If you feel powerless with what’s happening in the world, there are things you can do to help.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, many of us have been thinking about how we can best support the black community.
African-American Floyd died in Minneapolis last week of asphyxiation, according to a post-mortem, after a white police officer leant on his neck with his knee for more than eight minutes. The incident has brought issues of racial discrimination to the fore, with demonstrations taking place in US cities and across the world.
There are many ways to show support for the black community who are hurting at this time. If you’re non-black, it’s an opportunity to educate yourself on issues of allyship and privilege, and everyone can donate to anti-racism causes. It’s also hugely important to support black-owned businesses.
Black women have made huge contributions to the beauty industry, and yet it’s only in recent years that major brands have shifted to cater to a wide range of skintones. While representation still has a way to go, there are certain black-owned beauty, hair and skincare brands which have been fighting for equality – and doing so with some incredible products.
Here are some of our favourite beauty brands set up by black women…
1. Uoma Beauty
Created by Nigerian-born former beauty executive Sharon Chuter, ‘Uoma’ means ‘beauty’ in Igbo. The make-up brand is all about inclusivity and lifting everyone up, and consistently pays tribute to Chuter’s African background (for example, one of the collections is called ‘Afro.Dis.Iac’).
Adding to the extra cool factor, trailblazing model Halima Aden is the face of the brand.
2. Beauty Bakerie
Everything about Beauty Bakerie is truly adorable: it has pink packaging and names in-keeping with the baking theme, including palettes called ‘Brownie Bar’ and ‘Proof is in the Pudding’. Even though it’s cutesy, don’t underestimate Beauty Bakerie’s products, which are known for their easy application and staying power.
Founder Cashmere Nicole has spoken out about the struggles of setting up a business as a minority. She told Refinery29 in 2018: “I’ve learned that being black and running an indie brand is extremely tough. As a child, I remember hearing that you have to work twice as hard when you’re black — and now I know that it’s true.”
3. Fenty Beauty
Fenty Beauty needs little introduction: Rihanna’s make-up brand turned the industry on its head in 2017 by introducing an almost unheard of range of foundation shades. Since the beginning, Fenty Beauty has championed inclusivity and diversity.
On June 2, the brand said it won’t conduct any business as part of Blackout Tuesday, saying: “This is not a day off. This is a day to reflect and find ways to make real change.”
4. Pat MacGrath Labs
Pat MacGrath is one of the most respected make-up artists in the industry, which means her eponymous beauty brand is the best way to get the catwalk-ready look at home.
If you needed any more encouragement to buy MacGrath’s products, none other than Naomi Campbell was recently announced as the brand’s face.
5. The Afro Hair and Skin Co
Ibi Meier-Oruitemeka set up The Afro Hair and Skin Co to give black women the option of all-natural skin and haircare. There’s an emphasis on green and clean beauty, with everything handmade on the English coast.
While the products are specifically designed for the needs of Afro skin and hair, anyone can use them – and everyone will love how nourishing the moisturisers and facial oils are.
6. Molewa Skincare
Molewa Skincare also champions natural, eco-friendly and cruelty-free beauty products. Sola Sangowawa-Boua started the brand by making skincare products in her kitchen back in 2008, and since then it’s grown to a much bigger operation – with the same emphasis on natural ingredients. You can purchase products like body butter, soap and face oils from Molewa Skincare.