Diversity in the beauty industry has come a long way in recent years. Thanks to innovators like Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Sharon Chuter’s Uoma Beauty, gone are the days of mainstream brands only offering limited complexion shades. With a fire ignited under founders and large beauty conglomerates to create more inclusive makeup products, the options in the skin care and hair care categories are also increasing. But what’s even better, is the number of BIPOC-founded brands is also growing. And while Fenty deservingly gets a lot of the spotlight – because because let’s face it, RiRi is one in a million – there are a number of small Black-owned beauty brands owning the scene right now.
Ranging in approach, from dermatologist-backed makeup products to holistic earth-friendly fragrances, the diverse set of brands are carving a new lane in beauty. One that is comprehensive and complex just like the melanin-rich skin of their founders. While growth is always a good thing, support is easily the best way to celebrate the Black beauty space today. For this reason, TZR has gathered the independent brands taking the industry to new heights. Below, are the seven under-the-radar lines that deserve your attention and support.
Founded in 2021 by Brianna Arps, MOODEAUX’s line of earth-friendly fragrances is designed to bridge the connection between scent, emotion, and memory for an experience that is truly sensorial. With its debut as the first Black-owned fragrance brand to hit shelves at Credo Beauty it released an initial scent titled Worthy, which as you can guess, is all about positive affirmations and self-love. That ethos of worthiness rings true in the overall feeling of MOODEAUX, as the brand leans into the elements that make it unique, such as being fearless and rebelling against industry standards.
Along with Worthy, the brand’s second scent, Punk Star, is a smoky, juicy blend of fruits and spice. They also offer sample fragrances and layering bundles which you can find online or in-store.
Created by long-time college friends Liha Okunniwa and Abi Oyepitan, this UK-based skin care brand uniquely blends the founders cultures together to deliver high-quality products. At its core, LIHA, is rooted in minimalism and slow beauty beliefs that can be seen in every aspect of the brand. From the natural ingredients, such as tuberose flower essence and shea butter, to the sustainable packaging, each product has a mindful approach that extends to the experience you’ll have using it.
Range Beauty set the bar high with its aim to change the way we think about base products, such as foundation, and skin concerns like eczema. Commonly seen on melanin-rich skin tones, an eczema flare-up on the face often meant taking a break from makeup, but with Range Beauty’s formulas that’s no longer the case. Each of its products is powered by natural botanicals proven to soothe and relieve irritation and follow the standards of The National Eczema Association.
With a diverse shade range of foundations and other face products, this makeup brand has become as beloved for its alleviating abilities as it has for its flawless coverage.
London-based hair care brand, Holy Curls, was created as a form of therapy to help founder Badria Ahmed embrace her natural curls and shed the stigma that defined textured hair. Through her journey, she created a line of products aimed to celebrate the uniqueness of each kind of curl. The lineup includes a moisture-rich conditioner, mask, shampoo, and gel — basically an entire arsenal of wash day essentials — each formulated with natural ingredients for your best curls yet.
A quick scroll through Glosshood’s Instagram feed is all that’s needed to understand the whimsy behind this colorful brand. Created by Sienna Brown, Glosshood’s motto, to honor your inner child, speaks volumes as the brand encourages individuality and boldness. Though offering just one product, it’s a keeper that has had the beauty set buzzing since its release. Part gloss, part balm, the Holyyy Gloss Balm Hybrid moisturizes but it also delivers major shine. It’s 100% organic ingredients are an added bonus.
OUI the People
The spirit of rebellion that started OUI the People is still going strong, as the brand has expanded into a smattering of body care products made for all kinds of bodies. As a longtime advocate for inclusivity within the beauty industry, founder Karen Young shows a new generation what it means to redefine the culture of beauty without being boxed in.
Thank God It’s Natural
Walk into any Target, Ulta, or even Whole Foods for that matter, and you’re bound to find a plethora of Thank God It’s Natural’s (better known as tgin ) hair products. As a leader in natural hair care, the brand, sold nationwide, has been on a mission to redefine the industry since its debut in 2009.
Accessibility and sheer volume of products that actually work on a range of hair types and textures, are why the brand has a cult-following, but their mission to unite and empower women has remained at the core of their values. In that vein, CEO Aris Singleton and COO Dr. Piper A. Farrell have used their platform to create the tgin Foundation, which advocates for women who experience health disparities and financial difficulties due to racial-related factors.