The beauty industry has failed time and time again to provide inclusive products for darker skin tones. Over many years, we have had to accept what mainstream brands have sold, which never matched, truly matched our golden-brown skin.
Over the last decade, there has been a flux in Black women starting beauty brands to make products for US! Here is a list of the best black-owned makeup brands aimed to provide quality products for beautiful, brown skin!
The products in this list were placed on a rating scale to determine the ranking of each brand. The rating scale is:
1. Quality ingredients (Vegan/cruelty-free)
- If all the ingredients were clean, vegan, and cruelty-free = 3
- If some of the ingredients were clean, vegan, and cruelty-free =2
- If little to none of the ingredients were clean, vegan, and cruelty-free/unknown = 1
- The reviews of the brand’s top products were looked at. The first 5 pages of the “Most Recent” reviews were analyzed and the ranking goes as follows:
- 1-2 bad reviews = 3
- 3-5 bad reviews = 2
- 5+ bad reviews = 1
- To test how inclusive each brand is, the ratings were based on how many shades of the foundation they provide.
- 1-10 different shades = 1
- 11-20 different shades = 2
- 21-30 different shades = 3
- 31+ different shades = 4
- If a brand falls in the middle of the range, then it is rated on a 0.1 system. For example, if a brand has 13 different shades, they were given a rating of 2.2 for inclusivity.
(The highest rating scale a brand can receive is a 10)
The Top 14 Black-Owned Makeup Brands You Should Support
14. Nagi Cosmetics (4.1/10)
Gina Delisme is the founder and CEO of Nagi Cosmetics, a Canada based makeup brand. Their mission is to promote all colors of beauty and to help showcase all forms of beauty.
Gina states that Nagi Cosmetics products are initially made to meet the needs of black women to ensure there is a range of products just for different shades of skin.
All products are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, paraben-free, and cruelty-free! Just as a disclaimer, the website or their Instagram doesn’t indicate that they have vegan-friendly ingredients (website doesn’t show ingredients list).
13. Iman Cosmetics (6/10)
Iman Cosmetics was founded in 1994 by THE Iman, an iconic fashion model and beauty mogul. Being that it was launched in 1994, it is also one of the first cosmetic lines made for women of color (the same year as Black Opal Beauty!).
Iman stated that her brand is built on the representation of women of color from many races, cultures, and ethnicities.
The cosmetic line includes 16 different shades for the foundation to ensure that every woman can have a perfect match.
Iman Cosmetics products contain natural ingredients (unsure if all of them are vegan, but some are!) and are paraben-free.
You can find these products at Target, Walmart, and Walgreens if you aren’t fond of online shopping!
Disclaimer: Nowhere on their website or socials does it state that they don’t test their products on animals 🙁
12. Black Opal Beauty (6.4/10)
Black Opal Beauty was created by a group of Black women in 1994 making this one of the first cosmetic lines for women of color! Their products help to provide solutions to hyper-pigmentation, oil control, and shade matching.
The founders make it clear that Black Opal Beauty Products are made to encourage all women to “embrace their unique shades of beauty”.
All the products are free of parabens, cruelty-free, and SOME products are vegan friendly. So, if you are on a search for vegan-friendly products from this site, make sure to read the ingredients first.
You can find Black Opal Beauty products at Walmart, CVS, and Rite-Aid if you aren’t a big online shopper!
Fun Fact: In 1997, they paired up with NFL quarterback, Warren Moon, to launch their first skincare line for men!
11. The Crayon Case (7/10)
The Crayon Case was created by Raynell Steward, commonly referred to as Supa Cent, in 2017! She created this brand to build a space for amateur makeup artists to feel welcomed and it did more than that; It became a space for artists from all skill levels to come and express themselves.
Supa makes it clear that The Crayon Case is different from other brands because she doesn’t put limitations on what her supporters should like. Everything that is sold is aimed for artists to experiment and see what they like individually.
All of the products sold from The Crayon Case are cruelty-free. It doesn’t specify on the site whether the products are vegan friendly. Based on the ingredients some may be, so make sure to check the ingredients if you are looking for vegan products.
(The Crayon Case does not sell any foundation, so to rate the company we will base it off of the inclusivity of the lipsticks. They sell both gloss and matte lippies with 20 lip shades (combined).)
10. Propa Beauty (7/10)
Victoria Fazio is the founder and CEO of Propa Beauty whose mission is to empower and support women through her products. She compares her products to the energy women exude when they uplift each other!
She states that there should be no more “making it work” mindset when it comes to black women and makeup brands. To help change that, Propa Beauty’s products were created to be PERFECT for us all the time!
All of the products are paraben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan friendly!!
(This brand only sells lipsticks, so for the rating, the lipsticks were analyzed for inclusivity. They sell 12 shades that complement all shades of brown!)
9. Mented Cosmetics (7/10)
… when it comes to beauty, no one deserves to be an afterthought.” – Founders of Mented Cosmetics
Mented Cosmetics was created by KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson over a late-night talk about why there weren’t any good nude lipsticks. They created products from eyeshadows to lipsticks that will always compliment brown skin!
The mission was to help every woman find herself in the world of beauty no matter the skin tone. The founders stated, “… when it comes to beauty, no one deserves to be an afterthought.”
All their products are vegan, paraben-free, non-toxic, and cruelty-free! They have 16 shades of foundation AND they allow a sample pack with all the colors for you to feel more secure with matching to your skin tone!
