20 Black-Owned Indie Beauty Brands to Keep on Your Radar

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Black-Owned Indie Beauty Brands to Keep on Your Radar
Photo: Instagram/ @54thrones @rosenskincare

The Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 also brought the long-hidden issues of systemic racism within the beauty industry to the forefront. However, not every brand has felt pressured to #PullUpOrShutUp.

Black-owned companies have always supported the community by offering employment at all levels, creating inclusive ad campaigns, and have long been formulating products to cater to the needs of Black people.

But don't get it twisted, many of these products are still inclusive of everyone.

So, if you've been wondering how to continue to support the Black community, it doesn't get any easier than consciously spending your money at independent Black-owned beauty brands.

Here, 20 Blacked-owned indie beauty brands to support today, tomorrow, and quite frankly, always.

Rosen Skincare

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Fed up with the acne treatments on the market? Rosen Skincare founder Jamika Martin created a line of products to treat breakouts at every stage. Instead of the typical medications and harsh formulas in acne skincare products, Rosen uses naturally-derived alternatives that are gentle, yet effective. Instead of a salicylic acid, the brand's best-selling Earth Cleanser is formulated with fuller's earth clay, zinc oxide, and eucalyptus oil — all ingredients with natural astringent and anti-bacterial properties.

The customer before-and-after photos on the brand's Instagram feed speak for the efficacy of the products.

To shop: $18; rosenskincare.com.

Oui The People

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Karen Young developed Oui The People with the goal of creating a brand that doesn't encourage the pursuit of perfection, but rather to embrace the skin you're in. The brand's safety razor has gone viral because it delivers a close shave that doesn't cause razor burn or ingrown hairs. Bonus: the rose gold razor is ridiculously chic and less wasteful than using disposables. Oui The People also makes pre- and post-shave body care products that are safe for all skin types.

To shop: $75; ouithepeople.com

Bossy Cosmetics

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Self-described "lipstick junkie" Aishetu Fatima Dozie founded Bossy Cosmetics to help empower women to go out into the world and be their best selves. When formulating her brand's color cosmetics, the former investment banker drew on her own experiences in the boardroom and the power she felt when wearing a bold lip color. Bossy's Power Woman Essential Bullet Lipstick comes in a range of colors, from nude to classic red. The formula contains plant-based ingredients that hydrate and condition lips – and was named one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2021.

To shop: $18; bossybeauty.com

Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush

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What do Issa Rae, Jill Scott, and Lena Waithe all have in common? They all turn to celebrity natural hairstylist Felicia Leatherwood before they hit a red carpet. But when Leatherwood couldn't recommend a detangling tool that doesn't rip hair from the scalp to her followers, she made one herself.

The Detangler Brush is only bonded on three sides so that it's flexible bristles move with hair. But while it's game-changing for curly or wavy hair, since it prevents pulling and excess hair loss, it still works well on all hair types and textures.

To shop: $18; brushwiththebest.com.

BeautyStat

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While dermatologists, cosmetic chemists, and beauty editors tout vitamin C serum as a must-have product in every skincare routine, there's just one problem: Vitamin C is prone to oxidization, which minimizes its effectiveness. The catch 22 of vitamin C is what led BeautyStat founder and cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson to head to lab to find a solution. Five years later, he landed on a proprietary encapsulation method for pure vitamin C and bottled it into a now triple-patented serum. Since launching in 2019, BeautyStat's oxidization-resistant Universal C Skin Refiner has already achieved cult status and Robinson has expanded the brand with an eye cream and moisturizer.

To shop: $80; nordstrom.com

Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream

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To stars like Solange, Alicia Keys, Michelle Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker, Faye Dunaway, and Rihanna, Dicky is known as "The Texture Guru." The celebrity hairstylist and best-selling author helps stars embrace their natural textures — whether that's straight or kinky-curly. After attending cosmetology school and working in the fashion industry, he noticed the lack of inclusive hair products that cover a wide range of textures. That's why he founded Hair Rules, a New York City salon and product line of the same name. The line's treatment and styling products encompass the different needs of every hair type. The Kinky Curling Cream defines tightly wound kinks and 'fros by cutting out frizz and shrinkage.

To stop: $34; hairrules.com.

Ooli

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Jessica Pritchett created Ooli as a love letter to her own locs. The brand's products specifically cater to loc styles, an often overlooked haircare category. Ooli's products are all made with ingredients you can trust, including the Clarify Your Mane Clarifying Shampoo, a sulfate-free formula that removes all the buildup from locs and the scalp. The shampoo contains tea tree oil, a natural antiseptic, and fermented rice water, an ingredient that creates the optimal growth conditions for hair follicles.

To shop: $19; oolibeauty.com

Epara

Black Owned Indie Beauty Brands

There's only one word that properly describes Epara's skincare products: luxurious. Founder Ozohu Adoh saw there wasn't a high-end skincare brand that caters to the specific needs of women of color, so she created Epara to fill the void. Formulated with rich, nourishing plant extracts and botanical brightening ingredients, using the Cleansing Lotion as the first step in your skincare routine is the next best thing to getting a facial at your favorite spa. The formula washes away makeup, dirt, and oil, and minimizes hyperpigmentation without leaving skin feeling dry and tight.

To shop: $56; eparaskincare.com

EDEN BodyWorks

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Jasmine Lawrence launched EDEN BodyWorks out of necessity when she couldn't find natural products that would nurture and repair her hair from a childhood chemical burn. While she first formulated the products in her kitchen, the line is now sold at Walmart, Target, and Amazon. The Coconut Shea CoWash conditioning cream cleanses hair in-between washes while simultaneously hydrating it.

