It's Time To Shop With Your Values


George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery should all be here. And the fact that they aren't speak to our country's inexcusable culture of police brutality and racial injustice. While you might feel helpless, you're not—it's more important than ever to take action. One way to do that is by donating to organizations fighting racial injustice. Black Lives Matter, Black Youth Project 100, and Color of Change are great places to start, and this list of bail funds is an excellent way to help local protest efforts. But beyond protests, there's still a lot of work to do to uplift Black voices and protect Black communities. And an easy way to do that is with your purchasing dollars. Supporting Black-owned beauty brands not only puts money in the pockets of Black entrepreneurs, but also lets them know that consumers care about representation. So if you're looking for your next great beauty buy, take our Top Shelf subjects' recommendations and check out these brands. It's a small step, sure, but still an important one.

Lines From The Pros

Vernon François

Loved by Elaine Welteroth, Marjon Carlos, Laura Dern, Vanessa Craft
The rave review: “Vernon François is a really great hairstylist and he just came out with a line—I use his Moisture Spray for that oomph right before I leave the house. That one was really good on my natural curls over the summer, too.” —Marjon Carlos

Charlotte Mensah

Loved by Lynette Nylander
The rave review: “Charlotte Mensah is my hairdresser, and she has a salon in London where I see her every time I go home. She just innately understands afro hair. When she straightens it it’s perfect, when she curls it it’s perfect. She’s just a very talented woman. And she has a product line that I’m actually obsessed with.” —Lynette Nylander

Kim Kimble

Loved by Kelly Rowland, Lala Anthony
The rave review: “The Ginger Cream Shampoo by Kim Kimble smells good and makes my scalp as clean as a whistle. I like a clean scalp.” —Kelly Rowland

Amoy Couture

Loved by Damaris Lewis
The rave review: “I get my hair done once a week at Amoy on 65th and Lexington. I’ve been doing that since 2006, she’s amazing and she’s done everybody. As a model, your hair is touched by so much heat, so you need somebody who knows how to fix the damage. I use Amoy's Citrus Serum…she always puts it on for me at the end, and I love it.” —Damaris Lewis

Felicia Leatherwood

Loved by Keysha Cosme, Natasha Rothwell
The rave review: “It takes me about 20 minutes to detangle, and I do it every other day. I have an amazing brush that I use from Felicia Leatherwood—lifesaving!” —Keysha Cosme

Pat McGrath Labs

Loved by Brooke DeVard Ozaydinli, Lynette Nylander, Sobaika Mirza, Pooja Parikh, Tanaïs, Teddy Quinlivan
The rave review “Pat McGrath red called Supermuse Elson, after Karen Elson, is fucking incredible. Like, blows Ruby Woo out the water. I used to be a big MAC girl, but as you can see it’s all been phased out.” —Lynette Nylander

Curly Essentials

Shea Moisture

Loved by Marjon Carlos, Priscilla Quaye, Ravyn Lenae, Zazie Beetz, Katerina Correa, Fanny Bourdette Donon, Mari Malek, Cherie Camacho
The rave review: “I also use Shea Moisture Moisture Retention shampoo and Restorative conditioner. It smells so good. That’s very black girl.” —Ravyn Lenae


Loved by Hunter Harris, Carly Cardellino, Tchesmeni Leonard, Jaycina Almond, Sinikiwe Dhliwayo, Kim Johnson
The rave review: “I use the Briogeo curl cream, flip it over, diffuse it, and we’re done. Their curl line is amazing. [The curl cream] is light, it doesn’t make your curls crunchy, it smells really fresh and light, and it’s not stiff–my curls still bounce and swing, but it just gives a little definition. I have too much hair to be frizzy and stuff.” —Jaycina Almond

Miss Jessie’s

Loved by Zazie Beetz, Natasha Rothwell, Kenesha Sneed
The rave review: “My hair is coily, so when you stretch it it’s super long. I don’t have all the soldiers in the army with me right now, but the main soldier is the Multicultural Curls by Miss Jessie. I swear by it—it’s really the best thing that I’ve found for my hair.” —Natasha Rothwell

Madam CJ Walker

Loved by Doreen St. Felix, Mekdes Mersha, Cherie Camacho
The rave review: “I'm really living and dying by the new Madam CJ Walker line. Funny enough, I was actually in that campaign, so they gave me the products because I modeled in it. One product in particular, it's a Twist and Lock, meant for people who twist at night or braid and then unravel it. It's amazing. Worth the money, for sure.” —Mekdes Mersha


Loved by Priscilla Quaye, Brooke DeVard Ozaydinli, Keysha Cosme, Georgia Moot, Kim Johnson
The rave review: “My leave-in is Kinky-Curly Knot Today. I've used that religiously for like five years. It's the absolute best leave-in because it really gets the knots out of your hair; it makes detangling so easy.” —Brooke DeVard Ozaydinli

