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Reader Favorites: Black-Owned Beauty Brands


Last week, we shared 40 Black-owned beauty brands raved about in Top Shelves past, and then challenged you to share your favorites, too. And now we’re back, with 70 more Black founders to support while you upgrade your beauty routine. If your search for your Holy Grail has been unfruitful, maybe it’s somewhere on this list—innovation in clean beauty, gentle haircare, inclusive makeup, and high-powered skincare at accessible prices all lie underneath this intro. A quick note that a few brands featured below are completely sold-out, so be sure to bookmark this page to catch when they’ve restocked. All right let’s get on to it. Let’s start with...



Trinity Mouzon Wofford first dove into the world of wellness after discovering that alternative, holistic treatments alleviated some of her mother’s autoimmune disease symptoms. Her quest to make wellness more accessible spurred Golde, a brand full of powdered good-for-yous that can be stirred into drinks or can sit on your skin as a mask. Her thoughtful approach to wellness-meets-skincare landed her in Sephora, where she became the youngest Black woman to ever get shelf space.
The starter purchase: Clean Greens Face Mask


Klur’s line of plant-based, high-performance skincare is as beautiful as it is efficacious. The architect behind it is Lesley Thornton, whose beauty oeuvre spans almost a decade, from her time as an aesthetician to an Estée Lauder beauty director, to working as a beauty expert on reality TV. Her range of Boston round bottled skincare is not only crafted to work in harmony with your skin, but also includes complementary ingredients that work better together as a whole.
The starter purchase: Klur Gentle Matter Cleanser


You know something’s up when you own a beauty store and still can’t find a great solution to hyperpigmentation. That’s why Desiree Verdejo pivoted, building a serum stuffed with everything she knew she wanted: vitamin C, kojic acid, licorice root, fruit enzymes, probiotics, salicylic acid… It gets a lot done gently, and at a reasonable price point to boot.
The starter purchase: Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum

The Glow Pot

It takes a heck of a lot of conviction to start a beauty brand when you’re just 23, but that’s exactly what The Glow Pot founder Ofome Eyanagho did once she realized she could treat her persistent eczema naturally. Her line is small but mighty, and accessibly priced.
The starter purchase: Antibacterial Honey Face Wash

Beneath Your Mask

Founder Dana Jackson was diagnosed with a severe form of Lupus, an auto-immune disease, in 2011—and after years of aggressive treatment and a still-weak immune system, she found herself unable to use her favorite beauty products. It’s why she founded Beneath Your Mask, a line of super gentle products that work hard so your skin can de-stress.
The starter purchase: Heal Whipped Skin Souffle

Mary Louise Cosmetics

Clean beauty can be complicated, confusing, and fear-mongering—but Mary Louise Cosmetics isn’t any of those things. The packaging is fun and colorful, the ingredients familiar, and the brand voice like that of a trusted friend. Who knew clean beauty could be accessible and life-changing?
The starter purchase: Miracle Serum

Atelier Yto

Those with dry skin like argan oil for its high concentration of soothing, smoothing, anti-inflammatory oleic fatty acids. And they’ll love that Atelier Yto’s version is cold-pressed, sustainably harvested, and not padded with filler. Find formulations to use on your face, eyes, body, hair, and even beard here.
The starter purchase: Argan Concentrate Face Oil


Glass bottles the color of a green olive, minimalist serif labels, smooth, shiny black caps… if you’re a sucker for luxe packaging, Epara’s the line for you. The clean beauty brand offers nourishing masks, serums, and moisturizers that speak to both nature and science.
The starter purchase: Intense Hydrating Mask

Black Girl Sunscreen

A Miami-based sunscreen company whose sole purpose is to make SPF that protects, feels moisturizing, and leaves no whitecast—so basically, everything you’re looking for. Their SPF 30 is a reef-safe chemical sunscreen that dries completely clear.
The starter purchase: SPF 30 Sunscreen


Nolaskinessentials offers lots of options for natural skincare that’s specifically formulated to be gentle and melanin-friendly (read: minimizing inflammation that might lead to hyperpigmentation) at a price point on par with The Ordinary. The ingredient lists are uncomplicated but thoughtful, trading sensitizing essential oils for barrier-boosting ferments and fruit enzymes.
The starter purchase: Hydra Face Cream

Aba Love Apothecary

You know you’re in for a fragrant treat when an aromatherapist is behind a beauty line. You can find Aba Love at ABC Carpet and Home if you’re NYC, otherwise, you can get your pick of oils and floral mists at the brand’s online shop.
The starter purchase: Petal Facial Mist

