Black entrepreneurship among women is on the rise, especially in the highly innovative, evolving beauty industry. In 2020, 93 Black women secured $1 million in investor funding compared to 38 Black women in 2018, according to digitalundivided’s ProjectDiane report.
The industry is taking notice.
In the last few years, retailers like Sephora and Macy’s have actively supported Black-owned businesses and brands by signing the 15 Percent Pledge created by Aurora James that commits a minimum of 15 percent of store shelves to Black-owned businesses. Ulta Beauty more than doubled the number of Black-owned brands in its stores in 2021 and plans to invest $50 million in 2022 toward diversity initiatives, including an accelerator program to support Black founders.
In celebration of Black History Month, we’re shining a light on some of the most talented and innovative black-owned, female-led indie beauty brands. These businesses are led by women committed to producing high quality, ethically-sourced products that cater to a wide range of skin tones and textures.
These black-owned beauty brands not only deliver great products but are industry game changers.
1. The Honey Pot
The Honey Pot is a black-owned boutique with an online shop specializing in natural and organic skincare. The company offers vegan skincare products made in small batches using ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and more. After suffering from bacterial vaginosis for months and being unable to find relief from other products, entrepreneur Beatrice Dixon founded The Honey Pot Company. The company hopes customers can reclaim their wellness and thank their bodies for being their vessels in their self-love journey using its products.
Each year, The Honey Pot sets aside 2 percent of sales to donate to charitable organizations that share their intention to provide access, connection, kindness, and education to humans with vaginas across the globe. Their CAKE partners, as they are called, serve vulnerable populations by addressing their needs in varying ways.
Mented Cosmetics is a brand created by two black women, KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson, with the mission to provide nude makeup for all people of color. Their products are vegan, paraben-free, non-toxic, and cruelty-free.
Mented has an extensive line of makeup products, including lipsticks, eyeshadows, and blushes designed for people of color. The company offers a Shade Finder on its website to help you find the perfect match for your skin tone. Mented also has a blog to read about beauty tips, new products, and more. The company proudly promotes beauty products for all women and black-owned independent beauty solutions.
Founded in 2011 by Co-Founder and CEO Nancy Twine, Briogeo is committed to using organic ingredients that are sustainably sourced whenever possible. The company avoids using ingredients like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial colorings in all of its products.
Briogeo hair products are not your typical shampoos and conditioners. Instead, they use the latest science to produce hair care products that work with you, not against you. The products are meant to work with all hairstyles and types and never use ingredients that are harmful to hair, bad for the environment, or bad for your scalp.
4. Kreyol Essence
Kreyol Essence is a natural hair, skin, and body care brand founded in Haiti. They are a black-owned company that uses 100 percent natural plant-based oils, herbs, and butter to make eco-friendly formulations from pure and natural ingredients, focusing on dry hair and skin. Products contain no fillers, parabens, sulfates, or synthetic dyes. Their traditional formulations consist of plant-based oils, herbs, and butters rich in history, moisture, and efficacy.
Kreyol Essence is also a social business committed to creating sustainable jobs, protecting and conserving the environment, and empowering women. This makes them unique because they are about the product and the people it supports. Through slow yet consistent growth, Kreyol Essence will create economic opportunities for women to impact their lives positively.
PiperWai is a black-owned indie beauty brand redefining everyday hygiene essentials. Launched in 2014, the company is committed to using sustainable packaging and ingredients. Their products are certified vegan, cruelty-free, and don’t contain common pollutants or toxic ingredients. Their deodorant is especially popular and effective, and the company has plans to expand its product line soon.
What makes PiperWai stand out from other indie beauty brands is its commitment to sustainability. In everything the brand does, it strives to reduce its environmental impact. In an industry where many brands use unsustainable practices, PiperWai stands out as a trustworthy brand that cares about people and the planet.
6. Shani Darden
Shani Darden is an esthetician known for her work in Hollywood. She has a passion for simple, effective skincare solutions, and her Retinol Reform serum quickly gained a celebrity following.
She is continuing a proud legacy of black-owned independent beauty businesses. The company now has an expanded line of award-winning products that target skin concerns like aging, containing ingredients like retinol and lactic acid to improve the skin’s texture and appearance. Shani’s philosophy is based on simple products that deliver results and gain customers’ trust.
Golde is a black-owned company that makes superfood blends to complement and enhance your daily routine. From matcha to mushrooms, you can count on them for products that are easy, fun, and delicious. The company helps users achieve a healthier and nutrition-filled life with each product.
What sets Golde apart from other black-owned beauty brands is its focus on nutrition. Their blends are designed to give you the energy and nutrients you need to look and feel your best. Whether you’re looking for an all-in-one breakfast solution or a pre-workout boost, Goulde has you covered.
Are you interested in learning more about the industry’s best black-owned indie beauty brands? Explore our beauty division.