8. AJ Crimson Beauty (7.4/10)
AJ Crimson is a well-known, self-taught (hello!) makeup artist for A-list celebrities who is the founder of AJ Crimson Beauty.
He built his brand to promote the idea of makeup being used to enhance what you have, not for restructuring your face.
His products contain natural and cruelty-free ingredients and many products are vegan (disclaimer: some products do contain beeswax, just wanted those out there who are looking for 100% vegan-friendly products) and gluten-free (pssst… the foundation pictures above is!!).
Aj Crimson stated, “So often, makeup has been designed with a one size fits all mentality, and with black women and women of color my cosmetic line contains shades for women of every ethnic background and skin tone.”
7. Danessa Myricks Beauty (8/10)
Danessa Myricks Beauty was created by (you guessed it!) Danessa Myricks! She is a self-taught makeup artist who wanted to create a brand that was inclusive of every woman!
Danessa states that “every formula is designed to be multifunctional in its use and work on a broad range of skin tones”.
She created the products to be complex enough for professional artists, yet easy to use for everyday artists.
All the products are vegan and cruelty-free! Although they don’t sell foundation, the brand does 25+ of concealer shades as well as 13+ different shades of nudes to suit anyone’s complexion!
6. Pat Mcgrath Labs (9/10)
Pat McGrath Labs was founded by… well… Pat McGrath who is deemed the most influential makeup artist in the world!
She has had a major influence on many beauty trends since the 1990s! Pat states that the three words, obsession, inspiration, and addiction, were here guiding principles when she was building her company.
She wants her brand to highlight the power of transformation, beauty, and makeup.
All the products featured are paraben-free and cruelty-free! Take note that only some of the products are vegan friendly.
On the other hand, there are 36 shades in the foundation and 50 different shades of lipstick!
5. UOMA Beauty (9/10)
Nigerian born Sharon Chuter, a former beauty executive in Los Angeles and London, is the creator of UOMA Beauty.
The meaning of UOMA is beautiful and Sharon states that her company promotes that “beauty starts the moment you decide to be yourself”.
The brand has uplifting and bold values such as self-expression and African pride.
Alongside that, Sharon states that the inspiration behind her company is the influence of her Afro heritage and mixes that with modern touches to create a unique brand.
She states that inclusivity is very important to UOMA and that definitely is reflected in the many shades the line includes. With the foundation pictured above, there are 51 shades to choose from!!
Also, all products are cruelty-free and paraben-free. Most of the products are vegan friendly, but not all of them, so make sure to check the ingredients if you are looking for vegan products!
4. Coloured Raine (9/10)
(3+2+4 = 9)
Coloured Raine was founded by Loraine Dowdy in 2013. When she created the company, her goal was to encourage self-expression and diversity, as well as, create a cosmetic line that would break all beauty barriers.
The mission of Coloured Rain is to “spread awareness of diversity through beauty and to embrace all aspects of color through unity”. Loraine also takes pride in the fact that her entire team is made up of 75+ Black women and men! (yassss girl!)
All the products are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and paraben-free! Also, there are 38 shades of foundation that have various undertones to account for everyone (olive, neutral, warm, and cool).
3. LAMIK Beauty (9/10)
(3+3+4 = 9)
The founder and CEO of LAMIK Beauty is Kim Roxie who created the brand when she was 21 in Houston, Texas. LAMIK stands for “Love and Makeup in Kindness” which is a perfect representation of the goal of this brand!
LAMIK Beauty has the mission to transform the standard of beauty by providing quality, clean beauty products to women of color.
ALL of their products are vegan friendly, natural, non-toxic, and cruelty-free! Their packaging is also reusable and recyclable!!
Alongside that, they technically have an unlimited amount of foundations. When a customer is interested in buying the foundation, they send a picture to LAMIK headquarters. The picture is used to create a custom blend to match their skin tone!!
2. Fenty Beauty (9/10)
(2+3+4 = 9)
Fenty Beauty was founded by the legendary Robyn Rihanna Fenty in 2017 to help fill a void in the beauty industry for products that were inclusive of all skin types and tones.
Rihanna created the products to have a wide range of shades and formulas that work for every skin type and color.
She also made sure that all the products were easy to apply and lightweight.
All products are paraben-free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. Some products are vegan friendly, but not all as some include beeswax and carmine.
The infamous Pro Filt’r Foundation has 50 different shades which make this the most inclusive brand on this list! She also sells a variety of lip shades and highlighters!
1. The Lip Bar (9.5/10)
(3+3+3.5 = 9.5)
Melissa Butler, the founder & CEO of The Lip Bar, launched her beauty business in 2012.
She was determined to create a makeup brand to change the way the world thought about beauty.
She states from The Lip Bar’s website that before starting the business, the media was displaying a one-size-fits-all look as the beauty standard.
Melissa hopes to educate others through her brand that there is no standard of beauty when YOU are the standard!
All products are vegan and cruelty-free! Also, the easy to use products are made to make the makeup industry less intimidating by requiring little to none skill set to get a beat face! (Also, they have 26 shades for foundation!)
I hope you found this list to be helpful and if you are looking for more black businesses to support, check them out here!
Also, check out our business directory to easily search for black businesses to support!
Comment down below what your favorite black-owned makeup brands to use are!!