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Here are Five Black-owned and Black-led Beauty Businesses to Support
Earlier this year, Ulta Beauty announced a $50 million initiative aimed at helping Black-owned beauty brands succeed.
In a statement on their website, the retailer outlined several of their steps to help increase inclusivity and diversity in the beauty world. These steps included funding $8.5 million in brand marketing support for Black-owned and Black-led beauty companies as well as the creation of a program aimed at helping BIPOC startup companies learn the skills they need to succeed.
Ulta Beauty also promised to invest $5 million in venture capital firm New Voices and work on MUSE, a program they launched in late 2021 to make sure that Black entrepreneurs in the beauty business are heard.
The retailer was one of multiple to take part in the 15 Percent Pledge, a nonprofit created by Aurora James that had stores pledge to devote 15% of their shelves to products made by Black-owned businesses.
Following the creation of this 15 Percent Pledge and during the 2020 Black Lives Movement, market research company NPD Group Inc. found that Black-owned beauty businesses earned 1.5 to 4 times more in profits than usual.
To help keep the energy of the Black Lives Matter Movement and help Black-owned businesses thrive, here are five Black-owned and Black-led beauty companies to support.
Epara: Drawing its name from a word from the Nigerian language that means “to cocoon oneself,” this skincare beauty company uses ingredients from the soils of Africa in their products. Founded by entrepreneur and Oxford University graduate Ozohu Adoh, Epara has products made specifically for Black women and other women of color. Working alongside a UK-based lab, Adoh created Epara’s vegan and cruelty-free skincare products. Products available on the company’s site include serums, masks and moisturizers amongst others to refresh the entire body.
4th Ave Market: Serving as more of a marketplace, 4th Ave Market is one of the biggest suppliers of Black-owned and created beauty products. The online site offers a variety of products to help with skin care, hair care, bath and body and foot care. Based in New York, the retail platform helps facilitate an increase in Black beauty business ownership and provides accurate representation for Black consumers. All of the products are also sold at affordable prices for consumers. Products include Moisture Love’s Hudrating Shampoo, Sheamoisture Men’s Beard Balm and Alikay Naturals Body Oil.
BLK + GRN: Featuring a team of Black women creators that have been selected by Black women’s health experts working with the company, BLK + GRN offers all-natural products. Made from plant-based ingredients using Earth-friendly processes, their products are free from toxins that can be cancerous such as parabens, heavy metals and coal tar amongst others. Available on their site, BLK + GRN’s best sellers include All-Natural Deodorant, Original Turmeric Latte Blend and Essential Oil Blend. The company also offers health and beauty tips on their site’s blog and podcast for anyone’s viewing.
Khamareh: Named after the name given to the Black Vetivergrass plant by the West African Soninke’ tribe, the company creates products made completely from plants found in Africa. According to the company’s website, Khamareh is the primary basis for their creations as the plant has been passed down as a key ingredient in traditional recipes for soaps, creams and oils. Located around East and West Africa, it’s used mainly for its essential oils. Kamareh can also rejuvenate skin due to its ability to help stimulate blood circulation under the skin. Products such as Vetiver & Oregano Seeds Soap and the Exfoliation Khamare Kit are all available on the company’s website.
Topicals: Created by two Gen Z women, this beauty company’s mission is to make Black women and other women who have lacked representation in skincare feel confident in their skin. The products are inclusive and cater to all women dealing with their skin problems. According to an interview with Allure, the creators, Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng decided to start the company while still in college because of their own experience dealing with skin issues such as skin inflammation and eczema. Created from natural ingredients like herbs, the products are certified by professionals such as Dr. Teng, the Director of Pediatric Dermatology at Stanford University. As an added bonus, when customers shop for Topicals, the company donates a part of their earnings to mental health organizations like Therapy for Black Girls and the Sad Girls Club. Products like the High Roller and Ingrown Face Duo are all available on the company’s website.