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The Best Beauty Products, All Made By Women


For the month of October, Jennifer DaSilva pledged to only wear products from brands helmed by women—clothes, shoes, makeup, you name it. “There’s really no better way to show my support than through my own wallet,” she tells me over email. Extreme? Yes, of course. But also, by DaSilva’s example, totally possible—though she says it’s been more difficult than expected. “The hardest part of the challenge has been the search process. I found myself relying on Google a lot,” she explains. That alone was fairly surprising, considering DaSilva is the president of Berlin Cameron, a creative advertising agency with a division specifically dedicated to supporting women founders with branding and content. And then there’s the other hurdle she encountered: “A lot of the companies that I’ve been shopping from are smaller brands,” observes DaSilva, “which also means a higher price.”

It made me wonder: how hard would switching just my beauty routine to women-founded brands really be? I mean, we do work at Glossier HQ, here. It seemed like it should be pretty easy to find things I loved in every category. But when I started to compile my own product list, I saw gaps in body care, hair care, and oral care… and ended up abandoning the latter altogether. It also got a little hairy when it came to defining women-founded brands. Fenty, for example, is produced through LVMH's Kendo division, and a lot of start-up brands are fueled by investors, who own a certain stake. For the sake of my experiment, I decided to include these kinds of brands as well.

At the end of a research wormhole, here’s what my women-founded routine looks like.


To shop women-founded skincare, all I needed to do was take my pick of the many aestheticians we’ve featured on ITG—Shani Darden, Renée Rouleau, and so many others who really know their skin stuff. I managed to keep my routine pretty similar: a gentle cleanser, AHAs and BHAs, powerfully targeted serums, and plush moisturizers.


“There are so many wonderful makeup brands that are women-owned,” says DaSilva, and she’s right—lots of artist lines are founded by women (think Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury), and women also take up significant space in the clean makeup landscape. My perfect makeup recipe includes light coverage that’s buildable, warmed-up cheeks, and a not-too-fussy lip—I found lots of great options.


Hair and body was the hardest category to shop, mostly because I usually rely on drugstore products—especially for things I use a lot of quickly, like body oil and shower gel. And while it definitely is more than I’d usually spend, what I got in return was quality of experience. Take the Kate McLeod stone—it’s easy to travel with and use without making a mess, and a great example of how product made for women by women are often more tailored to what we really want. I’m looking forward to more innovation by women in this category in the future.

That's my edit—what about yours? Share it in the comments, and then use this post as a resource next time you’re out shopping and want to support women-founded brands. Even one product at a time is a great place to start.

—Ali Oshinsky

Photo via ITG