Wild Seed Botanicals

Founder Laila Mensah folds generational knowledge into her products—more specifically, her Ghanian grandparents’ holistic approach to wellness and beauty. The result is a plant-based lineup that covers all your essential beauty needs, and whose ingredient list reads like poetry.
The starter purchase: Pink Grapefruit Body Polish

Brown & Coconut

Former acne sufferers make the best beauty products because they get it, you know? The packaging alone is almost worth the buy, but the gentle-yet-serious small batch skin salves are what’ll keep you coming back for more.
The starter purchase: Healing Kale Mask

Rosen Skincare

Everything here is designed with acneic skin in mind, and there’s a handy dandy quiz to get you going. Got dry skin and zits? No problem. Acne-scarring? They’ve got you. Big ol’ one on your chin? You get the idea.
The starter purchase: Break-Out

Noshaba Apothecary

A brand that gets straight to the point. A sexy blend of plant extracts and oils (African marigolds, Moroccan argan oil, and Tamanu oil, to name a few), Sommer Nocturnal Face Serum is Noshaba’s sole product, which is meant to be patted on skin post-nighttime cleanse.
The starter purchase: Sommer Nocturnal Face Serum

Nyakio beauty

It took 12 years for founder Nyakio to develop her line, which is inspired by Kenya, where her family is from. It’ll take you mere seconds to feel good about using her cleansing oil, however. Sweet almond oil delivers soft notes to your nose, and the balm’s five other oils removes dirt and makeup, stat.
The starter purchase: Cleansing Oil Balm


A brand story we know a thing or two about! Cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson launched Beautystat as a blog over a decade ago, and recently he got into the product business. The result is a focused 3-SKU line with a vitamin C serum that really pulls its weight.
The starter purchase: Universal C Skin Refiner serum

Bolden Skin Care

A clogged pore’s worst nightmare! The acid and clay-friendly line is a toolkit for a smooth and clear face.
The starter purchase: Clear Skin Clay Maks


Their ethically-sourced oil runs on squalane, baobab, melon seed, rosehip oil...and that’s only half the list! But what truly makes it a hero is that you can use it anywhere—face, body, hands—for glowy, healthy skin.
The starter purchase: Multi-Use Moisturizing Oil

Terra Tory

Terra Tory’s soaps are for anyone, but they are especially for people with eczema. The soap cubes on a rope come in a variety of ingredient combos—sweet plantain and coffee, sea moss, papaya...but none are equipped with palm or coconut oil, which the brand notes are two leading oils in the industry that contribute to clogged pores.
The starter purchase: Fresh Sea Moss and Oatmeal Cube

Féroce Skin

This vegan, all-natural brand has a no frills approach to starter skincare routine. There’s something for everyone, from moisturizing body bars to antioxidant serums to beard oil.
The starter purchase: Eucalyptus Aloe Soap

Uzza Skincare

A modern skincare brand that ticks all the boxes: detailed ingredient information, sustainability and diversity initiatives, a really good font. Their debut product is a sesame-based cleanser perfect for the oil-cleansing newbie who can’t quite quit their foaming gels.
The starter purchase: Open Sesame Cleanser


While they have some other products in the works, right now Nebedai’s the place to buy 100-percent pure moringa oil sourced from Burkina Faso. It’s a cushiony, healing oil high in oleic fatty acids, and at under $20, it’s a particularly good facial oil option for those with dry, sensitive skin on a budget.
The starter purchase: Glow Divin oil

Dehiya Beauty

A simple skincare routine doesn’t have to be boring—at least, not according to the folks at Dehiya. Their approach is ritual-based, and less about how many steps you use than how you use what you’ve got. Standout products include a jelly-textured argan oil cleanser, custom-shaped sculpting gua sha, and a multipurpose blue tansy balm with potential to be a Blue Cocoon dupe.
The starter purchase: The Glow cleanser

Haus Urban

Haus Urban was inspired by and made for Broadway performers, who have sweat and heavy makeup to deal with on the day to day. The line is pH balanced and gentle, so it takes care of grime while leaving skin happy and moisturized.
The starter purchase: Iconic Creme Cleanser



In her quest to “bottle memories with scent,” founder Asia Grant has created a line of moisturizing products that are decidedly meditative. Completely handmade and based in Brooklyn, the vegan brand features soaps, balms, and face oils made in small batches.
The starter purchase: The Turmeric Botanical Bar

Merchant’s Daughter Blends

Merchant’s Daughter hones in on two ways to improve the body: through tea and body butters. Both are created with herbal and fragrance blends intentionally curated to uplift the spirit. And of course, it’s vegan.
The starter purchase: Umande Body Butter


