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


To honor Black Historical past Month, we’re persevering with to have fun 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 part of us as we amplify Black voices and discover the merchandise, traditions, and other people main the best way.

2020 was a 12 months. 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. Paradoxically, it’s throughout the magnificence business that Black girls 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 search out intensive make-up choices merely didn’t exist. Whereas make-up for Black girls may be credited to visionaries similar to Overton’s high-brown face powder within the early 1900s, it wasn’t till the early Nineteen Seventies that inclusive make-up choices emerged in additional distinguished 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 typically 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 most important Black-owned make-up firm on the time.

2015: Melissa Butler, CEO of The Lip Bar, began her firm in 2012 with the aim 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 destructive course, Melissa fueled the rejection into perseverance—now, The Lip Bar is offered in Goal shops nationwide and simply opened a flagship retailer in Detroit. 

Two 12 months 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 business with its 40-shade basis vary and creating a brand new commonplace of inclusion for giant retailers.

That very same 12 months, Reynell Steward, a media persona also referred to as Supa Cent, created The Crayon Case, a web based 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 girls within the clear magnificence market.

Mented Cosmetics, recognized for creating the proper nude lipstick for deeper pores and skin tones, launched in 2017 by Amanda Johnson and KJ Miller. The Harvard educated house owners have 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 means 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 revolutionary merchandise for ladies of colour, honoring each manufacturers’ expansive historical past of significance of tradition for Black girls in magnificence.

Apparently 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 boundaries similar to lack of capital funding, whereas actively working to dismantle stated boundaries. 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 development for Black-owned magnificence corporations.

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

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