Complicated. That’s what skincare shouldn’t be, so leave it to a derm who knows all the nuances of skin to make the practice of taking care of it super simple. Think of AbsoluteJoi as the 3-step skincare you grew up with, but developed with sensitive, melanin-rich skin top of mind. No synthetic dyes or perfumes to be seen to irritate, and a tinted mineral moisturizer that never leaves a gray cast. And the hero product? A retinol oil complete with vitamins C and E. The oil fights through the dryness that might normally arrive with retinol use, and the vitamin C (which is made even stronger when coupled with vitamin E) counters uneven texture and tone. Joy, did someone say?
There are full service car washes, where you pay for a top-to-bottom, insides and outsides clean, and then there’s Golde, which is the beauty version of that. The Clean Greens mask, with superfoods chlorella and spirulina under its hood, is like taking a vitamin for your skin. It doesn’t necessarily target one thing like oiliness or dryness, but it does pep up your complexion so that it looks healthier and happy (and perhaps counter the fact that you definitely slept in your makeup the night before). Same goes for the matcha powder, or any of Golde’s edible powders (there’s also turmeric and cacao turmeric) that are ready to mix with water or milk. Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, these concoctions help keep your insides happy, so less stress shows up on the outside. Try the matcha powder with a bit of steamed oat milk and you’ll have zero regrets.
There’s a different version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears where, instead of sliding herself into bed, our titular character wanders into the bears’ bathroom and takes a swing at their skincare routines. The first routine has 10 steps, three of which are acids, which is too much for her sensitive skin. The second, with nothing but cleanser and moisturizer, is fine but won’t really help her reach her long-term skin goals. And the third was created by oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Chaneve Jeanniton—it’s just right. In her practice, Dr. Jeanniton noticed that patients wanted high-powered skincare but were unlikely to stick with anything too complicated. She created products that pack a lot into each little jar, allowing you to majorly streamline mornings and nights. (Take Daily Dose, for example, which combines vitamin C, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide in just one serum.) When it comes to skincare, sometimes you need to stack the deck.
If you want to jump into the beauty industry’s latest CBD craze, it’s absolutely crucial to shop Black-owned. Black folks are around four times more likely to be arrested on cannabis charges yet only own four-percent of legal cannabis businesses. Each of Brown Girl Jane’s deeply soothing tinctures and oils features an infusion of full-spectrum CBD extracted from organically-grown hemp plants. Start with the Glow Serum, which combines high-antioxidant hemp oil and CBD to calm inflammation while minimizing environmental stress. Then work up to their sleep-enhancing daily drops, which taste like peppermint and work like magic. It’s all about healing, wherever you hurt.
Vintner’s Daughter, Augustinus Bader, Ziip.... You know a product’s good when a brand new company offers only one SKU. Likuid Gold is Kanti’s glimmering hero product, and the comforting oil is something even oil-haters will get a kick out of. It feels thick to the touch but dries down quickly, and the oil’s star ingredient, baobab oil, sinks right in to a soft, nourishing finish. A little goes a long way—two, three drops max will blanket your skin without overwhelming it. And the 24-karat gold flecks inside? The cherry on top.
A brand origin story after our own heart! Just like ITG, Eadem’s first step out into the world is with a blog—their site aims to highlight a diverse range of beauty practices both culturally and personally informed. There, you’ll find stories about decolonizing turmeric, why radical Black writers have a place in your self-care routine, and a traditional Chinese approach to the collagen diet. Their yet-to-launch skincare line was formulated by women of color for women of color, with issues like sensitivity and skin health top of mind. Their first charge? Developing a nontoxic, dermatologist-approved solution to hyperpigmentation that won’t bleach melanated skin. Watch this space.
Sisters Mabel and Shaira Frías founded Luna Magic to celebrate their Afro-Latina, Dominican-American heritage through vibrant color. Wait, wait: before you minimalists slink back off to your beige bedrooms, you should know that the Fríases brightly-hued world makes space for you, too. Take their Uno palette for example, which features 12 buttery, high-pigment shadows in crowd-pleasing shades. (Those who prefer a natural look will hit pan on the range of eye-enhancing matte browns, while makeup creatives will gravitate towards Dinero, a shimmery mauve with a bright turquoise flash.) Even their take on red lipstick keeps everyday wear in mind—Gostosa, a warm almost-orange, looks soft and feels lightweight. Whether you’re dipping a toe into color or ready to run a bath, Luna Magic has something for everyone.
The perfect red lip? Depends on two things: The kind of red lip you’re going for, and you. Pound Cake takes into account the “you” part unlike any other brand before, and it’s a good thing they did because lipstick shades show up differently on different skin tones, hello! So say you’re going for a bright, cherry look. Pound Cake will tell you which of their lipsticks will get you that look based on your natural lip shade and undertones. Kind of how you’d match yourself to the right foundation shade. A simple, genius concept that’s launching early next year.
