As our nation takes a moment for some deep soul searching on issues surrounding race, it is critical that we ask ourselves how Black Americans will be ensured their rightful seat at the table. And the beauty world is no exception.Then why is it that Black Americans are consistently snubbed in the space they helped create? This one a real doozy. Black culture can be recognized everywhere: the gelled down baby-hairs, the lace-front wigs, the hourglass figure and the list goes on. While Black culture has undoubtedly left its mark on the beauty industry, Black Americans are somehow still absent from the beauty space. When black people–black designers, black artists, black creators, black entrepreneurs–are not given the recognition they deserve and the investment they need, elements of Black culture quickly become commodities. Rich traditions, histories and innovations are reduced to disposable beauty trends and mere cosplay that capitalizes off the exoticism of historically marginalized peoples. And this is deeply disturbing.
If indeed we vote with our dollar, then the importance of non-black consumer loyalty of black-owned beauty brands cannot be overemphasized. Yes, many dismiss beauty products as “non-essential” items during this time. However, this moment lends us the time and space to experiment with color, step outside our comfort zone and feel invigorated in the process. It gives us the opportunity to be intentional in our purchases from Black-owned beauty brands. Because we need them. And they deserve your solidarity and support. They have shifted the industry standard. They have disproven the dangerous and pervasive trope that darker shades don’t sell.
Slowly but surely, the community’s declaration grows louder: that a foundation’s 5 shade range is simply not gonna cut it and that a “nude” lipstick should come in more colors than band-aid and oatmeal.
Simply put, by recognizing thousands of potential customers that are consistently overlooked, underrepresented and uncatered to, they have set the industry standard for skin tone inclusivity, pigmentation and quality. And the industry is better off as a whole because of them. So, here's a list of our favorite black female-owned beauty brands and the gateway products that we’re sure will have you wanting (and spending!) more.