On the one hand, Coddle offers natural postpartum care products like nipple, hemorrhoid, and c-section balms, milk-stimulating tea and soothing bath salts. On the other, it recognizes that being a mom is a stressful job, and sometimes there’s no better form of self-care than being educated about the issues that matter to you—you can get the latter by subscribing to Coddle’s weekly newsletter.
The starter purchase: Breastfeeding Duo


If you like Fur Oil (or have been curious about it ever since Emma Watson’s Top Shelf) try this lotion alternative next. The creamy pubic moisturizer works to soften wiry hairs while it protects from ingrowns, and offers soothing comfort to post-shaving bumps.
The starter purchase: Conditionher


A mother-daughter team is behind this line of natural, problem-solving products for skin, hair, and body. Everything, from their face-friendly black soap Muddy Wata, Follicle Food scalp treatments, to stand-out body butter with high-antioxidant rosehip oil, is made in small batches.
The starter purchase: Mega Moisture Body Butter

Matrescence Skin

A skincare line that specifically tackles skin changes that come with pregnancy—and oh boy, there are lots. You’ll find gentle, pregnancy and nursing-safe acne solutions, products to brighten hormonal melasma, and stretch mark oils that feel like a treat. A perfect gift for the mom (or soon-to-be mom) in your life.
The starter purchase: Stretch Mark Relief Restorative Butter

The Honey Pot

It’s rare that vaginal care products are cute, not clinical. But that’s The Honey Pot, a line of nontoxic cleansers, tampons, and supplements that wants reproductive wellness to be body-positive and shame-free. Products made by people who menstruate for people who menstruate: groundbreaking.
The starter purchase: be adventurous and finally try a Menstrual Cup

Liha Beauty

It’s hard not to want everything on British brand Liha’s website—inside the sleek glass bottles, aromatherapy and Nigerian beauty traditions combine. The edited collection of luxurious body care essentials includes a chic solution to bacne and buttne, a body oil that doubles as perfume, and shea butter sourced from either Ghana or Nigeria, depending on how rich you want it.
The starter purchase: coconut and tuberose Idan Oil

LYL Body Care

After founder Jasmine Lang transitioned her hair to natural, she was inspired to totally overhaul the rest of her routine to match. The result of her journey is LYL (it stands for Lend Your Love), a line of all-natural, handmade, aromatherapeutic products you can feel good about buying and better about using.
The starter purchase: Herbal Baby Oil

Shaun Léon Beauty

There’s something undeniably fun about an old-school apothecary, and perusing Brooklyn-based Shaun Léon’s website captures all of it. You’ll find soaps in every color and scent (44—we counted), flowers floating in decadent oils, and something called BATH TEA, which might just be the most soothing pair of words we’ve read all week. Take an e-visit for a jolt of joy.
The starter purchase: Herbal Bathing Tea

Pear Nova

Have you recently made the investment in an at-home gel lamp? If so, allow us to introduce you to Pear Nova, a line of non-boring neutrals and inclusive nude nail polishes with, yes! A matching gel range! It’s even cruelty- and 10-free, so you don’t have to trade safety for a manicure that lasts.
The starter purchase: Herticulture Gel Lacquer

Oui The People

Oui The People doesn’t think you need to shave—but if you want to, they want to make sure you have high-quality, sustainable products made by women, for women. Their single-blade razor is meant to last a lifetime (so no more throwing out plastic razors that aren’t even cheap), and the line’s rounded out by chic solutions to unchic bumps and irritation.
The starter purchase: The Single razor

Natty Naturals

This hair brand is truly a family business—all of founder Dominique Harris’ concoctions are made with the varying hair needs of her husband and four children in mind. Want more hydration? Need a deep clean? Dreaming of longer, healthier hair? She’s got a natural solution for all of it.
The starter purchase: Hair + Body Butter


Coloured Raine

When Loraine Dowdy left her finance job to start a beauty brand, she prioritized diversity on all levels. Black men and women are employed as models, manufacturers, and graphic designers, and on the executive level, the Coloured Raine team is 100-percent Black. It’s a true example of walking the walk, and the high-pigment, high-quality result speaks for itself.
The starter purchase: Fill a Book of Shadows with single eyeshadows

OPV Beauty

A line of bright, pigmented makeup products that throws down the gauntlet—OPV showed you their colors, now they want you to proudly wear yours. From ‘90s-inspired metallic lips to neon pigments just begging to be turned into a graphic eye look, head to their site if you’ve forgotten how much fun makeup can be.
The starter purchase: Rapture Loose Pigment

