50+ Black-Owned Beauty Brands We'll Never Stop Talking About

For us, by us.

black owned beauty
(Image credit: Kyle Lee / EyeEm)

The world of beauty is vast. You'd think that with the countless items that make up the massive market, everyone would feel represented by the offerings. Unfortunately, that hasn't always been the case—for decades, deeper skin tones were downright ignored. Few products were created with dark skin tones in mind, and many brands mistakenly thought one "deep" foundation shade was enough. For women of color, that made walking through the beauty aisle an isolating experience.

Systemic racism is deeply rooted in society, and the 2020 global unrest surrounding racial injustice should spark a call to action to support the Black community in a sustained, meaningful way. A small way to show solidarity is by investing in Black-owned businesses.  If you're wondering what that support can look like, consider the 15 Percent Pledge. The logic is that, since Black Americans make up 15 percent of the national population, then they should make up 15 percent of the inventory on stores' shelves. Perhaps a good way to hold yourself accountable is to also devote around 15 percent of the shelf space in your own medicine cabinet to Black-owned brands as well.

As you'll see in the list below, there is certainly no shortage of Black-owned brands. It's important to remember that BIPOC entrepreneurs are not asking for a seat at the table―they've earned one.

What I love most about supporting F.U.B.U. brands (For Us, By Us) is that their intention is pure: To serve the underserved. In a world where being "diverse" and "inclusive" has become a marketing tactic to benefit from the Black dollar, it feels right to support brands who've been focused on our community from the beginning, to give them the recognition they deserve. Note: this is just a start—there are plenty of Black-owned beauty brands that deserve your attention that aren't included in this list.

Black-Owned Skincare

Luv Scrub

Based on a tried-and-true bathing staple from founder Caroline Owusu-Ansah's Ghanaian roots, Luv Scrub is a line of soft mesh body exfoliating cloths that help reveal your best skin. It comes in an array of colors and does wonders for gently smoothing the skin, preventing ingrown hairs, and improving skin conditions like keratosis pilaris.

Skin Buttr

Founder Tatiana Elizabeth created Skin Buttr with healthy, glowing skin in mind. The brand includes natural body butters, scrubs, and a five-step facial care set to streamline your daily routine.

The Honey Pot

After nearly a year of suffering with bacterial vaginosis, founder Beatrice Dixon's idea to create plant-based feminine hygiene line The Honey Pot came to her in a dream. In it, Dixon recalled an ancestor visiting her with a list of natural herbs that'd cure her vaginosis. From that dream, Dixon's 2014 clean feminine wash was born.

Today, the brand offers a full range of naturally-derived feminine wipes, menstrual cups, tampons, pads, sprays, and soothing balms to provide women with natural alternatives for feminine care.

Keys Soulcare

Inspired by her personal skincare journey along with tried-and-true ancient rituals, Alicia Keys created Keys Soulcare to offer customers a range of products that meditatively speaks to the mind, body, and spirit. From her ultra-hydrating facial cleanser and face balm to her illuminating exfoliator and mood-boosting candle, these items will have your face and your aura glowing in no time.

Topicals

After years of battling skin conditions, Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng dreamed up Topicals. The colorful brand is a departure from your standard blue-and-white clinical treatment products, and features a spot treatment, soothing face mask, ingrown hair serum, and other products that treat eczema, acne, and even psoriasis.

Oui The People

Founder Karen Young initially built Oui the People (formerly known as OUI Shave) with the goal of introducing a non-abrasive razor blade to the beauty market. Since its 2015 debut, the brand has expanded its body care offerings to include bath soaks, a hydrating body gloss, ingrown hair toners, and sheet masks for the bikini line. 

Kaike

Keli Smith created plant-based product line Kaike (pronounced cake) in 2015 to create multi-purpose products to address the complex needs of combination skin. In other words: A minimalist beauty routine for high-maintenance skin.

