12 WOC-Owned Beauty Brands That Deserve A Spot In Your Cosmetic Bag
Now is as good a time as ever to diversify your beauty shelves. There are so many amazing beauty brands founded by women of color, celebrating the diversity of our cultures and skin tones. So, in honor of National Black Business Month, we’ve rounded up some must-try products from WOC owned beauty brands. Below, you’ll find everything from clean skincare essentials and cast-free sunscreens to colorful palettes and long-lasting liners.
WOC Owned Beauty Brands
Founded by Lauren Jin, CLE Cosmetics offers innovative K-Beauty skincare and makeup. The line is designed to promote a sense of ritual, plus each product is ethically-made and free of harmful ingredients so you can feel good about using it. For makeup minimalists, grab the your-skin-but-better CCC Cream, which uses Micro Capsule Technology to blend in and match your unique skin tone, or one of their multi-use Melting Lip Powders.
Sweet Street Cosmetics is for the girl that loves a dramatic cat eye and bold red lip. Founded by L.A. natives, Natalia Durazo and LaLa Romero, who were inspired by women from their own neighborhoods, the brand aims to empower the artistry of everyday women of color. While you’ll find all the beauty essentials for your go-to glam look, we recommend the Wing Queen precision liner and the Thick and Thin Lipstick and Liner Duos.
Created with sensitive skin in mind, this brand, which was founded by Amy Liu, has managed to make clean cosmetics fun and playful. In addition to being hypo-allergenic, fragrance-free, and non-toxic, the products are also packed with nourishing and soothing ingredients. We recommend grabbing their bestselling ShineOn Lip Jelly for a pop of glossy color on your lips or even eyelids.
The first Black-owned Sephora Clean Color Cosmetics brand, LYS (aka “Love Your Self”) Beauty was founded by makeup artist Tisha Thompson, who set out to diversify the clean beauty industry with universal shade offerings and results-driven formulas for all skin types. We love the Triple Fix Serum Foundation, which is available in 35 shades ranging from porcelain to deep brown.
Launching just this year, Kulfi has quickly become a favorite for their colorful kajal liners. Founded by Priyanka Ganjoo Kulfi, the brand is a celebration of South Asian beauty. Available in five colors, the liners glide on velvety smooth and offer intense, long-lasting color payoff so you can create a variety of eye makeup looks that speak to your own self-expression.
Karen Young, founder of Oui the People, is dedicated to producing bodycare with thoughtful messaging that rejects society’s idea of perfection. Rather than fixing so-called flaws, the products are all designed to help you feel good in the skin you’re already in. And that’s exactly what the cult-fave Featherweight Hydrating Body Gloss does; it provides a silky-smooth sheen that reflects light for a healthy glow allover.
If you’re looking to stock up on colorful makeup, Midas Cosmetics has you covered. Founded by Rocio Nuñez in 2018, the Afro-Latina brand offers pigmented palettes, glitters, and glosses. Look out for their cool collabs like the bestselling all-in-one face palettes with Neon MUA that features a bronzer, contour, highlighter, and blush to enhance all skin tones.
Not only is this a WOC owned beauty brand, but it is also made by women of color chemists, vetted by women of color dermatologists, and tested on skin of different shades, all with the understanding that melanin-rich skin functions differently. Formulated specifically to treat hyperpigmentation and dark spots on skin of color, the brand’s bestselling Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum is free of bleaching agents and uses niacinamide, algae extract, and encapsuled vitamin C to even out tone.
You won’t find packaging quite like Valdé’s anywhere else. The brand was founded by Margarita Arriagada who worked in fashion and home interiors, as well as beauty. The refillable lipstick tubes and carrying case look more like sculptures than tubes of your everyday lip color. Pick your packaging, pick your formula, and then pick your shade.
Frustrated by the lack of clean sunscreen products for women of color, Katonya Breaux changed the game. Formulated with all natural ingredients, these mineral blocks blend beautifully into all skin tones, leaving behind no white-cast, while nourishing the skin with coconut oil, olive oil, and vitamin C from beet extract and bitter orange.
Makeup artist Danessa Myricks has pretty much bottled and packaged her makeup magic for her namesake line. Offering highly-pigmented products from multi-use cream pigments to a foundation that’s also a concealer and plenty more, the collection is great for getting that full-coverage, professionally-applied look.
Founded by Yu-Chen Shih, Orcé Cosmetics was made with Asian women in mind, specifically those who do not fit into the fair skin category revered by traditional Asian culture. The foundation, for example, offers a range of undertones, from cool yellow to neutral peach to warm caramel. Not only is the brand a celebration of the diversity of Asian beauty, but the products have gone through testing to ensure they’re safe and effective for skin types.
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