To shop: $9; edenbodyworks.com

Coloured Raine

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In 2013, Loraine R. Dowdy left her high-powered job in the finance industry to fulfill her lifelong dream of starting a cosmetic line that celebrates diversity and self-expression. Along with bold liquid lipsticks, Coloured Raine is known for it's highly-pigmented eyeshadows, including the brand's best-selling Queen of Hearts palette, which includes a mix of matte and foil finishes.

To shop: $42; colouredraine.com

Base Butter

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She'Neil Johnson's brand Base Butter is known for its simple, clean, effective ingredients. A prime example: the best-selling Radiate Face Jelly, an aloe vera-based gel moisturizer that maintains the skin's pH balance and regulates oil production.

To shop: $29; basebutter.com

SUNDAY II SUNDAY

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Former beauty executive Keenan Beasley dreamed up SUNDAY II SUNDAY when he noticed that the women in his family lived active lives, but the images and products created by mainstream beauty brands didn't reflect the hair challenges women with textured hair face in-between wash days. The brand's first four products are focused on scalp. From a nourishing serum that hydrates edges, to the Root Refresh Micellar Rinse, an apple cider vinegar-powered rinse that refreshes and resets the scalp by removing excess oils.

To shop: $31; mysunday2sunday.com

Eadem Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum

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Made with melantated-skin in mind, Eadem's Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum has a game-changing formula that only targets dark spots and discoloration without lightening the overall skin tone. What's more, the unique milky texture doesn't leave skin sticky or smell terrible like many vitamin C serums on the market. The brand was conceived by Marie Kouadio and Alice Lin who bonded over the lack of diverse options at beauty counters growing up.

To shop: $68; sephora.com

4C Only Too Soft Leave-in Conditioner

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Before 4C Only launched in 2020, there was no haircare brand specifically designed for this gorgeous hair type and its needs. "We created 4C Only as a brand that targets one specific texture that tends to not get proper care and products it needs in society," Alicia Ferguson, 4C Only's chief marketing officer said in a statement. "From product selection to ads and social media content, 4C Only is here to highlight, support. and amplify the voices of those with 4C textures."

The Soft Leave-In Conditioner is a decadent elm and squalene-based post-cleansing treatment that leaves coils soft and supple for days. It's part of the brand's four key products, which also include a shampoo, deep conditioner, and styling cream.

To shop: $25; 4conly.com

Topicals Faded Serum for Dark Spots & Discoloration

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Chances are you've probably seen this pastel pink aluminum tube pop up on your Instagram feed once (ok a few times) in the past couple of years. Topicals has quickly become a cult-favorite skincare brand for treating the aftermath of breakouts and discoloration, whether it's dark spots on your chin or dark armpits. The Faded Serum for Dark Spots & Discoloration is a star product for reducing the appearance of dark spots, marks, and scars.

Topicals was co-founded by Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng, two Gen-Z entrepreneurs that have secured multiple rounds of funding from their brands, including high-profile investors like Insecure stars Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji.

To shop: $38; sephora.com

Ami Colé Skin-Enhancing Tint

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Ami Colé is quickly becoming the go-to brand for those with melanated skin who are fans of the no-makeup makeup look. The Skin-Enhancing Tint is infused with skincare ingredients to keep the skin nourished and hydrated for a seamless finish and offer shade ranges that compliment the undertones of melanin-rich skin. Would you expect anything less from founder and Glossier alum Diarrha N'Diaye-Mbaye?

To shop: $32; amicole.com

Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil Everyday Gloss

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A silicone-free hair oil that leaves curls soft, shiny, and smooth without weighing them down? It does exist, thanks to Bread Beauty Supply. The Australian brand founded by Maeva Heim is changing the narrative surrounding curly hair types with its collection of multitasking products that treat textured hair as aspirational.

To shop: $24; sephora.com

Pound Cake Cake Batter Lipstick

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Co-founders Camille Bell and Johnny Velazquez are disrupting the lipstick aisle with Pound Cake's Cake Batter Lipsticks. The semi-matte liquid lipsticks come in six shades designed for different skin and lip tones. All are in the red family and offer creamy, featherweight, opaque coverage.

To shop: $24; poundcakecosmetics.com

Karité Hydrating Butter Cream

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Founded by Dr. Naana Boakye, Abena Slowe, and Akua Okunseinde, three sisters from Ghana, Karité celebrates the shea butter products they used in their youth. Made with raw, unrefined ingredients, the body care line is made sustainably and gives back to the North Ghana community of women shea farmers. The Hydrating Butter Cream leaves skin, you guessed it, as smooth as butter with its blend of shea butter, coconut oil, and botanicals.

To shop: $46; mykarite.com

54 Thrones African Beauty Butter

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Inspired by ancient African shea butter traditions, this nourishing hand and body butter is your solution for dry, cracked skin. There are five scents to choose from with notes that embody different African countries. 54 Thrones was created by Christina Tegbe who wants to share the spirit of Africa and the continent's beauty rituals with the rest of the world.

To shop: $24; sephora.com

LYS Beauty Triple Fix Brightening Concealer

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Beauty industry veteran and makeup artist Tisha Thompson created LYS Beauty to address the lack of diversity in the undertones of other brands' shade ranges. LYS specializes in complexion products and has just launched its first concealer. The Triple Fix Brightening Concealer is a creamy formula that masks dark spots and blemishes while simultaneously brightening and nourishing the skin.

To shop: $18; sephora.com

Note: Our list is a good place to start, but there are so many amazing Black beauty brands out there. Check out Fashionista's extensive list of over 400 brands and you'll find virtually any product you've been looking for, from organic skincare to intensely-pigmented eyeshadow palettes.

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