For many Black women, finding suitable makeup has been a constant struggle. But with the recent strides of inclusivity made in the beauty industry, the days of wearing the wrong shade of foundation are slowly coming to an end. For Women’s History Month, we are highlighting some of our favorite Black women-led beauty brands to support now and beyond. Take a look below, you may just find your next favorite product (or two).
1. IMAN Cosmetics
Founded in 1994 by legendary supermodel Iman, the company prides itself in being one of the first Black women-led beauty brands to support the inclusion of all women of color and their makeup needs. And that it has, as the brand carries shades from the lightest sand to darkest earth. With their affordable products available to you at Walmart and dedication to being cruelty-free, IMAN Cosmetics offers makeup essentials every Black woman should have.
2. Black Opal Beauty
Another pivotal makeup brand, Black Opal Beauty, has been a staple for many Black women since the 90’s. And while Black women have been involved with the brand since its inception, it did not become Black-owned until 2019, with Desiree Rogers serving as CEO and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack as president. Intended to further the brand’s dedication to elevating the beauty and skin care needs of all women of color, their products can be purchased at Walgreens, Target, and Ulta store near you or on their website.
3. Beauty Bakerie
Inspired to create long-lasting products from her mother spending extensive time getting ready for work, Cashmere Nicole’s bakery-inspired brand offers everything from liquid lipsticks to setting powder. Available in over 100 countries worldwide, Beauty Bakerie products can be found at your local Target and Ulta stores and online.
4. Range Beauty
Many makeup brands found at your local retailers may not have the range, but Range Beauty does. Frustrated with the lack of products available for diverse skin tones and types, founder Alicia Scott took matters into her own hands to create one solution for both these issues. With 21 shades available, Range Beauty strives to empower those of all shades, skin types, and gender identities who too often find themselves excluded by the beauty industry. Check out their products online at Target or on their website.
5. The Lip Bar
From facing harsh rejection by investors on the popular show Shark Tank to becoming a multi-million dollar brand, founder Melissa Butler showed that Black women will always be unconquerable. Displeased with the difficulties of finding lipstick shades suited for darker complexions, Butler created The Lip Bar as a resolution. From the brightest blues to the perfect nudes, there’s a perfect lip color waiting for every Black woman on their website and at your local Target.
6. UOMA Beauty
UOMA (uh-mah) means beautiful, and that it delivers. From their award-winning Say What?! Foundation to their Black Magic Color Palette, creator Sharon Chuter made it her mission to develop a brand that challenges the status quo and instead creates a world of beauty that reflects us all. UOMA Beauty is available at Nordstorm, Ulta, and on their website.
7. Pat McGrath Labs
Many of us are probably familiar with the likes of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, but without the artistry of Pat McGrath, their esteemed avant-garde looks would cease to exist. With a career spanning over 30 years, McGrath not only became one of the most influential makeup artists to date, she also completely revolutionized what beauty in fashion can look like. The iconic looks McGrath has created from runway to editorial are a testament to her philosophy of eccentricity. And with her eponymous brand available at all Sephora stores, we can all channel our inner creative.
8. Mented Cosmetics
If there’s one thing that’s a universal Black girl experience, it’s the struggle that comes with finding the perfect nude lipstick. After confiding in each other with their frustrations over a glass of pinot noir, co-founders KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson birthed the idea of Mented Cosmetics. Besides their notable line of nude lipsticks, the brand also offers every makeup product imaginable made perfect for all complexions. With a stamp of approval from YouTuber Jackie Aina, Mented Cosmetics products are a must for every Black woman. The line is now available at your nearest Target, Ulta, or online.
9. Coloured Raine
For Loraine R. Dowdy, creating a cosmetic line has been a lifelong dream. And in 2013, she did just that with the launch of Coloured Raine. With products specialized for darker skin tones, Dowdy has built a brand that embraces racial diversity and works to spread the message that beauty is accessible to all. Coloured Raine products are available to you on FashionNova and their site.
10. Fenty Beauty
Lastly, this list would not be complete without a Fenty Beauty mention. Founded by iconic singer Rihanna, Fenty Beauty swept the industry in 2017 due to its beauty for all mantra. Her brand’s impact was so monumental the term “Fenty Effect” was coined, urging mainstream beauty companies to follow suit and expand their makeup lines to be more inclusive. Besides taking over the world of makeup, Rihanna has also launched the groundbreaking lingerie line Savage X Fenty and, more recently, Fenty Skin. Both Fenty Beauty and Skin can be purchased at any Sephora store and online.
Whether you are due for some new makeup or looking to add to your collection, consider checking out these Black women-led brands to support. They not only provide quality products, but thoughtful messages striving for inclusion and diversity in both the beauty industry and society.