Last year, Brother Vellies founder Aurora James issued the 15 Percent Pledge, which urged major companies to dedicate at least 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. Sephora was the first global brand to join James' movement, and the makeup retailer recently announced that we could expect to see a few new Black-owned beauty brands hit their shelves this year. One company that will be making its debut this week is LYS Beauty, the first Black-owned clean cosmetics brand at Sephora.
For founder Tisha Thompson, launching her brand has been a dream that has been manifesting for over 15 years. Thompson began her career as a makeup artist at MAC Cosmetics but soon pivoted to work in the corporate beauty world for brands like PUR Cosmetics. As a product development and marketing professional, she had a front-row seat to the glaring lack of inclusivity in the industry and used her position to craft campaigns that promoted diversity. But, Thompson recognized that her desire to amplify representation in beauty stretched beyond a single campaign. Creating her own brand was her true calling. "It was just really important for me to step away and make this my purpose," Thompson said during a Zoom call. "So, I created LYS Beauty. For me, it was a mission that I wanted to go on to make sure I diversify the clean beauty space in a holistic way."
When she began fleshing out her plans for LYS Beauty, Thompson knew that she wanted to create a brand that shatters the myth that clean beauty, deep shade ranges, and high-performance products can't coexist. And it's safe to say that she accomplished that and then some. The first batch of products from the line consists of six makeup products (that meet the Clean at Sephora standards, of course) and four cruelty-free brushes, which all ring in under $30.
All of LYS Beauty's products are also vegan and enriched with skin-loving ingredients to ensure your skin remains nourished underneath your makeup. "We really [take] a skin-first approach and focus strictly on not just what we put into the formula but what we don't put into the formula," Thompsons says.
The brand's hero product? The Triple Fix Serum Foundation ($22), which is available in 35 shades and delivers light-to-medium coverage. Consistent with the brand's focus on skincare, the foundation is infused with a potent blend of hyaluronic acid, turmeric, avocado oil, and ashwagandha. The collection also includes the Secure Skin Gripping Serum Primer ($20), Triple Fix Translucent Pressed Setting Powder ($18), No Limits Matte Bronzer ($18), Higher Standard Satin Matte Cream Blush ($16), and the Speak Love Glossy Lip Treatment Oil ($16).
Now that LYS Beauty is here, Thompson is committed to using the brand's growing platform to inspire and empower others. The company's initiative #ConfidenceCrew aims to spread messaging on social media that helps beauty lovers practice self-love. "I'm a plus-sized girl, and I struggled with not really ever seeing myself in media," Thompson shares. "And so for me, it just took time and confidence in myself to realize I am who I am, it's okay to be who I am, and that I'm beautiful as I am. So for me, it's all about embracing that confidence. At LYS Beauty, our mission is to inspire people to have [confidence] as a part of their daily lives and be empowered to be who they are."