And Small Brand Solutions

Curls Dynasty

Loved by Jessica Clemons
The rave review: “There's this new line that I use called Curls Dynasty—I really like the packaging. With natural hair, if you’re doing it when you’re showering, you need products that can get to your scalp. With this stuff, they put it in a spout so I can get it onto my scalp, which is the most important part. Then they have this Organic Oil Blend that you put on at the ends, and that gets the hair shiny, but it’s also a really nice natural conditioner. The line is really good.” —Jessica Clemons

Jane Carter Solution

Loved by Diarrha Ndiaye, Kitty Kash, Kilo Kish
The rave review: “There's this Jane Carter Solution—it's basically a spritz, but it's a leave-in conditioner that kind of spritz in your hair and revitalize it during that blowout session. I'll spritz that if I need to give it some super love.” —Diarrha Ndiaye

Curl Theory

Loved by Hawa Hassan
The rave review: “I just started using Curl Theory a few weeks ago, and before that I was using Garnier or something—things that just didn’t work for my hair, because they had sulfates in it. My hair started to get really hard and dry, and I couldn’t figure it out. Since I’ve switched, my hair has been so much better.” —Hawa Hassan

Girl + Hair

Loved by Desiree Verdejo
The rave review: “There’s a brand called Girl + Hair that makes a product set specifically for braids and hair weaves. I wash my hair weekly with their Cleanse product and then use their Nourish Leave-In Conditioner. It’s lightweight but has really moisturizing ingredients for the dry, kinky hair.” —Desiree Verdejo

Anu Essentials

Loved by Jessica Lynne
The rave review: “The entire Anu Essentials hair care line is absolutely perfect. I use their Nourishing Gel Shampoo, the Down Under Deep Conditioner, and the Luscious Curling Cream. Cantu Tea Tree and Jojoba Hair Oil is another go-to of mine. My hair is very thick and kinky, and until recently, was also colored treated. All of these products do such a good job of keeping my hair well moisturized and protecting my color without harsh ingredients.” —Jessica Lynne

Dr. Locs

Loved by Jessica McDonald
The rave review: “I use this dreadlocks line called Dr. Locs. I use their whole line and it's absolutely amazing. I use their Yaya oil, their shampoo, leave-in conditioner, pre-shampoo, you name it. Once a week I'll wash my hair and just go through the whole routine.” —Jessica McDonald

Pattern Beauty

Loved by Marjon Carlos
The rave review: “Pattern has a great detangling brush that really smooths out my curls.” —Marjon Carlos

Natural Beauty

Derma Organics

Loved by Logan Browning
The rave review: “I like Derma Organics—I’ve used every single kind of curl product. There is a difference between all of them. One of the main things that I look for is if it’s water-based. Then, I try to find a line that I like and use all of their products together, because I have learned that the chemistry of a product is made to work with its brothers and sisters. That’s hard, too.” —Logan Browning

Oyin Handmade

Loved by Sinikiwe Dhliwayo, Doreen St. Felix
The rave review: “’ll also use Oyin Handmade–they have this leave-in moisture thing, and I’ll put that on after the conditioner, and then kind of twist my hair up and put a head wrap or scarf on. And then, if it’s the weekend, I’ll just kind of wear that all weekend.” —Sinikiwe Dhliwayo

Alikay Naturals

Loved by Doreen St. Felix
The rave review: “When my hair is out, and I need to braid it down at night, I’ll use the Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner from Alikay Naturals. She was one of these people that I followed on YouTube, and now she has her own brand in Target.” —Doreen St. Felix

Hanahana Beauty

Loved by Brooke DeVard Ozaydinli
The rave review: “I make my own shea butter, or I use shea butter from Hanahana Beauty. Those butters sink into the skin immediately and the ash is immediately gone.” —Brooke DeVard Ozaydinli


Loved by Folasade Adeoso, Ashley Graham, Dee Poku
The rave review: “[At night] I use this Alaffia moringa soap—moringa is this West African plant that’s like a super plant. You can get it at any health store—I get it at Whole Foods, or even small, local stores because it’s a fair-trade African company. Proceeds go to their projects they have in Togo, and I like to buy it knowing that the proceeds go to something meaningful in this world.” —Folasade Adeoso

Iwi Fresh

Loved by Kelly Rowland
The rave review: “There's a company called Iwi Fresh out of Atlanta, and this woman handmade my body lotion for me. She picked the scents and everything is natural—carrot masks, aloe vera, that stuff. She made this rose and beets cream that's divine, and it helps with the eczema on my body.” —Kelly Rowland

