Black women don't need a statistic to tell you that they outspend the rest of the market on bath and body products. (But in case you do: It's a whopping 19%, according to Nielsen). From conditioners for our curls and kinks to lipsticks that enhance our melanin, beauty runs deep through Black culture, and we have the numbers to back it up.
But despite our tremendous spending power, Black women are still overlooked and undervalued in the beauty industry — with fewer than 1% of Black female founders receiving funding. It's a reality that directly affects their communities, but it's something consumers can change right now. "By supporting businesses owned by Black people, you empower our success," explains Nyakio Grieco, founder of Nyakio Beauty. "By investing in Black and brown people with your dollars, you are helping to eliminate generational poverty."
So, as the world comes together to protest police brutality and racial injustice in our country, and you're asking: What can I do? How can I help? The answer — which also includes electing Black officials, reforming racist judicial systems, and employing Black leadership — can also be as simple as buying a new lipgloss. You can also pledge to support Black businesses this holiday season by picking up gifts for everyone on your list from the brands ahead. Talk is cheap, and putting your money behind Black-owned businesses is an easy step that can have a measurable impact. Check out 50 of our favorite Black-owned beauty brands, ahead.
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Black-Owned Makeup Brands
After struggling to find a nude lipstick that actually complemented her skin tone, KJ Miller turned to the last place she could find: YouTube. After teaching herself how to mix and mold her own lipstick bullets — while juggling courses at Harvard Business School — she sent them out to focus groups who quickly wanted more. A weekend hobby soon turned into a full-fledged business in 2016, and together with co-founder, Amanda E. Johnson, the brand grew from a collection of creamy lipsticks to buttery eyeshadow palettes, contour sticks, and nail polishes that look good on everyone.
Mented Cosmetics Everyday Eyeshadow Palette, $, available at Mented Cosmetics
The Lip Bar
Sorry to the Shark Tank judges who famously turned down Melissa Butler on the show. Her line, The Lip Bar, went on to become one of the fastest-growing cosmetic brands in Target, with a long list of celebrity and influencer endorsements (including a collaboration with Justine Skye). We're wondering what we ever did without her brand's Full Face Kits, a collection of six products designed to give you a complete look in seven minutes.
The Lip Bar Squad Goals Fast Face Kit, $, available at The Lip Bar
There's nothing like an endorsement from Rihanna to elevate an under-the-radar brand to mainstream status — which is exactly what happened in 2016 when the superstar wore two different shades of Coloured Raine's matte liquid lipstick to the VMAs. The cruelty-free indie label, founded by Brooklyn-born entrepreneur Loraine R. Dowdy, has had a serious cult following ever since, thanks to its long-lasting formulas, intense pigments, and an extensive list of celebrity fans.
Coloured Raine Cherry Blossom Liquid Lipstick, $, available at Coloured Raine
No fluff or frills here, just a thoughtful line of pigmented cosmetics created by Sharon Chuter, and a brand message that doesn't just tout inclusion, but is actually about it. Chuter created Uoma due to the lack of true diversity in the makeup aisle. "I am a proud, Black, Nigerian woman, and I've always felt excluded from the beauty conversation," she told us in a previous interview. Uoma filled that void with an array of culturally-influenced products, from lipsticks named after Black icons to palettes inspired by the vibrant colors of the Caribbean Carnival.
UOMA Beauty Black Magic Carnival Color Palette, $, available at UOMA Beauty
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