Do you remember how frustrating it was to go into a drugstore and makeup store as a Black woman and not see your shade of makeup? There were dozens of shades for white and lighter skin women but only about five (if we were lucky!) for the darker-toned women.
This has been the biggest failing of the makeup industry for years, but recently that has started to change as more and more makeup options are becoming available for every shade of black women. Finally, we’re starting to be seen in the makeup industry!
One of the reasons why we now have a variety of makeup options on the market is mainly because Black women decided to fill in the gaps that non-Black-owned beauty brands refused to fill in previous years. As a result, we’re starting to see mainstream makeup brands providing several options for different shades of Black women.
This is why this article will be recommending over 40 makeup brands that cater to Black women. The majority of these makeup brands are Black women-owned, which means that you can rest assured that finding your shade of foundation will not be a problem!
Black-Owned Makeup Brands for Black Women
1. Fenty Beauty
Before Rihanna launched her makeup line, it was tough to find a diverse range of foundations for all tones. She initially launched with 40 shades and soon expanded to 50. Suddenly, other makeup companies scrambled to diversify their lines after seeing the success that Rihanna had. You can find your perfect Fenty shade here.
2. Beauty Bakerie
Beauty Bakerie was created in 2011 by Cashmere Nicole. One of the main goals for Cashmere Nicole and her Beauty Bakerie brand is to offer high-quality, healthy ingredients in its products. If you’re struggling to find your shade, they offer a tool that can help!
3. Pat McGrath Labs
Pat McGrath has been a household name in cosmetics for years. She is a super successful and highly sought-after makeup artist. Her resumè is extensive, and she’s been working with the biggest names in cosmetics and fashion for over two decades. There cannot be an article about black makeup artists without mentioning Pat McGrath.
4. Black Opal
Black Opal didn’t start out as black-owned. Only in 2019 did they become owned by a Black woman. Desiree Rogers is now the proud owner of this business, and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack is the proud president. This duo has always been about uplifting women of color and making sure there is something for them in the makeup industry. They also offer skincare such as moisturizers and cleansers, and they offer a page to help you find your shade.
5. Coloured Raine Cosmetics
Coloured Raine was created by Loraine R Dowdy in 2013. The ideology that Coloured Raine was built on was that makeup should be fun, lighthearted, and a tool for people to express themselves regardless of age, gender, and skin color.
6. Mented Cosmetics
KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson started this business over a glass of pinot and the frustration of not finding a perfect nude lipstick to compliment a dark complexion. Mented offers a wide range of nude lipsticks for black women that make us look beautiful and classy. Their site even offers a quiz that helps you find that perfect shade of nude!
7. Iman Cosmetics
Fashion model Iman created a makeup line that was offered to all women of color with a special focus on Black women who needed it the most because she knew how difficult it can be for a black woman to find makeup that matches her skin.
8. Ka’Oir Cosmetics
Keyshia Ka’oir is a model and actress who created Ka’Oir cosmetics alongside her other entrepreneurial endeavors. On her site, she offers multiple collections of her cosmetics, including eyeshadow palettes, lipstick, and ‘Glitzstick,’ which is a lipstick that includes sparkly glitz to bring your lips to the next level.
Each Glitz is formulated with professional-grade glitter. They can also be used as eyeshadow and body glitter for a complete glam look. She also offers products that are paraben-free, vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.
9. Laws of Nature Cosmetics
Jasmine Rose, owner of Laws of Nature Cosmetics started researching chemicals in makeup and how they may link to breast cancer after her mother’s diagnosis. From there, she started experimenting with safer ingredients to offer black women who were struggling to find makeup that matched their skin tones. Soon after, Laws of Nature Cosmetics was born!
10. B.Simone Beauty
Influencer and Social Media personality, B. Simone created her own makeup brand that includes lip glosses, lip liners, and lip mattes. Her makeup includes colors to compliment every shade of black.
11. Ace Beaute
If you love colorful and fun eyeshadow palettes, Niye Aniekan-Attang has created some really beautiful ones for her brand, Ace Beaute! The palettes are ultra-pigmented, vibrant, and cruelty-free.
