The number of Black-owned beauty brands continues to grow each year. But, the reality is this: Black-owned products aren’t always available on the shelves of major retailers or beauty supply stores across the country. While progress has been made, drugstores and markets have historically overlooked the needs of people of color and failed to stock beauty products from Black businesses. Brother Vellies founder Aurora James brought light to this issue through her 15 Percent Pledge non-profit organization, asking organizations like Walmart, Net-A-Porter, and Sephora to pledge to dedicate at least 15 percent of their shelf space to Black-owned companies.
The lack of widespread accessibility to Black beauty essentials has prompted many women of color to launch their own online marketplaces, allowing them to create the beauty shopping experience that we’ve long desired. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the 9 best Black-owned beauty boutiques you should shop with today, tomorrow, and always. Browse through their sites to stock up on your favorite Black-owned products and discover some new ones.
Like many women of color, Auja Little felt frustrated with the lack of inclusive beauty products available at her local retailers. That’s why she founded Beautyocracy, an online marketplace for indie beauty products from diverse entrepreneurs. The brand’s mission is two-fold: to improve the beauty shopping experience for all people and provide smaller beauty brands with a platform to thrive. On Beautyocracy’s site, you’ll find beauty products from indie brands like Nola Skinsentials and Bathe Brand. And if you’re having trouble deciding which items to add to your cart, you can take a quick quiz on the site to receive a personalized list of product recommendations.
Simply put, AMP Beauty LA is on a mission to redefine beauty culture. Founded by three HBCU sorority sisters, the tech-forward digital retailer provides beauty lovers of color with the products they want and need. AMP Beauty LA’s inventory boasts a curated edit of products–spanning hair care to makeup–from both well-known and emerging Black-owned beauty companies. From CURLS to Rosen Skincare, AMP Beauty LA has it all.
On Aˈme-kə, every product you’ll see is made with melanin in mind. Founder Emeka Anyanwu created the platform to increase beauty consumers’ awareness of Black-owned beauty brands and make inclusive cosmetic, skincare, haircare, bath & body, and male grooming products more accessible. You’ll find many Byrdie favorites on Aˈme-kə like OOO Polish, Omolewa Cosmetics, and Black Girl Sunscreen.
Brittney Ogike’s disappointing experiences shopping for brown-girl-friendly beauty products in Los Angeles fueled her desire to create a retail experience that prioritized textured hair and melanated skin. The result? BeautyBeez, a West Hollywood beauty supply store that offers the best in hair care, beauty, skincare, wigs, and extensions. BeautyBeez’s flagship location is also home to their Beauty Bar where you can get your hair braided or receive relaxing spa treatments. And don’t worry, if you’re not in LA, you can still shop BeautyBeez’s robust inventory of beauty essentials online.
After an unsatisfactory trip to her local beauty supply store, Aisha Shannon Bates decides to launch Coil Beauty. The retailer’s mission is to make the process of shopping for beauty products easy and enjoyable for people of color. Coil Beauty stocks products for everyone–from women to kids. On the site, you can browse through a plethora of products from some of the buzziest brands like The Lip Bar, The Doux, and Mielle Organics.
Chana Ginelle Ewing longed for a beauty industry that was more inclusive and intersectional. So, she created GEENIE. The curated beauty marketplace stocks products from BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and womxn-founded brands like Gold Label Cosmetics, Vive Cosmetics, and Fempower Beauty.
Drawing upon her 14 years of experience in the fashion and beauty industry, Jazmin Alvarez launched Pretty Well Beauty. The digital retailer is a hub for all things clean beauty and wellness. On Pretty Well Beauty, you’ll find gems from brands like Golde and Peak & Valley.
When you shop with BLK + GRN, you can trust that everything you add to your cart is made from high-quality ingredients and toxin-free. Every brand on the site is vetted by Black health experts and the brand has crafted its own list of banned ingredients called the Toxic Twenty. 54 Thrones, Black Girl Sunscreen, Shea Radiance are three of the nearly 100 BLK + GRN approved brands.
Yard and Parish encourages customers to discover the diaspora by shopping the eco-luxe Black-owned fashion, beauty, and homeware brands they stock. The brand was founded by Samantha and Alesha, two Jamaican women, who wanted to create a shopping experience for the modern ‘Island’ girl. When it comes to beauty, you’ll find plenty of skincare and haircare goods on the site from brands including Minzaani and Willow & Mane.