Photo Credit: Lucas Alves

The Problem

A few years ago, going into a makeup or drug store as an African-American woman was a struggle. Getting a makeup product that suited your skin tone made it even more challenging.

This situation is unique to African-American women. Store shelves always carry loads of makeup varieties for white women, yet very few pieces for women with darker skin tones. Sometimes, you might not even find any.  Black/African-American women come in many different beautiful shades, and we need make-up that not only matchesour complexions but also blends with our dark circles and blemishes and evens out our skin tones.   

Over time, the makeup industry has begun to understand these challenges and rise to meet them.

The Solution

The story is different now. Presently, more and more makeup options are available to suit every black woman, regardless of her skin tone. More black women are now dominating the makeup industry, and this phenomenon raises the question: Where did this solution come from? 

A variety of makeup choices now dominate the cosmetic market for one major reason because black women decided to take bold steps. These women now own beauty brands, and thanks to them, the skin color gap of previous years doesn’t exist anymore. 

At last, we can access major makeup brands producing numerous makeup products designed for different tones of Black skin. 

This blog post highlights these top revolutionary makeup brands with products perfectly suited for Black women.

Note: Most of these makeup brands are owned by Black women. Next time you shop for foundation, you can expect to find a matching shade effortlessly!

  1. Fenty Beauty

Before Rihanna launched her makeup brand, the landscape was different.. Back then, it was difficult for black women to find a range of foundation varieties to suit all shades. Yet, everything changed when she launched her makeup brand, Fenty Beauty.  Rihanna was a game changer when her makeup line hit Sephora on September 8,2017 and sold out fast!

Originally, she set out with 40 tones. However, in no time, she had added over 10 new tones, totaling more than 50 tones in her collection to choose from.

Her impact didn’t end there. Soon, other makeup brands rushed to vary their product collections. Why wouldn’t they? Having seen the growth and success of Fenty Beauty, they simply wanted to replicate it..  Rihanna’s brand came in and changed the game, and it challenged other make-up lines to do the same.

  1. Beauty Bakerie 

In 2011, Cashmere Nicole launched her beauty brand, Beauty Bakerie. One of her major missions is to deliver the highest-quality makeup products, and the brand merchandise features luxury, health-conscious ingredients. 

In addition, there is a tool provided by the brand to assist you if you find it difficult to get your shade.

  1. Pat McGrath Labs

For years now, Pat McGrath continues to be a household name known far and wide in the cosmetics world. 

McGrath is prosperous and in-demand, and when you check out her résumé, you will certainly be impressed. Her clientele features the biggest names in cosmetics and beauty for the past twenty years. It is impossible to write a piece about black makeup artists and omit Pat McGrath’s name.

  1. Black Opal

In the beginning, Black Opal wasn’t black-owned. However, in 2019, a black woman assumed leadership of the brand. Presently, Desiree Rogers owns this beauty brand, and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack is the president. 

These two women’s focus was on empowering women of color and ensuring their stake, as a demographic, in the makeup world. The brand also delivers skincare products like moisturizers and cleansers.

  1. Coloured Raine Cosmetics

Lorraine R Dowdy created Coloured Raine in 2013. Its founding principles remain the same today, and they are simple: makeup should be pleasurable and free-spirited. It should also be a tool to convey your vibes, regardless of your skin color, gender, age, and gender. 

  1. Mented Cosmetics

KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson launched this brand for a very specific reason: the frustration of trying to find the right nude lipstick to suit a dark tone. Mented Cosmetics delivers a broad variety of nude lipsticks for black women. 

With a Mented Cosmetics product, you get to look elegant and chic, regardless of your skin tone. On their site, there is a quiz that aids your search for the ideal nude shade! 

  1. Iman Cosmetics

Fashion icon Iman launched this makeup brand to offer every woman of color the best products. This brand pays close attention to the needs of Black women, as they benefit from a broad spectrum of varieties to find their perfect shade.  

Iman truly understands how challenging it can be for black women to find makeup that complements their skin tones.

  1. Ka’Oir Cosmetics

Keyshia Ka’oir is not just a model and actress. She is also the owner of Ka’Oir cosmetics, one of her numerous entrepreneurial ventures. 

She provides many collections of cosmetics on her site; this particular collection includes lipstick, eyeshadow palettes, and ‘Glitzstick.’ The latter is a lipstick that adds glowing glitz for extra elegance on your lips.

Every Glitzstick features professional-grade glitter to amplify its chicness. These products work perfectly as elements in eyeshadows and body glitter, rounding off a stunning look. Products by this brand are cruelty-free, vegan, paraben-free, and gluten-free. 

  1. Laws of Nature Cosmetics

The owner of this brand, Jasmine Rose, began to research chemicals used in makeup, seeking to discover the connection between breast cancer and makeup products, after her mother’s diagnosis. 

Based on her research,, she began to use healthier ingredients in her products, providing black women with a way out of their struggles when seeking matching makeup for their skin shade. Her experimentation gave birth to the Laws of Nature Cosmetics!

  1. B.Simone Beauty

B. Simone is another “multi-tasker.” Besides being an influencer and social media personality, she has also launched her own makeup brand. Her products include:

  • Lip mattes
  • Lip glosses
  • Lip liners 

B. Simone’s brand features colors that complement every Black skin tone perfectly. 


The brands featured here are not all black-owned, but, these are the top makeup brands for African-American women. Each of these brands helped to revolutionize the Black experience of shopping for makeup, and they are still paving the way for Black women’s recognition in the makeup industry. For all their achievements, these brands deserve to be celebrated!

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