Smith incorporates simple, organic ingredients like mango butter, matcha powder, and hemp seed oil in Kaike's creams, lip balms, and other treatments, promising that your dull and/or dry skin will soon be nothing but a memory. 

KNC Beauty

Kristen Noel Crawley first introduced KNC Beauty to the beauty world with the rollout of a single selfie-worthy, all-natural lip mask. The brand can now be found on Sephora and Urban Outfitter's shelves, and has since grown to include a full range of skincare treatments like as a star-shaped retinol eye mask, lip scrubs, lip balms, and sheet masks.

Shani Darden Skincare

Ever been mesmerized by Kelly Rowland’s glowing complexion or wondered how Laura Harrier, Chrissy Teigen, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley keep up their radiance? One name: Shani Darden. She's the facialist trusted by Hollywood's clear skin set, and she's made her skin intelligence accessible to all with a curated line of essentials under her name: Cleansing SerumSake Toning EssenceWeightless Oil-Free Moisturizer, plus the celebrity favorite, Retinol Reform.

Hyper Skin

After battling hormonal acne and hyperpigmentation during pregnancy, founder Desiree Verdejo was inspired to create a comprehensive skincare solution. Thus, she founded Hyper Skin, a 15 percent vitamin C serum formulated with kojic acid, turmeric, and licorice root extract to subdue stubborn dark spots.

Hanahana Beauty

It's impossible not to fall in love with Hanahana Beauty's special story once you learn about how much care that founder Abena Boamah pours into each product. Hanahana provides women of color with handcrafted shea butter ethically sourced from Ghana. Personally, we rely on the shea body butter to soothe and hydrate our skin during brutal East Coast winters, and then to provide glow-boosts when the sun finally comes out.

Epara Skincare

This luxury skincare line was born in the humble space of founder Ozohu Adoh's kitchen, but is now available at Barney's. Women of color willing to invest in sophisticated formulas will appreciate the African botanical ingredients  at the heart of each product. If hyperpigmentation and dehydration are your biggest skin ailments, we recommend Epara's brightening night balm.

Base Butter

Founder She’Neil Johnson dreamed up Base Butter to serve women of color who care about products made of simple, beneficial, all-natural ingredients. Since the brand's inception in 2015, Base Butter has exploded and is now the number-one aloe vera gel–based moisturizer for pH-balanced and hydrated skin.

Buttah Skincare

When looking for products to help his skin problems, actor and model Dorion Renaud couldn't find any he really loved, so he created his own. "I created Buttah Skincare for us," he says on his website. Each product is infused with organic shea butter imported from Africa to reinvigorate your skin's natural radiance. I've had the privilege of seeing Renaud's skin in-person, and let me tell you, it made me want to get my hands on his products ASAP. To save my dry skin, I lather the shea butter over rough patches right before bed.

Aba Love Apothecary

You won't find any synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, or parabens in Aba Love Apothecary's products. Instead, you'll find potent, botanical ingredients and antioxidants. Founder Aba Gyepi-Garbrah has a passion for plant medicine, which inspired her to infuse healthy ingredients into her products. She received professional training at the New York Institute of Aromatherapy, so customers can be sure that each product is legitimate and will bring a great deal of healing to the skin.

Mary Louise Cosmetics

Meet Mary Louise Cosmetics, a brand that was born out of Akilah Releford's dorm room at Howard University (let's go, HBCUs!). With dreams of creating a "fix-it-all" product that did not compromise ingredients and affordability, Releford created a 100 percent vegan brand best known for its Miracle Serum: an acne and scar-erasing serum that'll give you a glow that cannot be duplicated—scroll through the brand's Instagram to see for yourself.

Beneath Your Mask

After overcoming Lupus, founder Dana Jackson was inspired to create a brand that meant something to her. The name "Beneath Your Mask" stems from her willingness to to take off her mask with the help of luxury products carefully sourced using clean ingredients. These sleek products serve women who are willing to invest and want to feel good. Trust, the Heal Whipped Skin Soufflé ($28) will take you there.

