhodes (@ben___rhodes) February 19, 2019
These product launches both happened within the past 2 years, and seemed to send the message that their target audience did not include people with darker skin tones.
At this point, these multi-million or billion dollar brands don’t have an excuse to not make deeper shades of makeup. They absolutely have the resources to do so. It’s simply a choice that they are making. A bad choice, to be clear.
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So why focus on black owned businesses?
Black owned businesses tend to make shades of makeup that can actually be used by people of color. Their shade ranges are more inclusive and balanced, with a similar number of light and deep shades, and all the shades in between.
(Compare this image from Fenty to the above shade range from Givenchy. Look at the huge difference!)
I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to buy a foundation in a shade that matches their skin tone. Supporting the black owned brands that are innovating and are creating makeup for everyone is awesome.
Right now, there aren’t many black owned makeup brands available at the popular beauty retailer giants, Ulta and Sephora. In the push to include more brand diversity, Sephora has signed the “15 Percent Pledge” aiming to carry black owned brands on 15% of the retail shelf space.
While this is awesome, and Sephora says they won’t stop at 15%, it means that right now, significantly more than 85% of Sephora’s shelf space is taken by companies with white founders or corporations.
For perspective, on their recent IG announcement Sephora commented that they currently carry “9 black owned or founded brands” even though Sephora as a whole carries a couple hundred brands. Only 9. Single digits. THAT is why I am writing this.
Awesome Black Owned Makeup Brands to Support
Founded by Nigerian born Sharon Chuter, this LA & London based company made a big splash when they launched in 2019.
The company immediately released an awesome foundation shade range with an accompanying concealer, and quickly became one of the most inclusive brands offered at Ulta.
The brand’s Say What?! Foundation has 51 diverse shades to choose from, the Stay Woke Luminous Brightening Concealer has amazing reviews (beauty influencer Samantha Ravndahl used it for her bridal makeup, which is what made me check out the brand), and their Double Take Contour Stick has gained a pretty great following.
Supporting a brand like UOMA will hopefully send a message to Ulta that giving retail space to black owned makeup brands is valuable!
Pat McGrath Labs
Pat McGrath is a black makeup artist who seriously knows her stuff. She’s been called “the most influential makeup artist in the world” and Pat McGrath Labs, her makeup brand, was likely the first black-owned makeup brand that became widely loved by the masses.
Her brand is one of the most popular luxury brands available at Sephora, and many makeup enthusiasts truly believe that her eyeshadow formula is the very best.
Of all their products, Pat McGrath Labs is best known for their Mothership eyeshadow palette line and their lipsticks. The Mothership palettes are gorgeous with unique luxury packaging. The lipsticks are gorgeous and creamy. The takeaway: everything they make is gorgeous.
With luxury quality comes luxury cost, but the reviews will inform you that it’s worth the money.
This vegan, cruelty free, non-toxic cosmetics line started with two black women who wanted every person to find their perfect shade of nude lipstick. The brand name comes from the word pigmented.
In addition to their signature lipsticks, Mented has a small range of face and eye products, including their own brushes. But if you’re going to try this brand, how could you not grab a lipstick (or three)?!
While they aren’t available in the big cosmetics retailers (yet!) you can shop on their website or Amazon storefront.
Cashmere Nicole is the founder and CEO of Beauty Bakerie, a black owned makeup brand with the cutest theme: baking!
Not only are they cute, but they’re highly rated. The brand has gathered a cult following who love their products – and their liquid lipsticks are extra loved for being extremely long wearing.
And if that wasn’t enough reason to support Beauty Bakerie, the company donates to orphanages through their “Sugar Homes” initiative – trying to make children’s lives sweeter. Truly a great company that wants to make a change in the world.
The Crayon Case
If you loved shopping for brand new pencils, crayons, markers, and other school supplies every August, you’re going to love The Crayon Case.
Supa Cent is the founder of this crayon-themed beauty brand, and her branding is on point. The Crayon Case made major news when they debuted their Box of Crayons colorful iShadow palette (yes, iShadow, isn’t that hilarious? I love it!).
“Highlighter” concealers, “Chalk Dust” face powder, “Eye Glue Stick” lash adhesive, “Loose Leaf” paper makeup wipes, makeup brushes that look like pencils – you cannot deny the clever classroom-themed names and packaging. These will definitely be on my back to school list.
Right now the only place you can purchase authentic products is The Crayon Cases’s website – don’t buy it off Amazon, where there are often overpriced and fake imitation palettes.
Shop at The Crayon Case
Black Girl Sunscreen
Shontay Lundy, a woman of color, founded Black Girl Sunscreen to fill a huge gap in the beauty industry: sun protection for people of color. Okay I know – this isn’t MAKEUP. But sunscreen is a very important step of makeup routines, especially in the summer. Contrary to widespread beliefs, people with darker skin tones should use sunscreen too.
Last year I shared a sunscreen that I was using under my makeup, but normal sunscreens (including the one that I used) might not work well for people of color. Typical sunscreen leaves behind weird casts on darker skin, like purple and grey streaks – and pale-as-heck-me didn’t even know that! Lundy was tired of it and created her own, and I am very glad she did so I can share it with you!
Black Girl Sunscreen currently creates an SPF 30 sunscreen and a kid’s SPF 50 sunscreen. And it’s available at Target.
If you’re a POC and have used this sunscreen, please let us know how you like it! I’m a very fair person so I haven’t experienced the “normal” sunscreen struggle.
Launching with a wide range of foundation shades and absolutely gorgeous modern packaging, Fenty Beauty, founded by Rihanna, quickly became a Sephora customer favorite.
Fenty Beauty Longwear Foundation became a fan fav immediately after launching, and is an Allure best of beauty winner. Their high-shine, non-sticky lip gloss is raved about by tons of people for being the absolute best on the market. And Fenty’s Diamond Bomb Highlighter is the most unique highlighter I’ve ever seen, easily transforming you into the prettiest, sparkliest, glitteriest Queen in seconds.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg with Fenty Beauty. With long lasting liquid lipsticks, gorgeous cream and powder bronzers and blushes, eyeshadows, setting powder, and even a magical luminizer called body lava, you can get a full face of Fenty Beauty.
This indie makeup brand has gathered quite the following after being included in some beauty subscription boxes! Ace Beaute was founded by Niye Attang in 2016. They started with false lashes and have since expanded, offering eyeshadows and brushes.
While they don’t have as large of a selection as the other brands listed here, we love focusing on quality over quantity, don’t we?! Their lashes are absolutely gorgeous, and the color stories of their eyeshadow palettes are incredible.
I am particularly fond of the shades in the Oceanic Palette – blues and greens are my favorite colors.
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What is your favorite Black owned makeup brand? These are a few of the most popular ones, but there are SO many that deserve the spotlight. I’m 100% planning on updating this post in the future to include more awesome Black owned beauty, so please share your suggestions!