Sephora Just Stocked Its First Black-Owned, Clean Makeup Line Ever

Love Your Self. What a wonderful way to lure the customers in.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #46 series on my blog.

As a beauty buff, I’ve had the opportunity to test a bunch of makeup products. But as I’ve grown to be more conscious of what I’m putting on my skin,  I noticed there aren’t many clean options that work well. So when I heard that Sephora’s first Black-owned clean makeup line was launching, I was ecstatic. LYS Beauty landed at Sephora in mid-February with a variety of makeup products, including foundation, primer, powder, lip oil, bronzer and blush. Of course, I had to get my hands on it.

BeI was pleasantly surprised to see how many shade options LYS Beauty Foundation had. With 35 shades available, the line makes it simple to find one that matches your skin. The first product I tried was the Triple Fix Serum Foundation, and it definitely lives up to its name. The texture is velvety smooth and looks like a veil on my skin. Another factor that’s important to me is blendability; if a formula doesn’t blend easily, then it’s simply not for me. However, that isn’t the case with this foundation, because the blending process was seamless and the color melted into my skin flawlessly. The color also worked very well for my skin tone, and I didn’t feel the need to mix it with anything else in order to get the proper coverage — which leads me to the next thing I love about these products: the actual coverage.

Shop now: $22; sephora.com

I’ve found that a lot of clean foundations provide minimal coverage (which is great if that’s what you prefer!), but I like mine to offer at least medium coverage. I found that this one has buildable coverage so you can increase it depending on your preferences. 

The foundation is made with Ashwagandha, an herb that can combat signs of stress in the skin, turmeric for brightening, and hyaluronic acid for maximum hydration. And I’m not the only one who thinks it’s a great formula — despite being a fairly new product, it already has a 4.8-star rating from Sephora shoppers. “I hate the feeling of heavy makeup on my face and this is super lightweight and covers my blemishes so I am Zoom-ready for my never-ending conference calls,” wrote one customer. “Best foundation I have ever used. I am obsessed with the coverage, feel and finish,” said another. The fact that the Triple Fix foundation has this many great details and still doesn’t use any toxic ingredients makes it a total game-changer for me. 

I also got my hands on the LYS Beauty Secure Skin Gripping Serum Primer. Now, just to be clear, I’m a big primer girl to begin with. I typically find that by using the right moisturizer and a flattering primer, my makeup blends and stays put if I hadn’t used it (opinions vary from one person to the next, though).

Shop now: $20; sephora.com

Created for combination and acne-prone skin, the primer’s key ingredient is grapefruit extract, which is rich in vitamin C to brighten skin, along with niacinamide and an exfoliating AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) blend to smooth pores.

Just like the foundation, this primer has a lightweight feel to it, which is of the utmost importance to me. I don’t like layers of thick or heavy product on my face, and this one results in an airbrush-like finish that makes my skin feel smooth before I apply the rest of my makeup.

All in all, I’m very impressed with the quality of both the primer and the foundation. Sephora’s LYS Beauty collection makes it easy to transition over to clean makeup products while supporting a Black-owned business. 

Sculpt, define, and warm up your complexion with this matte bronzer. The ultra-velvety, buildable powder effortlessly blends while delivering a sunkissed glow. Formulated with niacinamide, this bronzer gives skin the warmth you want while blurring the look of imperfections and texture.

Shop Now: $18; Sephora.com

Give your cheeks a kiss of color with this cream blush that delivers high payoff for all skin tones. Packed with clean, skin-loving ingredients like kaolin clay and avocado oil, this multipurpose cream leaves skin looking refreshed. Rich in pigment, this blush adds the finishing touch on any look.

Shop Now: $16; Sephora.com

This clean, cushiony lip treatment oil maximizes comfort with a blend of chia seed oil and sweet almond oil, quickly replenishing lips with vital moisture. Perfect for every day, this colorless oil pairs with your favorite lip liner or lipstick, leaving behind a non-sticky, glossy finish.

Shop Now: $12; Sephora.com

This clean, talc-free, finely milled pressed setting powder buffs beautifully into skin as it blurs and locks makeup in place for all-day perfection and no white cast. Infused with niacinamide, green tea extract, and sodium hyaluronate, this weightless powder won’t accentuate texture or pores.

Shop Now: $18; Sephora.com

IMPORTANT TO NOTE:

Clean at Sephora
Clean at Sephora is formulated without a list of over 50 ingredients, including sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, phthalates, and more. For the full list, check out the Ingredients tab.

