For many women of color, shopping for makeup can be way more challenging than the experiences of fair and light-skinned customers. The good news is, there are many brands out there that are made by women of color for women of color. And if you don't know about these brands already, you need to learn about them, stat. Here are 32 black-owned makeup brands to add to your beauty collection immediately.
Drugstore and department store makeup brands have come a long way in recent years terms of providing a larger variety of products. Most brands — from L'Oreal to Estee Lauder — now have a wide range of shades to complement brown and black skin. Even better, women of color are becoming way more represented on YouTube, thanks to vloggers like Jasmine Brown and Makeup by Shayla.
However, more diverse foundation shades at the counter simply isn't enough. Women of color need a seat and a voice at every table in the proverbial beauty cafeteria to make products for us by us. From production to publishing, we need more black voices in beauty.
Cue these rockstars, some of the most recognized and up-and-coming black-owned beauty brands. Some of these brands are simply making a point to include products of all shades, while others are solving skin and makeup woes specific to women of color in innovative and exciting ways. It's time to support a broader, more beautiful beauty industry.
1. Fenty Beauty
You can't talk about beauty inclusion without talking about Rihanna's Fenty Beauty. The line was one of the first mainstream brands to sell 40 shades of foundation in truly diverse tones.
Rihanna created a new standard for complexion inclusion that caused major brands — many of which are white-owned — to expand their ranges to include shades for women of color. Her thoughtfulness when it comes to skin tones extends past foundation, with Rihanna creating "universal" products that truly fit the fairest and darkest skin tones.
2. Black Opal Beauty
What happens when a Jamaican descendant, a chemist, and a board-certified dermatologist come together? You get Black Opal Beauty, whose products specifically address the "nuances of black skin."
From foundations under $10 to lipsticks under $8, Black Opal has a range that will make your face and your wallet happy. Created in 1994, you know this brand has perfected their formula to bring you the absolute best.
3. Pat McGrath Labs
Known as "Mother" to her legions of loyal fans, Pat McGrath has changed the game when it comes to beauty. With inclusive skin products and a famous lipstick formula, McGrath has created a diverse dynasty for people of all skin tones. But her status as a badass black billionaire, thanks to her brand, makes it obvious her success has been focused on those long overlooked in the makeup industry.
Looking for a luxe line that won't let you down? Look no further than Pat McGrath Labs.
4. KA'OIR Cosmetics
For those who like a bold beauty look, look no further.
5. Black Up Cosmetics
If you are looking for a matte lip that will make your melanin pop, look no further. Black Up Cosmetics creates some of the most pigmented lippies in the game — and they don't stop there. With face products and bold eyeshadow palettes, the brand has everything you need to create a full look. You can find these pretties at Sephora.
6. Black Radiance Beauty
With a tagline of "Love Your Shade Of Beauty," Black Radiance Beauty encourages all black women to love their skin. You can find a wide range of colors and formulations in this brand's face products, plus incredible metallic lippies. With foundation under $6 and eyeshadow palettes under $9, Black Radiance won't break the bank either.
7. IMAN Cosmetics
Supermodel Iman knows beauty — and yes, she has her own line to prove it. Her line was made for every ethnicity and skin tone, so you can find your perfect match in every product. Iman is all about that natural look, and her products will help you achieve your perfect no-makeup makeup beat.
8. Magnolia Makeup
Coming at you from New Orleans, LA, Magnolia Makeup is "devoted to color." Just one look at the brand's pigments and you can see that bold hues are its specialty. And yes, the local brand carries lots and lots of glitter to help cap off your most extra looks.
9. Laws of Nature Cosmetics
Laws of Nature Cosmetics got into the beauty game to provide safe, non-toxic beauty products to women of color. The brand is serving up products and essential information for shoppers who want to buy responsibly and know what's in their cosmetics.
With all natural and organic products, the 21-shade mineral foundation is a showstopper worth shopping.
10. The Lip Bar
The Lip Bar prides itself on "disrupting the beauty industry through products & inclusive imagery." Entirely dedicated to lip products, The Lip Bar serves up colorful lipsticks made to pop on black skin tones. From bold reds to navy blues to true nudes, the brand has something for any lippie lover.
11. Jacquemgido Cosmetics
Founder Jackie Mgido was inspired to start her cosmetics brand after seeing the challenges women experience first-hand with finding makeup Sub-Saharan Africa. Now, her products provide natural and eccentric looks for black and brown women. Just check out her lip stains to see how varied Mgido's products can be.
12. Beauty Bakerie
Beauty Bakerie has quickly become one of the biggest players in the beauty industry for women of color. With the brand sold online and at Ulta, Beauty Bakerie adds cheeky packaging to staple products we all know and love. From Flour Baking Powder to ice cream-inspired powder highlight, this brand has products that look adorably cool and actually perform. Now that's a win.
13. Juvia's Place
As a major player in the makeup game, Juvia's Place has taken black pride and excellence to a whole new level. With bold eyeshadows and glittering highlights, Juvia's Place is especially formulated for darker skin tones in mind. If you are a neutral lover, don't worry. Juvia's Place also has super sleek nude palettes made from its buttery eyeshadow formula.
14. Vera Moore Cosmetics
Created by Vera Moore, actress turned entrepreneur, Vera Moore Cosmetics sells lipstick, lipgloss, foundation, and pressed powder — and has a line of products for men. With competitive prices and an incredible variety of colors in all products, Vera Moore Cosmetics has your makeup needs met.
15. Gold Label Cosmetics
Kristen Brown founded Gold Label in 2012, with a mission to provide natural makeup to black women. The company solely sells lip products that are paraben-free and highly pigmented. Check out the shade Dark Children and Empowering for some sleek lip looks.