12. Undefined Beauty
Dorian Morris, the creator of Undefined Beauty aspired to create makeup that was clean, nontoxic, sustainably sourced, and accessibly priced, and she did just that. She also aims to make all of her products plant-based, including CBD-infused products.
13. LaMik Beauty
LaMik Beauty was created by Kim Roxie in 2004. In 2011, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer which caused her to take a break from her makeup business so that she could research the kind of chemicals that makeup brands were made with.
After her mother’s passing, she dedicated her time to create paraben-free makeup for black women. because it’s important to Kim to have safe makeup that Black women can feel beautiful in.
14. Uoma Beauty
Uoma Beauty is an all-inclusive brand created by Sharon Chuter, a Nigerian-born beauty entrepreneur. “Uoma” means beautiful with a goal is to make women feel that they are beautiful no matter the circumstances they may find themselves in. Uoma has its own sets of values and beliefs that it stands by as a company. Even though her company is black-owned, Sharon wants everyone to know that her brand is for everyone.
15. Danessa Myricks Beauty
Danessa Myricks beauty offers a range of makeup products including lipstick, eyeshadow palettes, and foundations that are perfect for dark skin tones. Included in that is a hybrid cream color that can be safely used on lips, eyes, and/or face. There are many beautiful vibrant colors to choose from.
16. Range Beauty
Difficulty finding the right shades has led many black women to create their own lines because a lot of drugstore brands tend to create many issues for sensitive skin. This is why Alicia Scott created Range Beauty to fix both of these problems for black women. Range beauty also offers a tool to help her clients find their shade!
17. The Crayon Case
If you love vibrant, loud colors for your makeup, The Crayon Box offers all the vibrance you’re looking for! With eyeshadow palettes modeled after your favorite crayon packs, and other cosmetics modeled as different kinds of school supplies, the novelty of this makeup brand is enough to make you want to spend all your money. This is what brand owner, Supa was going for when she brought The Crayon Box to life in 2017.
18. The Lip Bar
Melissa Butler was rejected from Shark Tank but didn’t let that keep her down at all. She still launched her business and became very successful with it despite the rejection. The Lip Bar was created as a response to the lack of diversity in the makeup industry and is now in over 1,000 stores worldwide! When one door closes, 1,000 other ones open. Don’t give up!
19. Jacque Mgido Cosmetics
Jacque Mgido also created her brand as a way to rectify the issue of representation for black women in the makeup industry. Although it was created by a black woman for black women, Jacque Mgido Cosmetics is an all-inclusive brand for all. It offers colors and vibrancies that complement all complexions.
20. Juvia’s Place
Chichi Eburu created Juvia’s Place to offer bold, exciting colors for all people of all colors. All products are created from ingredients that come right from Africa. These products are not just for women. Men are welcome and invited to wear them proudly.
21. Vera Moore Cosmetics
Vera Moore cosmetics is also a makeup brand that offers products for men in her cosmetics line because Vera Moore believes that cosmetics are no longer just for women and should be enjoyed by both genders.
22. Gold Label Cosmetics
Gold Label Cosmetics is a cruelty-free, paraben-free cosmetics line that was launched by Kristen Elise Brown, who wanted to create a company for the beauty enthusiast who seeks opulence and convenience. Gold Label is another brand that anyone can feel comfortable wearing.
23. Plain Jane Beauty
Plain Jane Beauty offers clean and plant-based make-up products like foundations for Black women. Lake Louise is the founder and her mission was to eliminate the lack of products that work for darker-skinned people. Take this foundation quiz to help you find your perfect shade.
24. Glow by Melodye
Melodye always adored bright-colored lipsticks and so, she set out to create her own because she wants women to feel beautiful and confident when wearing her bold-colored lippies. Glow by Melodye is the perfect black women-owned brand for you if you lead a colorful life.
25. Sacha Cosmetics
Sacha Cosmetics was the official cosmetics of the Miss Universe and Miss USA Pageants, and now their products are available to everyone. Kama Maharaj’s most popular product is the Buttercup Powder which eliminates the risk of black women looking ashy and washed out when being photographed and when under bright studio lighting.
