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How do you show up for the Black community? Many have been exploring different ways to help amplify Black voices on every level. From protesting to donating money to engaging in self-education, taking a stand against workplace prejudice and listening rather than speaking or dismissing, and so much more, there's a lot we can do to make a bigger difference. But if you're not sure where to start, why not take a small step by shopping a Black-owned business in honor of Black History Month (and beyond)?
Below, some of our favorite Black-owned beauty brands. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it encourages you to explore and find other brands from black creators to add to your fave list as well.
Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
Nancy Twine founded Briogeo Hair Care based on her own experience of creating homemade hair products with her grandmother as a child...and then later, in her 20s, realizing that store-bought goods just didn't live up to their promises. Briogeo focuses on the basics with a line of high-performance hair care products that are natural, but deliver on their claims. There are no harsh sulfates, silicones, parabens and other drying and damaging ingredients, many of their products are vegan and the entire line is cruelty free.
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer
Rihanna created Fenty Beauty to address a void in the industry, seeking to offer products that performed across all skin types and tones. Her ultimate goal? To offer a makeup line that would include everyone, which is why her brand launched with a revolutionary line of foundations that addressed a wide range of hard-to-match skin tones. The brand focuses on creating formulas that work for all skin types, with a special focus on pinpointing universal shades.
Epara Skincare Cleansing Lotion
Like many beauty business founders, Ozohu Adoh launched Epara Skincare to address something missing in the industry: namely, luxury skin care products that addressed the needs of women of color. Her products are formulated in a a U.K. lab using organic ingredients from Africa, designed to address dry skin, sun discoloration, issues related to free radicals and air pollution and more.
Pat McGrath Labs Mattetrance Lipstick
Pat McGrath Labs is the creation of legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath, whose career spans over two decades of working with the top names in fashion. She's consulted for Giorgio Armani and Gucci cosmetics, and with her own brand has created fan-favorite lipsticks, eyeshadow palettes and much more.
The Mane Choice Boosting Kit Sea Kelp & Feverfew Herb Rehydration Therapy
Courtney Adeleye's hair empire started on YouTube, where she documented her healthy hair journey and shared her deep knowledge of ingredients. As a Registered Nurse with a desire to fill a gap in the haircare community, Adeleye launched The Mane Choice Hair Solution with two goals in mind: to beautify, but also to improve health from the inside out.
Carol's Daughter Monoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum
Carol's Daughter launched in a Brooklyn, New York kitchen back in 1993, with a collection of homemade skin and haircare products crafted by Lisa Price. They became so popular at flea markets and festivals that she opened their first boutique in 1999. Since then, the company has expanded into their own online presence, selling at over 30,000 retail stores including Target. The brand's Healthy Hair Butter is even being featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.
Shani Darden Skin Care Retinol Reform
Celebrity esthetician Shani Darden won the hearts (and faces) of Hollywood with her exceptional skin care routines, so it's no wonder she launched her own line. While working on famous faces, Darden realized that many of the creations she wanted didn't exist, and that she could create them. Her most loved product, the Retinol Reform serum, lead to the launch of Shani Darden Skin Care.
Bread Beauty Supply Wash-Day Essentials Kit for Curly & Textured Hair
This kit from Bread Beauty includes everything you need to wash curly or textured hair. There's the Hair Wash Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser, the Hair Mask Creamy Deep Conditioner, the Hair Oil Everyday Gloss and the Bread-Puff scrunchie.
—Originally published June 8, 2020, at 10:08 a.m. PT