I have been paid the back handed complement of not sounding Black or acting Black but let me take this moment to confirm that I'm Black. Really Black. Black AF! In recent years I have been making it a point of duty to support brands and companies that are Black owned. I don't support or encourage mediocrity so I am not only supporting these companies because they are black owned, I am supporting because they are black owned AND they have amazing products. Below you will find a few brands that are Black owned that make products or offer a service I love.
Sundial Brands is maker of Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage and Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture. The Black community was all up in arms in 2015 when news broke that Bain Capital, a venture capital firm, acquired a stake in Sundial Brands. While the reports were true, according this report on the Shea Moisture website, Bain Capital acquired a minority stake in the company to allow the company to grow. Sundial Brands remains a family-and-certified-minority-owned business. #runtellthat. And in case you wondered, formulations and prices for the products under the Sundial Brand at the time (Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage) have not changed. However, the company launched Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture in 2016. Here's what I'm loving from each line:
Madam CJ Walker - Dream Come True Wonderful Deep Conditioning Mask
Nubian Heritage - Raw Shea Butter Body Wash
My love for nail polish is pretty well documented among my friends. If I'm seen with unpolished nails it's usually cause for concern. Ginger + Liz was one of the first 3 Free brands I came across, so their products are forever etched in my mind. Ginger + Liz was founded in 2010 by Ginger Johnson and Liz Pickett. The duo shared a love for nail polishes but wanted to created a less toxic version of regular nail polish. Thus, a vegan-friendly and toxin free nail lacquer line was born. Shades Queen Bee, Best I've Ever Had and Health is Wealth are a few of my favorites.
Danessa Myricks is one of my favorite Makeup Artists. Her passion for beauty (and photography) can be seen on each of the stunning images she posts on her fast growing Instagram page. Danessa has helped to create dozens of amazing products for other well known brands. Over the last several years she has been focused on growing her own brand, Danessa Myricks Beauty. If you follow me on Snapchat you know I am a bit obsessed with Enlight -- a beautiful multipurpose color product that can be used as shadow, blush highlighter and more. She recently launched several products including Color Fix, a creamy long wear paint that can be used on eyes, lips and face - love it!
I started working with COCOTIQUE in 2013 as the social media director. This means I have gotten every box ever shipped and as a result tried hundreds of amazing products. Having said that, I know firsthand that founder and CEO, Dana Hill, works tirelessly to find great items to fill the box. Dana is 51 years old and doesn't look a day over 35, therefore, it would behoove you to check out COCOTIQUE. (I stopped working with COCOTIQUE in January 2017 but still have mad love for the brand.)
Melissa Butler started The Lip Bar in 2012 because she had questions: "Why were most cosmetics filled with unnecessary chemicals? Why did lipsticks only come in a limited range of colors? And more importantly, why was the depiction of beauty so damn linear?" Creating The Lip Bar and its subsequent marketing was Melissa's way of answering those questions in an inclusive, diverse and fun way.
Makeup Artist, AJ Crimson, has touched the faces of countless celebrities, including: Angela Basett, Fergie, Brandy and Estelle, to name a few. His work has been featured in Vogue, Marie Claire Essence and others. AJ created his line because he "wanted to created a product inclusive of women of all ethnicities. A product all women could find ownership in and believe in." The perfect intro to AJ Crimson are his lipsticks and the Artist Kits.
When Kitiya Mischo King was pregnant in 2011, she wanted a "nail formula that was as chic as it was healthy." After 6 months of searching she still hadn't discovered it so she decided to create her own. Kitiya has a degree in chemistry, and she is an experienced manicurist, esthetician, cosmetologist and makeup artist. If these aren't the skills needed to create an 8 Free luxe nail lacquer, I don't know what is. A few of my favorites: Catwalk, XO and Backstage Beauty.
At 16 years old Cashmere Nicole, founder of Beauty Bakerie, was a single mom. Fast forward through years of struggle, including homelessness, breast cancer and a double mastectomy, she has managed to build a cruelty-free cosmetic brand with a mission to "sweeten the globe." Her lip whips are amazing and quite possibly the longest wearing lip product I have EVER tried. Even Queen Bey is a fan.
Oyin Handmade started back in 2005 and has S ince gotten distribution in Target, Whole Foods Market and select grocery and drugstore chains. The company was started by Jamyla and Pierre Bennu and "makes high-quality moisture-focused hair and body care products from natural, food-grade ingredients." A few of my favorites include: Juices and Berries, Hair Dew and Whipped Pudding. You may find the complete line of products here.
Monique Rodriguez, a registered nurse, started Mielle Organics in 2014 with the launch of the Advanced Hair Formula. To date, she has had sales in over 87 countries around the world and has a cult like following on Instagram living the Mielle Life. I love the Babussu Oil and Mint Deep Conditioner and the Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk.
Dawn Fitch combined her love for aromatherapy and her desire to have less toxins in her bath and body products, and Pooka Pure & Simple was born. Today, most of the brand's products contain 5 ingredients or less and all are formulated without sulfates, phthalates, parabens, toxic preservatives and artificial color. My favorite products are the Whipped Cream and Sugar Body Polish.
Since being introduced to Cleanse by Lauren Napier when it launched at the Makeup Show in 2014, I have not taken a trip without them. These wipes get off every stitch of makeup and the fact that they are individually wrapped makes them a travel must-have. Makeup Artist and self proclaimed world traveler, Lauren Napier, is the beauty and brains behind this brand.
Desiree Verdejo, a reformed lawyer, is founder of Vivrant Beauty - a retail beauty gem located in Harlem, New York. Vivrant stocks products from dozens of brands and also sells via their website. The list of products is carefully curated and includes brands such as: Mario Badescu, Mischo Beauty, Gold Label Cosmetics, Becca, Girl + Hair and many more. Desiree also seeks out products and brands that are "ingredient-conscious, women-owned, person-of-color owned and local beauty brands."