As beauty editors, it's our duty (and a fun one at that) to prioritize testing all the new, exciting products from Black-owned and Black-founded brands. And while we work to spotlight brands from the Black community year-round, Black History Month is a time to amplify our coverage and celebrate our favorite brands—as well highlight the contributions these formulas have made in the industry and to our skin, hair, and bodies.
Ahead, our team shares our picks du jour—the brands and products getting us through winter weather, work from home, and the twelfth month of the pandemic. Keep scrolling for your new favorite products.
Olivia Hancock, Associate Editor
I am constantly in awe of Uoma Beauty’s founder, Sharon Chuter. She’s a dynamic, thoughtful leader committed to creating products that celebrate all skin tones and is equally passionate about holding the industry accountable in terms of diversity and representation. My first introduction to the brand was through their lipsticks and lip glosses (Sade and Class are my favorite shades). And after falling in love with the look and feel of the lip products, I’ve been a proud Uoma Beauty supporter ever since. Their incredibly pigmented eyeshadow palettes and new mascara have also been in regular rotation when I do my makeup for Zoom calls and interviews.
Tracee Ellis Ross. Do I need to say anything more? When Pattern launched in 2019, I knew I had to get my hands on the products ASAP. Since then, Pattern products have been a staple in my hair care routine. From the Leave-in Conditioner to the Curl Gel, I have tried almost every product from the brand, and my curls love them. They’re always left looking "juicy and joyful," as Ross would say. But aside from the products, I love how Pattern authentically celebrates Black hair and culture at every touchpoint. It’s been beautiful to see how Ross has created a community and movement that celebrates individuals with curly and coily hair through Pattern."
The Doux celebrates Black hair and radiates coolness. The haircare line was Maya Smith's brainchild, an Atlanta-based cosmetologist with two decades of experience and a deep love for '90s Hip-Hop. All of the product names are a nod to popular Hip-Hop songs and lingo, and the bright packaging adds a bit of vibrance to your bathroom counter. The Big Poppa Defining Gel ($13) is one of the best gels that I’ve ever tried, hands down. My curls are the epitome of poppin’ each time I use it. The Fresh to Def Leave-In Curl Refresher ($13) also deserves a shoutout because it has helped me revive my dry curls each morning.
The African beauty rituals Christina grew up with inspired her to launch 54 Thrones in 2016. The brand uses high-quality African-grown ingredients like Ugandan and Ghanaian Shea butter to make its natural skincare products (which range from butters to body bars). I’ve recently been raving about the brand’s African Beauty Butters to anyone who will listen. They’re the perfect cure for my perpetually dry skin and hands, which has only intensified due to the constant hand-washing we’ve all been doing over the last year. In addition to Shea butter, the butters also contain plant botanicals to boost its hydrating capabilities. And if I haven’t sold you on the magic of 54 Throne’s Beauty Butters yet, just know Oprah is a fan too.
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Faith Xue, Editorial Director
This Black-owned brand has single-handedly transformed my morning routine. I'm usually a "roll out of bed and to the desk" type of person, but incorporating Golde's Pure Matcha Powder and Turmeric & Matcha Lattes into my morning ritual—all whisked together into frothy beauty with the brand's Superwhisk—has helped me realize how much a routine can help my mental state for the rest of the day. I love how easy the powders are to use: I mix with warmed-up almond or oat milk for a delicious morning treat to start my day off right.
I love this brand's line of products for vaginal health, from tampons to feminine washes. Mostly, I love how founder Beatrix Dixon came up with the brand after her ancestors visited her in a dream, which is, still to this day, one of the best brand stories I've ever heard. The Honey Pot Wash is a mainstay in my shower routine, and I love the wipes, too. Plus, all her products are made with herbal, gentle ingredients that are meant to keep things balanced and fresh.
I'm a sucker for good branding, and Rosen's cool packaging instantly caught my eye. Then, the affordable price points, and then, of course, the intriguing products—from a Rose Water Face Dew to the Moonlight Moisturizer. My favorite is the Break Out treatment, an easy-to-use paste that you can dab onto breakout to dry them up and clear them out before morning.
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Holly Rhue, Editor
Trust me when I say your skin needs this brand. The Marble Body Brush has been a long time favorite product of mine, but recently I've been reaching for the brand's Supreme Body Balm after a shower. My skin gets very dry and flaky in the colder months, so I keep this jar in my shower and apply while my skin is still wet to lock in all of that moisture. It's unscented (which is my preference for skin products) and leaves my skin feeling plump, soft, and moisturized—not greasy.
AMP Beauty LA is the marketplace for discovering Black-owned beauty products, and their mission is this: "We believe that shopping hair, skin, bath, body, and makeup should be easy, convenient, and personalized, for all textures and all shades." Across AMP Beauty LA's platform, you'll find everything from skincare, to haircare, to makeup, to candles, and beyond. Everything is hand-selected (and ships super fast). Right now, the products I'm loving (and will definitely be re-purchasing) are the Flaunt Body Ingrown Hair Mask Treatment and the Soap Distillery Limoncello Bar Soap.
