With the anti-racism movement around the world in need of everyone’s support, you’ve probably been left wondering how you can help in a practical, tangible way. In addition to making donations, signing petitions and educating yourself on the history of racism, one positive thing you can do to action right now is to support black-owned businesses.
The beauty world is full of brilliant black-owned brands offering gorgeous options for every area of your daily routine, from haircare and skincare to make-up. Here are just some of your favourites – the next time you run out of a product, consider topping up your stash with them.
The black-owned beauty brands you should have on your radar
Bea is the cosmeceutical science-led skincare brand from Harley Street-trained skin specialist Bianca Estelle. The range offers edits of products to tackle a range of different skin concerns, from pigmentation to sensitivity to a targeted acne care line. If you’re not sure where to start, the 5-step daily regime has dozens of five-star reviews.
Award-winning hairdresser Charlotte’s Manketti Oil-infused haircare is stocked by Space NK and Net-A-Porter, and makes a seriously nourishing, replenishing treat for your locks, especially if you’ve got natural curls. The shampoo and conditioner are great everyday staples, but for hair that’s really thirsty, the hair oil will revive its natural bounce and shine.
Uoma Beauty, founded by Nigerian former-LVMH executive Sharon Chuter, has a simple message: beauty comes in every colour. Shade ranges in foundation and concealer are impressively inclusive, while buys like lipsticks and palettes are comprised of bright eye-catching hues. In the UK, you can shop it at Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay.
‘We create beauty products that are, like us, a mixture of natural African roots and a quintessentially British attitude,’ say best friends Liha Okunniwa and Abi Oyepitan, the women behind Liha Beauty. The sleek minimalist packaging houses vegan, cruelty-free formulas that are free from parabens, sls and chemicals – try the £38 discovery kit to meet your new favourites.
During childhood visits to West Virginia, Nancy Twine would help her grandmother make her coveted homemade hair care. As an adult, disappointed in the natural hair offerings she found on the shelves, Nancy channeled this knowledge to launch Briogeo, a performance-driven line which has everything you need for stronger, healthier hair.
Dizziak’s hair range, launched by former beauty writer Loretta De Feo, is often hailed as a curly hair saviour – particularly when it comes to the Deep Conditioner, which is packed with rich, comforting ingredients like castor oil, shea butter and aloe vera.
Bouclème is plant-based curl care with a difference – founder Michele Scott-Lynch created the products after struggling with her own curl journey into her 30s, and created a 3-step system designed to cleanse, condition and, crucially, define. The collection, which starts from just £8, has an eco-friendly focus and fair-trade ingredients are used wherever possible.
Beauty Bakerie, available at Cult Beauty or Boots, puts the fun back into make-up – each item is themed around a sweet treat you’d find in (you’ve guessed it) a bakery, with bestsellers including the Brownie Bar palette and Oat Setting Powder, which comes complete in its own flour-style bag. Founder Cashmere’s journey is incredibly powerful, including having her daughter at 16 and overcoming breast cancer – read it here.
Afrocenchix’s Afro hair products are stocked in Holland & Barrett and Whole Foods, and consists of hair creams, oils, sprays and scalp treatments all made with natural ingredients. Founders Joycelyn and Rachael also have lots of useful educational tools on their website, including guides to working out your hair type and myth-busting blog posts.
Polish? Cienna Rose, founded by Carla Opoku, has got it nailed. The brand’s 12 free formulas are all non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free and, as well as the lacquers themselves, there’s nail care, base coats, top coats and cuticle oils aplenty in the range.
Shedid & Parrish
This 100 per cent natural and vegan haircare brand was founded by Jessica Parrish. As a mixed-race child, she was adopted into a Caucasian family and found it difficult to find products for her hair type. Her mission is to ensure curls like hers are seen and celebrated in their natural beauty, which is how Shedid & Parrish came about. The products are also cruelty and scent-free.
Buttah Skin was founded by model, actor and recording artist Dorion Renaud when he struggled to find products that catered to his skin needs. The Buttah brand, which is backed by Beyoncé, was born in 2018 when Renaud discovered the benefits of raw, organic shea. He created Buttah to ‘give melanin rich skin the attention it deserves’.
Epara means ‘to cocoon oneself’ in the Nigerian dialect of Ebira. After founder Ozohu Adoh attained her MBA at Oxford University, she decided to develop her own products to treat dry, uneven skin as she couldn’t find any suitable for herself already on the market.
The luxury skincare brand aims to introduce women with deeper skin tones to the best organic and natural ingredients from Africa. It can be purchased from Net-A-Porter as well the Epara wesbite.
Coloured Raine was founded in 2013 by Loraine R. Dowdy, a woman born in the Caribbean and raised in Brooklyn. She left her career to follow her dream of beginning a cosmetic line that encouraged self-expression and embraced broad racial diversity. The brand’s liquid lipsticks are bursting with colour and are extremely popular, alongside the super vibrant eyeshadows. The Queen of Hearts eyeshadow palette can be bought here from Beauty Bay.