Beauty shouldn’t be rocket science, but sometimes it feels like you need a PhD to sort through the haircare aisle. Luckily, Alodia’s founder has one—in Biomedical Sciences, no less. You see, Dr. Isfahan Chambers-Harris was busy studying autoimmune diseases when, at home, she started transitioning to natural hair. Wary of the products she saw on the market, she turned her kitchen into a research lab and applied the medical know-how in her head to what grew on top of it. She created Alodia to be science-backed, all-natural, and based on the tenant that a healthy scalp grows stronger hair. Treat yourself with their Deep Conditioning Masque, or create a “Deep Conditioning Cocktail” by adding a squirt of Hair and Scalp Oil for extra nourishment.
Look, sometimes you want the Beyoncé weave, and sometimes you want the Diana Ross. And the Diana Ross weave—we’re talking her thick, curly, sky-high natural look—is much harder to come by. Unless of course you visit Melanjhair.com. There, six different kinds of natural texture weaves await. You know how, even when you straighten your hair, your roots are always slightly thicker and curlier than your lengths? Melanj mirrored that experience in their weaves for top blendability. Choose from the clip-ins for an easy at-home install, or the wefts and hand it over to a professional. Can’t lose either way.
There are products you can’t live without. And then there are products you did live without for so long that you just got used to the aches and pains that came with a true solution not existing. The Most is in the business of creating thoughtfully engineered haircare tools that fall in the latter camp. Pictured is a spiked massage tool that has a secret upper compartment to put your favorite scalp oil, serum, or exfoliator inside—as you massage your scalp, the tool evenly distributes the messy liquid right onto skin. Their Sonic Detangler is battery-powered to loosen knots in curly and kinky hair significantly faster than your average comb. And their not-yet-released Mint detangles and applies slightly warmed product for enhanced penetration. It’s all so elegantly simple, you’ll wish you thought of it yourself.
Men! They uh, have hair too. And an essential part to getting them to take better care of their hair is to fork over products that they’ll actually want to use. Wavy Blue’s Curl and Coil Balm is lightweight and smells fresh but not overwhelming. It moisturizes without leaving a sheen (apparently a lot of dudes don’t like too much shine, go figure), and it doesn’t feel tacky or sticky or greasy. It’s light enough to be used on beard hair, too. There’s aloe, bamboo extract, vitamin E and A, and niacinamide inside, and...now that we think of it, should you be a woman who wants to get in on this too, consider this your invitation.
Founder Abena Boamah-Acheampong doesn’t claim to have invented the wheel—the wheel, in this case, being shea butter. Instead, she brings to the table the knowledge that you need the wheel, expect it to work well, and if you want to keep using the wheel for years to come some care must be taken to support wheel makers. All of that is to say: Hanahana’s shea butter is still shea butter, just made smarter. The brand pays two times the asking price for fair-trade shea to support Ghana’s Katariga Women's Shea Cooperative, and you still pay under 30 bucks for a tub. Plus, its whipped texture feels like buttercream frosting and melts into a glistening oil on contact, a definite upgrade from traditionally crumbly shea. Pick a scent, give it a try, and you’ll never go back to the old-school stuff.
Maybe you like your hair to grow soft, long, and luscious. Or perhaps you prefer being smooth all over, like a dolphin? Of course, there is a third option: bumpy all over, thanks to ingrown hairs that are frustratingly tricky if not near impossible to avoid. Just like a zit, an ingrown hair can come to an irritated head and leave a mark long after you rip the sucker out, and they’re equally fun to pick at. Which means… you probably will. Instead of making it a hair removal issue, Flaunt treats ingrowns with a skincare-first approach. Their unisex masks (ingrowns don’t discriminate!) use glycolic acid to slough away the dead skin cells that trap an ingrown down, and centella asiatica to soothe the area so it doesn’t leave a mark. The best part? The brilliantly simple oval design means you can stick a mask anywhere ingrowns happen, from armpits to bikini lines to neckbeards.
Redoux doesn’t make soaps; they make statement pieces for your shower that just so happen to clean you. These beautiful bars are equipped with an ingredient list that reads like poetry: coconut oil, shea butter, safflower oil, olive oil, germanium, bergamot, oh baby. Combined, the essential oils in the bars make up a tranquil scent Redoux calls “529,” which became such a hit that it’s now available in candle form, too. Light the candle and hop in the shower with the bar. Too much of a good thing is never too much.
Launching early next year, Deon Libra is a topical and digestible adaptogenics brand. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but let’s just say you’re in for a quite literal treat.