Madeup Beauty

Madeup Beauty calls itself “all inclusive,” and the slogan is twofold: on their site, you’ll find products boldly pigmented to work on darker complexions and with bonus moisturizing, antioxidant benefits ideal for those concerned with fine lines. The thoughtful combination means no one’s left out of the beauty conversation.
The starter purchase: Lip Pencil

241 Cosmetics

Feven and Helena, the twin sister Eritrean refugees who founded 241, treat makeup as a vehicle for kindness. That’s why their product descriptions often read more like a pep talk (check out Red Sea whenever you need a confidence boost), and their formulations are always cruelty, paraben, and fragrance-free.
The starter purchase: Muse lipstick

Uoma Beauty

Justice was baked into the fabric of Uoma Beauty from the beginning—their very first video ad features a Malcolm X speech overlaid with footage of women modeling Uoma products. More recently, founder Sharon Chuter launched Pull Up For Change, an initiative that asks brands to publicly share their Black and POC employee numbers in an effort to increase diversity.
The starter purchase: Say What?! Foundation

Entitled Beauty

Gone are the days of wishy-washy mineral makeup—Entitled Beauty thinks you’re entitled to products that are both highly pigmented and super safe. Like, use-after-a-procedure, could-sleep-in-it-if-you-wanted-to safe. (Though we’d still recommend a nighttime cleaning.)
The starter purchase: Boss Babe Liquid Highlighter

Kem Beauty

Imagine: it’s 2016, and you’re sitting in your college dorm room thinking about your desert island beauty essentials. What’s the list? For Kem Beauty’s founder, it was lip gloss, highlighter, lashes, and dewy, healthy skin—so she made her own and bottled them. It’s everything you need for a lit-from-within look.
The starter purchase: Butterscotch Lip Glaze



Founder Jasmine Curtis was sick of using products on her natural curls that, A, weren’t made by people with natural curls and B, were full of harmful, drying chemicals. Her solution (and maybe yours, too!) was in avocado oil—but best of all, targeted applicators and thoughtful instructions for different curl patterns make it feel like Curtis is holding your hand as you treat your hair.
The starter purchase: Pure Avocado Oil

Luxemore London

Luxemore is the place to head for a guy-friendly beauty purchase. The bottles are clean and gender-neutral, and the streamlined products make it easy to shop: try grapeseed oil for facial hair, a kaolin cleansing bar for ingrowns, or a clarifying shampoo for giving hair a deep post-workout clean.
The starter purchase: Kaolin Clay Beard Bar

The Hair Pillow

Maybe 2019 was the year you finally splurged on a silk pillowcase—in 2020, you’re leveling up with a Hair Pillow. It’s specially engineered to help you avoid laying on and flattening out your hair while you sleep (plus it gives feel-good support to your head and neck). Cover it with the aforementioned silk pillowcase and you’ve got smoother hair with more volume, sans product.
The starter purchase: The Hair Pillow


When you’re done with feeling overwhelmed in the haircare aisle, head to Dizziak’s website. Their philosophy is that, regardless of hair type and thickness, everyone’s really looking for the same few things: a clean, healthy scalp, a commercial-ready shine, and a craveable scent. Their shampoo and conditioner is free of parabens, sulfates, silicones, and mineral oil, plus is cruelty-free and vegan.
The starter purchase: Hydration Wash

Iyoba Handmade

Health coach and Iyoba founder Efiya Asabi loves planet Earth. It’s why all of Iyoba’s packaging is recycled and/or recyclable, the ingredients are vegan and ethically sourced, and Asabi’s been known to gift product as a reward for green practices at home. Turns out, genuine enthusiasm begets really good products.
The starter purchase: Probiotic Deodorant


Curly haircare in the shower is important, but Bouclème gets that it’s equally if not more important to keep up the routine before and after washing. That’s why they supplement their scalp-friendly shampoos and deep conditioners with a gentle towel, silk accoutrements, a scalp scrubber, reviving gels and oils… basically, it’s a one-stop-shop.
The starter purchase: Intensive Moisture Treatment


Retress boldly goes where few haircare lines have successfully gone before… straight to the roots. The four-step system (shampoo, conditioner, serum, and supplement) is specifically formulated for women and clinically proven to significantly improve your hair growth within 16 weeks.
The starter purchase: Hair Rejuvenation Kit

Eternally in Amber

Some of the prettiest hair combs we’ve seen on the internet, and they’re all under $30. You’ve got six different comb variations, from fine-tooth to rat-tail to wide, and five acetate colorways of shimmering pastels and rich tortoises. Plus, claw clips!!! Get one of every color (because really, we wouldn’t blame you) and gift them to your friends, family, whoever.
The starter purchase: Large Claw Clip

