From concealer to cocoa butter and everything else in between, Black-owned beauty brands span just about every cosmetic category that there is. These small and often self-funded brands churn out quality products that are crafted with deeper skin tones and coily hair textures in mind — and also speaking out boldly and unapologetically about the injustices of our nation, refusing to be complicit amidst the silence of many other major mainstream brands.
And now, more than ever, is the time to pad their pockets with dollars and flood their feeds with support. In the face of unrest, these are the brands putting real action behind their social media posts, taking a genuine interest in the injustices of Black people, and donating masses of their proceeds to the community impacted by social injustice — even during a pandemic that's impacting their profits.
"Posting a quote from slain civil rights leaders is not enough," Lauren Napier, founder of Lauren Napier Beauty, a luxury skincare brand, tells TZR. "Posting an illustration of a black and white hand intertwined is not enough. It’s absolutely not enough to scour your social media mentions form the black customer and repost her image so say, 'See, we see you!' NO, this is not it. The answer is hiring and consulting black talent so that there is a voice in the room to speak to the people the brands want to reach as it is clear that these brands lack racial the racial sensitivity, compassion and require a translator."
Ahead, check out these beauty brands who aren't shying away from speaking out about what's right, putting their money where their mouths are, and are the brainchildren of brilliant Black beauty experts who identified a need in the beauty world.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Black-Owned Beauty Brands: Makeup
Created by Sharon Chuter in 2019, UOMA Beauty's wildly successful launch has become a favorite amongst influencers, celebrities, and makeup artists alike. The fun packaging and vibrant colors are not only reflective of the former Revlon, L'Oréal, PepsiCo, GSK and Benefit Cosmetics exec's energetic personality, but also her in-depth knowledge of color on deeper skin tones.
Pat McGrath Labs
While Mother Pat McGrath really requires no introduction, her decade-spanning career and fashion month résumé is worth mentioning, at minimum. The actual self-made billionaire, whose brand surpassed the earnings of Kylie Cosmetics in March of 2019, has built her beauty empire from the bottom, creating a massive platform loved by beauty obsessives. The luxury makeup brand, marked by its decadent packaging and rich, shimmer-filled formulas, leave cosmetics lovers swooning with every swipe.
The Lip Bar
In 2016 Niye Attang started Ace Beaute with a wide assortment of false lashes, and later expanded to offer eyeshadows and brushes. Now that the brand is completely cruelty-free, it replaced its mink lashes with faux mink lashes. Ace Beaute's motto is "Beauty For All," meaning regardless of sex, age, skin color, and religion.
Twin sisters Feven and Helena Yohannes founded 241 Cosmetics with a mission to enhance beauty, not hide it. For the duo, their beauty philosophy is rooted in their first memories as political refugees from Eritrea. Its product line contains eyeshadow, mascara, liquid eyeliner, lipstick, and lip gloss.
Camara Aunique Beauty
Camara Aunique Helps, a renowned celebrity makeup artist whose clients include Angela Bassett and June Ambrose, launched her brand Camara Aunique Beauty to bring her expertise into your home. According to the website, each lash can be worn up to 10 times. Choose between an everyday length to an ultra-glam option.
Prior to launching Undefined Beauty, Dorian Morris started her career in 2013 working for beauty brands like Fenty, Marc Jacobs, Kat Von D, and Covergirl. When she started the brand in 2018, her mission was to give customers clean products at affordable prices. The CBD beauty line features an elixir, serum, cleansing bar, candle, tinted balm, exfoliating treatment, and a bath soak.
Laws of Nature Cosmetics
Upon receiving the unfortunate news of her mother being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2007, Jasmine Rose made it a goal to learn more about the disease. After extensive research, she discovered the link between specific chemicals like parabens, mercury, lead, and talc in cosmetics and forming breast cancer. This knowledge led Rose to launch Laws of Nature Cosmetics, with its Foxy Finish Mineral Creme Foundation the foray into the beauty industry.
Makeup For Melanin Girls
Tomi Gbeleyi's first runway experience was being the only dark-skinned model, and having the makeup artists not equipped with the proper shades to match her. After this, she decided to start learning how to do her own makeup to avoid being in that situation again. Gbelevi started watching beauty vloggers of color and made a dedicated Instagram page for them, @MakeupforMelaninGirls. This page later turned into a brand.