16. Coloured Raine Cosmetics
Cruelty-free and super innovative is the name of the game for Coloured Raine Cosmetics. With everything from full eyeshadow palettes to intense lip lacquer, Coloured Raine provides luxe beauty at a low price. The brand hopes to "encourage self-expression and diversity" in the cosmetics industry through creating a line that suits "all skin tones, including women of color."
17. Plain Jane Beauty
As an eco-cosmetics line, Plain Jane Beauty celebrates all shapes, sizes, and skin tones. But don't let the name of this brand fool you. The line is anything but boring. With shimmer shadows you'll love and foundation that will actually match your tone, Plain Jane Beauty is plain awesome.
18. Glow By Melodye
Want to feel "encouraged, enlightened, and empowered" in your glow? Glow By Melodye promises to give you all three feelings with its line of lippies. With a shimmer matte formula and a shiny gloss range, these lipsticks will make you feel bold.
19. Sacha Cosmetics
Sacha Cosmetics provides countless products for medium and dark girls, like lipsticks, eyeshadow palettes, and blush. Some standouts include the brand's Buttercup Setting Powder and its setting spray, along with a face product shade range to rave over.
20. B.A.A.B.S. Beauty
B.A.A.B.S. Beauty —which stands for Blessed And Anointed Beauty Services — is both hypoallergenic and cruelty-free, promising customers professional grade products for affordable products. The brand has everything you need for boss brows and a slick lip. With a low mid-range price point, this brand is one to check out for those with sensitive skin.
21. Iviviiv Cosmetics
With custom palettes and tie-dye highlights, Iviviiv Cosmetics is bringing some major shimmer to your beauty look. The brand's products are perfect for some next level glow at a low, low price. Check out the Barbie World shadow and the metallic lip lacquer for some super unique products you haven't seen before.
22. AJ Crimson
Makeup artist AJ Crimson has been featured in some of the biggest fashion magazines like Marie Claire, InStyle, and Vogue for this work on clients — and he's brought his talents to the makeup game. With pro products that work for those at any level of artistry, Crimson's line is something you want in your personal or professional kit.
"I wanted to create a product inclusive of women of all ethnicities, a product all women could find ownership in and believe in," he writes on the on the brand's website.
23. Ginger + Liz
Ginger + Liz is solely dedicated to nail polish, a pillar of makeup and beauty not often talked about in the cosmetic diversity conversation. Two friends came together to create this non-toxic polish to compliment their own skin tones, bringing inclusivity to nails. For $12 a piece, these shades are worth a look.
24. MDM Flow
MDM Flow is a British makeup brand that won't ever apologize for "doing the most." This brand puts a laser focus on lips, giving your pout the attention it deserves. With sleek gold bullets containing a small-batch formula, MDM Flow has you — and your lips — covered.
25. Danessa Myricks Beauty
Makeup artist Danessa Myricks created her own beauty line to cater to black women at a time when beauty products weren't formulated for them.
“As a self-taught makeup artist with minimal resources at my disposal, I had to be creative with the products I had access to, by maximizing their usage and creatively mixing and blending colors and textures to make things work," Myricks writes on the brand's website. "Even with this, I found I was often limited by existing shades and textures and had the desire for more. Thus, the desire to create my own line of products to fulfill this void was born.”
The brand's Dew Wet Balm is great for a skin glass-inspired highlight, while the Waterproof Cream Palettes bring color like no other. Whether you are new to makeup or a seasoned veteran, Danessa Myricks Beauty has something for you.
26. The Crayon Case
Inspired by your literal elementary school crayon holder, The Crayon Case, a beauty brand created especially for amateur makeup artists, will have you reliving your school supply shopping days. With eraser beauty sponges, brushes that look like pencils, and an eye primer that looks like glue, you'll be so inspired to create beauty art by this wacky line. Plus, The Crayon Case even has rainbow eyeshadow palettes with serious color payoff.
27. Bernadette Thompson
Bernadette Thompson is another nail brand you need to know. After all, Oprah is a fan. The brand $20 nail polish remover is a favorite of Queen Oprah, while the brand has even created custom colors with actor Claire Danes. You can also get $100 bill-printed nail appliqués to try out for just $30, which is a hell of a lop cheaper than cutting up a Benjamin.
28. Lip Addyct
Love lip gloss? You need to know about Lip Addyct. With a unique spelling and even more singular products, this brand has luxe lip paints and high-shine glosses worth shopping. Plus, every item is under $20 — including a natural strawberry lip scrub.
"I’m inspired by the amazing women who surround me in this fashion and entertainment industry that I get to be apart of everyday," writes founder Julian Lark on the brand's website. "Their style, luxury and glamour, help me to create a line of product for the woman who isn't afraid of taking chances, marching to her own beat, and who displays her desirability."
Amen to that.
Spectrum brushes has taken off in recent years for its performance and price — and for good reason. With a wicked Mean Girls set and a "dinglehopper" Little Mermaid set, these vegan and cruelty-free brushes bring a little whimsy to your makeup routine. Plus, they make for a killer Instagram photo.
31. Pink Stiletto Cosmetics
For those who like their beauty organic, Pink Stiletto Cosmetics is bringing you products worth praising. With liquid highlights, lip products, and bold blushes, this Pennsylvania-based brand is proud to be 95% organic and natural while still prioritizing performance.
32. Beauty Brownie
Beauties, you'll love this brand's mission to "inspire self-love, wage war on colorism and push the movement of inclusion of women with darker skin tones in today’s media representation." Created by two sisters from Brooklyn, NY, Beauty Brownie sells matte liquid lipsticks created to stand out on brown skin tones. Just check out the beautiful hot pink shade.
This post was originally published on Aug. 24, 2016. It was updated and republished on June 25, 2019.
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