Though inclusivity has made a much-needed mark on the beauty industry, we still sometimes worry that for some of the brands employing wider shader ranges and diverse brand ambassadors, this shift is simply a trend. For Black women, this is nothing new. We’ve been standing on the outside of the margins of the beauty industry for a long time, and for that reason, we’ve birthed a wave of highly successful black-owned beauty businesses.
Beyond brands like IMAN Cosmetics, Carol’s Daughter, blackUp and Mielle Organics (and many more) that create products for brown skin and hair, we’re also witnessing an influx of destinations that sell products made with Black women in mind. While we love spending hours at our local Sephora, sometimes we crave an experience that doesn’t require our sifting through dozens of products to find something that works for our shade of beautiful.
With that being said, here are three places making women of color a priority, followed by must-try products from each one.
Short for “Black Owned and Green Beauty,” this online marketplace was founded by Dr. Kristian Henderson, who according to Madame Noire wanted to combine the power of two movements happening in the US: the Buy Black and the green movements.
“The Buy Black movement is an acknowledgment of the tremendous buying power of the African-American community and the realization that we can literally vote with our dollars. The idea that we can build our communities by supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs,” she said. “The green movement is a movement toward holistic health. It is the idea of removing toxic chemicals from our diets and products and instead using the power of plants and nature to heal and thrive.”
On BLK + GRN, you’ll find eco-conscious products, all created by black artisans that would otherwise be hard to find in the oversaturated world of more mainstream destinations.
Years ago, when founder (and former attorney) Desiree Verdejo noticed her Harlem neighborhood was missing a beauty destination filled with products made for and by Black women, she gathered the resources and made it happen herself in 2015.
“There are some really beautiful products for black women on the market and where they were being sold just didn’t do them justice. The goal was to cater to the beauty needs of this group of women that isn’t always considered in a luxurious space, and to also offer really cool person-of-color-owned brands that often don’t get the shine that they deserve,” she previously said to InStyle.
Though Vivrant no longer has a brick-and-mortar location, it retains its title as the first-ever luxury boutique for WoC, thanks to a carefully curated list of brands that work for brown skin and textured hair.
We have friends Rebekah Sager, Roger Fountain, Jacob Williams and Kevin Lyles to thank for what they’ve described as “the Sephora of Black beauty products.” This fairly new website is dedicated to providing lesser-known Black-owned hair and skin products to women of color. Though only four brands are currently featured on the site, this team plans to continue expanding and growing.
“In practice, we’re not looking to represent hundreds of brands like Sephora. Our focus is to represent an exceptional product roster where the products compliment each other. Products that our clients can confidently use and depend on,” Sager told Fashionista.
Ahead, products to try from each of these destinations.