We Can't Stop Talking About These 24 Beauty Items From 5 Black-Owned Brands
Like we always say, supporting Black and Brown business owners should be a year-round thing. However, during this special month that celebrates Black history and culture, it's important to show them even more love. In light of that, our beauty team wanted to shine a spotlight on five incredible Black-owned beauty brands this month—some are up and coming while others are longtime industry trailblazers who have paved the way for makeup brands catering directly to Black and Brown skin.
Black entrepreneurs are carving out a new (and much-needed) space within the industry—an inclusive community where folks of color can feel seen, heard, and catered to in a way that most beauty-industry giants have failed to do. It was an honor and a privilege to work with the below brands and try a few of each's unbelievably good offerings. If you're interested in hearing our beauty team's thoughts on each of these brands, keep reading! We seriously can't shut up about how amazing they all are.
Ami Colé is one of those brands that has been on my radar for ages but I am somehow just getting around to trying. I'm genuinely mad at myself for waiting so long to try a few things because this brand is it for Black and Brown skin tones. It's so refreshing to find a makeup brand that caters specifically to darker skin tones, and let me tell you the formulas do not disappoint. I tried out the Skin-Enhancing Tint and Concealer, and all I have to say is wow. The formulas are so creamy and make your skin look so dewy and fresh without it looking unnatural or cakey. I played around with using the concealer as a foundation, and that worked incredibly well. It's also rare that I find a concealer or skin tint that matches my skin tone so well, and both of these items did so flawlessly. The brand's makeup is definitely for those who, like me, prefer a minimal look day to day—these products are the perfect staples for that. I'm so incredibly excited about this brand, and I can't wait to see what else it comes out with.
"I actually think this is my new favorite makeup brand. I cannot stop wearing the mascara and the lip oil—they are just incredible products. The mascara makes my lashes look absolutely insane. It creates length, lift, and volume. Plus, it doesn't smudge under my eyes (major win!), and it's easy to take off at the end of the day. The lip oil is hydrating and gives my lips major shine without being sticky. I also feel like it has an almost blurring effect—it instantly smooths out the lines on my lips." — Katie Berohn, beauty editor
"Every beauty and fashion editor I talk to gushes, and I mean gushes, about Ami Colé's line of clean, no-makeup makeup essentials, and after trying two fan favorites—The Lip Treatment Oil and the Light-Catching Highlighter—I can verify that said gush is 110% warranted. Both items are supreme. When I want a glassy yet totally natural-looking dew effect on my skin, I swipe on the highlight stick (which is translucent but houses these glittering, light-reflecting minerals you can’t tear your eyes from—so pretty!), and my skin goes from a five to a 10. The Lip Treatment Oil is also a star in its own right. I tried the shade Smitten, a sheer hot pink that washed my lips in the juiciest watermelon Jolly Rancher stain I’ve maybe ever seen. It does feel more like a gloss to me, as it’s a bit thicker and stickier than a true oil, but I don’t even care thanks to how shiny and mirror-like it makes my lips look. Seriously love it." — Erin Jahns, beauty director
"If the brow pencil and lip oil are any indication of the rest of the brand’s products, I’ll be obsessed with them all. The brow pencil is super skinny, so I’m able to create hairlike strokes. The lip oil is thick and moisturizing, so it stays put and doesn’t disappear after one sip of coffee like so many others do. This brand was my favorite out of all of them I tested." — Kaitlyn McLintock, associate beauty editor
I decided to give LYS's Cream Bronzer and Contour Stick a try for this along with the brand's Aim High Highlighter. I was seriously impressed by both. I've honestly found it difficult to find a bronzer or contour stick that's the right shade for me. Oftentimes, they'll either blend too seamlessly into my skin tone or look a little too dark. This bronzing stick was perfect! It creates enough warmth and definition without looking too dark or like I didn't put anything on at all. The highlighter is also very impressive in the pigment payoff department. It blends so beautifully into the skin and catches the light just right.
"I loved the LYS No Limits Matte Bronzer! As someone who's very fair, so many bronzers wind up muddying my freckles and making me look orange, dirty, or too pink or red. The formula of this one is matte but super blendable and buildable so you can self-dose yourself with as much 'sun' as you want without looking like an ablaze disco ball. My skin looked so much more sculpted and 'alive' after I had worked it into the hollows of my cheekbones, around my temples and forehead, and over the bridge of my nose right where the sun hits. Big fan." — Jahns
"The LYS Higher Standard Satin Matte Cream Blush gave me such a natural-looking flush. It worked so well with my skin tone and delivered the ultimate dewy finish. It was also easy to blend in, which is huge for me with cream blushes—some of them are almost too pigmented and leave me feeling like a coquette doll, but this one was so easy." — Berohn
"The foundation was blendable and buildable, and the bronzer/contour stick was incredibly creamy (to the point where I was surprised when I swiped it across my skin). Because of this, it took me less than five minutes to apply my base makeup with help from my trusty Beautyblender. The shades I chose were a little to warm for my cool-toned complexion. Aside from that and the packaging (which, I have to admit, I find a little clunky), I was a fan of the products I tried." — McLintock
Fashion Fair is one of the most iconic makeup brands made for Black and Brown women. This brand was one of the first ever in the industry to cater directly to women of color, so I'm happy to report that its formulas are extremely delicious and vibrant and feel tailor-made for my specific skin. This is another brand that I can't believe I've only just added to my arsenal. The Lip Teaser Gloss is such a beautiful, creamy lip gloss that I would absolutely wear on a day-to-day basis, not to mention the brand's Crème to Powder Skin Foundation that felt so buttery and soft on my complexion. My skin usually gets a bit dehydrated when using any kind of powder foundation formula, but this one didn't leave me feeling dry and really brightened up my skin in a natural-looking way. The Lush Blush Duo is also a star product from the brand for me. It created such a gorgeous subtle rosy glow on my skin that looked like I'd just spent a sunny summer holiday in the Bahamas (in the dead of winter).