Incorporating color, science, and technology, Hue Noir makes beauty products for nuanced skin tones that range from fair to dark. Established by product chemist Paula Hayes, the brand uses a combination of "scientific-based research and development, custom-made manufacturing equipment, leading-edge light and color technology, and innovative luxury ingredients to design textures and shades guaranteed to work for women of color."
MakeUp By Sparkle
For Adiya Dixon Wiggins, a practicing attorney and mother of two, mornings were always extremely hectic. Striving to find a shortcut to apply her beauty products before work, she couldn't find the perfect brush, so she made her own. Try out Yubi's brush and sponge to witness the results for yourself.
Stay Golden Cosmetics
Makeda K Beauty
Makeda K Beauty's faux mink lashes are designed to be worn on women with curly, thick lashes. Launched by Makeda Robinson, the brand aims to give customer lashes that aren't too straight, or feel overly heavy. According to the website, you can use the lashes a whooping 25 times until you're recommenced to expose of them.
Beauty By Stony
BLAC Minerals Cosmetics
Glamazon Beauty Cosmetics
When she was studying pharmacy at age 18, Flow decided to make a career switch and pursue a degree in cosmetic science at London College of Fashion. After learning about formulating foundations, eyeshadows, and blushes, she launched MDM Flow when she was 22. The brand is influenced by Flow's love for black and gold colors, hip hop, beauty, fashion, and science.
Black-Owned Beauty Brands: Hair
The old adage “necessity is the mother of invention/when there’s a will there’s a way" motivated Jasmine Lawrence to launch EDEN BodyWorks in 2014. After experiencing a hair-damaging chemical burn at age 11, Lawrence became aware of the lack of natural hair products on the market that would aid in restoring her hair. EDEN's mission is to provide solutions for common beauty concerns.
Felicia Leatherwood Brush
Celebrity stylist Felicia Leatherwood created Felicia Leatherwood Brush after seeing her social media followers looking for a detangling brush specifically made for kinky curly textures. This drove Leatherwood to make her detangling brush, ideal for all hair types because of its open ended flexibility at the top.
On a trip to Kenya in 2014, all the hair of Grace Eleyae's head broke off during a bumpy car ride. This was the result of her chemically straightened hair and friction again the seat's headrest. After enduring this traumatic experience, later that year Eleyae created the first prototype of the slap. Today, the brand carries slaps, turbans, headbands, and more.
TGIN, Thank God It's Natural, was founded by Chris-Tia Donaldson after being diagnosed with breast cancer and realizing how money could be the difference between living and dying. Aside from its hair care products, the brand also has its TGIN Foundation, which supports and empowers women undergoing treatment.
The Y By Yusef
Alodia Hair Care
Mielle founder and CEO Monique Rodriguez has always been passionate about the health and beauty of women. Working as a registered nurse for almost a decade before launching her haircare brand, she's long understood the need for safe, yet effective products for Black women. Many of the hero ingredients for the brand include babassu oil, honey, and ginger.
Camille Rose Naturals
Janell Stephen's powerhouse brand began after she realized that the beauty products she was using on her children were packed with damaging ingredients. The result was an at-home concoction that snowballed into a successful haircare brand that occupies shelves in Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Whole Foods.
TPH By Taraji
Latched + Hooked
Uncle Funky's Daughter Hair
Glow by Daye
The Mane Choice
The Wrap Life
Tropic Isle Living
The Ronnie Shop
Started by chemical engineer Garonne (aka, Ronnie), The Ronnie Shop specializes in hair regrowth products. Based in New York City, the haircare brand's products are made using ingredients like grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and essential oils including lemongrass, grapefruit, peppermint, and eucalyptus.
Girl + Hair
Camille Verovic, a marketing professional turned doctor, would usually turn to protective styling with her busy schedule. She opted for either hair extensions, crochet braids, wigs, braids, or weaves, but realized the lack of natural hair care products that would grow her natural hair while it was in a braided protective style. With Verovic's hardships finding the best possible ingredients for optimal hair health, she founded Girl & Hair.