Sunday II Sunday

A brand that aims to answer the question: what am I supposed to do with my hair if I work out? So far their lineup includes a soothing scalp serum, micellar cleanser, moisturizing spray, and edge serum specifically designed to refresh curly and coily hair. Throw them in your gym bag and worry less about frequent washes (which can be damaging and, frankly, time consuming).
The starter purchase: Root Refresh Micellar Rinse

Thank God It’s Natural

After wading through the natural hair market on her own, Chris-Tia Donaldson wrote everything she learned into a book and launched the line of safe, effective, and inexpensive products. But she wasn’t finished yet—after a battle with cancer, Donaldson founded the TGIN Foundation. Each time you shop TGIN, a portion of your money goes to supporting uninsured women going through treatment and raising awareness of racial disparities in healthcare.
The starter purchase: Honey Miracle Hair Mask

Shea Decadence London

No, you won’t find bacon-egg-and-cheeses or cold cuts at Shea Decadence’s Hair Delicatessen—but custards, caramels, lattes, and compotes are on the menu. Natural hair food! The UK-based line is inspired by Ayurveda and offers super luxurious, creamy, hydrating products perfect for hair that deserves to be pampered.
The starter purchase: Cocoa Deluxe Curl Enhancing Conditioner

Bellebar Organic

Bellebar Organic wants transitioning to natural hair to be a breeze—and, along with all the products you’ll need to make the switch, provides educational resources to guide you through. Start with their hair porosity quiz, and consider joining their eight-week course to get step-by-step help and a natural hair mentor. (It’s sold out right now, but keep checking back for more spots.)
The starter purchase: Intense Fenugreek Regeneration Hair Mask


Founder Kim Cowans isn’t compromising on her dream hair checklist. Because she wanted her natural curls to have volume, shine, movement, and smell fantastic days after washing, she created Skimdo, the one product to do it all. Keep the elegant tub on display and steal a pump anytime your curls need a refresh.
The starter purchase: The Original curl cream

Willow and Mane

Ever heard of plopping? The heat-free styling technique for maximum curl definition involves wrapping your sopping wet hair on top of your head with a cotton t-shirt. Willow and Mane takes the idea one step further by using the same soft, cotton to make their hair towels—your tees stay in your closet, and your hair dries frizz-free.
The starter purchase: Ria Reversible Towel


Savoir Faire

The man behind the brand is Chris Classic, an entrepreneur and songwriter who lends an incredibly unique voice to the world of fragrance. The descriptions are emotional, the scents unisex, and the overall effect dulls the preciousness you might typically associate with fancy perfume. Head here when you’re tired of smelling like everyone else.
The starter purchase: Signature Eau De Parfum

Bailly Fragrance

A line of oil-based rollerball fragrances made for sensitive skin and sensitive noses. But don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re simple—each scent is layered and nuanced, and last longer on skin than you might think. Five dollars from each sale goes to benefit the Just Like My Child Foundation's Girl Power Project, and Bailly’s founders hope to donate 10K within their first year of business.
The starter purchase: Excellence

Maya Njie Perfumes

Sweden meets Gambia in these design-minded fragrances, which pair memory-specific scents with color diagrams and old photos from founder Maya Njie’s childhood. Threads of spicy cardamom and musk run through the line, lending each with a dreamy Scandinavian coziness. The bad news for many: they only ship to the UK.
The starter purchase: Nordic Cedar

Alexandra Winbush

Everything you need for a great night in: candles to burn, tea to sip, and playlists to listen to. But the best part is they match. Pair a pomegranate ginger candle with a cup of pomegranate ginger tea; if that’s not your style, maybe lemongrass is? This is truly a delightful place on the internet.

The starter purchase: Sunday in Brooklyn candle

Marie Hunter Beauty

You could head to Marie Hunter for skincare or makeup (their lipsticks are particularly noteworthy) but we’d recommend clicking over to the candle section. There you’ll find chic black-on-black candles—the vessel and the wax—in six cozy scents. Every product is cruelty-free and vegan, and a portion of their proceeds is donated to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
The starter purchase: Prosecco Signature Candle


Why gift just any ol’ candle when Gilded’s refillable marble ones exist? Each has its own unique patterns and color gradations, and you can fill it with one of eight scents in your choice of insert finish. It’s completely customizable, so you’ll never be accused of buying a cop-out candle again, and keeps on giving long after the occasion’s past: a set of two refills is only $45.
The starter purchase: Pink Onyx Marble Candle

Photo via ITG