"I mean, talk about color payoff! The Iconic Lipstick packs a major punch with high-impact, buttery color. It went on my lips so smoothly and has the dreamiest satin finish. This is definitely a new go-to red for me." — Berohn
"While I did love the Fabulous Face Priming Serum (it really did an amazing job of making my skin tone and texture look and feel silkier and smoother), I could not get over how much I loved the Set It Loose Powder—and I don’t even like powders! I’ve been doing fewer full-face makeup days, and I was hoping the powder would curb some excess shine while also evening out my skin tone. Basically, I wanted it to do what my favorite skin tints do without making me look too glowy or greasy. This stuff is an airbrush machine in a jar! It’s bomb. I know it’s technically designed to set makeup—and I can’t wait to try it on top of my favorite foundations—but this really did give me the prettiest soft-focus, lightly filtered look to my skin. It’s also so cool that in addition to the great ingredients, like glycerin, vitamin C, and Imperata cylindrica root extract, it also contains blue-light and anti-pollution protection. This is like five products in one! Plus, you 100% have to get the brush too. Just like the brand says, the special patented TRX3 TM synthetic fibers really do encourage the perfect amount of product pickup and pigment payoff." — Jahns
"I’d never tried anything from this brand before, and my first impression was that the packaging was very luxe—it looks and feels very chic and substantial. (It actually reminded me of Tom Ford Beauty packaging a little bit.) As for the formulas, the blush offered high-impact color, and the lipsticks were creamy and high-quality." — McLintock
Photo:@erin_jahns, @shawnasimonee, @kaitlyn_mclintock
Sunday II Sunday is designed for the active woman and folks with textured hair. I really loved incorporating the Revive Me Daily Moisturizing Spray into my everyday routine. It's designed specifically for curly hair types and contains nourishing ingredients like argan oil. It really left my hair feeling soft and hydrated without it getting greasy, which can definitely be the case with some everyday products meant to hydrate curls. The biotin-infused Hair Flourish Serum is designed to help with dryness and repairs damaged strands. I used this a few nights a week after hopping out of the shower, and I would wake up with softer, more manageable curls. It also really helped bring out my natural curl pattern and gave my curls more definition. I'm excited to see what the long-term results will be.
"The Revive Me Daily Moisturizing Spray was the star of the show for me. It helped rehydrate and reinvigorate my dull, dryness-prone hair in between washdays. I swear my hair felt less brittle after just a couple of days of using it." — McLintock
"Okay, first things first, I have to shout about how ridiculously amazing this stuff smells. If I am going to be spritzing something on my hair, it has to smell absolutely heavenly, and this stuff fits the bill. I was initially worried it would be a little too heavy for my fine strands since it’s technically meant for wavy, curly, and coily hair types. (While I used to have a natural wave, I’ve bleached it into perpetual straightness—RIP!) But this spray is beautifully lightweight. My dry ends felt topped up with extra shine, movement, and moisture (far from the straw-like texture I’m used to), and now I am thoroughly obsessed. I know it's supposed to have great itch- and scalp-calming benefits too, so I’m excited to have this in my arsenal being as an infrequent washer but frequent bleacher and toner." — Jahns
As a bonus, I decided to give a few products from bodycare brand Oui the People a try, and I'm so glad that I did. First of all, I love this brand's incredible ethos. Instead of leaning on damaging marketing terms like "flawless" and "ageless," it aims for women to celebrate and embrace everything about themselves. The brand also created a sleek, single-blade razor designed for sensitive skin, and I had the pleasure of testing it out.
I have extremely sensitive skin that breaks out in hives whenever I change my razor blade and shave, so needless to say, I was excited about trying this. Although putting together the razor definitely took a second for me, I loved how light it was on my skin and how close of a shave it offered with no irritation. I also tried out the brand's Sugarcoat Shave Gel along with it. The texture is definitely a bit lighter than a traditional shave gel, so it took some getting used to, but it did leave my legs feeling silky and soft after shaving and helped mitigate any nicks or cuts.
After hopping out of the shower, I slathered on the brand's Melting Body Balm and fell in love. It's now officially my favorite offering from the brand that harnesses a plant-based retinol alternative, adaptogenic mushrooms, and oils that leave your skin feeling so incredibly hydrated and soft. It also offered long-lasting hydration, as the next day my skin felt like I'd just freshly applied the balm. I would definitely recommend this brand's razor to anyone with sensitive skin, and the bodycare products are equally as good. I know they're a bit on the pricey side, but I honestly think the quality of the products offered makes it worth it.
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