(Meredith) – Being included when it comes to beauty products is something everyone wants, but Black women have historically been left out of the conversation.
A 2018 Neilson study found that Black women spend the most money on beauty products out of all racial groups, but they have the least amount of representation.
To change that, InStyle is highlighting 21 Black-owned beauty businesses that are including Black women when it comes to skin care, hair care and more.
InStyle’s Senior Beauty Editor Kayla Greaves said these founders are change-makers in the industry who are pushing things forward, not only to normalize Black beauty but also to make products that work for everybody.
“It’s really important to be supporting these people because we need equity when it comes to resolving issues with racism,” Greaves said.
Revolutionary British makeup artist Dame Pat McGrath was the first person that came to mind, Greaves said. McGrath is known for strong pigments and colors that show up well on dark skin, which is a problem many Black women find – makeup just doesn’t show up enough against their skin tone.
McGrath was named the most influential makeup artist in the world by Vogue and was listed in TIME’s 100 most influential people list in 2019. She is the first makeup artist to be made a British dame – the female equivalent to a knight – and her company, Pat McGrath Labs, is valued at over $1 billion.
“When you’re using a product from Pat McGrath, whether it’s highlighter, or an eyeshadow palette or anything else, it’s guaranteed to show up,” Greaves said.
Other Black-owned businesses that InStyle is celebrating include 4C Only and People of Color nail polish. A new line, 4C Only is a four-step hair care system specifically formulated to work with 4C hair type, which many Black women have (click here to learn about the different hair types and find yours). People of Color nail polish was created with the idea of offering a variety of nail polish colors that show up well against darker skin tones.
“We’re really celebrating these people who are coming together and making the industry more inclusive for everybody, and especially for those who are left out – Black women,” Greaves said. “This is definitely a message for everybody. Black History Month is just one month out of the year, but Black people exist, our businesses exist, everything that we do matters 365, 24/7.”
Greaves said it is important to support Black-owned businesses all year so society can get to a point where including Black people in the conversation is not just celebrated, but rather normalized.
“Until we no longer have the issue of people feeling excluded at all, until we’re at a point where it’s no longer celebrated but rather normalized when a Black person owns a business, or a Black person is the face of a brand, or there are makeup and foundation options and skin care options and hair care options for everybody and it’s just normalized, I don’t think anybody is doing enough,” Greaves said. “So, while we have made so many strides and they’re all fantastic to see, we still have a lot more work to do in order to normalize Black beauty and truly create a space that’s inclusive just because it is, and not because people want applause or praise for doing so.”
For more information about the 21 Black-owned beauty brands and where to buy them, head to InStyle.com.
InStyle is owned by the parent company of this news organization, The Meredith Corporation.