Specifically aimed to focus on hair and scalp health for texturized hair, Sienna Naturals offers a wide range of cleansers, conditioners, oils, and treatments. Built by Hannah Diop, the products are free of silicones, Petroleum, Mineral Oil, SLS, SLES, Dyes, Fragrance, Phthalates, DEA, as well as other harsh synthetics.
Chocolate Kinks & Kurls
Working as a board-certified dermatologist, Shari Hick-Graham, M.D., assists patients with various skin conditions, including diseases that involve the scalp and hair. After treating these patients, she noticed that scalp irritation directly influences hair loss. The dermatologist created LivSo as a solution. According to its website, "We developed our line of moisturizing products based on extensive dermatological experience and scientific research."
Beja Flor Naturals
Stated on its website, Beja Flor Naturals is the "first American beauty line to include fair trade, nutrient rich botanicals ingredients from Brazil." The organic hair and skin care brand was founded by Stevonne Ratliff after suffering hypo and hyper pigmentation along with additional skin sensitivities.
Bask & Bloom
Shortly after giving birth to her first child, Candera Thompson decided to switch her hair to natural. During this transition, postpartum shedding contributed to dryness and breakage to her hair. Thompson brought forth her appreciation for at-home remedies and herbal teas as well as her MBA to start Bask & Bloom. The brand offers up both hair and skin products.
One Little Parrot
Working as a Psychiatric Mental Health RN since 2014, DeQunda Smith helps patients with mental illness, substance abuse, eating disorders, personality disorders, and suicide prevention. A patient with trichotillomania, a condition where one pulls out their hair due to stress, influenced Smith to create a product that specifically caters to those suffering from trichotillomania. The product line aids in hair regrowth and behavior modification.
Nancy's Kitchen Products
Eternally In Amber
When she was experiencing an itchy scalp, founder Sherrel Sampson tried product after product to attempt to cure it. Not having any luck with any options on the market, Sampson had the idea of creating a line of botanical-based scalp care products. Available at Target, the line includes a growth serum, cleansing bar, foam treatment, itch-calming serum.
Kim and Tim Lewis first launched CurlMix as a subscription box (seen on Shark Tank), but as of 2018 the brand has evolved into solution focused line for curly hair girls. According to its website, the solutions are selected by loyal CurlMixers, its customers base that gives insight through Facebook.
Innocent Hair Care
Black-Owned Beauty Brands: Skincare
Oui The People
The Honey Pot
Black Girl Sunscreen
Black women are rarely, if ever, represented in the luxury skincare space. Enter: Epara Skincare, a natural line created in 2017 by Ozohu Adoh, and the first ever Black-owned luxury skincare brand to retail at Barney's. The brand became one of standout emerging beauty brands recognized by the retailer through a series of pop-ups in fall of 2018. The luxury formulas are crafted using the best African ingredients.
Lauren Napier Beauty
Dr. Chaneve Jeanniton, MD, founder of Brooklyn Face & Eye in New York, is considered an authority in the world in skincare. So it's only right that she created her own luxe line of products that are paraben, sulfate, artificial fragrance, and dye free. The line, available exclusively through her med spa, have become a go-to for her celebrity patients like Tracee Ellis Ross.
Beneath Your Mask
When Dana Jackson was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus right before her 30th birthday, her prognosis was anything but positive. Fast forward to 2012 and beginning her healing process, Jackson was looking for products that could repair her skin. The luxurious, all-natural line boasts healing ingredients that are great for you and your skin.
Niambi Cacchioli wanted to make skincare products that were easy and affordable for Women of Color — and she did just that. Her goal came to life with Pholk Beauty, a natural, vegan skincare brand made from a lab in Jersey City, New Jersey. The products include ingredients like cold-pressed hibiscus oil, aloe vera, turmeric, and kaolin clay.
Mary Louise Cosmetics
Desiree Verdejo created Hyper Skin after struggling with acne while she was pregnant with her first child. After not being able to find products that would cure the hormonal breakouts and intense dark marks she had, she decided to make her own. The brand's first product is Hyper Clear, a vitamin C serum that includes ingredients like vitamin E, kojic acid, turmeric and bearberry that help to brighten and smooth skin.
