Up your makeup, hair, skincare, and nail regimen with must-have products from these standout companies.
As a Black woman, my relationship with beauty has long been a complicated one. It’s taken me years to curate a collection of lipsticks that suit my style, whether I’m heading to a work meeting or dinner with family or friends. See, like some Black women, my upper and lower lips are two different tones, so finding the perfect formula to complement them has never come with ease. And let’s not get started on sunscreen. Most products either resulted in acne flare-ups or added an unflattering white cast to my almond complexion. And when I made the decision to stop relaxing my hair years ago? My talented hairstylist—Noël at the Noël New York salon in Brooklyn—pretty much turned every one of our appointments into a therapy session. I didn’t want to do the big chop (a.k.a. cut off my relaxed hair to start the process of wearing it naturally). I couldn’t figure out how to keep my hair moisturized without overloading it with products. Detangling it felt like a chore (the Wet Brush, which Noël swears by, is now my savior), and it was difficult to achieve a salon-style blowout at home—the ones I had been accustomed to getting religiously multiple times a month since high school. And, believe it or not, my list of beauty dilemmas doesn’t end there.
While I certainly still experience my own share of beauty issues as a Black woman, many brands, both independent sellers and those available at mass retailers, have finally responded to our needs. It’s good business sense, especially since Black women drive the beauty industry. For instance, according to ESSENCE, in 2018 alone, the Black hair care business yielded approximately $2.51 billion. It's now less challenging to find makeup, hair, nail, and skin care products that are crafted with Black women in mind. To put it simply, we’ve come a long way.
Whether you’re looking to diversify your beauty arsenal or just need a little pick-me-up, browse some of my favorite beauty brands that, I believe, thoughtfully consider Black women.