23 Beauty and Skincare Products from Black-Owned Makeup Brands
With Ava Duvernay (“A Wrinkle in Time”) and Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) releasing blockbuster films only a month apart, supporting Black art has never been more mainstream and accessible. When it comes to other industries, however, knowing where to buy certain products gets a little fuzzy.
Based on personal experiences, hours (bordering days) of Youtube footage from beauty gurus, recommendations by large and small beauty publications, user reviews, and the realest talk in various forums, we found the stars of Black-owned cosmetic and skincare companies. Instead of sending you off to an entire website (with one exception), we’ve narrowed down the best products these businesses have to offer.
Are you ready to smell amazing? This lavender and chamomile body wash from Cush Cosmetics is ready to leave you smelling like a meadow and make your showers more relaxing.
Vera Moore, a former soap opera actress, is promoting different kinds of soaps now. People love her trio of purifying cleansers. The Pore Cleanser is made for combination and/or sensitive skin, the Gel Wash works well for oily and/or acne-prone skin, and the Soothing Milk can be used on normal or mature skin.
These paraben-free products provide a deep clean that can stand up to makeup without leaving your skin dry.
If you need something a bit stronger than Vera Moore’s Purifying Gel Wash, check out dermHA, a skincare line for sensitive skin. Founded by medical esthetician Mildred Bell, dermHA offers a gentle, but powerful acne wash. ProActiv who?
Bevel is geared specifically towards men of color, but their shaving products and the skincare products have a natural scent that isn’t overly fruity/floral or musky. They try to solve the problems people of color face with skin irritation when shaving. They also sell their razors individually, which is good news for any women who won’t find use for the brush applicator or priming oil.
With priming oil, shave cream, restoring balm, and blades, Bevel hopes to get rid of those pesky shaving bumps. Subscriptions ship monthly or every other month, and you can pause or cancel by putting a hold on your account.
Smell your best without shoving chemicals in your underarms with Oyin’s Funk Butter. This natural deodorant is stronger than it seems, so apply sparingly.
Some users don’t like the messy hand application, so we’re also recommending Qhemet Biologics’ Natural Deodorant Stick. You’ll get an applicator from Qhemet, but their deodorant doesn’t play nice with sensitive skin and it’s a little pricey.
Oyin wows again with their ridiculously moisturizing lotion. Designed to prevent ashy skin, this cocoa butter lotion surprisingly manages not to be heavy. If you normally have dry skin, or the winter is just draining your skin’s moisture away, we highly recommend this product.
Katonya Breaux, mother of singer/rapper Frank Ocean, created Unsun Cosmetics to develop a sunscreen that doesn’t leave a grey/white residue. This residue, which most popular sunscreens leave behind, is a major problem for people of color as it creates the appearance of ashy skin. This sunscreen solves that problem, but can also be used by all skin tones.
Those with fair skin might balk at the paltry SPF 30, but this can also be a nice sunscreen for the winter months, depending on your climate.
Juvia’s Place is known primarily for incredible eyeshadow palettes, but they also sell some of the softest makeup brushes out there. There are few sets to fit your different needs, from nine piece sets to a simple trio of brushes.
BLAC Minerals specializes in all-natural cosmetics for women of color. Their Primer-Prefix Primer is a bit of splurge for the size, but it’s worth every penny.
Other than the price and the atypical cover pump, users leave overwhelmingly positive reviews, lauding everything from its staying power to its scent.
Less is more with this Black Opal Stick Foundation. Users note that it can be on the oily side if you apply too much and a little bit goes a long way. The foundation is designed to work with all skin types and comes in variety of shades, but if you’re prone to oily skin we recommend also using a setting powder.
Though you can mix and match all you want, foundations and concealers work best when they are made from the same formula. That being said, we still love this Black Opal Concealer when it’s used with a different foundation. It’s buildable without being cakey, comes in five blendable shades, and glides on like butter.
If you prefer a rollerball applicator with some depuffing action, their Even True Concealer is also a knockout.
Whether you like to just swipe your setting powder on or bake for a few minutes, sashay your way to Beauty Bakerie’s Flour. You can get this setting powder in translucent, yellow, pink, and brown. Cashmere Nicole founded Beauty Bakerie in 2011 and it’s already one of the most popular Black-owned makeup brands in the world.
If you prefer a pressed powder, IMAN’s Oil-Blotting Powder works really well, especially on oily skin.
Okay, yes, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is technically part of Kendo’s brands, but Kat Von D and Marc Jacobs Beauty (also Kendo brands) aren’t hurting on the credibility front. Plus, contouring doesn’t get much better than when you use these Matchstix. With 20 shades to choose from, now anyone can have cheekbones that could cut glass (after a few Youtube tutorials maybe).
Yes, Fenty Beauty’s Matchstix are incredible, but when it comes to the exclusive job of highlighting, Danessa Myricks Beauty slays all competition. The Enlight Illuminators have a stunning shimmer to start, but are also buildable if you want a little more drama.
You probably know Iman from her supermodel status or iconic marriage to the late David Bowie, but she’s also the owner of one of the biggest Black-owned makeup brands. This eyebrow pencil from her line IMAN really is perfect. It sharpens easily, has a brow-shaping brush on the other end, and is your brows’ new best friend.
Unfortunately, it only comes in Blackest Brown. If you need lighter options, we recommend the Color Splurge Brow Shaper Kit from Black Opal.
This was the toughest category to call and it came down to Coloured Raine and Juvia’s Place. Coloured Raine is a bit more reserved in color choice and Juvia’s Place is more known for their shimmers, but the pigmentation and lack of fallout from both is unreal.
For the best of each, we recommend Coloured Raine’s Smoke Show and Juvia’s Magic Palette. If the latter is sold out, try Beauty Bay. If you don’t mind splurging on eyeshadow, we also love Pat McGrath’s palettes.
For a waterproof eyeliner with serious staying power, look no further than Pat McGrath Labs. McGrath is a world famous makeup artist and has a small, but mighty cosmetics line. The Permagel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil gives you the best of the gel and pointed pencil worlds, but it shines the most in your waterline.
Black Radiance can still be found in some pharmacy chains, but is slowly disappearing from brick and mortar establishments. Luckily, you can find their products online at the same, if not cheaper, prices. We especially love their lengthening mascara and moisturizing lipsticks.
If you need cotton bands on your lashes and love movie star eye flutters, we recommend Lena Lashes’ mink lashes. The soft, light lashes come in styles ranging from natural to dramatic. For a more affordable, vegan lash, try these $10 beauties from Bahi Lashes.
Your lips have matte their maker in Beauty Bakerie’s most popular product. These vegan lip whips have graced the lips of Beyoncé and if you need a better endorsement than that, we don’t know what to tell you.
You should definitely not say Keyshia Ka’oir Davis is just rapper Gucci Mane’s wife. This 33-year-old woman runs three companies under her name brand, including KA’OIR Cosmetics. These creamy lipsticks are the Holy Grail of colorful lipsticks, black-owned or not, and worth every penny.
Lauren Napier spent years making celebrities even more beautiful and now she’s helping the rest of us feel beautiful without any makeup at all. Napier sells two types of makeup wipes: Cleanse for general use and Flaunt for mature skin a.k.a. a pro-aging wipe. Both types are very nourishing and rejuvenating, leaving you wondering why you put any makeup on in the first place. You can also get a 5-pack or a 50-pack.
Plain Jane Beauty, brainchild of Lake Louise, is a cosmetics line that uses natural and organic ingredients. Their makeup remover cleans away stubborn makeup while still being gentle on your skin.