SHOP LYS BEAUTY AT SEPHORA

Danessa Myricks Beauty Is Officially Sold At Sephora Now

Danessa Myricks’ eponymous makeup brand kicks off a partnership that’s been a year in the making. You can shop nine product categories, including the Best of Beauty-winning Colorfix, on Sephora’s virtual shelves for glowing, professional-tier looks.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #42 series on my blog.

Although most of us aren’t wearing makeup as often as we used to, experimenting with makeup and carving out that time for myself has become a major solace for me throughout the past year.

Danessa Myricks Beauty exclusively revealed to Allure that the iconic brand is partnering up with Sephora to launch most of its products on sephora.com. The giant beauty retailer has been watching the brand’s growth for quite a while, and founder Danessa Myricks says the “official courtship” lasted around a year. “From the very beginning, [Sephora has] demonstrated a deep commitment to my long-term success,” Myricks adds. “They’ve followed my journey, knew of all my products, attended my master classes, and were actual customers of the brand.”

Last year was a long-overdue time of retail reckoning spurred by Sharon Chuter’s #PullUpOrShutUp challenge. In addition to sharing statistics on Black employees (especially in leadership positions), major retailers also committed to filling their shelves with more Black-owned brands and partnering with experts in the space to achieve diversity-centric goals with a conscience.

As a small-business owner and Black entrepreneur, Myricks went into initial discussions with Sephora with a certain, necessary level of precaution — but, as you can probably tell, both sides were able to make it work. “I never felt like a box checked off on a quota,” she says. “[Sephora was] thoughtful and present when it was time to have difficult conversations around inclusion and diversity and were mindful of the commitment it takes for a small brand like mine to scale at this level.” 

These initiatives go beyond her own brand, too. “What excited me the most about this partnership is not only will this be possible for Danessa Myricks Beauty, but Sephora has also committed to creating this same opportunity for more female-founded, Black-owned brands as well,” Myricks shares. 

I’m personally stover excited about the prospect of more makeup enthusiasts catching wind of Danessa Myricks Beauty and trying out the line for themselves. Read on to learn about every DMB product that became available at sephora.com as of their launch date, February 26.

Colorfix 24-Hour Cream Color ($18)

These multipurpose cream pigments allow you to create some seriously vibrant, out-of-the-world looks (see above for proof). And the best of news of all: The brand has confirmed that all 83 shades and finishes — Creams, Mattes, Foils, Glazes, Neons, and Nudes — will be eventually be available to shop on Sephora. (For the initial launch, there are 30 shades to dive in on.)

If you don’t know where to start, Myricks recommends a monochromatic look. “With just one drop, you can take your favorite shade and add it to your lips, cheeks, and eyelids,” she says. (Just look at your favorite celebrities, such as Yara Shahidi, for inspiration.) The intense pigmentation works on every skin tone and lasts all day, Myricks adds.

“I think the number-one unexpected way Colorfix is used is as a complexion product,” Myricks says. Colorfix in shades like Phoenix (matte bright orange) and Carrot Top (neon orange) are crease-proof fixes for dark circles and hyperpigmentation. “The tiniest drop immediately neutralizes darkness and sets without bleeding into foundation or concealer,” she adds.

Vision Cream Cover ($28)

Sephora is known to offer tons of product exclusives in the form of jumbo sizes, pop-culture collaborations, and holiday gift sets, so it’s no surprise that Danessa Myricks Beauty is kicking off its Sephora partnership with an exclusive of its own: a value-size version of the Vision Cream Cover for $22 (normally $28). 

“With over 20 years of experience as a makeup artist, one thing I know for sure is everyone wants to look natural, regardless of their coverage needs,” Myricks says. This foundation-concealer hybrid has easily adjustable, sheer-to-full coverage available in 23 shades and six color transformer/additive colors for further customization (i.e. peach to neutralize redness). Infused with moisture-boosting squalane and soothing vitamin E, it glides onto skin like a dream and leaves behind a silky-smooth finish.

You only need one drop of the creamy formula for full-face coverage or a half-drop if you’re using it as a concealer, Myricks says. You can also sheer out the Vision Cream Cover with a hydrating lotion or lightweight oil. As far as application goes, you can play with it however you like. “It’s so finger-friendly but also works beautifully with a sponge or a brush,” she adds.