Step right this way for all of the body care of your dreams. Founded by Tiffany Staten and based in Atlanta, GA, London Grant Co.'s philosophy is to formulate clean, simple, no-fuss body products that just plain work. Staten first started the brand out of her own kitchen, when she was pregnant and in search of a body butter that would be safe for use on her baby bump. Since that initial batch of body butter, the brand has gone on to launch body polishes (my favorite product from the brand), body oils, body custards, and more.
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Eden Stuart, Associate Editor
I had the pleasure of meeting Mented founders KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson at an event (back when those were a thing), during which the duo mentioned they were so familiar with their products they could recommend anyone the perfect nude lipstick on sight. I had to take them up on the challenge, and sure enough, Johnson’s suggestion for me–Peach Please–has become the only warm nude I’ll ever need. I like to tell that story because I think it exemplifies the brand’s commitment to celebrating the diversity within skin of color.
I spent years searching for a blush palette that A) had an appealing color story, and B) didn’t contain a single shade that wouldn’t show up on my medium-tan skin. I had all but given up when I discovered OPV Beauty's Born to Shine Palette on Instagram; now, it’s the only powder blush I wear. The brand was founded by Bukola and Opeyemi Adeyemo, London-based Nigerian sisters who saw a dearth of colorful, cruelty-free products compatible with all skin tones.
Seriously, I’m probably Hyper Skin’s biggest unpaid promoter. As someone whose main skin concern is hyperpigmentation, I go through vitamin C serums at a rapid pace; as someone who isn’t a Rockefeller, that has historically proven to be a very expensive habit. Not only does the company’s first product, the vitamin C serum Hyper Clear, come loaded with vitamins C and E—it’s also a very wallet-friendly $36. Plus, the formulation is as smooth and elegant as that of some of my pricier skincare products. I’m excited to see what the brand does next.
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Karli Bendlin, Email Editor
I have two very different shower routines depending on the time of day. There's my rushed, five-minute morning shower, and then there's my lengthy, indulgent nighttime shower experience when I do all of the skincare steps I'm often too lazy for. The Luv Scrub Mesh Body Exfoliator is without a doubt the star of my evening shower routine. It makes exfoliating feel like a self-care moment, and it leaves my skin unbelievably smooth and soft to the touch. The brand's founder, Caroline Owusu-Ansah, grew up using mesh body exfoliators—like West Africans have done for generations—but realized there was nothing on the market like it here. She launched the Luv Scrub to give consumers an all-in-one bath product that lasts much longer than the traditional loofah (you can use the Luv Scrub for up to 18 months). I can attest—mine still lathers as well as the day I got it.
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Hallie Gould, Senior Editor
I've always been a sucker for beautiful brand imagery—so that's admittedly what first drew me to this brand (think: glossy skin and sun-drenched products). Then, the brand's mission struck a chord with me. Karen Young, Oui the People's founder, says of her decision to create beauty products: "Brands inform culture and language, as beauty has done for decades. We believe beauty shouldn’t come at the expense of our psyche. Rather than pursuing flawlessness, we aim to build efficacious products, designed thoughtfully, that help you feel great in the skin you’re already in." More than all of it, though, trying the Sensitive Skin Razor had me practically shouting about Oui the People to anyone in earshot. The razor is an entirely new experience for anyone, like me, who was using a disposable. It's a weighty, single-blade straight razor that offers the smoothest shave you can possibly imagine. I relish in the extra few minutes it takes because I know the results are outstanding. Post-shave, apply Oui the People's Featherweight Hydrating Body Gloss for a long-lasting glossy glow.
I was first introduced to Hanahana Beauty's founder, Abena Boamah-Acheampong, on an Instagram live. As she spoke about her brand, I knew I'd fall in love with the products. Immediately afterwards I ordered some of my own. All of the products are all-natural and homemade (and I'm not joking when I say you can feel the love mixed into each of them). One of the key ingredients in the line is shea butter, which the brand sources directly from the Katariga Women's Shea Cooperative in Ghana. It's a really beautiful collection of skin-loving formulas. My favorites lately are the Eucalyptus Shea Body Butter and Exfoliating Body Bar to help soothe my dry, winter skin.
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Kathryn Vandervalk, Editorial & Strategy Director
Stuck inside and and trying to stay warm, Homebody’s colorful, CBD bath soaks are the ultimate form of self-care. I’ve been loving their Full Spectrum of Possibilities Soak (currently sold out, unfortunately) for when I want to slip into an iridescent bath with a good book. They use high-impact, natural, food-grade ingredients—even their glitter is biodegradable, non-toxic, and plastic-free—that sink in while you soak. The other day, I had a back acne flare up, and when I left the bath thirty minutes later, my skin had calmed along with my mood.