Are there makeup lines for women of color that have minimal ingredients?
That’s the question Creator and Founder of BLAC Minerals Cosmetics, Merced Saint Boyce, asked almost a decade ago when natural makeup was just hitting the mass market.
“At the time, I went to try out the makeup. When I went to the store to try [the products], I was disappointed with the selection. I walked out of the store, and I was walking past a mirror on 34th street [in Manhattan],” says the New Yorker. She remembers looking at herself and noticing an “ashy glow” and that the product was itching and irritating her skin.
After her less-than-satisfying experience with the natural makeup products available, Merced began thinking about the limited options for women of color and the ingredients used in all-natural makeup products like bismuth oxybhlonide, an ingredient used to give a reflecting quality. As she recognized the need for more natural cosmetics for women of color, the idea for BLAC Minerals Cosmetics was formed.
The 30-something entrepreneur and mother of two graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology before launching BLAC Minerals in 2008. She explains that BLAC Mineral Cosmetics, which is an acronym for basic luxury for all colors, is “unique in two ways: The line is “focused on women of color” and “dedicated to making products with all-natural ingredients.”
“I wanted to focus on the actual ingredients,” she said. With products like BLAC Minerals’ flawless finishing dust ($16.00), which is infused with olive leaf to soothe skin and licorice root to even out skin tones, she is accomplishing this goal.
“What sells us is the face,” explains the businesswoman who has been selling products direct to consumer via www.blacminerals.com. Offering as many shades as possible and creating makeup that makes people feel good about what they’re wearing is what the founder is striving for.
“My hope is that BLAC Minerals Cosmetics fills a void in the beauty landscape and is not just successful in providing great makeup but also being able to glorify natural beauty and promote self love and confidence for all that wear it,” according to the company’s mission statement.
With such aspirations, the most challenging part of producing the makeup line for Merced is the actual product formulation and choosing the right products. She is constantly keeping up with the latest in beauty trends and continues to be creative when choosing products and packaging for the brand.
Her hard work is paying off. BLAC Mineral Cosmetics has been getting positive customer feedback over the years and the company recently launched in the Millburn, New Jersey Whole Foods this May.
They were contacted specifically because the store had a large population of women of color, according to Merced. “They were looking for vendors that fulfilled their needs,” the entrepreneur explained. After 6 months to a year, she heard back and began working with Whole Foods to meet the vendor requirements.
Undoubtedly, customers can expect much more from the brand. BLAC Minerals Cosmetics has an e-commerce site which also features the BLAC beauty blog as well as BLAC Minerals Beauty TV, which educate customers on beauty tips, tricks, trends, and more.
Merced says she sees BLAC Minerals Cosmetics expanding in retail stores in the next five years. In regards to products, she wants to add more for the face. She would also like to help educate consumers by doing beauty tours or conferences that bring together audiences to talk about beauty.
In the near future, BLAC Minerals Cosmetics is looking to expand its eyeshadows to add more colors and expand on concealers, highlighters, and skin luminators.
To find out more about BLAC Minerals Cosmetics or to find the products, visit www.blacminerals.com.