Many are quick to talk about Estee Lauder, Clinique & L’Oréal being some of the first to change the beauty game. In reality it was Madame C.J. Walker, the first self-made millionaire in America who created haircare products for African American hair. She became one of the wealthiest women in the country and the most successful female entrepreneur of her time.
This is not to say there were not others. I’ve listed all my top favorite women beauty leaders below in black history.
2. Black Opal Beauty is well-known for their incredible foundation sticks, the shade range amazing for people of color. Not only are their foundations incredible but their shade ranges for all their products are amazing for that beautiful melanin-rich skin. Black Opal may not be black-owned, but black-oriented would be a better suited description.
3. Fashion Fair was and still remains one of the best black-owned companies in the world. Founded by Eunice W. Johnson in 1973, Fashion Fair was named after the Ebony Fashion Fair Show that inspired it. Mrs. Johnson noticed models at the show were mixing foundations to create the right shades for their complexion. At first, Eunice approached existing companies and urged them to create lines specific for women of color but was shot down due to much resistance. It was then that she and her late husband began going to private labs that developed formulas out of the mixtures the models created; thus creating the Capsule Collection in 1969. Fashion Fair Cosmetics remains deeply rooted in the African American experience. The line can be found in stores across the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Africa & the Caribbean.
4. Shea Moisture comes to mind. The company was inspired by Dennis’ grandmother Sofi Tucker, who sold shea butter at a village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912.
In 2015 and 2016, Shea Moisture was voted Overall Favorite Brand in Naturally Curly’s annual Best of the Best survey. Shea Moisture also released a makeup line in Spring 2016 filled with beautifully rich shades.
5. IMAN Cosmetics,
launched in 1994, the IMAN brand philosophy holds that women with skin of color represent many races, cultures and ethnicities. IMAN Cosmetics are designed for African American, Asian, Latina and multi-cultural women with skin tones in an incredible range of shades. IMAN offers skincare and cosmetics, including 16 foundation shades. IMAN Cosmetics are sold throughout the world including the United States, Canada, UK, France, Africa, and the Caribbean. In 2004, IMAN Cosmetics announced its alliance with Proctor & Gamble. IMAN is now available at mass retailers including Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Duane Reade.
6. Coloured Raine, founded in 2013 by Loraine
who longed for a cosmetic line that encouraged self- expression and diversity, these stand-out cosmetics break all beauty barriers. With long-lasting lip formulas in an incredible range of hues, Coloured Raine is renowned as some of the most beautiful and exotic makeup in the world.
7. Beauty Bakerie,
Beauty Bakerie was founded in 2011 by Cashmere Nicole at the age of 25, is an e-commerce, cosmetics company that offers a full product line of some of the world’s sweetest ingredients. Spring 2017, the company plans to open its first retail store in San Diego.
8. Juvia’s Place, owned by Chichi Eburu, has brought black beauty to the cosmetics industry in a way we’ve never seen before. The Nigeria-born wife and mother of two, launched her cosmetic company in2014, and even she can’t quite wrap her mind around the rapid growth of the brand. Juvia’s Place is known for highly pigmented eyeshadow palettes that feature images of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti
9. AJ Crimson created AJ Crimson Beauty out of a need for a better selection of cosmetics for people of color.
10. Danessa Myricks Beauty was inspired by the inner sphere of he beauty business & hit the ground running at a corporate level where she discovered her true passions aligned towards artistry.
Author: Grace Michelle
Grace Michelle, is a pro-makeup artist and a very talented one at that. She resides in Buffalo, NY with her family and loves all things makeup and beauty related. You can find her articles here discussing anything beauty and makeup related (trends, tips, and more!) Follow along with her @gracemichellle on IG.