In an industry blossoming with ingenuity, Black beauty entrepreneurs are staking out meaningful turf across categories: clean formulas for textured hair, results-oriented serums, shade-inclusive makeup, and easy-drinking wellness tonics among them. If that innovation alone is something to celebrate, so is the evolving ecosystem of support.
Over the past couple years, we’ve seen Aurora James launch the 15 Percent Pledge, a nonprofit that encourages retailers to stock Black-owned brands in proportion to population data. Thirteen Lune arose as an online hub for Black- and brown-led beauty lines (a partnership with JCPenney arrived last fall). At the same time, destinations like Nordstrom have made a concerted push to expand their lineup and reimagine the shopping experience to better serve any and all; Ulta, which counts Pattern Beauty founder Tracee Ellis Ross as its diversity, equity, and inclusion advisor, has just announced another round of customer-facing and brand-nurturing investments. Such avenues for ground-level support are meaningful, as seen with incubator programs spearheaded by Sephora and Glossier, alongside similar efforts from indie beauty collectives—all with the mission to support a rising class of diverse leaders and bring fresh ideas to fruition.
The result—already, and in the months and years to come—is a serious wish list of Black-owned beauty and wellness must-haves. Here, the Vanity Fair team has assembled 28 companies that are making waves, from doctor-backed skin-care lines with a Hollywood fan club to fashion-favorite makeup brands. Consider your needs covered, from head to toe.
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