Epi.Logic

Dr. Jeanniton, the creator and founder of Epi.Logic, has spent years in her practice working with all skin tones, finding solutions, and discovering what actually works. This led her to create a line that blends both worlds of science and skincare together. My favorite product is the Collagen Renew Growth Factor Serum—once you experience it you'll agree that there's no other product like it.

Black Girl Sunscreen

It's no secret that the majority of sunscreens are not made with women of color in mind, resulting in a ghostly white coating atop our deep complexions. Black Girl Sunscreen is a brand committed to changing that. Simply, yet powerfully put: "[It's] sunscreen made by women of color for people of color, because we get sunburned too." Period.

Lauren Napier Beauty

Finally―a line whose chic packaging makes taking off your makeup fun! Founder Lauren Napier found a need for beauty minimalists: makeup removing wipes that do it all without harming your skin in the process. These efficient products are packaged for women on the go with minimal time who care about clean ingredients.

Golde

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Skincare and wellness brand Golde uses superfoods to power skincare. Created in Brooklyn by co-founder and CEO Trinity Wofford in 2017, this line of products uses natural ingredients to keep your skin clear, healthy and glowing.

Humanrace

Did you know that Pharrell Williams (yes, THAT Pharrell) has his own skincare line? If you've ever envied Pharrell's flawless complexion or wondered, based on his apparent inability to show signs of aging, how his skin stays so perfect, then it's time to check out Humanrace.

Shop Our Favorite Black-Owned Skincare Products

Black-Owned Makeup

LYS Beauty

After 15 years of working as a makeup artist and the VP of marketing for a major beauty brand, Tisha Thompson decided to step into the entrepreneurial lane by creating a cost-friendly, clean cosmetic line suitable for all shades and skin types. Since LYS Beauty's 2019 debut, the brand has gone on to become the first Black-owned clean beauty brand to be sold at Sephora.

IMAN Cosmetics

A pioneer in the inclusive makeup world, supermodel Iman founded Iman Cosmetics with skin of color in mind. Her motivation was personal: In her modeling days, she often found that makeup artists on shoots simply wouldn't have foundation shades to suit her skin tone. Now, from beautifully pigmented bronzers to the rich cream concealers, Iman has some of the most stunning and diverse color palettes around.

Coloured Raine Cosmetics

In 2013, Loraine R. Dowdy walked away from her nine-t0-five to create a cosmetic line centered around self-expression. And she doesn't disappoint: Coloured Raine Cosmetics offers a vast shade range of eyeshadows and lip colors with bold color payoff and long-lasting staying power .

Fenty Beauty

Let's keep it 100: Does Fenty Beauty even need an introduction? Since the birth of the brand, Rihanna has delivered top-of-the-line products with all complexions in mind. I can thank RiRi for creating my personal favorite foundation of all time (I'm shade 420), but what's even better, the Fenty Effect (offering more than 40 foundation shades within a range) is real.

Uoma Beauty

"This is not multicultural beauty; this is simply beauty, and all are welcome to this beautiful tribe," reads Uoma Beauty's website. Can this go on a billboard? The boundary-breaking brand was founded by Nigerian-born boss Sharon Chuter, an all-around force in the industry who was named one of the 50 most forward-thinking executives shaping the future of the beauty industry by WWD. The Afropolitan-inspired collection doesn't follow a makeup manuscript. The shade-inclusive foundations, vivid lip colors (which I always get compliments on), and newest Brow-Fro pencil aim to tell a different story.

The Lip Bar

Before creating cruelty-free and vegan products was on-trend, there was The Lip Bar. After leaving her job on Wall Street, founder Melissa Butler began cooking up clean formulas completely free of chemicals in her home. When it comes to diverse shade ranges for all skin tones and a bold and beautiful color pay-off, The Lip Bar still wins.

