13 Black-Owned Beauty Products You Should Really Own by Now
Warning: You’re about to become obsessed with these must-have beauty buys.
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You’ve been missing out
The recently heightened awareness surrounding racial injustice and inequality has led to Black-owned businesses receiving the well-deserved attention that had always eluded them as a result of being owned by Black people. Black-owned beauty brands, in particular, have been the subject of much conversation and have quickly risen to coveted status as both the mainstream media and White allies have felt the need to support these typically undervalued companies. Guilty feelings over prior neglect aside, there is another reason these Black beauty brands are having such a powerful moment and will most likely never return to the bottom shelves of drugstore aisles: They’re really good, and they’re not just for Black customers!
Since these beauty products are often born out of need from an ignored consumer base, they tend to be well researched, diligently tested, and formulated with the best ingredients. Because of that, they deliver top-notch results. Here’s what you’ve been missing out on—and what belongs on your shopping list.
Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.
Miss Jessie’s Multicultural Curls
Founded in 1997 by beautician sisters Miko and Titi Branch, Miss Jessie’s was created to fill the void of hair-care solutions for women with curly hair textures. Miss Jessie’s Multicultural Curls is a certified organic, lightweight styling lotion that fights frizz, promotes curl uniformity, and adds just the right amount of soft hold. It helps coifs with any degree of coil spring into action. “One of the myths about naturally textured hair is that only women of color have this type of hair,” CEO Miko Branch tells Reader’s Digest. “But women of all backgrounds can have wavy, curly, coiled, and kinky hair genetics.” Don’t miss these other hair-care products stylists can’t live without.
Qhemet Biologics Castor & Moringa Softening Serum
Described as “exceptional hair care for natural African hair,” Qhemet Biologics products are crafted with premium ingredients dedicated to scalp nourishment and treatment, moisture retention, and healthy hair growth. Inspired by ancient African, Mediterranean, and Ayurvedic hair-care practices, the brand features must-haves like Castor & Moringa Softening Serum, a rich, moisturizing oil blend that nourishes and softens dry, brittle hair. Like all Qhemet Biologics products, this serum is organic, 100 percent vegetarian, and free of mineral oils, silicone, and parabens—making it gentle while remaining ultra softening for coarse, porous hair textures.
True Indian Hair Deep Curly Hair Extensions
When entrepreneur Karen Mitchell saw an opportunity to create and offer high-quality hair extensions, she took the idea and ran with it, transforming her “side hustle” into one of today’s most sought-after hair-extension brands. Officially launched in 2006, True Indian Hair is known for its quality and consistency. Offering hair bundles and wigs in a variety of lengths and textures, the company is especially revered for its Deep Curly Hair Extensions, which Mitchell points out “cannot stay in stock.” The highly coveted and carefree texture helps you recreate on-trend looks without damaging your natural hair.
The low-maintenance extensions have a dedicated fan base that includes Rihanna and Solange, who rely on the cascading spiraled add-ins to create stylish looks for the red carpet and IRL, as well as TV beauty expert Denise Caldwell, an eight-year devotee who considers them “a great investment for stylish, healthy hair.” Looking for summer-hair ideas? Try these gorgeous, no-heat hairstyles.
Kim Kimble Vapor Infusion Iron
Kim Kimble, who has spent 30 years in the hair-care industry, has created products with the belief that “style and hair health should coexist.” That philosophy has helped beautify the strands of stars like Beyoncé, Shakira, Mary J. Blige, and Zendaya, and it’s also the inspiration for this must-have product, which you’re about to fall in love with. The Kim Kimble Signature Collection Vapor Infusion Iron is a professional-quality flat iron that simultaneously straightens your hair while infusing Argan-oil vapors into it, courtesy of specialized cartridges that you fill with the oil. This locks in moisture, eliminating frizz and making hair super smooth, soft, shiny, and healthy.
Grace Eleyae Slap
After discovering a bald patch on her own head and coming up totally empty on the search for protective sleepwear for her damaged hair and scalp, Grace Eleyae took matters into her own hands and developed her eponymous collection of satin-lined headwear. The Grace Eleyae Slap (a hybrid moniker for satin-lined cap) locks in moisture while you sleep and distributes your hair’s natural healthy oils, keeping it hydrated, soft, frizz-free, and well protected. Available in a variety of colors, it’s ideal for sleep, travel, exercise, or any activity that calls for a head covering. A favorite of celebrities like Gabrielle Union and Viola Davis, the slap should be positioned firmly atop every beauty junkie’s hair-care hot list, alongside these affordable drugstore hair products stylists swear by.