Dew Wet Balm ($22)

If you’re looking for an instant “glass skin” finish on the fly, Dew Wet Balm will dew that with a single swipe. Available in five luminescent colors (including translucent, rose gold, and bronze), this highlighting balm sinks into skin, rather than simply sitting atop of it. That effect is due to the formula’s hydrating jojoba oil, which lends skin a natural glow. You could say it’s the highlight of 2021 makeup trends.

Vision Flush ($20)

Similar to Colorfix, Vision Flush can also be applied all over the eyes, lips, and cheeks for a subtle, satin-matte wash of color. Choose from 12 shades — including corals, plums, and browns — and sweep the diamond-shaped reservoir tip applicator across your lips or dab onto your lids and cheekbones. Voilà, radiance in a pinch.

Illuminating Veil ($22)

Tap the Illuminating Veil for backup if you want to add major glimmer to your face or body. Whether you wear it on its own or mix it in with your favourite liquid foundation for a dewy finish, this water-based highlighter makes all skin tones glow in no time at all. If you’re short on time, you can effortlessly blend in any of the 12 bronzey, golden, silver, and lavender shades in with your fingers.

Power Bronzer ($26)

An alternative to cakey powder bronzers, the Power Bronzer is a long-wearing cream bronzer that’s impossibly easy to blend and adds a dimensional dose of warmth to your face. All three shades (Deep, Medium, and Light) are perfect for achieving a summery glow — even when you’re stuck indoors all winter long.

Evolution Powder ($24)

Designed with the harshness of flash photography and TV/film lighting in mind, the Evolution Powder blurs the appearance of texture and fine lines with light-diffusing spheres. Dust on a layer of the translucent setting powder or any of the eight tinted shades (including yellow, peach, tan, and bronze) to set your makeup with ease and guard against mid-day shine. 

Hot tip: Sweep the powder in only the areas you experience excess oil with a small makeup brush (aka, precision powdering) if you don’t want to lose your all-over glow.

Light Work Palette I & II ($42)

The Light Work Palettes allow you to layer various highlighting shades so you obtain the exact level of brilliance you desire. Both palettes have six creamy powder shades each, but the “I” edition has cooler rose gold, champagne, gold, and soft white shades, while “II” has a warmer color scheme that incorporates yellow gold, terracotta bronze, cocoa bronze hues. Both, however, contain micro-light-refracting particles that add eye-catching dimension to your face.

Beauty Oil ($30)

Even though it’s spiked with deeply hydrating jojoba, sunflower, and walnut oils, you’ll find the Beauty Oil still manages to be lightweight to the touch. The clear, gold-flecked liquid sinks into skin within seconds to reveal your skin’s natural radiance when it’s worn alone as a skin-care product, underneath complexion products, and mixed with your foundation of choice (just two to three drops will do). It’s especially handy for mature skin.

What are you waiting for? Stock up on all things Danessa Myricks at sephora.com (and in-stores on April 9), and keep your eyes peeled for new and special drops.

ALLURE article

Mented Cosmetics – No One Should Be An Afterthought

“One night over a glass of pinot, we sat down and asked ourselves why it was so hard to find the perfect nude lipstick. That conversation sparked an idea, and that idea became the brand we are building today. We created Mented Cosmetics because we believe every woman should be able to find herself in the world of beauty, no matter her skin tone. We know you’ll love being put first – because when it comes to beauty, no one deserves to be an afterthought.”

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #41 series on my blog.

“From our original nude lipsticks to eyeshadow palettes to blushes, each of our makeup products is perfectly pigMented to match your skin tones. We want all women, from light to tan to dark skin tones, to feel like they have makeup that actually works for their complexions, so we’ve created the shades to help accomplish that. Start with our shade finder to find your perfect match and then begin building your collection today! We guarantee you’ll find your new go-to or a fun addition to your makeup routine.”

Lip Products

Buy Here

Face Products

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High Brow Pencil

“Our High Brow Precision Pencil gives you the definition you want while staying put all day. It’s waterproof, precision-tipped, and lasts for 10+ hours.”

Buy $15

Cheek Products

Buy Here

Eye Products

Buy Here

Nude Nail Collection

Buy Here

Accessories

Buy Here

When it comes to inclusivity – Mented has got you covered!

