In the rapidly growing world of beauty, diversity and inclusivity has become an increasingly pressing issue. The Black Lives Matter movement dominated headlines and Blackout Tuesday saw the vast majority of Instagram post a black square on their feed in protest against racial inequality and police brutality. The movement showed solidarity and raised awareness of the racism deeply rooted in our society. However, some felt this was performative, it is easy to take a break from your usual social media posting to post a black square, but now what?
With beauty giant Sephora laying out plans to repair its relationship with shoppers of colour after previous allegations of showing racial bias in stores and signing a pledge to stock more black owned brands. The pressure is on beauty brands to improve their stance on diversity and racial inclusion.
A small way to show solidarity with meaning is by investing in black owned businesses. The beauty industry has made progress in recent years in order to become more inclusive and ensure there is a space for everyone at the table, or the beauty counter. Here are ten black owned beauty brands you need to know about.
Award winning stylist Charlotte Mensah is regarded as one of the leading ladies in the natural haircare movement. She knows a thing or two about maintaining curly, mixed and afro hair textures and her London salon has attracted some well known clients such as Janelle Monae and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Her eponymous range of products specifically formulated with organic, ethically and sustainably sourced oils has since garnered even more attention. The multi-purpose Manketti hair oil is the true star of the show. “It cares for the scalp while taming frizzy hair, restoring strength and elasticity.” says Mensah. She has also been said to use it on her cuticles, hands and even as a lip balm making this product a beauty shelf essential.
A sleek and innovative beauty brand whose aim was to create a brand that was just like its founders, a blend of African roots with a quintessentially British attitude. The collection of luxurious body care essentials including a body oil that doubles up as perfume, rich shea butter perfect for scars and stretch marks that can even be used as the perfect natural baby balm. All Liha’s packaging and materials are made, designed and produced in the UK by other family run businesses and all packaging is recyclable and reusable making Liha perfect for your skin and the environment.
It’s rare to find period products that are appealing and attractive. The Honey Pot has a range of tampons, pads and vaginal care products that aims to make period wellness embarrassment free. 100% natural products that are made by people who menstruate for people who menstruate, makes sense right?
Top products include a sensitive wash, travel wipes, organic cotton tampons and a body balm designed to naturally ease menstrual cramps.
You can even bag yourself a uterus necklace to show off period power with pride.
Coloured Raine founder Loraine Dowdy was born in the Caribbean and raised in Brooklyn launched her cosmetics brand in 2013 and prioritised diversity in all she did. Coloured Raine is a black owned brand employing black models, manufacturers and designers, the executive team is also 100 percent black a prime example of a brand that not only implies diversity but owns it too. Loraine’s love of vibrant colours and hues are evident in her range of products, designed to be light hearted and fun the products allow creativity and self expression in a range of shades and options.
A Miami based sunscreen company whose aim is to bring suncare products to melanin women. We are constantly told of the importance of wearing SPF on a daily basis, and for a long time darker skinned people believed it was far less important to use suncare. On top of that the thought of blotchy makeup and whitecast has led many to opt out. Black Girl Sunscreen is full of natural ingredients, is richly moisturising and leaves no dreaded white-cast as it dries completely clear so sits perfectly under makeup or bare faced. Made by women of colour by women of colour, because melanated skin burns too.
Known for caring for some famous curls, Vernon François has tended to Hollywood’s Naomie Harris and Lupita Nyong’o. With a range of products designed to embrace natural hair texture rather than suppress it, François’ product line celebrates the gift of textured hair with the mission to connect with generations showing the strength and versatility of their hairs true texture and recognising the importance of quality hair care products along the way. With natural and ethically sourced oils from Africa products are free from parabens, sulfates and other nasties.
Top products include The Re-Vamp repair cream designed to repair damaged hair and The Dazzling Spritz Shine Spray that contains shimmering pigment giving hair a glossy finish.
Lovers of cute packaging and millennial pink products rejoice. KNC Beauty founded by Kristen Noel Crawley created the first all natural, collagen infused lip mask after discovering that existing masks were full of unnecessary chemicals. Now gaining cult status with their kitsch shooting star eye masks flying across Instagram feeds, their fun approach to skincare is a breath of fresh air and is definitely beauty shelfie approved. With the newest range of ultra hydrating Supa Balms enriched with rose and mint it’s the one stop shop for perfectly kissable lips.
Offering natural products for postpartum care, Coddle shines a light on the struggles of being a new mum and aims to make it just that little bit easier. Their coconut oil infused nipple balm or soothing bath salts won’t take over the night feeds but founder Ruth Martin-Gordon knows the importance of feeling empowered as a new mum and designed products to care for some of the bumps along the way.
All products are vegan, gluten free and made from organic & USDA certified organic ingredients and above all each product comes with a full list of simple, clean and easy to pronounce ingredients. As new mums know, your hands are full for the days (or years) ahead, guessing ingredients shouldn’t be one of them. Jars are also made from food-grade glass that can be reused making Coddle committed to zero-waste. Caring about mums-to-be, new mums and even mother earth.
Terra Tory’s soaps are designed especially for extra sensitive skin including those with eczema. Using superfood ingredients to create natural and effective skincare products that are free from artificial and harmful toxins to soothe and protect even the most irritated skin. The soap-on-a-rope cubes are infused with ingredients such as coffee, papaya and sea moss. Soap bars have often got a bad name for wreaking havoc with problematic skin but Terra Tory have done their research. Steering clear of coconut and palm oil as this can dry out and irritate eczema prone skin, fresh and organic superfoods used help to keep skin balanced.
The Merlot + Fresh Fig cube is especially decadent, bringing the spa experience home, who says wine can’t be good for you?
Originally from Sweden, Maya Njie set out to capture moments in life through scent. Maya taps into the notion of synesthesia by bottling memory specific scents with diagrams and photographs. Handcrafted in small batches in her London studio, the genderless fragrances are a unique blend of style and nostalgia. Favourites include Nordic Cedar, a combination of cardamom notes and soft musk, this warm fragrance was created to evoke memories of Maya’s childhood and Tropica with notes of citrus and coconut instantly transports you to a tropical beach.