As brands continue to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement on social media, followers are calling for words to be put into action. Initiatives like the Fifteen Percent Pledge are making rounds in the retail world, with brands like Sephora and Rent the Runway signing on to dedicate 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. While we wait to see who else will take the same measures, we can take diversifying our beauty collection into our own hands. To help you get started in creating your own version of the fifteen percent pledge, we’ve gathered some of our favorite Black-owned beauty brands, with products that can be used from head to toe.
Pat McGrath Labs
Pat McGrath has been dubbed by many as the world’s most influential makeup artist. Her earliest memories of makeup were rooted in experimentation, she told Time Magazine in 2017, mixing pigments to create shades that worked for her own skin tone. After years of experience in the fashion and beauty industry, she launched her own label, making sure to formulate shades that worked on every skin tone. Recreate her iconic runway and editorial looks with her cult-favorite products.
Briogeo founder Nancy Twine’s journey in hair care began at the age of five, helping her grandmother concoct homemade products that became a town favorite. When she switched to store-bought products after moving to New York City in her early twenties, she found that her purchases just weren’t cutting it. Briogeo, born in Twine’s East Village studio apartment, is now an industry-backed brand with a dedicated following. Every product is cruelty-free, with ethically-sourced, natural ingredients.
As a graduate of Academy of Design & Technology in Chicago, Rachel James took inspiration from her vibrant surroundings to launch Pear Nova in 2012. Her debut line of creme polishes has expanded into an award-collection of gels, shimmers, and sheers, so you’re bound to find a product that fits in your go-to mani routine. Pear Nova’s products are cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and free of harsh chemicals.
Oui The People
When Karen Young launched Oui The People in 2015, she wanted to steer clear of branding and advertising that urged perfection. Their mission, named the reConstitution, is to create a product that makes you feel comfortable in the skin you’re already in. Oui the People’s hand-crafted, single-blade razors ensure a clean shave of even the coarsest of hairs. While their products, including a revolutionary bikini line mask, aren’t available to ship until late August, definitely keep Oui the People on your radar.
Beauty Bakerie wants to add some excitement back into your makeup routine. Founder Cashmere Nicole combined her love for makeup and entrepreneurial spirit to launch the brand in 2011. What started as a line of budge-proof liquid lipsticks is now a vast collection of confection-inspired products in a wide range of shades.
The idea for Luv Scrub came naturally to Caroline Owusu-Ansah, as the exfoliation tool had been used in West Africa for generations. After sharing it as her skincare secret to friends, they suggested turning it into a business. Using her background in retail merchandising and branding, she launched Luv Scrub in 2011, releasing a line of mesh exfoliating sheets in a range of chic colors. It became an instant favorite in the beauty community, helping fight back acne, ingrown hairs, and more.
The Lip Bar
When Melissa Butler’s Wall Street job left her feeling unfulfilled, she began creating lipsticks in her kitchen as a side hobby in 2012. Unsatisfied with the lack of diversity in the beauty industry, she set out to create a collection of unique colors, keeping all skin tones and lifestyles in mind. An unsuccessful stint on ABC’s Shark Tank only pushed her further to succeed, and her products have since been stocked in Target and her flagship store in Detroit. While lip products are The Lip Bar’s main groove, be sure to check out Fast Face, a kit of six products to create a flawless seven-minute face.