26. BAABS Beauty
B.A.A.B.S is short for Blessed and Anointed Beauty Service. Necia Boston is the founder and offers allergen-free beauty products that help black women simplify their makeup routine. A lot of black women have allergies to some chemicals that are in most mainstream beauty products and Necia was one of them so she did something to change it.
27. AJ Crimson
AJ Crimson began his career as a beauty expert and makeup artist. AJ worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment before creating his own line of cosmetics. Like a lot of other black-owned makeup brands, his brand was born out of the necessity to create a market for makeup options for women of color. His line contains products that work with all shades, including dark skin which has been so often left out of makeup.
28. Beaute Brownie
Two sisters, Gabrielle Marie Pullum & Kiara Pullum created this line to alleviate the lack of representation for dark-skinned women. They were inspired by black women being too nervous to try out bright colors in fear of it not being able to pull them off. It’s time we dismiss that kind of thinking and start those bright colors. Our skin glows behind bright colors!
29. Glow Up Academy
If you’re a glitter girl and you need more glitter in your life, Kiki Adams created a line of glitter just for you. She also offers a convenient glitter applicator tool that allows you to apply flitter on your eyes without causing too much mess. In addition to her glitter, she also offers gorgeous lip colors to complement any skin color.
30. Yubi Beauty
Adiya Dixon Wiggins is the creator of her best-selling Yubi Brush. She was unsatisfied with the brushes she found on the market and couldn’t find what she was looking for, so she created a prototype, took it to an engineering firm, and the rest is history!
‘Yubi’ is a Japanese word meaning ‘finger’ and the significance of the word comes from wanting to create a product that was close to your fingertips. The Yubi brush makes putting your makeup a breeze.
31. Opulence MD Beauty
Opulence MD Beauty lashes are the only lashes on the market created by an ophthalmologist! Anika Goodwin MD created her own lashes that are cruelty and mink-free. The lashes are magnetic and blend beautifully into your natural lashes. For every set of lashes purchased, Opulence MD will sponsor one diabetic patient to have a screening exam.
32. Glamazon Beauty Cosmetics
Kim Baker’s experience in the fashion & beauty industry as a Wilhemina model helped launch her into the path to create her own line. Having a previous experience in the business definitely gave her an edge because she knew firsthand what was lacking and could easily pick up the slack. She created her line to enhance the beauty of women but also help them enhance their personality by feeling beautiful
33. TUL Cosmetics
T.U.L. stands for The Unicorn Locker, a brand created by Shamil Alli, AKA Milz. To her, makeup is not something to just apply to your face and feel beautiful, but it’s also an art and a way to express yourself. It’s also confidence and it’s fun. You can find an array of beautiful lip colors at The Unicorn Locker along with loose glitter to add a layer of glam to your look.
34. Hue Noir
Paula Hayes, who was a chemist created and formulated her own cosmetics line. She also wanted to combat the challenge of finding makeup to compliment her skin color and offered quality ingredients. Thus, she formulated her own products that would interact well with darker skin tones while also providing high-quality products.
35. Marjani Beauty
Kimberly Smith, founder of Marjani Beauty loved finding ingredients from all over the world to include in her products. Her products are made with black women in mind. Like most black-owned brands, she’s creating a space that for so long excluded us but it’s finally time to put a stop to it. Kimberly wants to remind black women to be bold, be unapologetic, and be true to themselves.
36. Prime Beauty Cosmetics
Shemika Harmitt created Prime Beauty Cosmetics as a reminder to black women that we matter and our beauty needs are just as important. We’re not a second choice or a marketing scheme for Black History Month. We deserve high-quality makeup as much as everyone and Prime Beauty is an amazing brand that is providing that for us. The products are also cruelty-free and affordable so it doesn’t break the bank.
Lipmatic by Destiny Jones pays homage to her father, rapper Nas, in many ways; from the brand name to the names of the products featured. Lipmatic features smooth, nonsticky, long-lasting lip glosses in many vibrant colors and scents. No matter which color you slather on your lips, you’re guaranteed to smell like the sweetest cupcake with Lipmatic glosses.
