A guide to black-owned beauty brands

Skincare guru Lily Roberts introduces us to a few of her favourite beauty brands, while highlighting the lack of representation in the world of beauty that we’re all on a mission to rectify.

Our regular media sources over the last few weeks have been saturated with devastating stories of police brutality, the murders of innocent black people and the Black Lives Matter protests that have been held in response. These atrocities feel strikingly familiar and in wake of the most recent tragedy, the world is demanding justice. There are various ways we can work towards allyship with the Black Lives Matter movement and join the global combat against racism.

For those of us in privileged positions, it’s time to do two things: act and educate. We can take action by donating money, signing petitions, joining protests. We can educate ourselves and those around us by listening, reading, watching, and engaging in conversation with others about racial justice. An immediate way to make a sustainable, long lasting difference is by using our power as consumers to support black-owned businesses, many of which have also been disproportionally affected by the global pandemic and are facing uncertain times.

While it is now, more than ever, imperative to support Black-owned businesses and the black community, there has always been — and will always be — an under-utilised opportunity to supply this kind of support every single day, in all our vocal, ideological and consumerist exchanges. black culture has inspired and led the beauty industry for years, a fact we need to commemorate, applaud and sustain.

To that end, here are some of our favourite black-owned beauty brands that are raising the bar and setting the standard. Shop with them not just now, but always.

Mcgrath Labs

There’s no better brand to top the list than McGrath Labs by Pat McGrath MBE, crowned the ‘the most influential makeup artist in the world’ by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour. A true innovator and creative at the forefront of the global beauty industry, McGrath Labs has adorned the face of many supermodels and A-listers… if it’s good enough for Naomi C, its good enough for me!

Epara Skincare

The word Epara means ‘to cocoon oneself’ in the Nigerian dialect of Ebira.

Epara Skincare was founded after one woman’s unfulfilled quest to find a suitable luxury skincare that understood the needs of women of colour. Epara Skincare is a collection of handmade products bespoke to the often under represented women of colour.

Golde

Issey Kobori co-founded Golde with partner Trinity Mouzon Wofford, with the goal of bringing good vibes to the health and beauty industry. Golde creates superfood-boosted essential products for wellness.

If glowing, glassy skin is your goal, look no further than this mask.

Liha beauty

Best friends Abi Oyepitan and Liha Okunniwa founded Liha, an all-natural beauty brand inspired by their African roots. In keeping with Yoruba tradition, every item is handcrafted in small batches from ethically sourced and vegan ingredients.

Briogeo

Nancy Twine, CEO and founder of Briogeo has taken the hair care industry by storm. Briogeo offers an all-natural, high-performance collection that strives to provide visible results. Their ethos is that “we should treat our hair the same way we treat our skin; by nurturing it with ingredients that detoxify, hydrate, and protect.”

Luxemore

Luxemore London is a high-end wellness brand that focuses on natural hair care. They combine clean, natural beauty with luxury. 

The avocado facial oil will leave you glowing, shop it below.

Iman

Iman, a cosmetics company launched in 1994, was the first cosmetics and skincare collection designed for all women with skin of colour.

Bouclème

Bouclème was born out of Michele Scott-Lynch’s desire to have frizz free, healthy hair using all natural products. Scott-Lynch curated a range of hair care products using only natural, clean ingredients that provide moisture where it’s needed.

Bouclème was born out of an authentic love and respect for curls, created by one curly for others.”

Fenty

Rihanna was inspired to produce Fenty Beauty in the wake of years of testing the best the beauty industry had to offer — and still seeing a gap in the market for products that met the needs of women with a variety of skin tones and types. She launched Fenty Beauty “so that people everywhere would be included.”

KNC Beauty

Their famous lip masks put KNC on the beauty map, they have graced the lips of Hollywood royalty and are on just about every influencer’s side table. Their masks are a must in your self-care ritual; your eyes and lips will thank us later.

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