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The beauty industry is no stranger to exclusivity. For years, mainstream brands like Ulta and Sephora lacked shade variation in their products, most notably when it comes to foundation. The pitiful selection in the beauty industry is primarily due to the lack of diversity behind top makeup brands. Furthermore, it’s due to the shortage of popular beauty carriers supplying products from Black–owned businesses.
However, in 2017, there was a significant inclusivity movement in the makeup industry. It would be criminal to make an article highlighting Black makeup creators and not mention Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. Changing the mainstream makeup industry game, Fenty Beauty sparked a new initiative in the beauty community. Fenty took the idea of “nude” meaning one color and turned it upside down — Rihanna’s brand supplied 40 foundation shades! This variety of selection was unheard of at the time and sparked what is now known as the “Fenty Effect.” Yes, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty created a movement as popular brands started to expand their shade selection, and it’s been one of the most sought–after beauty brands in the last five years.
Like Fenty, the brands below will expand your knowledge of Black–owned beauty brands you need to try on your next beauty spree.
Before the “Fenty Effect,” there was Eunice Johnson and her brand Fashion Fair. Founded in 1973, Johnson created one of the first international cosmetic companies catering to darker complexions. In the beauty world, Fashion Fair broke down racial barriers in the cosmetic industry. Fashion Fair made its way into many stores, from Neiman Marcus to the French cosmetics store, Printemps.
56 years later, Fashion Fair is still going strong. Their core mission of enhancing the natural radiance of darker skin types remains; however, as the beauty world changes, so do they. Creating new vegan skin products and innovative formulas, Fashion Fair offers something for everyone.
In terms of their products, check out their lip offerings! Their FF Iconic Lipstick is iconic for a reason. One of their best–selling products, their lipstick comes in 14 shades, from vibrant pinks to more subtle earthy tones.
The formula is what makes this product five stars! While the lipstick is super pigmented and offers all–day wear, it also has ingredients that promote healthy lips. With sunflower oil and rosemary extract as primary ingredients, this lipstick works to strengthen your lips!
Check out the FF Iconic Lipstick and Fashion Fair’s countless other quality products on their website or at a Sephora near you!
Many good things start over a glass of wine, and Mented is no exception. One night, creators KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson sat and bonded over the difficulty of finding a nude lipstick. This conversation ignited their idea for the brand known today as Mented. As they say so beautifully in their mission statement, “We know you’ll love being put first—because when it comes to beauty, no one deserves to be an afterthought.” With this in mind, the brand aims to provide a wide array of makeup for skin tones of every type.
Since their brand all started with the idea of lipstick, it would be wrong not to look at their countless lip products. Their semi–matte duos need to be added to your cart immediately. Offering the perfect combination of a dewy matte lip, this pack comes with lipstick and a lip liner, making it the ideal pair.
Although Mented doesn’t offer traditional liquid foundations, their stick foundations still provide plenty of coverage and allow for easy application. Mented doesn’t stop at makeup; they also offer nail products! To check it out for yourself, go to their website.
Who wouldn’t want to buy beauty products from an experienced makeup guru? Danessa Myricks is a self–trained makeup artist who practices unconventional techniques to craft beautiful looks. She established her name in the beauty industry and started to teach other young makeup artists about her unique artistry. Myricks then went on to lead product launches at Benefit Cosmetics and KISS. However, after her successful time behind the scenes in the industry, she created her own brand: Danessa Myricks Beauty (DM Beauty). Driven by the lack of diversity in the cosmetics world, she wanted DM Beauty to be a space where everyone felt included.
If I could describe Myricks’ brand in one word, it would be electric. Her vast selection of products is filled with vibrant colors that will elevate any makeup look. In fact, the DM website consists of a whole section labeled “color,” and it does not disappoint. If you’ve been meaning to try an elaborate eye look, your search for the right products is over.
The Waterproof Cushion is the perfect liquid color eyeliner. But don’t just take my word for it; world–renowned makeup artist Mary Irwin has described the colorful liner as the best she’s ever used. Myricks’ Colorfix has been repping an Allure best of beauty label for quite some time — and for good reason! Coming in what resembles a lipstick applicator for accessibility, the Colorfix gives you extreme pigmentation in just one squeeze. While DM is most known for its eye products, don’t overlook their creamy foundations!
While the makeup industry has been becoming a more inclusive place, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. In 2021, Sephora announced that it would take their initial seven Black–owned product providers to 21. While this may seem like a significant jump, Sephora carries around 340 brands. Increasing from seven brands to 21 will mean that Black–owned businesses will only comprise a little over 5% of their brand portfolios. Make sure to continue to support independent Black–owned makeup businesses, like the ones in this article!