- Written By Alicia Michelle
10 Black-Owned Vegan Beauty Brands
The second golden age for Black-owned businesses has arrived, this time in the form of color cosmetics. Since Fenty Beauty’s arrival on the scene with an unprecedented 40-shade foundation range in September 2017, the once exclusive and exclusionary beauty industry has shifted towards inclusivity and diversity, with plenty of evidence to back it up. Amongst this evidence is the rise of Black-owned clean beauty brands, carrying long overdue sustainable and vegan options for makeup lovers of color.
10. Candy x Paints
Candy X Paints
Nail care is self-care, and that’s exactly what Candy x Paints aims to prove. Founded by Shardae Layfield after discovering how harmful nail polish and other self-care products can be, Candy x Paints is an Atlanta-bred 10-free, PETA and Leaping Bunny Certified nail polish brand. With a mission to deliver uncompromising nailcare and provide a safe space for diverse self-expression, Candy x Paints offers nailcare essentials and over 40 delectable polish shades in saturated, on-trend hues. Catch ‘em while you can, because Candy x Paint’s polishes sell out fast.
9. Range Beauty
Clean beauty is all well and good, but what if you can’t find your shade amongst mainstream clean beauty offerings? Range Beauty’s got your answer. As a skincare and makeup company launched in 2017 for all shades, skin types, and genders, Range Beauty boasts a robust catalogue of vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly complexion products, including liquid foundations, powders, and highlighters. In addition to a generous sampling policy, Range Beauty also includes a shade finder and noncomedogenic, eczema-friendly formulations.
8. Pholk Beauty
If you can’t get something done, do it yourself – this is exactly what Pholk Beauty’s founder, Niambi Cacchioli, did after she couldn’t find skincare products suited for her combination skin during her academic travels throughout the African continent. Infused with two beauty principles – simple, but effective formulations and the African diaspora’s healing and herbalist traditions, Pholk Beauty’s mission is to celebrate women of color as cultural innovators through small-batch, vegan skincare. In addition to minimalist, shelfie-friendly packaging, Pholk Beauty has options for every skin concern you can think of, from ingrown hairs, to dullness, to maskne.
7. Pear Nova
Are you a nail aficionado in search of a vegan, cruelty-free, 10 Free, and Black-owned polish brand? Pear Nova’s got you covered. Launched in 2012 by Rachel James after a cosmetic pilgrimage to Paris, France, Pear Nova uses haute couture trends as inspiration for her modern nail polish shades. As a member of Oprah’s Favorite Things list for 2020, there’s a little something for everyone at Pear Nova, where you’ll find nailcare, gel, and classic lacquers in a variety of finishes that compliment every skin tone.
6. Mudd Beauty
Clean, eco-friendly beauty doesn’t have to mean drab, dusty hues, and Mudd Beauty is here to show you why. Founded by Alixzondra Samuda, Mudd’s mission is to deliver knockout color without sacrificing ingredients. Designed to enhance your beauty without compromising your skin, body, and the environment, Mudd Beauty is a Birmingham, UK-based brand that specializes in organic, vegan products that pamper and perform in equal measure. Featuring a mélange of Shea butter, Hyaluronic acid, and botanical oils, Mudd hosts 21 shades of vibrant, intensely pigmented matte liquid lipsticks, with nary an artificial dye or drying formula to be found.
5. Uoma Beauty
Move over, Fenty. Meaning “beautiful” in Nigerian, Ouma was launched by Nigerian-born former beauty executive, Sharon Chuter in 2018. With bold branding and even bolder color cosmetics to match, Ouma’s mission is to re-write the rules of inclusivity and diversity through beauty. With a groundbreaking 51 shades of award-winning foundation, each with their own unique formulation, a detailed, in-depth shade grouping system, and a multitude of color products for lips, eyes, and cheeks, Uoma specializes in creamy, weightless complexion products that deliver a skin-like finish, all while treating common skin concerns for people of color.
4. Danessa Myricks Beauty
Danessa Myricks Beauty
You name it, and DM Cosmetics’ founder, Denessa Myricks, has probably done it.
As a mother, entrepreneur, self-taught makeup artist, and product developer for several major beauty brands, Denessa launched DM Cosmetics out of desire to demolish the beauty industry’s exclusive nature. Doing it all, however, doesn’t stop with Denessa Myricks herself. Throughout DM Cosmetics’ bountiful catalog, you’ll find vibrant cream colors, dewy balms, mouth-watering glosses, and seamless powders, all designed for multipurpose use across all skin tones and types. Bet you can’t buy just one.
3. Mented Cosmetics
Are you a POC who, despite years of searching, still can’t find your perfect nude lippie? Consider your search over with Mented Cosmetics. Founded by KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson in 2017, Mented offers a full range of vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben free color cosmetics. As alluded to in their mission statement, where no complexion is an afterthought, nude lipsticks are Mented’s stars of the show, and they’re armed with an arsenal of rich reddened berries, chocolates, and deep aubergines in a variety of flattering finishes for multi-hued lips. And in case their selection isn’t enough, Mented also offers a shade finder quiz that’ll help you on your quest for the perfect nude.
2. Habit Cosmetics
As the latest in founder Aja Frierson’s long line of creations, Habit Cosmetics was launched in 2013, after Aja couldn’t find a nail polish brand that delivered it all – a clean, nourishing formula, trendy colors, and sustainable packaging. Featuring a toxin-free formula infused with nail-strengthening Myrrh extract and packaging made from recycled plastic and biodegradable bamboo, Habit Cosmetics is home to creamy, dreamy multi-use complexion products in 5 curated, POC-friendly shades and vibrant, playful nail colors guaranteed to inspire envy. Find them online or at your nearest concept store.
1. The Lip Bar
The Lip Bar
Every brand has a story to tell. Here’s The Lip Bar’s:
Born out of founder, Melissa Butler’s, determination to rethink beauty, The Lip Bar began in Melissa’s kitchen in 2012. 8 years later (and after being turned down by ABC’s Shark Tank, no less), The Lip Bar can be found in over 450 Target stores nationwide and a flagship store in the heart of Detroit. Featuring easy-to-use vegan and cruelty free formulas, the Lip Bar is home to every color cosmetic under the sun, including foiled liquid eyeshadows, luminous blush/bronzer duos, and their claim to fame, nourishing lipsticks, filled with Shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, and vitamin E, and available in an array of bold, editorial colors and finishes.
Alicia Michelle is a freelance writer and content creator based in Houston, Texas. When not writing, she can be found gardening, traveling, or dancing the night away at the nearest Latin dance venue. @Moonmissary