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MENTED COSMETICS ON INSTAGRAM

DANESSA MYRICKS BEAUTY

Self-Taught. Makeup Artist. Photographer. Entrepreneur. Founder. Mother. Black woman.

In a world focused on labels, Danessa Myricks has continuously broken boundaries and built a world of beauty for people from all races, ages and genders.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #34 series on my blog.


Starting out as a self-taught makeup artist, Danessa learned how to use products in unconventional ways to create stunning looks. Ignoring industry norms, she began to teach other artists about her techniques and product selections, and created a name for herself in the beauty world. After turning heads at some of the largest brands, Danessa led product development for some of the most successful launches in history at brands like KISS and Benefit Cosmetics. But she knew the world of makeup still felt exclusive to many, so she decided to launch her own brand, Danessa Myricks Beauty. Every product developed by Danessa and her team isn’t designed for just one application. All products by Danessa Myricks Beauty are multi-functional and created to work in multiple places and on all faces. Creatively combining artistry with product manipulation, she designs and launches some of the most high-performance products on the market.

Danessa has created looks for celebrities, worked with entertainers in music and film and collaborates with other brands and artists to push the beauty industry forward. She trains makeup artists and enthusiasts worldwide and continues to create some of the most innovative and inclusive beauty products on the market. But the most rewarding part of her work is hearing from people who felt underrepresented, unseen or ignored by beauty brands who finally land at a brand made for all, Danessa Myricks Beauty.

Beauty can feel like an exclusive world. Danessa Myricks Beauty was founded on the principle that race, gender, age and personal style should not limit anyone from experimenting with makeup and discovering their signature look. When we launched we reimagined what makeup can be and developed innovative multifunctional products that work everyplace on every face. Our high-performing products give makeup artists and consumers alike the freedom to play outside the box.

“As a self-taught artist with limited resources, I had to get creative with the products I had access to. Over the years I learned how to create stunning looks while using products in unconventional ways. When I launched my own brand I knew I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing. I wanted every person to feel like they had found a brand that represented them and gave them freedom to enjoy makeup. I love that no one else makes products like we do and we will continually strive to innovate in the beauty space.”

Danessa Myricks Beauty has taken makeup out of the box.
All are invited to discover an inclusive world of beauty with no boundaries.

SHOP THE BRAND HERE

@danessa_myricks on Instagram


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Danessa Myricks Beauty on Pinterest
DanessaMyricksBeauty on TikTok

5 Black Influencers on How Beauty Brands Can Do Better

Black consumers are calling for a movement, not a moment. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #26 series on my blog.

The year was 2018. Beyonce delivered one of her most historic performances as the first Black woman to headline a set at Coachella. Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians premiered to fanfare proving that, contrary to popular belief, films with a leading cast of color have global appeal. Yet even though 2018 was a landmark year for representation in various industries, the beauty industry missed the memo.

At the top of the year, Tarte unveiled its new 15-shade Shape Tape Foundation range, where only two shades were designed for darker complexions, a negligent move given that Fenty Beauty debuted just months before with a revolutionary 40-shade collection that was ultimately dubbed #TheFentyEffect. It Cosmetics, BeautyBlender, and several other brands missed the mark, too. How, in 2018, were Black women still fighting to reform the beauty standards that continually fail to recognize consumers beyond “medium tan,” “warm honey,” and “almond?”

In August 2018, seven Black influencers—Monica Veloz, Ofunne Amaka, Jessie Woo, Tiara Willis, Armanda Tounghui, Shanygne Maurice, and Cydnee Black—answered the same question POC have been pondering for years: “Why is it still a struggle to find foundation for dark skin?” 

“When you walk into these beauty corporations, you’ll most likely see a white-dominated office space so, because there aren’t a lot of black voices at the table, there isn’t anyone to say, ‘Hey, this launch is not okay,’ or ‘You need to do something different because these shades are not diversified,'” Willis, founder of the popular Twitter and Instagram account @MakeupForWOC, said at the time. Transparency in companies’ hiring process and leadership board is just as important as delivering a diverse shade range. 

Now, two years later, the beauty industry is in the midst of a reckoning. Following an outcry from consumers and influencers, a slew of brands began broadening their offerings and campaigns to be more inclusive. But sometimes their efforts verge on the performative: In June 2020, as the nation broke out in protests in response to the senseless killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and other acts of violence by police and white supremacists, brands flocked to social media in droves to lend support to the Black community, issuing statements of solidarity and pledges to be more inclusive in the name of being “woke.” There were also many brands who remained mum in the face of social injustice, revealing that if they didn’t care about Black consumers before—both on the shelves and in boardrooms—why would they start now? 

