5 Indigenous-Owned Beauty Brands to Add to Your Rotation

From makeup to skincare.

prados beauty blush compact

Prados Beauty

Wildcrafted ingredients. Sustainable packaging and formulations inspired by ancient wisdom. These are the kinds of product attributes that you'll find in skincare and beauty products created by Indigenous founders in North America. In addition to improving representation in the personal care industry, Native beauty business owners often incorporate innovative botanicals into their products that yield nourishing and efficacious results.

Take Leigh Joseph, an ethnobotanist, member of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) First Nation, and founder of Skwálwen Botanicals, who crafts luxury skincare products by including responsibly harvested foraged plants that are culturally important to her nation's traditions. One such ingredient is devil's club, a scary-sounding plant with soothing, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Another is stinging nettle, which has a storied history of medicinal uses. "Our company was founded out of respect for plants, the land, and the Indigenous communities who have lived in relationship with these species for thousands of years," says Joseph. "Skwálwen Botanicals is my opportunity to share an Indigenous perspective and voice in the beauty space and tell stories that uplift the beauty of Indigenous knowledge and land-based practices." 

Read on to learn more about five beauty and skincare products created and owned by Native women. 

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Skwálwen Botanicals

Shkweń Rainforest Bath & Body Oil (With Nettle + Devil's Club)
Skwálwen Botanicals Shkweń Rainforest Bath & Body Oil $48.00

This soothing body oil is chock-full of carefully sourced botanicals that have roots in founder Joseph's Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) First Nation ancestry. Organic and wildcrafted plants such as devil's club and stinging nettle provide skin-calming benefits, while jojoba and sunflower oil imparts maximum moisturization.

An ethnobotanist by trade, Joseph is committed to protecting culturally important Indigenous plants. One way her company achieves this goal is through an initiative called the Hiýáḿ Project ("return home" in Squamish), which facilitates communities and customers to grow native plant species like stinging nettle across the region. 

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Niawen Skincare

niawen color stick
Niawen Skincare Color Makeup Stick $28.00

Esthetician Tara Tekahentakhwa founded Niawen (which means "thank you" in the Mowhawk language) after recovering from late-stage kidney cancer. The brand was a way to encourage gratitude through self-ceremony, which Tekahentakhwa describes as an intentional time to honor yourself.

This deceptively simple makeup stick, which contains nourishing oils and sheer, buildable color derived from beets, lends a rosy, dewy tint to cheeks and lips. Bonus: Tekahentakhwa and her team bless each order with sage smoke, called "smudging," before it leaves their warehouse. 

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Cheekbone Beauty

cheekbone beauty mattifying moon dust
Cheekbone Beauty Mattifying Moon Dust $23.00

Entrepreneur Jenn Harper, from Canada's Ojibwe First Nation, was inspired to start Cheekbone Beauty after she had a dream depicting how makeup could be a conduit for joy and self-love. When she woke up, she drafted a business plan highlighting Indigenous faces, giving back to her community, and prioritizing sustainability. "Indigenous people are the OG's of sustainability," says Harper.

This Mattifying Moon Dust is one product that reflects the company's values: It's made with vegan, responsibly sourced ingredients, packaged in a reusable, plastic-free aluminum tin, and creates a beautiful shine-free finish on all skin types. 

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Inter-Tribal Beauty

Inter-Tribal Beauty exfoliating pads
Inter-Tribal Beauty Brighten Toner Pads $30.00

Octavia Lewis, esthetician and owner of Inter-Tribal Beauty spent her summers on the Spokane Indian Reservation. During community gatherings, it was the intertribal dance that she loved the best, as it was a dance intended for members of everyone, regardless of their background or identity.

This inclusive dance was her inspiration for Inter-Tribal Beauty, founded under the vision that everyone deserves — and can achieve — healthy, acne-free skin. These exfoliating wipes, for example, are formulated with a blend of proven skin-clearing ingredients (think: mandelic acid, azelaic acid, and niacinamide) and natural add-ins like wild lemongrass and orange peel oils.

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Prados Beauty

prados beauty blush
Prados Beauty Sagrado Vida Blush $20.00

Prados Beauty is the brainchild of Cece Meadows, whose ancestors were of the Yoeme and Nʉmʉnʉ people located in the American Southwest and Mexico. Founded to illuminate Indigenous people's stories, history, and beauty, Prados donates a portion of proceeds to causes that support indigenous communities. Try the Sagrado Vida Blush, which provides a flattering flush for all skin complexions. Also cool: Prados Beauty uses its website, and social media reach to highlight other personal care brands owned by Indigenous and Native entrepreneurs. 

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