In You Heard It Here First, Bustle's editors introduce the coolest up-and-coming beauty brands you should have on your radar. Here, Range Beauty founder Alicia Scott shares the inspiration behind her skin health-focused makeup line.
Testing out beauty products should be fun and experimental. But it can quickly turn into a stress-inducing nightmare — just ask anyone who’s ever had a hard time finding the right foundation shade for their skin tone, or suffered a breakout from a mysterious ingredient in their new concealer. Finding the perfect product can take some trial and error, and usually comes with disappointment along the way — which is where new beauty brand Range Beauty comes in.
The up-and-coming (and rightfully hyped-up) beauty line was founded by New York-born and Atlanta-dwelling Alicia Scott — a Black woman who first fell in love with fashion as a child and got her footing while working backstage at runway shows. Looking back on her early years working behind the scenes at fashion week, across PR showrooms, sales floors, and campaign shoots, it soon became clear that there was a need for more Black-founded beauty brands. “Whenever I was backstage or on a campaign shoot, I started to notice when Black models were cast, they would come prepared with their own makeup kits,” she says. After asking the models why they would do this, she realized it was because most key makeup artists didn’t know how to put makeup on darker skin tones, and they also didn’t come equipped with shades that would be suitable or flattering. “It was the first time I heard someone else say there was an issue with the makeup options for Brown skin,” she says.
From there, Range Beauty was born. “I was sitting on the living room floor of my Brooklyn apartment across from my roommate, and I said out loud, ‘I think I want to make my own makeup line,’” she says. Because of her history with acne and eczema, Scott naturally gravitated towards a bare, natural face since most makeup products would exacerbate her skin conditions. She asked herself: how could, in modern times, there still be such a lack of makeup products made with healthy ingredients for Black skin? She created Range Beauty to reach across a range of skin tones and types, genders, ages, and bank accounts, and offer inclusive, skin-focused products that wouldn’t irritate acne-prone or sensitive skin.
Range Beauty is the marriage of two important beauty aspects: inclusivity and ingredients. “Range became the answer for a lot of people wanting beauty without breakouts, or who never saw their skin tone represented,” she says. “With my eczema and acne, I had to make sure to expand past the ‘flawless face’ marketing term, because that term didn’t include me.” Every product, from the ultra-moisturizing and bestselling Bali Face and Body Glow to the True Intentions Hydrating Foundation, is formulated with ingredients that soothe (like vitamin E, calendula, chamomile, and argan oil), rather than ingredients commonly found in other beauty products that irritate, dry out, or cause breakouts (like fragrances). “Our line is meant to be an extension of your skin care routine to continue helping [your skin] throughout the day,” says Scott.
Range feels like a deeply personal brand for Scott and many other Black women suffering from acne and irritation. “37% of Black women have acne — it’s more prevalent for us than women of other backgrounds,” Scott says. “I took it as my responsibility to be transparent about the ingredients we use as solutions, and the ingredients we leave out to provide a cleaner alternative.” That skin-first approach is what keeps customers coming back for more, along with the brand’s wide range of hues for every skin tone. The Golden Hour Dual Eye/Highlight features a frosted brown, a light rose, silver, and a sun-kissed chocolate brown, while the foundation goes from Paloma (porcelain) to Midnight Sun (the deepest, richest brown). The Smooth Out Translucent Powder has a skin-like finish and goes from light to deep — all created with just seven simple ingredients.
Even with the strides made in beauty over the years, and the Black-owned beauty brand boom that occurred after 2020, Scott still thinks that the industry has a long way to go. “We [Black consumers], of course, responded by creating lines for us by us, but I really want the industry in a place where we no longer have to speak on a brand being inclusive — it just is!” she says. And although it took a while for the world to get caught up, Scott is proud to have launched a healthy, affordable, and inclusive beauty brand with just $150 of her own money.
“Black beauty, to me, is limitless,” she says. “It's the showcasing of all the love, routines, traditions, looks, and experiences handed down from our ancestors that we keep switching up and adding onto. I pride myself on staying true to my vision.”
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