Gentle Skincare

Epi Logic

Loved by Marjon Carlos, Brooke DeVard Ozaydinli
The rave review: “One of the many gigs I took as a freelancer was working with a Brooklyn-based oculofacial plastic surgeon, Dr. Chaneve Jeanniton. She has totally impacted my beauty routine. Now, I either cleanse with the True Calm Rosehip Cleanser from her brand. Then, I tone with the Epi.logic Even Balance toner. After that is Epi.logic’s Daily Dose vitamin C serum, otherwise known as the goods. The combo of vitamins C, E, B5, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide makes my skin bounce and glow. Then I work their Master Plan serum in, which helps stimulate collagen and keeps my skin youthful.” —Marjon Carlos


Loved by Fran Miller
The rave review: “I started using Klur's Stellar Restoration serum last year and love how gentle and multi-corrective it is. It's a retinol, but I haven’t experienced the redness and dryness commonly associated with many retinols.” —Fran Miller

Shani Darden

Loved by Laura Harrier, Kelly Rowland, Lily Aldridge, Jia Tolentilo, D'Arcy Carden, Teni Panosian
The rave review: “After I had my son, though, I had to change my skincare routine. I went to see Shani Darden—she's awesome and she's actually in my book, too—and I was like, 'I just had this baby and I don't know what's wrong with my face!' She gave me Retinol Reform, which is magic in a bottle. I swear by it. You know, some stuff works for specific skin types, but this works on everybody.” —Kelly Rowland


Loved by Utibe Mbagwu
The rave review: “It’s a mineral sunscreen available in a range of flexible tints for all skin shades, is supremely moisturizing, and cancels out any visible inflammation you may have.” —Utibe Mbagwu

Lauren Napier

Loved by Desiree Verdejo
The rave review: “I keep these individually wrapped Cleanse by Lauren Napier Wipes in my purse and around my apartment so that I can easily take off makeup.” —Desiree Verdejo

Inclusive Makeup

Black Opal

Loved by Flo Ngala, Rico Nasty, Doreen St. Felix, Loza Maléombho
The rave review: “I bought Black Opal’s Liquid Foundation in Hazelnut when I was traveling and forgot my makeup at home, but it was the best thing that could have happened. It’s great for girls with dark skin—the red undertone? Bruh. This brand is bomb. When I wear it, my face looks super healthy and alive.” —Flo Ngala

Juvia’s Place

Loved by Nikkie de Jager, Yuri Tachibana
The rave review: “I love Juvia’s Place palettes, because they celebrate inclusive beauty. The palettes are specifically made with darker skin tones in mind, which means they’re extra pigmented.” —Yuri Tachibana

Iman Cosmetics

Loved by Folasade Adeoso, Mahen Bonetti, Yvonne Orji, Jessica Lynne
The rave review: “I am addicted to this IMAN blush. It’s like pink, brown and gold, and you can mix all of them together. To apply it, I’m a hand-er.” —Yvonne Orji

KNC Beauty

Loved by Luka Sabbat, Carly Cardellino, Ashley Graham, Julie Schott, Kitty Cash
The rave review: “If I’m wearing a heavy lipstick, I use KNC lip masks. They’re really moisturizing, and I love collagen anything.” —Ashley Graham

Fenty Beauty

Loved by Brooke DeVard Ozaydinli, Ziwe Fumudoh, Ravyn Lenae, Zazie Beetz, Jessica McDonald, Annahstasia Enuke, Lynette Nylander, Simone Aziga
The rave review: “Sometimes I wear makeup while I play—I did it during the World Cup because the cameras were always on us, but for club not so much. If I’m wearing it on the field, I try not to apply too much. I'll do a little Fenty foundation, and I'll put a dab of Fenty powder over it to make it stick more. It's done very well so far. But really, I’m Fenty everything. Trophy Wife, Gloss Bomb, Stunna Lip Paint, Fenty primer, the Galaxy palette. I just love Rihanna and bright colors, so as soon as she came out with the makeup line, all of my other makeup went in the trash.” —Jessica McDonald

Mented Cosmetics

Loved by Melissa Chin
The rave review: “Another product I love is Mented Cosmetics—the formula is as smooth and creamy as your favorite lip balm, but it contains an amazing amount of pigment. They specialize in nude cosmetics for women of color, so their products are perfect for helping us to achieve that natural-glam look.” —Melissa Chin

The Lip Bar

Loved by Yvonne Orji, Desiree Verdejo
The rave review: “Then Lip Bar Matte Lipstick in Maneater is a nice, everyday brown. I’m very anti-maroon because my mom, and I feel like every African woman [wears] the same maroon color by Fashion Fair. I like a chocolate-y brown—either that or red.” —Yvonne Orji

The Beauty Bakerie

Loved by Chloe x Halle
The rave review: “Today, I’m wearing Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip, it’s a really beautiful red called Mon Chéri. It never comes off, so they have these special wipes to get it off. We always wear it when we're performing because your lips are on the mic and it gets all over the place.” —Chloe Bailey

Photo via ITG