UOMA Beauty founder Sharon Chuter launched Pull Up for Change in response to the brands’ silence, an initiative demanding that companies come forward with a demographic breakdown of their employees to demonstrate they’re more than just talk. Once a buzzword brands used to hide behind their shortcomings, will inclusivity move beyond trend to become an ongoing movement?

Ofunne Amaka

Would you say the beauty industry is still failing people with darker skin tones?

I would say no, it’s not failing us but I feel brands are getting a little bit too comfortable. With everything going on with Black Lives Matter movement, we’re seeing an uprising happening, and within that uprising demanding for basic human rights, we’re also seeing a lot of calls to action for black creators, creators of color. And in that, you’re seeing so many disparities that still happen behind the scenes that haven’t been addressed.

On the surface, yes, we’re getting more foundation shades and better campaigns, so brands have made a lot of progress. But that’s not to say Black people can relax now. No, we have to keep demanding that if you’re going to launch something that has 60 shades, make sure all the shades are available in-store and that people know how to find their shade—that’s one of the areas of the makeup industry that almost never gets talked about, the in-store experience. Retailers will say, “Oh, we can’t have this many shades because of the space,” or “These units don’t sell.” That relationship between the brand and the retailer, and that relationship between the retailer and the consumer needs to be worked on more.

When you put out products for people, you have to realize that there’s actually people on the other end of the buying process that will be introduced to your product for the first time. Having only select shades in stores or not enough deep shades to begin is frustrating. Is that the first impression you want to give?

This call for diversity in beauty extends beyond shade ranges to opportunities for Black creators, too. As an influencer, what has been your experience trying to obtain opportunities and ensure you’re being paid fairly?

I do all my deals on my own and it’s hard to not get taken advantage of because there isn’t a lot of transparency in terms of what’s the going rate for X, Y, Z type of project. Sometimes, people just don’t want to pay my rates. I have decide to not pursue opportunities from brands that don’t value what I’m doing, or don’t want to pay what I’m worth. 

I had a post on Instagram that basically was just alluding to the fact that “diversity” has to go farther than just posting someone on your Instagram page. Are you paying them? Are you making them feel heard behind the scenes? Do they have a voice? That just goes for employees, too. Because there are sometimes the lone black employee on a team, and they might have an opinion, and it might not be heard, or they might not feel comfortable voicing it. So, we’re in a great place with that right now. A lot of people are being offered things that look like opportunities, but they’re often exploitation.

Thankfully, there’s an Instagram page called it’s Influencer Pay Gap, and people send anonymous DMs to the Instagram listing their age, race, sexual orientation, and follower count is, and how much they’ve been offered to do a project. Accounts like these are providing some transparency in terms of what people are getting offered and what people are getting paid.

Shanygne Maurice

What changes have you seen in the makeup industry since 2018?

Two years ago, it seemed as if every brand was in a race of who could put out the most foundation shades. And people got lost in the idea that just having a lot of foundation shades means they’ve cracked the code on diversity when, really, if the rest of your brand isn’t consistent then you didn’t do anything meaningful. There are brands that have gotten better since then. But there are some brands who either put out their inclusive shade ranges in the last two years, and didn’tkeep the same energy with concealer, bronzer, contour, etc. 

Especially right now in 2020, it seems it’s the year of bronzers and every brand is putting out their own bronzer. I did a video swatching the latest bronzers and a lot of them—between their advertising and what the product actually looks like—there was a disconnect there because the shades didn’t match IRL. It goes to show how genuine some of these brands are, because if you have to Photoshop a color to make it look dark online but ashy or lighter in person, that says a lot about how a brand views us. We’re clearly not important enough for them to put any effort into making products for us.

Is there truly hope for brands to “keep the same energy” or do you feel like the same outdated outlook persists behind these launches?

Well, minimal effort was being put in before this whole “inclusive” wave. Before the Black Lives Matter movement that’s going on right now, it’s always been a thing. But before it became as widely talked about as it is right now, before George Floyd’s death, you could see that the inclusive marketing that some brands were using was already starting to die down. And I’m happy it’s been brought back up again because of the current place that we’re in right now. 