Mented Cosmetics

For so many years, women of color were excluded from the "nude" makeup conversation. Nude is not one-shade-fits all, and a single beige color is surely not going to complement most deep skin tones. The founders of Mented Cosmetics wanted to redefine what "nude" means. So they created "nude" lip products and eyeshadow palettes available in a diverse range from deep chocolate to soft taupe. I'm never not complimented on my lipstick when I'm wearing Mented.

AJ Crimson Beauty

To put it simply, AJ Crimson is a makeup guru. A seasoned celebrity makeup artist and beauty entrepreneur, he founded one of the first makeup lines to serve all skin tones. “I wanted to create a product inclusive of women of all ethnicities, a product all women could find ownership in and believe in," Crimson writes on his website. "So often, makeup has been designed with a one-size-fits-all mentality, and with black women and women of color my cosmetic line contains shades for women of every ethnic background and skin tone.” His contour palette gives me the chiseled cheekbones of my dreams.

Beauty Bakerie Makeup

Beauty Bakerie was founded in 2011 by Cashmere Nicole. Nicole had a dream of creating a makeup company, and even through a battle with breast cancer and raising her daughter as a single mom, she stuck with it. After the rest of the world caught on to the brand's viral liquid lipstick videos—which show the product's miraculous staying power—Beauty Bakerie's success skyrocketed. Dream of putting on a lipstick and never having to touch it again? Get their infamous Matte Lip Whip; it's a crowd-favorite because it legitimately does not budge.

Pat McGrath Labs

Pat McGrath, the "Mother of Makeup," needs no introduction. Her products are unparalleled and everything she touches turns to gold. Her iconic makeup brand has given her company a $1 billion net worth―an accomplishment that could inspire fellow Black female creators everywhere. I stan, celebrities stan, the whole world stans Pat McGrath. So, yes, you should 100-percent believe the hype.

Danessa Myricks

Ask any professional makeup artist of color to name their favorite makeup brands, and I guarantee Danessa Myricks will be mentioned. This artisanal-brand was developed to fill a void Myricks was experiencing herself: "As a self-taught makeup artist with minimal resources at my disposal, I had to be creative with the products I had access to, by maximizing their usage and creatively mixing and blending colors and textures to make things work," Myricks wrote on her website. "Even with this I found I was often limited by existing shades and textures and had the desire for more. Thus, the desire to create my own line of products to fulfill this void was born.”

Shop Our Favorite Black-Owned Makeup Products

Black-Owned Hair Care

Melanin Haircare

Melanin Haircare was started by sisters Whitney and Taffeta White in 2015 with scalp care and natural hair health in mind. The minimal, yet highly effective range includes a clarifying shampoo, hydrating conditioner, nourishing styling cream, multi-use oil blend, and an assortment of cotton and satin head wraps to keep your curls hydrated and thriving.

Felicia Leatherwood Brush

Detangling our coils and curls can be a daunting task and oftentimes turn into a wrestling match if we lack the proper tools. Thankfully, celebrity hairstylist Felicia Leatherwood has answered our prayers with the launch of her heavy-duty detangler brush. The widely spaced, flexible bristles seamlessly glide through thick kinks and curls to melt away knots and tangles in record time—no snagging or breakage in sight.

Grace Eleyae

In 2014, Grace Eleyae created her namesake accessory brand to protect hair from breakage due to friction and other environmental stressors. What started out with the debut of a satin-lined slap cap has grown into a full range of silk- and satin-lined headbands, pillowcases, scrunchies, and turbans.

Vernon François Hair

Celebrity hairstylist Vernon François brought his namesake line to life in 2016 to help do away with the stigma that kinky and curly textured hair needed to be "tamed." With his extensive range of stylers, treatments, finishing sprays, and hair tools, François strives to educate every culture on hair care best practices and inspire the world to embrace the beauty and versatility of kinks and curls.

