While significant room for improvement still remains, there’s a new standard for inclusivity and diversity in the beauty aisle. Hair, makeup, and skin-care brands are expanding their product selections to work with many different skin tones and hair types. But there's another level of diversity that we care about when we shop, and that's supporting the Black entrepreneurs who are creating products specifically for minority customers, because they were doing it long before the rest of the industry caught on.
Now there are more Black-owned beauty brands around than ever before. These founders offer highly-pigmented cosmetics and natural hair solutions that work, and each product is formulated with dark skin and Afro hair in mind. Many of these brands have had huge followings on Instagram before breaking into mass retailers like Ulta Beauty, where the products sit on the shelf alongside old-school brands that have been around for decades — and that's a pretty big deal if you ask us.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up eight Black-owned brands to follow, then add to cart during your next Ulta haul.
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If Beauty Bakerie looks familiar, it's probably because you've seen its kitschy, dessert-themed products on your favorite influencer or on Instagram. The brand was founded by Cashmere Nicole in 2011 and features a ton of liquid lipsticks, highlighters, and diverse shades of foundation. Shop Beauty Bakerie at Ulta.com.
Beauty vloggers couldn't stop raving about Juvia's Place when it emerged on the social-media scene. Chichi Ebru founded the Instagram-famous line, which features a formidable mix of high-impact eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks and over 30 products exclusive to Ulta.Shop Juvia's Place at Ulta.com.
Founded by mother-and-son duo Mary and Richelieu Dennis, Shea Moisture dabbles in everything from makeup and skin care to fragrance and men’s grooming. Its hair products (hello, Coconut Hibiscus range)
are some of the most popular formulas in the natural hair category. In 2017, Unilever acquired Sundial Brands, Shea Moisture's parent company, but the family is still heavily involved in the development of the brand and its products.Shop Shea Moisture at Ulta.com.
Since the early '80s, founder Lisa Price has grown Carol's Daughter into one of the most celebrated natural hair-care companies among people of color. L'Oréal became the parent company of the household favorite in 2014, and now, Ulta carries 15 products from the brand along with new launches like the Wash Day Delight Water-to-Foam Shampoo. Shop Carol's Daughter at Ulta.com.
UOMA Beauty — pronounced "oh-ma," meaning "beautiful" in Igbo, a native language of southeastern Nigeria — launched exclusively at Ulta Beauty last year. Frustrated with the beauty industry's lack of diversity, founder Sharon Chuter
sought to celebrate differences while taking inclusivity far beyond just shade range. The star innovation is the Say What?! foundation
, which comes in 51 shades and six unique formulations to address the specific needs of each shade grouping. Shop Uoma Beauty at Ulta.com.
Actress Tracee Ellis Ross first dreamed up Pattern Beauty
when she was working on the set of Girlfriends
in 2008. While the cast and crew of the show were predominately Black, the hairstylists weren't trained to work with natural hair
. She finally launched the brand in late 2019 after years of trial and error — and to much fanfare, at that. The brand went to market with three tools (a hair clip, shower brush, and microfiber towel), and seven products (a shampoo, conditioners, a leave-in, and oils) for multiple curl types (medium, coily, and tight-textured). Shop Pattern Beauty at Ulta.com.
Yve-Car Momperousse loved when her mom used Haitian black castor oil on her hair growing up, but she couldn't find the organic oil anywhere once she was on her own living in Philadelphia. That's when she decided to create Kreyòl Essence, also fueled by her vision of stimulating the Haitian economy after Hurricane Matthew in 2010. The line now includes a variety of oils that are all natural and ethically-sourced. Shop Kreyòl Essence at Ulta.com.
When Wendi Levy Kaaya and Kim Etheredge struggled to find products to manage and style their hair, they decided to create their own in 2004. After running their business out of a garage, they eventually garnered tons of positive customer feedback and interest from celebrities, then landed at retailers. Now, they're sold internationally at mega retailers like Ulta Beauty. Shop Mixed Chicks at Ulta.com.