When it comes to finding the right foundation, women of color are often predisposed to purchasing that “one shade fits most” foundation due to cosmetic brands and retailers catering to fairer skin tones.
This failure to acknowledge blackness and that black women are spending an estimated $7.5 billion annually on beauty products—80 percent more on cosmetics than any other group—is an oversight that creates a frustrating shopping experience for these neglected, key consumers and is an omission that is not exclusive to those of us who grace the sidewalk instead of a runway. Catering to a diverse population of women isn’t and shouldn’t be deemed a revolutionary concept, yet we know how remarkable it feels when you find a foundation that not only blends in with your neckline, but also isn’t made with toxic chemicals. So here are five of our favorite eco-chic beauty brands that shine out in a beauty industry that fails to recognize that melanin is poppin’.
Founder Kate O’Brien created Alima Pure as a way to give her teenage daughter a vibrant cosmetic brand that she craved but with ingredients O’Brien could trust. The result was a 100 percent pure mineral pigment makeup line with 45 foundation shades that unveil the beauty and extensive complexions of women.
When it comes to beauty, one’s foundation should never suffocate or be made with unpronounceable chemicals, a point that founder Merced Boyce makes when she started in her cosmetic line, Blac Minerals. Like the name suggest, the line celebrates the unique complexion needs for women of color.
Makeup artist Lake Louise recognized that the skin is the only barrier between our inner and outer worlds. So beyond providing a rich and silky finish, Plain Jane Beauty provides protection and nourishment from harsh elements using just the essentials in the Crème Minerals and Get Loose formulas.
This chic line makes “natural packaging,” “carbon footprint,” and “refillable” look stylish in a sleek bamboo case fit for the environmentalist who has a makeup addiction, but doesn’t fit in the fair skin category. From very light ochre to mocha shades, ZAO proves that melanin-enriched individuals don’t have to comprise when it comes to living organic and sustainable lives.
Launched in 2005 after founder Anita Grant suffered a negative reaction to a “safe” synthetic hair lotion, the namesake is a natural hair and skin care line that positions women of color as an equal consumer, and not a last minute inclusion for “diversity” purposes.