Bread Beauty Supply

Founded by Maeva Heim, Bread Beauty Supply was created to streamline your wash day and styling essentials for an effective yet simple regime. Heim created the line to provide women with 3A-4C hair textures the freedom to take on a lazy care routine. The brand offers basics for chemically-treated, transitioning, and natural textured hair. A standout: the Kit 1-Wash that includes a clarifying cleanser, hydrating hair mask, revitalizing hair oil, and a satin scrunchie.

Sunday II Sunday

Leading an active lifestyle has its hair challenges: You sweat. You shampoo. You repeat again and again. And you're likely dealing with moisture loss or scalp irritation. Sunday II Sunday, founded by serial entrepreneur Keenan Beasley, is a high performance line of treatment serums, oils, and sprays designed to help. A standout? The Soothe Me Daily Scalp Serum, a gentle cooling serum that calms inflammation and itchiness and keeps flakes at bay.

Eden BodyWorks

Since 2004, Eden BodyWorks has been supplying the natural hair community with top-of-the-line hair care essentials. Founder Jasmine Lawrence took to her kitchen to dream up her inaugural hair product line after being inspired by naturally-derived ingredients that do wonders for hair health. Every product is loaded with vitamins and rich oils to keep hair moisturized and primed for styling.

Adwoa Beauty

Founder Julian Addo launched Adwoa Beauty in 2017 to fill the industry's lack of hair care options for kinky textures. Known for its sleek, minimalist packaging and rich formulas, the line has a couple must-try essentials: the ultra-hydrating and frizz-fighting Baomint Moisturizing Curl Defining Cream and the Protect and Shine Oil Blend that keeps hair hydrated and defined for the long haul.

Uhai Hair

Dealing with a flaky scalp and treatments that ultimately dried out her hair, Susan Edwards was emboldened to created a natural, nourishing solution of her own. At the core of her line Uhai Hair: the antioxidant-rich African superfood baobab oil, which helps shield hair from environmental damage and dryness while soothing irritated scalps. It's found in everything from the edge gel and treatment oil to styling creams and the nourishing conditioner.

Briogeo

Founder and CEO of Briogeo Nancy Twine wasn't fulfilled by her job on Wall Street and knew her life's true calling was working in beauty. She credits her grandmother, who taught her DIY recipes as a child, for igniting her passion for hair. Now, Twine is the youngest black woman to launch a line of shampoos, conditioners, hair masks (and more) at Sephora, which is major. Her products are created for all hair types, and made of antioxidants, oils, and vitamins to ensure stronger, healthier hair.

Taliah Waajid

For more than 20 years, Taliah Waajid has been leading the natural hair movement with sustainable products. Curly, coil-y, kinky, and wavy girls: She's got you covered. Every single shampoo, oil, conditioner, and hair mask has moisturizing, conditioning, and cleansing benefits made specially for natural hair textures. Waajid's Green Apple Collection reigns supreme in my book because it makes my hair smell amazing for days.

The Mane Choice

When beauty, health, and science collide, you can expect something beautiful to happen—as in, gorgeous hair. The Mane Choice was created by a physician and registered nurse duo, who combined vitamins and nutrients in solution-based products, with healthy hair as the top priority. Want longer hair? Get your hands on their hair growth oil ($10).

Rucker Roots

Rucker Roots was started by two sisters with a family history rich in healthy hair. In the 1980s, their mother created her own concoctions from their family garden, using oils, mayonnaise, eggs, avocados, and more, and the girls grew up with a love for hair products. Inspired by their mother's use of the garden, Rucker Roots' shampoos and conditioners are derived from vegetable roots and vitamins to meet the needs of every naturalista.

