• Chris

BLACK-OWNED BRANDS WE CAN SUPPORT


If the stress that COVID-19 has caused for small businesses wasn't enough, the protests against racial injustice and police brutality are sure to add even more economic and emotional stress. Minority business owners are likely to be impacted the most because of this climate, just as Black and Brown communities have been the most underserved during this pandemic, yet make up such a significant portion of the workforce deemed "essential." Tell me how that makes sense?

White and non-black people must examine our own privilege and decide to do better. We must be actively anti-racist. We must call out the injustice we see in-person and online. We must physically protect Black citizens. We must actively go out of our way to show support to the communities who have been systemically disenfranchised and excluded from the narrative for centuries.

Whether we like living in a capitalist society or not, we as beauty consumers actually hold a lot of power: we can vote with our dollars. Purchasing products from Black-owned brands is just one way we can verbalize our support. When given the choice between two very similar products at very similar price points, choose the product from the Black-owned brand. These seemingly minute purchase decisions can actually have more impact than we think.

Additionally, I'd encourage you to donate to sources like the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Color of Change, Reclaim the Block, National Bail Out, and local bail funds in your community. This will help get Black Americans currently in the prison industrial system home to their families, and will help bail out arrested protesters who are risking their health and safety to make sure everyone gets the message: that BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Without further ado, here are a few Black-owned brands that we can support now and in the future. If there are any brands you'd like to see included in a future list, please leave them in the comments! A majority of these brands were submitted by the community via Instagram Stories, and trust me when I say my followers have incredible taste.

Editor's note: If your response to Black Lives Matter is that "all lives matter," you're missing the point. Please educate yourself on systemic racism, racial bias, and covert white supremacy. I've been guilty of things I've said and decisions I've made in the past without realizing the bias behind them, and I owe it to my fellow humans to educate myself and to change my behavior.

SKINCARE

KLUR

Esthetician-formulated treatments that deliver targeted results. I'm very fortunate to call Lesley a friend, and to see so many people fall in love with the brand like I have. KLUR is a manifestation of Lesley's knowledge of both skin health and proven skincare ingredients. My personal favorite products are the Gentle Matter Cleanser, Immersion Serum Concentrate, and Elements of Comfort Botanical Oil but frankly everything in the line incredible.

Shop via KLUR

Image courtesy of @unsuncosmetics

UNSUN

Mineral-based tinted sunscreen created with women of color in mind. Founded by none other than Frank Ocean's mom (!!!), Ms. Katonya Breaux, after noticing a lack of options for deeper skin tones in the clean sunscreen market. The shades range from olive to deep, and don't leave a white cast on the skin. Unsun also makes a hand cream with sunscreen, which will offer protection from sun damage while you're driving!

Shop via Unsun

Image courtesy of @eparaskincare

EPARA

UK-based bespoke luxury skincare formulated with the needs of women of color in mind. The formulas highlight plant-based ingredients sourced throughout the African continent with product options for face and body care. The sleek packaging looks incredibly elegant and the nourishing formulas seem like they'll deliver immense glow!

Shop via Epara

Image courtesy of @blackgirlsunscreen

BLACK GIRL SUNSCREEN

Daily broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection that doesn't make deeper skin tones look ashen. The formula is water-resistant (up to 80 minutes) and fragrance-free. I love that the tube holds 3 ounces of product, which is 2-3x the amount most facial sunscreens contain. They also make a Kids' version with SPF 50.

PS: Black Girl Sunscreen will recycle your empty tubes for you - score!

Shop via Black Girl Sunscreen

Image courtesy of @okokocosmetiques

OKOKO COSMETIQUES

Vancouver-based eco-luxe skincare collection founded by cosmetic formulator Oyéta Kokoroko. With unique formulas that highlight even more unique ingredients, each product seems to be its own special gem. The brand is rooted in innovation and blends green beauty with studied science for enriched results. This brand came highly recommended so if you've tried it, let me know which products are your favorite!

Shop via Okoko Cosmetiques

Image courtesy of @lovinahskincare

LOVINAH SKINCARE

Designed by Joy Ekhator as a modern interpretation of traditional African botanical preparations. Inspired by the heart, mind, and soul and created to provide a well-balanced experience and complete results. They also make a gorgeous eyeshadow palette that includes beautiful metallic jewel tones. On the skincare front, I'm particularly intrigued by the Blue Butterfly mask and the Power Cleansing Balm. If you've tried anything from this brand, let us know what you think!

Shop via Lovinah Skincare

Image courtesy of @paparozier

PAPA ROZIER FARMS

This Bushwick, Brooklyn-based shop specializes in castor and moringa oils that are grown organically on their family farm in Haiti. Once the seeds of those plants arrive to the pressing facility at their store, they are cold-pressed to produce a nutrient-dense, unrefined oil. These foundational oils are sold in their pure form, but are also transformed into everything from scalp serum, to foot salve, to lotion bars. This is a great way to stock up on core ingredients (or some of their handmade blends) while supporting a Black-owned business and family!

Shop via Papa Rozier Farms

HAIRCARE

Image courtesy of @behindthecurl

BEHIND THE CURL

Their African shea butter-based MAXMoisture Crème can be used to co-wash, seal ends, and add nourishment to all natural hairstyles. It can also be used on skin to treat dryness on elbows, knees, and ankles. The tub has a generous amount of product so you can apply all-over!

