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Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

Best Black-owned beauty brands

Expertly reviewed by Oscar Molinar

Which Black-owned or -founded beauty brands are best?

For a long, long time, the majority of beauty brands made products either solely for or mainly for people with fair, light complexions. Even once the big-name brands recognized the needs of those with darker complexions, their offerings were minimal at best or persistently unsuited to their customers at worst. Then, in 1973, Fashion Fair cosmetics, the first national makeup brand founded by and catering to women of color, was launched. More Black-founded and Black-owned beauty businesses would follow, though there’s plenty of room for improvement; only about 5% of retail-carried beauty brands fall under the category.

In this article: Bevel Skin Care Set, Carol’s Daughter Born to Repair Nourishing Conditioner and Flora and Noor Body Butter.

Black-owned or -founded makeup and skin care brands

Black-owned or -founded makeup and skin care brands typically have at least one thing in common: They’re tailor-made for those with deeper, darker skin tones. That doesn’t mean they only offer such products; most also have options for those with lighter tones. A small sampling of some unique brands includes:

  • BeautyStat is a little different than other skin care brands. It was founded by a 20-year veteran of the cosmetic chemistry field, Ron Robinson. Robinson continues to use a science-first approach to skin care products, with the goal of constant improvement.
  • Black Opal, stylized as BLK/OPL, makeup aims to provide high-quality makeup for those with deeper skin tones, without the high price tag. Its products are also cruelty-free. It was founded by Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack.
  • Fenty Beauty is among the most recognized Black-owned and -founded beauty brands by way of its world-renowned founder: Rihanna. She even modeled some of her products during her Super Bowl LVII halftime show.
  • Flora and Noor, which offers specialized products for treating sensitive and or chronic skin conditions, holds a rare distinction among skin care brands: It’s halal-certified. It was founded by Jordan Karim, a former research chemist and pharmaceutical skin care consultant.
  • Juvia’s Place is all about providing vivid, eye-catching makeup for those with the deepest skin tones, though calmer colors are also available. It was founded by Chichi Eburu after she became tired of never finding shades that worked for her.

Black-owned or -founded hair care brands

Like makeup and skin care, Black-owned or -founded hair care brands also tend to have at least one common denominator: They’re fantastic for dry hair. The reason is that African hair, despite producing more oils, curls too tightly for those oils to spread efficiently. So, Black-owned hair care products target that factor. This makes these products a true boon for anyone with dry hair, no matter their ancestry. Another sampling of more unique brands includes:

  • Bevel serves an audience often forgotten: men of color. It was the first, and remains among the few brands dedicated to head-to-toe grooming products for said men. It was founded by Tristan Walker.
  • Bread Beauty Supply tries to be as simple as possible, using ingredients to naturally care for coily, curly and wavy hair, rather than chemically forcing them into something they aren’t. It was founded by Maeve Heim, who grew up working in her mother’s African braiding salon.
  • Carol’s Daughter started out where many small beauty businesses do: right at home. Its products were only sold in flea markets and a boutique for several years until Oprah made the company one of her Favorite Things in 2002, causing the brand to explode. It was founded by Carol Price’s daughter Lisa and is personally recommended by BestReviews beauty expert, Oscar Molinar.
  • Donna’s Recipe uses natural ingredients that are health-conscious and even suitable for those living a vegan lifestyle. It was founded by Tabitha Brown and Gina Woods. Fun fact: The name derives from Tabitha’s nickname for her hair, "Donna."
  • Melanin Haircare is so committed to using only the highest-quality natural and safe-synthetic ingredients that, on its website, you can click on most ingredients on most products to get a description of that ingredient and its purpose. It was founded by sisters Whitney and Taffeta White.

Best Black-owned or -founded makeup and skin care products

BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner

This product was clinically tested and proven to result in improved skin firmness, hyperpigmentation and crow’s feet, deep lines and wrinkles.

Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Black Opal True Color Foundation 

This foundation comes in 24 shades, making it easy for people of color to find one that’s just right. It also has a sun protection factor of 15.

Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

This lip luminizer uses an XXL wand so you can apply a coating in one swipe. It also has a moderate peach-vanilla scent.

Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Flora and Noor Body Butter

This body butter can be used for a variety of reasons, such as preventing stretch marks and transepidermal water loss, or TEWL. It’s also halal, vegan and cruelty-free.

Sold by Amazon

Juvia’s Place Eyeshadow Palette

This eyeshadow palette contains six shades and comes in multiple packages, such as "Rosy Pinks," "Orange and Golds" and "Blush and Sand."  

Sold by Amazon

Best Black-owned or -founded hair care products

Bevel Skin Care Set

This three-piece kit contains a hydrating face gel with vitamin C, a revitalizing face wash with aloe vera and two-in-one exfoliating pads. 

Sold by Amazon

Bread Beauty Supply Hair-Oil Everyday Gloss

Bread Beauty Supply describes this product as "like a lip gloss, but for your hair." It can be used on all hair types.

Sold by Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Carol’s Daughter Born to Repair Nourishing Conditioner

This conditioner not only treats general dryness, it also repairs and improves the smoothness of your natural curls.

Sold by Amazon

Donna’s Recipe Sweet Potato Pie Extra-Creamy Moisturizing Shampoo

This shampoo is ultra-nourishing, making it a perfect way to revitalize dried-out hair. Cinnamon is used to remove various build-ups on your scalp, plus it smells nice

Sold by Ulta Beauty

Melanin Haircare Twist-Elongating Style Cream

This cream contains a concoction of hair butters, such as shea, mango, cocoa, kokum and cupuacu, plus hydrators, such as aloe vera, avocado and sweet almond oil.

Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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