5 Black Beauty Entrepreneurs That Are Changing the Game with Their Brands
From cleansing wipes that are gentle on the skin, effective at removing mascara, and undeniably chic, to a five-year-old haircare brand that's already considered a multimillion-dollar corporation, get ready to be wowed by what these women (who all launched their brands within the past few years!) have accomplished. In honor of Black History Month, we're celebrating black beauty entrepreneurs and the brands and amazing products that they've created. Keep scrolling to learn about five women that have already changed the beauty game and will continue to do so.
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Courtney Adeleye of The Mane Choice
The Mane Choice, a multicultural hair and body care brand, has an unbelievably impressive story. Founder, Courtney Adeleye, first began her journey with the brand on YouTube, by mixing products in her kitchen and sharing her success. Two years later, it was a multimillion dollar company.
Since its inception five years ago, the brand has launched amazing innovations like a hair growth vitamin ($26; target.com), a soy milk deep hydration pre-poo ($15; target.com), and several ultra-fragrant and moisturizing body washes, as well as a kids' product genre and styling tools. It's also already offered in Sally Beauty Supply stories, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart. And if that's not enough to make your jaw drop, last year, the brand secured 6.5 million dollars in sales.
Melissa Butler of The Lip Bar
"When I started The Lip Bar making lipstick in my kitchen my goal was to Challenge the Beauty Standard. And almost 6 years later, that’s still why I wake up and go hard everyday," wrote The Lip Bar founder Melissa Butler in an Instagram post. She launched the vegan and cruelty-free lipstick company back in 2012, looking to create products free of "unnecessary chemicals" and to create a more diverse beauty sphere, where all women are celebrated for being who they are.
Though her company was rejected on Shark Tank, it continued to grow with impressive success. Shortly thereafter, she created a Lip Bar mobile truck retail experience, and now, she has her own store in Detroit. The brand, which boasts over 80K Instagram followers, now offers traditional lipstick bullets in vivid and creative shades, liquid matte lipsticks, and lip gloss.
Black-Owned Beauty Business
Though Briogeo Hair Care only came into existence in 2013, Nancy Twine has been creating beauty magic since the age of five, helping her grandmother make her homemade hair care in her kitchen in West Virginia.
In her early 20s, Twine realized she wasn't happy with the performance claims of the natural haircare market, and decided to create her own brand, inspired by her grandmother's recipes. The brand itself is created for all hair types, and is considered 6-free, or free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, DEA, and synthetic color—all in all, the products range in being 90 to 100 percent naturally derived. In five years alone, the brand is already offered in Sephora, and is available in the U.K. and Canada. One we're currently freaking out over? The Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray ($20; sephora.com).
Cashmere Nicole of Beauty Bakerie
Cashmere Nicole began Beauty Bakerie in her kitchen back in 2011 when she was only 27 years old. Today, the cruelty-free company is a full-blown success with a stamp of approval from Beyoncé herself and nearly 450,000 Instagram followers. You're likely familiar with the brand's signature matte liquid lipsticks, Lip Whips, but the offering extends from eye products, complexion products like concealer, highlighter, and more. In 2017 alone, the brand closed on $5 million in revenue, according to Forbes.
Soon thereafter launching the brand, Cashmere Nicole was diagnosed with breast cancer, but lived by her (and her brand's) motto of "Better, Not Bitter" and continued to build Beauty Bakerie from the ground up while battling the disease and undergoing a double mastectomy. The brand has made a commitment to being diverse and inclusive in their skin tone offerings, while continuing to create products you can count on to perform.
Lauren Napier of The CLEANSE BY LAUREN NAPIER
While working as a makeup artist, Lauren Napier set out on a mission to create a game-changing and effective cleansing wipe made with gentle and natural ingredients. The idea was born while she was on a flight from Australia to Dubai. It just so happens the product is a frequent flyer must-have, and will celebrate its fourth birthday come June. "So my philosophy was always that there is beauty in taking it off. It's not just about a makeup remover or a facial cleanser. Though it is a product that is equally as beautiful as the makeup that you’re putting on, I want people to see that there's beauty in taking off your makeup," she told Forbes of the philosophy behind her brand. Today, her products—Cleanse and Flaunt—are sold in major retailers like Net-a-Porter, J.Crew, and Harvey Nichols.
The concept is simple, a tiny wipe in handbag-friendly black packet, but the soothing, slightly exfoliating, and luxurious formula will blow you away. One swipe, and your skin is treated with a combo of water, aloe, chamomilla, and cucumber extracts, that work together to remove makeup and hydrate your skin.