EXCERPTS FROM MY ORIGINAL READER’S DIGEST ARTICLE: 14 BLACK-OWNED BEAUTY PRODUCTS YOU SHOULD ALREADY BE USING
The recently heightened awareness surrounding racial injustice and inequality has led to Black-owned businesses receiving the well-deserved attention that had always eluded them as a result of being owned by black people. Black-owned beauty brands in particular have been the subject of much conversation and have quickly risen to coveted status as mainstream has felt the need to support these typically undervalued companies. Guilty feelings over prior neglect aside, there is another reason Black beauty brands are having such a powerful moment and will most likely never return to the bottom shelves of drug store isles…Black-owned beauty products are really good and not necessarily just for black customers!
Since Black beauty brands are often born out of need from an ignored consumer base, they tend to be well-researched, diligently tested over several years and thoroughly formulated using the best ingredients. Typically derived from nature’s finest offerings (resulting in gorgeous outcomes where haircare, skincare and makeup application are concerned) black-owned beauty brands can often be equally as beneficial to non-black customers – many of whom are newly converted loyalists reaping the rewards they’d been missing out on all this time.
I profiled 14 black-owned beauty brands you should already own for Reader’s Digest and here are 10 of the products on that list that I have personally tried and highly recommend!
Miss Jessie’s Multicultural Curls
Founded in 1997 by beautician sisters Miko and Titi Branch, Miss Jessie’s was created to fill the void of hair care solutions for women with curly textures.
Miss Jessie’s Multicultural Curls is a certified organic, lightweight styling lotion that fights frizz, promotes curl uniformity and adds just the right amount of soft hold. Coifs with any degree of coil can spring into action thanks to Miss Jessie’s Multicultural curls. As CEO Miko Branch points out: “One of the myths about naturally textured hair is that only women of color have this type of hair…women of all backgrounds can have wavy, curly, coiled and kinky hair genetics”.
Quemet Biologics Castor and Moringa softening serum
Dubbed exceptional hair care for natural African hair, Quemet Biologics products are crafted with premium ingredients dedicated to scalp nourishment and treatment (which should never be ignored), moisture retention and healthy hair growth.
Inspired by ancient African, Mediterranean and Ayurvedic haircare practices, the brand features products like the Castor and Moringa Softening Serum – a rich, moisturizing oil blend that nourishes and softens dry brittle hair. Like all Quemet Biologics products, the Castor and Moringa Softening Serum is organic, 100% vegetarian and free of mineral oils, silicone and paraben – making it gentle while remaining ultra-softening for coarse, porous hair textures.
True Indian Hair Deep Curly Hair extensions
When owner Karen Mitchell saw an opportunity to bridge the gap between high quality hair extensions and what was readily available, she took it and ran with it – transforming her “side hustle” into one of today’s most sought after hair extension brands, True Indian Hair.
Officially launched in 2006, True Indian Hair is highly regarded for its quality and consistency. Offering a wide range of hair bundles and wigs in a variety of lengths and textures, True Indian hair is especially revered for its Deep Curly Hair Extensions, which Mitchell points out “cannot stay in stock”. The highly coveted but carefree texture serves as a healthy hack for recreating on-trend hair looks without any damage to your natural hair. The low maintenance texture is favored by the brand’s staunchly dedicated customers like TV beauty expert Denise Caldwell, an 8-year devotee of True Indian Hair who considers the texture “a great investment for stylish, healthy hair”. True Indian Hair Deep Curly Extensions are also considered must-haves by stars like Rihanna and Solange who rely on to the cascading spiraled add-ins to create beautiful no heat hairstyles for the red carpet and IRL.
Kim Kimble Vapor Infusion Iron
The Kim Kimble Signature Collection offers a range of haircare that reflects owner Kim Kimble’s 30 years of experience in the haircare industry. With products suitable for a variety of hair types from kinky to curly to wavy, the collection features styling products and tools designed to not only heal and condition the hair, but to help create great styles.
Kimble fostered her products with the understanding that “style and hair health should coexist” and her “hair-health first” philosophy has helped beautify the strands of stars like Beyoncé, Shakira, Mary J. Blige and Zendaya. That belief is also the inspiration for The Kim Kimble Signature Collection Vapor Infusion Iron. The professional-quality straightening iron with argan oil vapors built into the design, helps smooth and transform unmanageable, frizzy hair leaving behind soft, silky and most of all healthy tresses.