You can look on a brand’s Instagram page and scroll back to 2019 and see what maybe one dark-skinned person on there, maybe throw in a couple other people of color. But a brand drops 60 foundation shades and deserves a pat on the back? That energy wasn’t being kept until right now. And right now everyone with Pull Up or Shut Up, putting out their business, brands are reaching out to black creators. Even now some people have already said that that energy has started to die down. It’s a matter of if a brand genuinely wants to do better, they’re going to. It will become clearer to see which brands hop on for the moment and then go back because championing diversity is too much work for them.

What’s your advice to the Black consumers who are finding it hard to trust any brands these days?

Write down the names and take screenshots of how brands are responding to the current climate and Pull Up or Shut Up. In a few months, revisit those brands to see if they stayed true to their words, especially since right now, we need 18 new releases. So it really puts these brands in a competitive place where they’re going to have to put your money where your mouth is, because if brand A and brand B release something, but brand B does better, then brand B is probably going to get that person’s purchase. Spend your money on brands that support you year-round, not just for the moment.

Monica Veloz

What do you want to see more of from brands moving forward? 

Transparency and dialogue. In the past few weeks, there were brands that have called me and said, “Listen, we just want to hear from you and how you’re feeling.” I’m Black and it’s been awful but I’m glad brands are trying to do the work to make Black influencers feel seen and heart. I’m talking huge brands that were like “Listen, whatever it is, whatever concerns you have, whatever you need from us. We’re trying to show our support. How can we show our support?” So I want to see more brands trying to be completely transparent because I only align myself with brands that align with me as a person. 

Also, diversity isn’t only a 40-plus shade range. What about the LGBTQ representation? Don’t support the LGBTQ community for just one month and then move on. I’m definitely am seeing a lot more diverse campaigns but it has to be the standard. The current uprising in beauty and the Black Lives Matter movement forced brands to really step up and realize that they need to make a change. I’m sure it scared the hell out of a lot of brands. Good for them.

As a frequent makeup shopper, where else do you see brands missing the mark?

Undertones. I think a brand came out with 100 shades but where are my undertones? To find your perfect foundation shade, you have to understand undertones. Understanding undertones makes it easier to shop online, especially now that we can’t go in stores and play in makeup or swatch. A foundation range is only as good as the undertones it offers. I’ve played with several different foundations and I still reach for my Fenty Beauty foundation because she understands my undertones. It’s lazy to throw out a foundation with limited undertones because not everyone is warm or golden honey or orange. Brands need to get specific with these shade ranges because black women, black people are not just one shade. We’re not as red. We’re made up of a range of beautiful colors and tones that should be reflected in the products we spend our money on. 

Tiara Willis

What has the Pull Up or Shut Up campaign revealed to you about some of the beauty brands you’ve supported?

Basically what we already knew: There’s a real lack of diversity in the boardrooms of our favorite brands. If there’s lack of diversity, there’s going to be a lack of faith, you’re going to see a lack of ideas and a lack of understanding. If there was a black woman at that board meeting, or a black cosmetic chemist who was in there making those formulas, they would obviously be like, “Oh, I have black family members. I’m black. These shades don’t actually work on us.” And they would actually be that voice to say something. 

Diversity in boardrooms is one thing, but where else are brands lacking? 

It’s easy for brands to create an extensive range, but they’re not doing the necessary work to actually try it on black skin. Chemists are putting strong green undertones or pink undertones that would normally work for others, but that’s not realistic for darker skin tones. When it comes to bronzers and blushes, and the other steps of makeup, there is a lack there with finding colors that suit dark enough. Think of influencers like Nyma Tang. She had a whole video where she spent hundreds of dollars buying all the bronzes before trying them all and none of them worked for her. It’s 2020. It doesn’t make any sense. 

Jessie Woo

What has the Pull Up or Shut Up campaign revealed to you most about some of the beauty brands you’ve supported?

It’s not enough for the black community that these beauty brands want to expand the shades. We want to see us represented in the offices too. We want to see black people represented on the executive board. Who are decision-makers? We want to know that you are being inclusive all the way around, not just with your shades. We want to know that black people actually have opportunities within your company. I think that this is what this movement is all about. Black women spend the most money in the beauty world, so if we’re spending the most money we need to be represented. We need to have a say so in what’s going on in these companies.

How has finding your foundation shade become easier? 

