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Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation. Though March is Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day is just around the corner—March 8, to be exact—you might as well be in permanent celebration mode. 2020 isn’t without its challenges and there’s always work to be done, but women are constantly breaking boundaries, kicking ass and taking names across the board, whether it’s in Congress or in our very own offices. Right now, that’s especially true within the beauty industry. As the demand for inclusivity and transparency continues to grow, so is the number of women-owned brands leading the charge and we couldn’t be prouder. What makes these bosses particularly inspiring is their proven expertise combined with the fact that they actually use their own products. (Shocker, right?!) And thanks to Instagram, we have a front-row seat to their journeys, some of which include behind-the-scenes magic budding entrepreneurs can get inspired by.
For instance, I am living every time Rihanna demos a Fenty Beauty drop in her Stories and seeing Lisa Price continue to elevate the natural hair industry with her Carol’s Daughter lineup never gets old. On top of these seasoned pros is a constantly growing list of new entrepreneurs with game-changing launches that are forcing the old vanguard to pay attention and step their game up too. Long story short—the do-it-yourself spirit of the industry is stronger than ever, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of woman-owned brands making their mark in the drugstore, on Amazon, in local shops and beyond. And while we wish we could put the spotlight on each and everyone, here’s just a sampling of the shot callers who are sharing their journeys on the ‘Gram and inspiring us along the way.
If you’d label yourself a beauty lover or makeup junkie, chances are you’re already familiar with some of them. If you’re not–and contemplating a big idea of your own–get motivated by adding them to your feed.
The founder of fragrance brand Ellis Brooklyn is also a columnist for The New York Times and a mother of two.
The self-proclaimed “Free People fanatic” is the founder and CEO of The Honeypot Co., a line of plant-based feminine care products.
The founder and CEO of Olive & June is “living her best nail life” and serving plenty of fierce mani-grams along the way.
Rojas is an Afro-Latina blogger turned founder of Botanika Beauty, a line of Latinx-focused hair and beauty products.
This gorgeous Miami native is the founder of Alamar Cosmetics, a line of beautifully pigmented (and cruelty-free) makeup products, including vibrant eyeshadow palettes and lip glosses.
Mother Monster made dreams come true for her loyal base when she launched the Amazon-exclusive Haus Labs range.
Glossier is by far one of today’s buzziest (and best reviewed) beauty brands, and we have Weiss, its founder, to thank for that. You may recall her journey started back in 2010, when she birthed “Into the Gloss,” a blog about grooming routines that’s still going strong in 2020.
Stephen’s famous clientele list includes Zendaya, Bebe Rexha, and Rihanna. However, you may not know that the hair guru also runs a successful hair salon in Brooklyn, New York.
The aesthetician is responsible for the creation of Urban Skin Rx, arguably the biggest skincare brand for women of color. Her products are endorsed by a slew of black celebs, and the collection is now available in Target.
We’ve loved watching Alba’s evolution from movie star to bona fide business owner. Her company, Honest, is leading the charge in providing more eco-conscious, yet affordable, beauty options to men, women, and children everywhere.
Teele is the founder of curlBOX, one of the first subscription services for women with natural hair. Her business is still going strong, but we also love following her on social media for advice on entrepreneurship and living a more purposeful life.
If there were an actual totem pole for beauty-bloggers-turned-beauty-juggernauts, Kattan would be sitting pretty on top. Her line, Huda Beauty, is a top seller in Sephora, and Kattan herself remains a force to be reckoned within the blogger community.
Not only does Tilbury have a successful beauty collection of her own; she’s still one of the busiest makeup artists in Hollywood with A-list clientele.
Obsessed with Urban Decay’s cult-favorite “Naked” palettes? They’re the brainchild of brand owner Zomnir, whom many refer to as the “original beauty junkie.”
Jin Soon Choi
You’ve probably painted your nails at least once with any of the colors from her long-running lacquer line. Choi also manages a group of spas and still works behind the scenes during Fashion Month.
She really needs no introduction. Oh, and you were probably following her long before she came for everyone’s bank account with the affordable and inclusive Fenty Beauty.
She’s the co-founder and aesthetician behind Soko Glam, one of the biggest websites for discovering the best in Korean beauty.
When she’s not styling the manes of Hollywood royalty, Atkin is developing products for her hugely successful haircare line, Ouai.
When we’re not staring at her stunning tattoos, we’re shopping the Los Angeles–based makeup artist’s Melt Cosmetics, a line of unconventionally colored makeup products.
Frankel and her sister were just teenagers when they launched their NUDESTIX line, and today its multiuse products are top sellers in Sephora and beyond.
We never expected this A-list actress to gift us with one of today’s most popular drugstore beauty brands, but now we can’t imagine walking through Walmart without spotting Flower Beauty.
This breast cancer survivor and single mother is the genius behind Black-owned brand Beauty Bakerie. Its products are colorful, fun to look at and smell good enough to eat.
If you’re a makeup novice and need products that aren’t too complicated, look no further than Supa’s Crayon Case Cosmetics, a cruelty-free line that takes the guesswork out of beauty staples with a school-inspired twist.
Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.