The business of Black-owned beauty is one of inspiration and innovation. As I researched for this piece, I noticed one thing that each of the businesses listed below had in common — they each sought to fill a void in the $571.1 billion beauty industry. Building businesses out of the lack of representation or worse — Jim Crow Laws and “white only” spaces — is nothing new, and systemic issues remain that prevent Black businesses from thriving and do little to ensure (in the case of beauty) that Black beauty is celebrated and not just a tokenized afterthought in a marketing campaign.
Black beauty pioneers like Annie M. Turnbo Malone, Madam C.J. Walker, Eunice Walker Johnson, Iman, and Miko Branch made figurative and literal space for Black women not just to see themselves but to feel beautiful with products made for them. Below are 25 brands picking up the baton.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, as hundreds of brands with Black founders at the helm are doing the work to make the beauty industry a safer, more inclusive space. But these are some of the stand-out Black-owned businesses leading the way in the makeup, skincare, and haircare space right now.
Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross
Made with a range of curly and coily textures in mind
Products cover the entire wash day process
All tubes and bottles are made of recyclable plastics and resins
Formulas are color-safe
Mini sets are great for travel
Tracee Ellis Ross’ curls have been an inspiration to me since she was on the sitcom Girlfriends, long before I even thought about growing out my relaxer. So when the multi-hyphenate talent launched Pattern in 2019, I was overjoyed, especially after