Finding my shade has become easier because I’m purchasing from black beauty brands more than before. UOMA Beauty, Juvia’s Place, Fenty Beauty, there are a lot of different black owned beauty brands that are coming out and cater to us. Who can speak to our shades better than us? Shopping for my complexion is easier because I’m supporting products made for us, and by us. Just keeping it real. Pro tip: find brands that represents me and you won’t get disappointed. 

What’s your general advice to brands that want to do better? 

Look around your office then you’ll know where to start. See who’s not there, you know where to start. It’s that simple, really. When brands or companies try to make it seem like it’s so hard, no it’s not. Just look around. Are there black women here? No. Hire them. Where they at? Be intentional about being “inclusive”. You can’t be inclusive without being intentional. Initiatives like Sharon Chuter’s Pull Up For Change are needed. It’s going to change the hiring process. It’s going to change how these companies look at us. They’re going to have to finally look at us and say, “Okay dang, we really got to listen to these black women. We really have to listen to them because not only do they have these platforms. But then they have these platforms that can influence the buying power.” 

ELLE article

7 Black-Owned Beauty Brands to Shop at Sephora

Sephora became the first brand to join the 15 Percent Pledge. The initiative, created by Brother Vellies designer Aurora James, asks major retailers to pledge at least 15% of their shelf space to black-owned businesses. “So many of your businesses are built on Black spending power. So many of your stores are set up in Black communities. So many of your sponsored posts are seen on Black feeds. This is the least you can do for us. We represent 15% of the population and we need to represent 15% of your shelf space,” James wrote in the post that launched the pledge.

“We recognize how important it is to represent Black businesses and communities, and we must do better. So, we’re starting now,” Sephora wrote in an Instagram post, announcing their participation. This is hopefully only the beginning of real change to come within Sephora, and other major brands like it.

If you’re looking for what brands to support even before the 15% pledge kicks into full gear, here are 7 Black-owned beauty brands you can shop on Sephora to continue to support the Black community.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty—and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones. She launched a makeup line “so that people everywhere would be included,” focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.

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Pat McGrath Labs

“This is the golden age of makeup. PAT McGRATH LABS is my Golden Revolution. The entire planet is just as cosmetics obsessed as I’ve always been. Makeup is a movement. Makeup is mesmerizing. Makeup is major. Mantra-esque, three words have repeated over and over in my mind ever since I was young. Obsession. Inspiration. Addiction. Those words became my guiding principles, my manifesto as I brought this brand to life . I wanted to capture, in a quartet of exquisite palettes, 50 legendary lipsticks, a divine dozen eyeliners and five fetish-worthy lip pencils, The Power of Transformation, The Power of Beauty;  The Power of Makeup.” – Pat McGrath, CEO & Founder of PAT McGRATH LABS

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Briogeo Hair Care

After an early-twenties move to New York City forced Nancy to trade out her homemade essentials for the store-bought variety, she quickly realized that the natural hair care on the market simply did not live up to its performance claims. Armed with a tiny East Village studio apartment, her grandmother’s coveted beauty recipes and a rockstar natural chemist team, Nancy Twine founded Briogeo Hair Care.

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Adwoa Beauty

“Adwoa beauty is a modern, non toxic, gender neutral beauty brand catering to multi-cultural hair textures. buying hair products is a choice, not a command. we empathize with your experience in using tons of products that failed to deliver the results. we’ve created a highly effective collection of products with ingredients that are concentrated, working with nature and science to bring you immediate results. we are committed to being transparent with our ingredients.”

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GOLDE

“Our products are daily essentials for inner and outer radiance, because beauty and balance start from within. Golde was founded by Trinity Mouzon in 2016 with the vision of making self-care more inclusive, engaging, and fun. Our products are infused with single-origin turmeric, a potent super-herb recognized for its beautifying, healing, and mood-boosting properties.”

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KNC Beauty

“Whether it’s with an eye mask, a lip mask, or a lip scrub, we’re all about keeping you naturally cute and effortlessly fresh. We think you’re dope just the way you are, but we’re here to give you that little bit of extra. Chill with us for 15-20 minutes, and we’ll put stars in your eyes and kisses on your lips.”

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Shani Darden Skin Care

Considered the secret behind Hollywood’s most flawless faces, expert esthetician Shani Darden sets herself apart with her results-oriented approach to skin care. Her passion for simple, yet effective solutions has earned her clients’ trust and respect in a town where beauty, health, and wellness standards are high.

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