Mielle Organics Rice Water Clay Masque
Tired of spending “countless amounts of money on products that didn’t work” for her naturally curly hair, Monique Rodriguez decided to launch her own brand in her garage. The self-professed “research lover” and former nurse practitioner founded Mielle Organics with a mission to provide innovative, all-natural hair products for women with textured tresses. Thoroughly impressed with the benefits of rice water on the hair and skin (including its reputation for making hair grow faster) but taken aback by the arduous nature of procuring it, Rodriguez developed the Rice Water Collection, the fifth addition to Mielle Organics’ roster. The line offers the benefits of rice water without the time-consuming and expensive process needed to create it. This clay masque, which contains rice water and yuzu, works wonders on hair and skin. It’s designed to detoxify while depositing moisture back into the hair and skin, leaving both in tip-top shape.
Beneath Your Mask Nourish Skin and Hair Serum
Beneath Your Mask was developed by Dana Johnson, who has lupus, as a skin-care solution for people like her who suffer from chemical sensitivity as a result of health issues. Made from organic, wild-crafted botanicals, the Beneath Your Mask brand strives to produce natural products loaded with healing properties. This Nourish Skin and Hair Serum is a potent, multifunctional cocktail of pure plant and essential oils that both repairs damaged skin and penetrates unhealthy hair follicles to encourage hair growth. The vegan, gluten-free, and toxin-free product contains hydrating and anti-aging properties that breathe new life into hair and skin, without any damage or irritation.
Fenty Beauty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick
Globally recognized for its inclusivity across skin tones, Fenty Beauty is the brainchild of entertainer extraordinaire and serial entrepreneur Rihanna. Titled after the singer’s last name, Fenty Beauty is an inspired collection of fashion-forward cosmetics that truly offers something for everyone. If Rihanna’s signature sexy pout is your idea of #beautygoals, then Fenty Beauty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick is for you. According to Ms. Fenty herself, it “looks a little glossy but has a little more pigment than a usual gloss” and is ideal when you “just want easy lipstick to wear.” CBS Watch Magazine Style Director Sasha Charnin Morrison agrees and is “obsessed” with its “natural sheen [because] it looks dewy but not forced.” Its velvety smooth finish and subtle hint of a hue is a great “no-makeup” makeup trick to look naturally gorgeous.
Mented Semi Matte Lipstick
Mented Cosmetics founders KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, who met at Harvard Business School, cultivated their lipstick line in 2014 to offer “the perfect blends of browns, pinks, and reds” meant to complement and enhance varying skin tones. The pigment-first brand expanded from there to include blush, eye shadow, and more. The Semi Matte Lipsticks are designed to deliver a clean natural look, taking the guesswork out of choosing the best lipstick for your skin tone. The vegan, all-natural, paraben-free lip colors are great for women of all shades, especially the usually forgotten darker complexions.
Flaunt Body Ingrown Hair Mask
A winner of the Indie Beauty Expo’s Best in Show award for hair-removal products in 2019, the Flaunt Body Ingrown Hair Mask is the personal-care product you didn’t know you needed—and won’t know how you ever lived without. Created in 2016 by Cameron Alexis Moore, it’s “a face mask for the bikini area,” providing an inclusive, accessible solution for the extremely niche skin-care concern of ingrown hair. Vegan and cruelty-free masks, the masks can be purchased individually or in a five-pack, and they’re meant to be used “after shaving or waxing to reduce irritation, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs.” The brand’s unique bio-cellulose formulation infuses skin with ultra-moisturizing ingredients that result in smoother skin.
Hive Luxury Fragrances Love Child
A believer in a fragrance’s ability to enhance experiences and elevate well-being, Hive Luxury Fragrances creator Bambi Montgomery says “the work of a perfumer is salted, pure, and sacred.” That belief is evident in Hive Luxury Fragrances’ artfully curated body and home scents meant to evoke emotion, as well as their stunning packaging and meticulous presentation. The brand’s signature scent, Love Child, is an alluring and sophisticated blend of jasmine, lily, and amber that “exudes feelings of love.” By the way, this is what your favorite perfume says about your personality.
Vendetta Nail Bar After Fall Nude Gel
Infatuated with the nail industry since childhood, Reiauh Gregory “saw that there was a lack of representation of women of color in the industry” and decided it was time to change that. She launched Vendetta Nail Bar in 2017 “to show the younger generation that there are black women in the nail industry.” Beyond inclusivity and awesome nail colors, Vendetta Nail Bar is committed to overall health. The vegan, non-toxic polishes promote damage-free nails and healthy cuticles while offering colors that “complement all skin tones.” The After Fall Nude Gel Collection, in particular, boasts subtle hints of color hues that work for everyone.
Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen
Voted best sunscreen by Allure in 2019, Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen is clean sunscreen for all. Founder Katonya Breaux created the line “so that women (and men) of all of ethnicities and skin tones would have skin-safe sunscreen products.” She was motivated to create her brand after seeing the slim pickings in the sunscreen department for people of darker complexions. Unsun comes in two wide-ranging shades and boasts a clean-ingredient-based, residue-free formula, making it as kind to the wearer as it is to the environment. By the way, here’s why mineral-based sunscreens are the only ones the FDA wants you to use.
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