The Historical past and Triumph of Black-Owned Make-up Manufacturers


Makeup Products for Women of Color that are Black-Owned Styled Against a Neutral Abstracted Designed Background

To honor Black Historical past Month, we’re persevering with to have a good time the great thing about Black Pleasure and all of the hope and transformation it brings. From private essays to deep-dives into historical past and tradition, be a part of us as we amplify Black voices and discover the merchandise, traditions, and folks main the way in which.

2020 was a yr. Marred by tragedy and a name to motion for justice, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter motion gained traction in an area that’s uniquely positioned to talk to a broad viewers: the sweetness group. Sarcastically, it’s inside the magnificence trade that Black ladies have been traditionally excluded—most evident within the lack of inclusive shade ranges and Black-owned choices in giant retailers. There was a time not way back when the marketplace for Black people to seek out intensive make-up choices merely didn’t exist. Whereas make-up for Black ladies might be credited to visionaries resembling Overton’s high-brown face powder within the early 1900s, it wasn’t till the early Seventies that inclusive make-up choices emerged in additional outstanding areas.

1973: Eunice Johnson, businesswoman and spouse of Ebony and Jet journal writer John H. Johnson, created Trend Honest Cosmetics—arguably the keystone of Black-owned make-up within the late 20th century—after she seen that fashions of her Ebony Trend Honest would usually combine their very own pigments to create shades. Eunice approached bigger make-up companies like Revlon previous to beginning her personal model, all of which turned her down. In 2003, Trend Honest Cosmetics grossed $56 million in gross sales—at its peak, the biggest Black-owned make-up firm on the time.


1994: Supermodel and entrepreneur Iman, who would deliver her personal make-up on set within the Seventies, created Iman Cosmetics with the intention on offering a status assortment of make-up for girls of coloration.

1994: Black Opal Magnificence was based by Greek chemist Niko Mouyiaris in 1994, who created the model to seek out make-up options for his Jamaican spouse, Carol. The model affords merchandise that tackle considerations resembling hyperpigmentation and shade-matching make-up choices.

The twenty years after these Black-owned make-up manufacturers had been based had been crammed with firms that catered to deeper pores and skin tones, however weren’t owned by such. Even with Black-owned choices, colorism nonetheless invaded the areas by which obstacles had been being damaged, as lighter shades had been usually extra available and in inventory than deeper shades. Furthermore, it appeared make-up for deeper pores and skin tones had been extra out there at drugstores and wonder provide chains as an alternative of luxurious retailers.

We at the moment are in a time the place Black-owned make-up choices occupying extra areas together with giant retailers, on-line and influencer markets, and even clear magnificence.

2015: Melissa Butler, CEO of The Lip Bar, began her firm in 2012 with the objective of making clear, high-performing lipsticks that flattered all pores and skin tones. In 2015, the Black-owned cosmetics firm was denied traders by the favored present “Shark Tank.” In what might’ve outlined her profession in a damaging course, Melissa fueled the rejection into perseverance—now, The Lip Bar is bought in Goal shops nationwide and simply opened a flagship retailer in Detroit.

Two yr later, we noticed an emergence of Black-owned magnificence manufacturers that continued to ask inclusion to the forefront of dialog.

2017: Rihanna launched Fenty Magnificence September 2017, disrupting the sweetness trade with its 40-shade basis vary and creating a brand new customary of inclusion for big retailers.

That very same yr, Reynell Steward, a media persona also called Supa Cent, created The Crayon Case, an internet cosmetics firm that when grossed $1 million in 90 minutes throughout a Cyber Monday sale.


Alicia Scott of Vary Magnificence, created an inclusive line in 2017 that catered to Black ladies within the clear magnificence market.

Mented Cosmetics, recognized for creating the right nude lipstick for deeper pores and skin tones, launched in 2017 by Amanda Johnson and KJ Miller. The Harvard educated homeowners had been in a position to safe $1 million pre-seeding funding, a feat that’s ground-breaking as Black entrepreneurs obtain lower than 1% of VC capital.

The success of those manufacturers and their potential to thrive in an over-saturated market proves that there’s room for us all.

2020: Presently, pals and former Johnson publishing executives Cheryl Mayberry McKissack and Desiree Rogers bought each Trend Honest Cosmetics, in addition to Black Opal Magnificence, with plans to develop globally and proceed to create progressive merchandise for girls of coloration, honoring each manufacturers’ expansive historical past of significance of tradition for Black ladies in magnificence.

Curiously sufficient, August is Nationwide Black Enterprise Month, an observance of the significance to Black owned enterprise to each the Black group and home financial system. It is very important acknowledge the obstacles resembling lack of capital funding, whereas actively working to dismantle mentioned obstacles. As shoppers and influencers alike, enhancing our consciousness of those obstacles, and a sustained dedication to supporting Black-owned magnificence manufacturers are methods to domesticate the continued progress for Black-owned magnificence firms.

Regardless of the challenges, Black ladies in magnificence will all the time inform the story of perseverance, persistence, and fervour. From breaking obstacles to increasing shade ranges to touchdown in main retailers, Black ladies proceed to prevail within the face of adversity. Although the sweetness trade has a lot floor to enhance upon in turning into inclusive for all, it’s vital to annotate the wealthy historical past of Black ladies in magnificence, celebrating the successes alongside the way in which.

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