“…perhaps being named “black” was just someone’s name for being at the bottom.”Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between The World And Me
Understanding the relationship between beauty and blackness has a lot to do with understanding why we have come to associate the word ‘black’ with negativity; with something waiting to turn white. This, of course, dates back to slavery and caste systems — colourist attitudes that are embedded almost every society that has a colonial history. For so long we’ve been told that white = better.
The black community has long suffered at the hands of industries that cherry pick black culture without acknowledgement — headwraps, bold prints, acrylic nails, full lips — but left them out of the narrative of success and self-worth. Instead of waiting for white-led companies to come up with skincare solutions that cater to melanin skin, or for makeup brands to release foundation shades beyond ‘caramel’, black-owned businesses have fronted this change themselves.
Supporting Black Beauty Brands Today
1 – The Honey Pot Company | @thehoneypotco | 324K Followers
Honey Pot is the first plant-based feminine care system on the market. They do serums, washes, pads, tampons, and anything else related to vagina-care.
Apart from products they also put out educational resources and workshops for women to better understand their bodies. In their words, “loving yourself is the greatest revolution”.
2 – The Lip Bar | @thelipbar | 237K Followers
The Lip Bar is a vegan & cruelty free makeup brand for the everyday woman who has ‘shit to do’. Over the last couple of days, they have used their platform to highlight other black & brown-owned beauty brands that Target has stocked, as well as black female-owned businesses to support.
This is their Top-Performing Post this year, and their audience has grown 15.3% in the last month — a testament to how many people are stepping up to recognise black-owned brands.
3 – KLUR | @klur.co | 31.1K Followers
At the core of KLUR is ‘humanity’ and ‘sustainability’ — two values that root the company. Like the Lip Bar, they have been using their voice to speak up about #BLM, with notes and stories from Lesley Thornton, the founder.
We’re happy to tell you that their audience has grown by 224.74% in the last month. More power to black voices ✊🏿
4 – Anita Grant | @anitagrant | 21.5K Followers
Anita Grant is focused on natural skin care for all skin types, and natural hair care for curly girls.
5 – LIHA | @lihabeauty | 18.4K Followers
Liha is also focused on natural ingredients, and a lot of their beauty recipes are well-known and loved by the African community including shea butter, idan oil and so forth. They also hold kitchen beauty workshops so that people can create their own skincare products at home.
Visit their website/Instagram profile to learn more about the shifting beauty culture.
6 – Beneath Your Mask | @beneathyourmask | 16.4K Followers
Another natural beauty brand! Beneath Your Mask is most loved for their lip balms, featured below:
They also won the 2019 Allure Best of Beauty Award. Dana, the founder, interacts with her audience very often on the account which is always a great sign. They have also been speaking up about #BLM and put out their own list of black-owned and funded businesses to support while we’re at it and beyond.
7 – Freedom Apothecary | @freedom.apothecary | 16.4K Followers
Freedom is a women-founded and women-led business, which is an extra reason to love it. Apart from skin and melanin, they also occasionally discuss astrology and wellness. Their audience has grown 63% in the last month!
Here is their Top-Performing Post this year:
And an example of the kind of wholesome content you can look forward to on their page:
8 – Sonshine Bath | @sonshinebath | 9.7K Followers
Natural, mother-and-son owned, handmade — what more can we ask for in a product?
As a small business, they do everything themselves! From the making, to the packing, to the shipping. It is initiatives like this that inspire us to be better people, because of the big hearts and hard work that goes into everything they do.
Even if you’re not in desperate need of some soap right now, I encourage you to browse their website and see how you can support this lovely business ❤
9 – GILDED | @theartofbodycare | 8.8K Followers
For those that are interested in body care but prefer the more ‘luxurious’ approach, GILDED has you covered.
Look at those lovely body brushes! Each product is also handmade / handcrafted by their small team, but they guarantee quality with each purchase.
They have been featured in Essence, Oprah, Forbes, Well + Good, The Zoe Report, Byrdie, Martha Stewart, Allure.
10 – dehiya beauty | @dehiyabeauty | 7.3K Followers
dehiya (prononunced de•hē•yuh) was once shouted out by THE Janet Mock for their Mihakka Tool and Afterglow Serum so here’s a brand you’ll want to get behind. Mia Chae Reddy, the founder, makes all her products by hand and also uploads videos on how to use, cleanse, and take care of your skin.
Remember Aurora James’s 15 Percent Pledge? Mia endorsed it too! Trust us when we say #womensupportingwomen will change the world.
Black Lives Matter. There are many, many ways to pledge your support to the movement as a whole as well as undo institutional and structural racism in our societies. Now is not the time to remain silent.
If you’re interested in doing more than supporting black-owned businesses and amplifying the voices and work of black creators, visit this link curated by Indya Moore: https://linktr.ee/Indyamoore which contains educational resources, bail funds, organisations to donate to, and ways to rebuild black businesses.
Other articles we have covered on the topic of black excellence / black-owned businesses include:
- 10 Black-Owned Fashion Brands To Support
- Top 10 Black Beauty Influencers
- 4 Inspirational Black Influencers on Film and Instagram
- Pat McGrath Skin Fetish
- The Insta-brand Beauty Bakerie
- Juvia’s Place: From $2,000 To A Multimillion-Dollar Instagram Makeup Brand
- The Breakout Stars of ‘When They See Us’ on Instagram
- FENTY: The Disruptive Brand
- Homecoming #Beychella: The Pinnacle of Coachella Music History