38. Omolewa Cosmetics
Omolewa means ‘Beautiful child’ in Yoruba, which is a Nigerian Language. The founder, Irene Dele-Adejumo is a Nigerian woman who started Omolewa with only $2,500 by creating products that are long-lasting and highly pigmented. They are also non-toxic, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and mostly vegan. Irene wants black women to feel empowered when it comes to makeup and so she hopes her brand makes black women feel beautiful in their own skin no matter what.
These companies are not black-owned but have made an effort to include and amplify black women with their makeup. These are companies that prove themselves to be something to trust and invest our black dollars in. We know our money can go far and the power it has, so when we spend nonblack, we want to make sure we’re spending it with the right companies.
Colourpop is a brand known for its affordable makeup and its ultra matte lipsticks. They’ve recently introduced a line of foundations that are almost as diverse as Rihanna’s Fenty foundations. They also do collaborations with people of color makeup artists. Some have included Karrueche, Becky G, and MakeupbyShayla.
This year, aside from their collaborations, they have also participated in a hashtag: #colourpopmeblack that highlights black makeup artists. The hashtag was created by two creators, Darius McKiver, and Josh Crosby Killerkinggg, but the company has been paying attention and uplifting black creators.
Check out the hashtag yourself for some beautiful black artistry! On their website, they are also offering a campaign called ‘Make it Black.’
40) Elf Cosmetics
If you’ve ever searched for affordable drugstore makeup, you’ve probably heard of E.l.f. They are one of the most affordable cosmetic brands globally, and dozens of stores carry their items. Their flawless finish foundation offers a wide array of shades for dark skin and is one of their best sellers.
They offer a tool that helps you find your shade and offer options to help you pick out the right one for your skin. If you’re starting and looking for makeup that won’t break the bank, or you want really affordable makeup, E.l.f is one of the best options.
Now, I know some of you are asking, “That’s nice, but what do they do for the black community?” They have the answer right on their website. They have a whole page dedicated to Black Lives Matter that offers information on how they contribute to the black community and helpful links of where to donate your money and Black people to listen to, read, and watch. There are many wonderful resources just on that one page that you can tell they did their research.
41) Black Radiance
After some research, we have found that Black Radiance is *not* black-owned… Shocked? I am too! They are part of Markwins Brands, which owns a few other makeup brands. Black Radiance boasts on their site that they have pursued their vision of being the #1 trusted expert and resource for black beauty. Their website is covered in affirmations and positive messages for black women such as this quoted statement below.
Our mission is to enable women of color around the world to be even more beautiful. Black Radiance celebrates the beauty of self-acceptance and inner strength of today’s black women with a portfolio of luxurious, affordable formulas with uncompromising benefits to indulge, enhance and refine with stunning definition.
They even offer a “Black Beauty Matters” campaign. Black Radiance also emphasizes that their cosmetics come in various sheer to vivid colors that are exclusively formulated to enhance dark complexions.
As a dark skin woman, sometimes it’s hard to find that perfect red, so it’s wonderful when companies pay attention to and formulate colors that will look beautiful on dark complexions. It’s much appreciated!
42) Black Up Cosmetics
Research shows that Black Up Cosmetics *was* originally a black-owned brand owned by Fabricio Mahabo but is now currently owned by Lionel Durand. However, if you search ‘Black Up Owner,’ Mr. Mahabo’s name will still pop up.
Black Up Cosmetics specializes in tan to dark skin tones. It is the first French cosmetics brand dedicated to women of color! This brand focuses on the specific needs of women with darker skin tones and offers products formulated to cater to those needs.
If you’re struggling to find your shade of foundation, this is another brand that offers a tool to help with that. For lipsticks, they offer only the best colors to compliment tan to dark skin tones.
The Black up woman is a beauty who is proud of her roots and absolutely anchored in her era. Stylish and triumphant, she is a symbol of elegance accepting who she is, and cultivating her beauty as well as her personality.
This is not an exhaustive list of Black-Owned businesses and businesses that cater to black women and women of color, but it is a great place to start. Black-owned businesses have risen to prominence in the past year, and I hope we keep the momentum up.
Black-owned businesses shouldn’t just be celebrated once or just a few times a year. They should be celebrated every day. Should you have additional brands to add to this list, please let us know, so that we can keep this article updated.