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  • Stephanie Cinque

The Beauty Within These Black-owned Makeup Brands

As a professional makeup artist, my sole mission is to teach and inspire others that inner beauty is power, and makeup exists to enhance that. Recently, I came across a quote on social media that really spoke to me - “Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face. It is about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart, and most importantly a beautiful soul.” It is vital that we, no matter our background, gender, ethnicity, or race, are able to experience that entirely.

Fortunately, the beauty industry has transitioned into an era of inclusivity – brands such as Fenty Beauty are creating makeup where collections consisting of up to 50 foundation shades. In addition, spokesmodels of color and diversity are more commonly using their social media platforms as influencers, and at the beauty counters. While the makeup industry has made strides to embrace women of all skin tones, is it enough? No.

Black business ownership is on the rise:

According to the U.S Census Bureau, African Americans make up 12 percent of the population, and of that - 3.3 percent own businesses. The powerful message here? About 42 percent of these businesses are black women-owned.

Along with highlighting black-owned makeup brands, you should consider purchasing from – like now! – let’s dive deeper into showcasing the beauty behind the brand. The founders. Not only are these black-owned businesses incredible and inclusive… the founders of these businesses let their inner beauty shine through, which in turn translates through their products and purpose to empower.

Cashmere Nicole, Founder, CEO and CBO of Beauty Bakerie

Cashmere Nicole: aka the ultimate cake boss, has worked hard to be where she is today. As a young single mother and breast cancer survivor, Nicole always looked on the sweet side. Through her dedication, intelligence, passion, in addition to perseverance - she built an incredible brand whose mission statement is “to be sweet and sweeten the lives of others”. Beauty Bakerie is “committed to encouraging men and women to feel both empowered and beautiful”. A bonus? The products are cruelty-free, paraben-free, AND vegan. Nicole proves her passion for the beauty of life through her launch of Sugar Homes, an initiative that helps improve the lives of orphaned children around the world.

These baked good-related products are high-quality and truly, the branding and packaging are AMAZING. Be sure to check out a full list of her products here. My current favorites are the Proof Is In The Pudding eyeshadow palette and the So Icy illuminator.

Akilah Releford, Founder of Mary Louise Cosmetics

Akilah Releford: skincare queen: Okay, maybe not technically makeup but skincare is the first step to a flawless makeup application after all! Inspired by her grandmother's use of natural recipes and homemade remedies, Akilah Releford was empowered to create “nourishing and clean beauty products that make skincare easy and fun”. Mary Louise Cosmetics, which is also vegan, organic, and cruelty-free, was born when Releford left Howard University to pursue her dreams – and rightfully so. She worked hard to create a formula that was truly good for you. A formula where you can pronounce the ingredients. Alas, the Mary Louise Miracle Serum was born. This bestseller is a must-have. As one of the most talked-about skincare products on social media in 2020, its ability to rid your skin from acne scarring, dark marks, scars, or hyper-pigmentation seems to be just that – a miracle. Releford told Popsugar Beauty, "It feels really amazing to keep the legacy of my grandmothers alive, and it's also quite cool to hear people all over the world say their names every day."

Danessa Myricks, Founder of Danessa Myricks Beauty, Makeup Artist, Photographer and Creator

Danessa Myricks: a true inspiration. “I wanted to make sure that people who look like me are included, but I wanted to include everyone”, Danessa Myricks shares as she explains where her passion for makeup creativity, products, people, and beauty developed. As a makeup artist myself to fellow artists and creators, please take the time to watch Myricks' bio. Danessa Myricks Beauty offers a full range of products, and complexion is a very strong point for the brand – according to Myricks, providing “one-thousand ways for you to glow!”

Alicia Scott, Founder and CEO of Range Beauty

Alicia Scott’s Instagram bio tells us she is a lover of good energy and shrimp tacos – sold, but there is much more to know about this empowering businesswoman. She started her career in the hustle and bustle of none other than the iconic New York Fashion Industry, but something was not right. Scott found herself severely disappointed in the lack of shade ranges not only during photo shoots and runway but within drug stores too, due to her skin tone. Once she learned the number of brands that included ingredients that enflamed her eczema and acne, Scott took matters into her own hands and Range Beauty was born.

Range Beauty is a cruelty-free brand that “encourages you to express yourself, while still allowing your true skin to shine through. We aim to continuously support, uplift, include, and empower all of you globally to be confident in your skin no matter the shade or type.” The Range Beauty Smooth Out Powder gained popularity amongst the beauty community because of the silky finish left on the skin. If you’re looking for a long-lasting powder that will control shine? This is it.

Together we can make a change through listening, learning and educating

Let us stand up for inclusivity through beauty in makeup and in life. It is important now, and moving forward, to support the black community. If that is through your passion – so be it. For my fellow makeup and beauty enthusiasts, Cosmopolitan did an incredible job of listing out the “125 Best Black-Owned Beauty Brands to Support Right Freakin’ Now” for you to read through and bookmark for your next shopping spree.

I pledge that I will utilize this time as an opportunity to expand my knowledge of these brands and the powerful black women that have built them. I will continue to spread awareness. I will continue to promote these brands. I will continue to purchase from these brands.

Through action, how will you show your support?

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