Grace Eleyae SLAP
After discovering a bald patch on her own head then coming up totally empty on the search for protective sleep wear for her damaged hair and scalp, Grace Eleyae took matters into her own hands and developed her eponymous collection of satin-lined head wear.
The Grace Eleyae SLAP (a hybrid moniker for satin-lined cap) is a can’t-miss for any beauty afficionado looking for a fashionable, friction free and moisture repellent option to protect their scalp and tresses. Available in a variety of colors, the SLAP is ideal for sleep, travel, exercise or any activity that calls for a head covering. A favorite of celebrities like Gabrielle Union and Viola Davis, the SLAP should be positioned firmly atop every beauty junkie’s haircare hot list alongside these affordable drugstore hair products
Mielle Organics Rice Water Clay Masque
Tired of spending “countless amounts of money on products that didn’t work” for her naturally curly hair, Monique Rodriguez, a former nurse practitioner, decided to launch her own brand in her garage. The self-professed “research lover at heart” founded Miele Organics with a mission to provide innovative, all-natural hair products for women with textured tresses.
Thoroughly impressed with the benefits of rice water on the hair and skin including its reputation for making hair grow faster, but taken aback by the arduous nature of procuring it Rodriguez developed the Rice Water Collection – the fifth addition to the Miele Organics’ roster. The line offers the benefits of rice water without the time consuming and expensive process needed to create it. The Miele Organics Rice Water Clay Masque is a dual-purpose product that works wonders on both the hair and skin. Rice water and Yuzu are combined to detoxify while depositing moisture back into the hair and skin, leaving both in tip top shape.
KNC Beauty All-Natural Collagen-Infused Lip Masks
While traveling through Tokyo, Kristin Noel Crawley noticed the abundance of lip masks available in the city and became “obsessed”. After realizing the lack of natural lip mask options on the market in the US, Crawley launched KNC Beauty to fill the obvious void.
The KNC Beauty All-Natural Collagen-Infused Lip Mask is the stuff breakthrough beauty products are made of. A blend of nutrient packed ingredients like rose flower oil, vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, this innovative lip mask not only leaves behind soft smooth lips, it serves as an effective primer under lipsticks –which can be extremely useful when trying to apply red lipstick like a pro.
Fenty Beauty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick
Globally recognized for its inclusivity across skin tones, Fenty Beauty is the brainchild of entertainer extraordinaire and serial entrepreneur Rihanna. Titled after the singer’s last name, Fenty beauty is an inspired collection of fashion-forward cosmetics that truly offers something for everyone.
If Rihanna’s signature sexy pout is your idea of #beautygoals, then Fenty Beauty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick is for you! According to Ms. Fenty herself Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick “looks a little glossy but has a little more pigment than a usual gloss”. The pop icon considers it ideal when you “just want easy lipstick to wear”. CBS Watch Magazine Style Director Sasha Charnin Morrison agrees and is “obsessed” with its “natural sheen…it looks dewy but not forced”. Its velvety smooth finish and subtle hint of a hue is another great no-makeup trick to look naturally gorgeous.
Flaunt Body Ingrown Hair Masks
A winner of the Indie Beauty Expo’s (IBE) Best in show award for Hair Removal product in 2019, FLAUNT BODY ingrown hair masks are the pinnacle of personal care products. Created in 2016 by Cameron Alexis Moore, the Houston-based brand was developed as “a face mask for the bikini area”, dedicated to providing an inclusive, accessibly solution for the extremely niche skincare concern of ingrown hair.
According the brand’s website, Flaunt Body Ingrown Hair Masks the vegan, cruelty-free masks are meant to be used as “preventative body care…after shaving or waxing to reduce irritation, razor bumps and ingrown hairs”. The brand’s unique bio-cellulose formulation infuses skin with ultra-moisturizing ingredients that result in smoother “more luminous skin”.
Vendetta Nail Bar
Infatuated with the nail industry since childhood, Reiauh Gregory “saw that there was a lack of representation of women of color in the industry” and decided it was “time to change that story”. The former Delta Airlines flight attendant launched Vendetta Nail Bar in 2017 “to show the younger generation that there are black women in the nail industry”.
Beyond nail color, Vendetta Nail Bar is committed to overall health. The vegan, non-toxic polishes promote damage-free nails and healthy cuticles while offering colors that “compliment all skin tones”. The “After Fall” VNB GEL Nude Collection in particular boasts subtle hints of color hues that work for all shades.