Founded by Dr. Mia Chae Reddy, Dehiya Beauty is a plant-based, all natural, and vegan skincare line. The founder describes the brand as "a nod to grandma's thoughtful skincare ritual, a conjuring of ancestral beauty secrets, and a return to simple beauty." Its website breaks down their skincare ritual along with a description on how to use each product.
Frederick Benjamin Grooming
When Nyakio Kamoche Grieco was visiting her grandma in Kenya as a child, she discovered how to exfoliate dry skin using coffee beans. As Gricco was on a mission to become an entrepreneur, she noticed many cultures were represented, but Africa wasn't one of them. She decided to fill the gap by creating her skincare brand.
Rose MD Skincare
Racking up two decades of research and clinical expertise to create beauty routines customized to the needs of her patients, Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D., Board Certified Dermatologist and Medical Director of Ingleton Dermatology, opted to create her own clean products. All of ROSE Ingleton MD Skincare's products are infused with its signature Jamaican SuperFruit Blend (which is formulated with high concentrations of potent, scientifically-proven ingredients, made to enhance youthful, glowing skin).
Growing up with acne and dark spots, Dorion Renaud never knew how to properly address his melanin-rich skin concerns. Both at-home remedies and dermatologist failed to help him, and the only thing he found that made a noticeable difference was shea butter. He launched his brand Buttah to share his discovery with the world.
In 2016, Ebony Clay began to develop psoriasis on her face, hands, lips, inner-ears, and scalp. The steroids she was prescribed would give her skin discoloration, so she started investigating natural remedies. Since she found an article on CBD and started using it on her skin, she's never looked back. Kayaire's CBD offerings include a gel cleanser, exfoliating toner, cream moisturizer, and exfoliating polish.
Marla Rene Luxe Skincare
When she was taking care of her mother who later passed away due to complications from cancer, Marla Rene was passionate about creating natural skincare products for women of color. While caring for her mother, she took into account what ingredients she was using. As a form of coping mechanism, Rene launched her handmade brand Marla Rene Luxe Skincare.
Salt Spray Soap Co.
Ounce of Nature
Ounce of Nature prides itself in using the best possible ingredients. According to its website, "Each oil is sourced from the richest terroirs of the world and are comedogenically rated from 0 to 1." Created by Andres Roban, the skincare brand features a line of bath and body products that include its Green Tea Facial Toner, Anti-Aging Face Mask, Hyaluronic Acid Facial Hydrator, Bath Bombs, Bar Soaps, and more.
Skin Deep Bodycare
Chloe and Chad
Former accountant Aisha Besson founded Chloe and Chad after she started making a line of organic and natural soaps, balms, lotions ,and body butters in her kitchen. In 2016 she launched the brand with products made with ingredients like aloe vera juice, witch hazel hydrosol, hibiscus hydrosol, coconut oil, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
Butter by Keba
As a therapeutic activity, Makeba Lloyd would blend and mix together essential oils and phthalate-free fragrances with shea butter as easy way to moisturize and smell good all in one. Makeba decided to learn more through aromatherapy classes at the New York Open Center, and turned her hobby into a business with her brand Butter by Keba.
Elle Johnson Co.
Ode to Self Skincare
The idea of Ode to Self Skincare happened when Kimberlee Alexandria was getting off her exit on her way home. "It was the most fitting name that I ever conjured, as it perfectly married the love story with myself and creating a beautiful relationship out of it," the founder explains on its website. The line consists of a face oil, body + hair oil, and an essence.
Brown Girl Jane
In My Heals
Ayele & Co.
Elements of Aliel
Elements of Aliel began when founder LaKeisha Entsuah was pregnant with her first child. Having to change her lifestyle when she struggled with secondary infertility, finding natural skincare products for her sensitive skin was another battle. From this struggle Elements of Aliel, a gentle line of plant powered products, was born.
Brown And Coconut
Dirt Don't Hurt
Black-Owned Beauty Brands: Fragrance & Candles
Harlem Candle Co.
Black-Owned Beauty Brands: Nails
People of Color
Ginger + Liz
Triple O Polish
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