It can be misconstrued that Black-owned businesses in the beauty industry are only for Black people. But really, they’re for all beauty lovers: anyone who adores a slick cat eye, a bold lip that packs a punch, or a deeply relaxing herbal bath soak.
Black-owned beauty brands are often born out of a lack of products in the beauty industry that work for everyone—especially Black women. Their founders have a mission to provide solutions to these issues, and there are several game-changing companies that are doing just that. Here are six of note.
Founded by Nigerian-born former beauty executive Sharon Chuter, Uoma Beauty has a mantra that “beauty comes in all colours.” This is reflected in the wide range of products for the face, including the whopping 51 shades in the brand’s Say What?! Foundation collection, which provides long-lasting coverage. Uoma Beauty also has a selection of eyeshadow palettes, eyelashes, lipsticks, highlighters, brow gels, and more. The brand embraces bold and bright hues, like the new Black Magic Carnival collection, and has neutrals for everyday wear, too.
Unsun Cosmetics is starting to develop a cult following, and one look at how its sunscreen gives a golden glow on any shade of skin will surely tell you why. Katonya Breaux created Unsun Cosmetics to provide clean, no-residue sunscreen in the beauty industry, after being frustrated with the lack of options available for women of colour. The Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen is one of the brand’s stars. This 100 per cent mineral sunscreen is a primer and colour-corrector in one, and comes in medium/dark and light/medium to suit more shades of skin. You can wear it under your makeup; it minimizes pores, moisturizes, and of course, protects against harmful UV rays.
Founded by Eritrean political refugees Feven and Helena Yohannes, 2.4.1 Cosmetics is all about enhancing beauty instead of covering it up. The brand refers to its products as “soul deep,” echoing mantras of resilience and the celebration of all beauty in every tube of lipstick. Standout products include the sleek black eyeliner Wing It! that is perfect for cat eyes; the smooth gel eyeliner Black Caviar; and the mauve-plum matte liquid lip Asmara.
If there’s anything we could all use right now, it’s a strong dose of relaxation. Homebody’s herbal CBD bath soaks are handcrafted (in small batches and from scratch), and are packed with over 176 antioxidants, plant-based botanicals, herbs, vitamins, healing salts, moisturizing oils, and rare minerals. Founded by sisters Rebecca Grammer-Ybarra and Christy Grammer, Homebody creates soothing soaks that are colourful and pearlescent—such as the lavender and peppermint Amethyst + Alchemist, which helps optimize sleep, aid muscle recovery, and boost overall cellular retention; and the grapefruit and lemon The Future Is Green: Superfood Blend, which helps with muscle relief, improves mood, and gives a natural glow.
It started out as just a dream for Rachel James, but now she’s turning her nail polish business Pear Nova into a mega-brand. The company specializes in luxury, cruelty-free, vegan nail lacquers and gels in a variety of hues, from the bold yellow Lemon Drop Logic to the neutral-yet-sexy Freckle Fanatic. James also opened Pear Nova Studio, a luxury salon in Chicago, where customers can get a variety of treatments—including, of course, manicures with Pear Nova paint.
Kubra Kay Skincare
Founded by biomedical engineer Khadidja Toure, Kubra Kay Skincare’s products use natural, organic formulas that keep skin glowing and healthy year round. The Razor Relief cream, infused with tea tree oil, turmeric, and glycolic acid, is the brand’s top seller. Also notable are the Shea Butter Cream, which packs in moisture and smoothes, and the Cocoa Butter Cream, which helps improve complexion and reduce acne marks.
From nail polish to sun protection, there are so many up-and-coming Black-owned brands making waves in their field. Beauty is for everyone, and it should be created that way.