10 Black Women-Owned Beauty Brands to Add to Your Collection
From skincare to haircare to feminine hygiene, these brands will have you looking and feeling gorgeous from head-to-toe.
We are living in a momentous period in time. Future generations will read about these days in history books. The anxiety, the fear, the pressure – this is all one huge tide, and we get to choose which direction we let it pull us in. For BWB, the direction has to be forward – to move towards growth, strength, curiosity, acceptance and inclusivity. In the same way we are intentional with the ingredients and environmental impact of our beauty stash, let us be just as intentional with the people behind the brands. Add some more color to your collection with our crushes from these 10 stellar beauty brands founded by boss Black women. Do two things at once – be an active ally and look fabulous doing it.
Definitely up there with some of the most instagrammable brands, KNC Beauty boasts plenty of beauty trademarks. Keep your skincare regimen fun and flirty with some bubblegum pink lip masks or sparkly-starred eye masks. Inspired by the lip masks at Don Quijote in Tokyo, KNC Beauty founder Kristen Nicole Crawley set out to create an all-natural option. Cute, collagen-infused and chemical-free, this is a mask you’ll be proud to wear on the plane.
BWB Crush: All Natural Collagen Infused Lip Mask
If BWB were a beauty retailer, our brand would probably look a lot like Golde. Rooted in the belief that looking good means feeling good, Golde is focused on providing products that strengthen the connection between beauty and wellness. Basically, you’ll find a lot of superfood-boosted essentials in Golde’s collection. And if you still aren’t convinced that these healthy rituals must start at a young age, it wouldn’t hurt to take a page out of founder Trinity Mouzan Wofford’s book, who started this company at just 23 with her life partner. Ladies, we can do anything.
BWB Crush: Clean Greens Face Mask
These are the kinds of products you’d be willing to buy just for how chic they’d look on your bathroom vanity. However, KLUR is so much more than its luxurious packaging. A modest collection of seven unique products, founder Lesley Thornton had a vision for KLUR. Specifically, she wanted to help break down the clutter of the beauty world and guide us back to the elegance of simplicity. As an aesthetician and formulator, Lesley studied how different skin types and ethnicities reacted to different ingredients and formulations; KLUR is the gift of her findings. With botanically-based products that work in harmony with one another, your skin is on the fast track to good health.
BWB Crush: Stellar Restoration Corrective Complex
BWB’s readers know that we take our sun protection very seriously. Moreover, we care about the impact of the products we apply onto our bodies on the ocean and earth. For Katonya Breaux, as a woman of color, the lack of environmentally-safe sunscreen products was just the cherry on top for an industry that already overlooks people with darker complexions. Unsun Cosmetics addresses the issue by providing clean, hydrating, pore-minimizing and reef-safe sun protection options; sans the clown-like white streaks. Still not convinced about the product? Bring it up with Katonya’s son, Frank Ocean.
BWB Crush: Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen
Founded by our Barbadian queen, Rihanna, Fenty Beauty––like many other beauty brands started by women of color––was born out of necessity from the lack of inclusivity present in the cosmetics and skincare market. That’s why one of Fenty Beauty’s hero products is a luxurious foundation that comes in 50 shades. Yes, 50. In addition to inclusivity, Fenty Beauty is about having fun with makeup. Who says glam is only meant for the stage or red carpet?
BWB Crush: Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
The Lip Bar’s first office was in Melissa Butler’s kitchen. Back in 2012, and even still today, we see a certain beauty standard pushed on us – through words, through images, and through the products on display in the aisles. For Melissa, there were two major issues she couldn’t get on board with: lack of inclusivity and harmful ingredients. Clearly, there were a lot of other people seeking alternatives as well. Her products are now carried in over 450 Target stores across the nation so that these options could be accessible to everyone.
BWB Crush: Know It All Liquid Matte
We all have a favorite natural body scrub, a face cream, maybe a blush. Yet, there’s an undeniable sparsity in the hair aisle where we long to see products with a less alarming ingredients list. Briogeo founder Nancy Twine was feeling lackluster at her cushiony job at Goldman Sachs. Eventually, she came to the realization that she’d have to go back to her roots (pun intended) to find fulfillment. She, like many of us, has her mother and grandmother to thank for her original connection to beauty and wellness. Finally, we can shop a haircare collection that is cruelty-free and 6-free, which is what Briogeo offers.
Yes, by Taraji P. Henson. Whether you love her on Empire or in What Men Want, you’ll love her scalp-prioritized haircare line even more. TPH By Taraji was made for “hair chameleons,” people who celebrate anything and everything our hair can do. But to really let our hair do its thing, we have to make sure we’re nourishing a healthy base. From sugar-based scalp scrubs to protein-powered gel masks, Taraji has your haircare beauty and well-being needs completely covered.
BWB Crush: Master Cleanse Scalp Treatment Wash
Bikini-ready? If not, The Honey Pot Company can definitely get you there. A comprehensive feminine care line that’s made by women, powered by healing herbs, is 100% natural, and super affordable? It sounds almost too good to be true! Maybe so, but when founder Bea Dixon was reached out to by an ancestor in her dreams, she knew it was her duty to bring the idea to life. What’s more, Dixon knew this had to be accessible to everyone, which is why when you buy a Honey Pot Co. product, you provide menstrual care for people affected by poverty and vagrancy. Girl power just reached a whole new level.
BWB Crush: Overnight Herbal Pads with Wings
If you’ve been a dedicated 5-blade razor kinda gal, Oui the People will convert you to the single-blade life (otherwise known as a safety razor). Oui the People’s innovative design will have you saying au revoir! to ingrown hairs and razor burns. Weighted specifically to the amount of pressure needed for a proper shave, let the razor do the work for you while you revel in baby-soft skin. As a part of the brand’s “reConstitution” of personal care, beauty must do good by you and for the world around you. That’s why, beyond clean ingredients, Oui the People applies the same kind of thoughtfulness in its products and packaging. What makes Oui the People unique in its category? Ultimate transparency.
BWB Crush: Rose Gold Safety Razor
Feature Image Credit: Alicia Zhang
Originally from Los Angeles, Alicia lived in Shanghai for 11 years before moving back to the states to attend the University of Miami, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and minors in art and philosophy. Currently residing in New York City, Alicia applies her knowledge of strategic communication and design in her career. She enjoys painting, rugby, exploring, and more often than not, you’ll find her petting someone’s dog.