At the beginning of the year, I always like to purge my beauty stock. I get rid of the things I don't use, I donate and gift unopened products I know other people will get more use from than I will, and I assess the types of brands, formulas, and retailers I want to continue investing in over the course of the 360-some days to come. Of course, online beauty emporiums like Sephora, Ulta, Dermstore, and Violet Grey will always be shopping mainstays, but in 2021, I'm continuing my emphasis on smaller-scale e-commerce sites that put Black and Brown founders and their amazing beauty offerings at the forefront. (I highly recommend you do the same!)
It's important to support your favorite small businesses by shopping directly from their websites, but I also love lesser-known retailers like Inside Outer, Blk + Grn, Marjani, and, most recently, Thirteen Lune that bring together tons of amazing brands that allow shoppers to discover and sample a variety of cool, very chic beauty labels from one online destination.
Co-founded by Nyakio Grieco and Patrick Herning late last year, Thirteen Lune was created by the duo to help ensure that consumers continue to shop Black with the same vigor they had last summer when, all of a sudden, lots of brands that previously felt invisible catapulted in popularity (a phenomenon which, Grieco shares, instigated mixed emotions from many Black entrepreneurs).
It's no secret that Black business owners face far more financial obstacles than many of their non-Black counterparts, so while Thirteen Lune is a shopping-friendly e-commerce site, it's also an amazing destination for Black- and Brown-owned beauty brands to be seen and heard. In a press release, Grieco and Herning share that "storytelling honoring the heritage and history of the Black and Brown culture and community, amplifying the voices behind each brand, and spotlighting them with prominence" are just as important as the products themselves. Thirteen Lune might be a comparatively fresh name on the beauty retailer scene, but its lineup of products and brands is dreamy bar none and full of offerings for people of all colors. (I don't know who still needs to hear this, but Black- and Brown-owned brands aren't only for people with Black and Brown skin.)
Below, my fellow beauty editor Courtney Higgs and I are sharing our top 10 product picks currently on our Thirteen Lune wish lists, all of which are sure to whet your beauty shopping appetite. Keep scrolling!
Erin Jahns, Beauty Editor
Candles are a nonnegotiable addition to my treasured tub time, so I pretty much consider them a beauty product at this point. I don't know about you, but my wildest dreams couldn't concoct a more stress-melting combination than lavender, citrus, cedar, musk, amber, and oakmoss.
Immunity is still top of mind, and I can't wait to incorporate Dr. Nigma Talib's Vitamin C Cocktail into my daily routine. I don't love pills and capsules, so I appreciate the fact that I can easily dump my daily dose into my smoothie or a shot of cool water.
I have an ultra-minimalist haircare routine, but a lightweight oil mist for some extra shine is always in my lineup. This natural, botanical formula from hairstylist Charlotte Mensah is specifically designed for curly and Afro-textured hair, but it's equally magical for all hair types.
I have no patience for harsh body scrubs that strip my skin of moisture. This formulation from Gilded Body utilizes a dynamic blend of organic sugar, ripe lychee fruit extracts, Brazilian cupuaçu, and shea butter to slough away dead cell buildup without leaving the skin completely devoid of hydration and nourishment.
I've had this decadent body butter on my beauty bucket list for a while now, and the New Year is the perfect excuse to splurge. FYI: Ghanaian shea butter is a beloved African beauty secret, and it has been used for centuries to heal, moisturize, and protect the skin. Chock-full of vitamins, ivory shea is the shining star of this vanilla- and honey-scented boost from Liha. (It's also an amazing homeopathic antidote for stretch marks and scars thanks to its high levels of vitamin E.)
During quarantine, I've really leveled up my at-home bodycare routine, and layering a rich body oil on top of cream or butter is a new ritual that has completely transformed the way my skin looks and feels. Obviously, I'll be chasing Liha's famed body butter I mentioned above with this glossy and indulgent oil from the brand. The "idan"—the Yoruba word for "magic"—lies in the heavy-hitting duo of cold-pressed coconut oil and tuberose flower (It's one of nature's best aphrodisiacs, so prepare yourself) infused by a traditional African process called enfleurage.
I've seen so many of my fellow beauty editors at other publications talking about this adorable little exfoliation tool, and I can't wait to see what all of the hype is about. As someone who's trying to infuse more gentle modes of exfoliation into my skincare routine this year, I think this will be just the ticket!
Perhaps it's because I never wear lipstick anymore, but I feel like I only just discovered lip gloss. That said, if a formula is too sparkly or sticky, forget it. I have my eye on this tube featuring the brand's Lip Plumping Peptide Complex Maxi and marine filling collagen for added volume and fullness, a quick hit of hydrating mango, kokum, and shea butters, and a helpful spectrum of vitamins A, C, and E.
I'm making way for smooth, healthily exfoliated skin this year, but I don't want anything that's overly harsh or that contains suspect ingredients. Therefore, this is the all-encompassing facial tonic I'm chomping at the bit to get my hands on. Annie is a concentrated dose of all-natural exfoliants, antioxidants, and inflammation-inhibiting actives that help to rebalance, clarify, tone, and firm a lackluster complexion. You get a well-rounded, strategic cocktail of AHAs (glycolic, lactic, and malic acids), BHAs (salicylic acid), and PHA (gluconolactone and lactobionic acid) to get the most bang for your exfoliation buck.
Courtney Higgs, Associate Beauty Editor
I’ve tried many different vitamin C serums and, honestly, have yet to meet one I didn’t like. This one by Hyper Skin has received critical acclaim since the brand launched early last year. It sold out fast and keeps on selling out! I’m snagging it now before I miss my chance yet again.
Okay, I’m sort of obsessed with Buttah. I’ve recently fallen head over heels for its bodycare products, which are truly unmatched, so now, I want to take a step back and try the skincare offerings that put the brand on the map in the first place. This cream seems like the perfect fix for my dry winter skin.
I’ve never encountered a shampoo like this one (it’s thick like a paste), and I’m so intrigued. It’s formulated with a bunch of stuff I know my hair would love, like argan oil, black olive paste, honey, essential oils, and Brazil nut oil. I want it.
I read a book last year that touted the benefits of starting the day with dry-brushing and swore that the second I got my life together I was going to start implementing the practice into my routine. Well, my life is still a mess, but I’m thinking of investing in this gorgeous dry brush to inspire me to finally construct the morning routine I’ve always dreamt of.
I’ve never cared much for supplements, but the older I get, the more open I become to incorporating them into my diet and self-care regimen. B vitamins are the ones I always hear called out as the ones that impart energy, so that’s definitely where I would start.
A candle laced with notes of lemongrass, sage, and ginger? Say less.