Check out Behind the Curl

BRIOGEO

Where do I start? Not only does Briogeo claim some of Sephora's top-selling hair scrubs and hair masks, but they've got care for all hair types. Their products focus on plant-based ingredients and targeted solutions for frizz, color protection, and scalp irritation to name a few. They also make Curl Charisma Crème, which is easily the best curl-enhancing hair creams I've ever used. My other favorites include the Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment and Rosarco Milk Leave-In Spray - check those out too!

Shop via Briogeo

Image courtesy of @curls

CURLS

Every time I walk past this brand in Target, I'm tempted to pick something up. The Blueberry Bliss collection in particular calls out to me. The Curls collection has options for all different textures and types of natural hair, and features plant-based ingredients and certified-organic extracts. It looks like the products are also designed to encourage hair growth with continued use - they have lots of before-and-after photos on their Instagram!

PS: has anyone tried the Aloe & Blueberry Curl Moisture Spray or the Scalp Treatment? Might need to get some to test out.

Shop via Curls

BATH + BODYCARE

Image courtesy of @beneathyourmask

BENEATH YOUR MASK

Delicious botanically-based body care with safety in mind. Created by Dana Jackson after being diagnosed with a severe form of Lupus that led her to see 'beneath her mask' and discover radical self-acceptance and spiritual healing. Her products are designed to be anti-irritating and safe for those who are immunocompromised or going through intensive therapy. I've heard from many that the Heal Soufflé is the crème-de-la-crème of body butters - it even won an Allure Best of Beauty award!

Shop via Beneath Your Mask

Image courtesy of @lylbodycare

LYL BODY CARE

A.k.a. Lend Your Love is an LA-based line of handmade body and haircare with an emphasis on yummy plant-based ingredients like mango butter and lemongrass. The products are made in small batches and are aimed at nourishment from head to toe! From Hibiscus Hair Oil to oatmeal-lavender black soap, they've got comforting skin and self-care covered.

Shop via LYL Body Care

Image courtesy of @hanahana_beauty

HANAHANA BEAUTY

A fantastic way to get your Shea butter products while supporting a small business. Theirs is sourced ethically from Tamale, Guatemala, and they pay twice the amount of fair trade costs to producers. HanaHana is home to ingredient transparency, community, and one of the most beautiful websites I've seen in a long time. Personally I get a little weak for lemongrass or eucalyptus scents so that's where I'd start first.

Shop via HanaHana Beauty

WELLNESS + LIFESTYLE

Image courtesy of @golde

GOLDE

By far one of the most nominated brands on my IG Stories is this radiant Brooklyn-based wellness and skincare brand. They specialize in superfood ingredients like turmeric and matcha in formats for both smoothies + lattes and face masks. I've only sampled the matcha latte blend in the past (it was delicious!), but have heard wonderful things about their turmeric latte and powder face masks in particular! And can we talk about the beautiful packaging design?

Shop via Golde

Image courtesy of @ouithepeople

OUI THE PEOPLE

Formally known as Oui Shave but re-named to encompass humans of all gender identities, Oui the People makes thoughtful hair-removal tools designed to help you celebrate the skin you're already in. I'm a huge proponent for using a traditional safety razor to shave (it's actually not scary and definitely less irritating) and their chic selection of colors feels modern and intentional. I've yet to try anything from the line, but the oil-based Sugarcoat Shave Gel-to-Milk is where I'll be starting!

Shop via Oui the People

Image courtesy of UnDefined Beauty

UNDEFINED BEAUTY

Offering CBD-infused treats from tinted lip+chick balms, to exfoliating gel, to bath soaks. I'm most intrigued by their Glow Gelée firming serum - doesn't it sound incredible? Additionally, Undefined also curates a selection of other brands on their e-shop, some of which are included on this list! This brand came recommended by my friend Anna from CocoCanna.

Shop via Undefined Beauty

Image courtesy of @aliensauce

ALIEN SAUCE

These earth-derived products made by herbalist Sasha Anniyah are aimed at self-care rooted in intention. Their range offers beautiful variety, from powder face masks and deodorant, to arnica salve and handmade candles that use coconut shells as the vessel (omg?!). I loved reading their brand story, and that none of their extractions or infusions are made using heat or synthetic solvents - maximum nutrients are where it's at!

Shop via Alien Sauce

Image courtesy of @cloth_and_paper

CLOTH AND PAPER

A truly elegant and minimal planner design & organization and stationary brand. Their collection features elegant muted pastel tones with sleek but funky serif fonts and design cues. They also offer a subscription box with curated pens or planner + stationary themes. Their collection looks chic enough to make me wanna start planning my life out! I think the sticky notes in particular are too cute for words.

Shop via Cloth and Paper

MAKEUP

Image courtesy of @danessa_myricks

DANESSA MYRICKS BEAUTY

Known for her stunning work that incorporates glossy skin, graphic shapes, luminous hues of color, and otherworldly radiance, Danessa Myricks also makes products that emulate her signature style. The range includes full-coverage foundation, glitter, glosses, and metallic foil paints, and there's definitely a Pro Artist edge to the collection. You can find her products on her site, and at great stores like Alcone Makeup and Beautylist.

Available from Danessa Myricks Beauty

Image courtesy of @mentedcosmetics

MENTED COSMETICS

Rich pigments and timeless packaging with shades that work for all skin tones, but offer incredible options for medium to deep skin tones. They offer everything from foundation sticks, to nail polish, to brushes and all the products seem reasonably priced. The collection feels curated yet complete, with quite a few shade options in each category. Those rich orange and burgundy blushes are calling my name - has anyone tried anything from this brand? Let me know!

Shop via Mented Cosmetics

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