Mielle Organics

Oftentimes, people make the mistake of grouping natural hair into one category. Wrong. Within natural hair, there are different curl types and a range of textures, which require different products. Mielle Organics understands this, and has focused on becoming the number-one haircare line for thick, curly type 4 hair (a more coarse natural texture). Founder and CEO Monique Rodriguez has a background as a registered nurse, and her experience in science helped her craft products full of minerals, amino acids, and herbs that enable healthy hair to thrive.

Pattern Beauty

Tracee Ellis Ross told me it took her 10 years to create Pattern Beauty: a line of natural haircare products made for women with 3b to 4c curl types of textured hair. "The decision makers of the beauty world just didn't understand the magnitude, importance, beauty, and breadth of the curl community," Ross said in our interview. "I'm not saying everyone should go curly. But treat your hair with love, and develop and blossom in your own sense of selfhood; that's the most important journey. Embracing your beauty is a form of activism." You can trust that as one of us, she's putting on for us.

Camille Rose

Created in 2011 by a mother of five, Janell Stephens dreamt up Camille Rose in her small kitchen. At the time, much of the haircare market was saturated with hash chemicals—especially products that spoke to the natural haircare community. Camille Rose is a line of over 30 ranges of product full of good-for-you, vegan ingredients that will breathe life back into your curls.

Wrap Life

Wrap Life intentionally celebrates Black women through beautiful imagery and head wraps made with care. "The Wrap Life was inspired by West African expressions of head dress," the brand shares on their website. "We wear head wraps because they’re beautiful, fun and they allow colorful self-expression." And you should, too.

Pear Nova

Miss Jessie's

"Curly" is such a general term, and often glosses over the differences between curly, wavy, coily, and kinky hair. And there are even differences between THOSE subtypes.

Sisters Miko and Titi Branch encountered this problem during their time as stylists, when they realized that there were few to no products available that catered to their clients' curly hair. They say that they "finally we realized that we wouldn't get that perfect solution unless we created it ourselves."

On Miss Jessie's website, you can shop by curl type or by hair/scalp concern. The brand strives for inclusivity and makes fabulous everyday hair something that all women can access. 

Mixed Chicks

Mixed Chicks was founded by Kim Etheredge and Wendy Levi Kaaya―two women who grew up being told that their hair was unmanageable and "unruly." Kaaya, in particular, talks about being biracial and not being able to find hair products that suited her hair's specific needs.

From this hole in the market, Mixed Chicks was born. The brand sells a variety of hair products for women with waves, curls, coils, and everything in between.

Shop Our Favorite Black-Owned Hair Products 

Black-Owned Nail Care

The Ballet

The Ballet, created by Shateria Moragne-El, offers a vegan range of vibrant nail lacquers and gel pens for a super chic and creative manicure look. A standout collection to check out is the bold nail color shades inspired by the zodiac.

Suite Eleven

Suite Eleven, founded in 2018 by Ariel Smith-Liburd, is a cruelty-free, vegan nail collection suitable for every skin tone. Enjoy an eye-catching manicure by giving shades like From Brooklyn With Love (a bold true red) or Lauryn Hill & Chill (a vibrant yellow hue) a try.

Auda B Beauty

Dreamed up by Samara Walker, Auda B Beauty offers gel-worthy polishes in vegan, 10-free formulas. Choose your perfect shade from a wide palette and seal the deal with the Jetsetter Top Coat for a 7-10 day, chip-free finish. When you're done, try the nail-strengthening, acetone-free Soy Polish Remover.

Pear Nova

Pear Nova, created by Rachel James, is a collection of chic nail shades for all complexions worn and loved by Hollywood starlets like Issa Rae. The vegan formulas reimagine shades to work exceptionally well on women of color, like their BRWNGRLMGC collection of neutrals with names so iconic they're worth noting here: Cle F*ckin Patra, Frida Be Bree, Michelle Our Mama, and of course, Dianna Boss. So good.

Chelsea Hall is the Assistant Fashion and Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she covers celebrity style, fashion trends, skincare, makeup and anything else tied into the world of fashion and beauty