Hey friends, Amanda here, back again to share more of my clean beauty favorites. This time, I want to focus on specific beauty products, so today I am sharing seven clean beauty products from BIPOC-owned brands that you need in your makeup bag right now.
Whether you are back at work, or school, or just want to look a little more glam at your next Zoom meeting, these products will help you look and feel your best.
1. Range Beauty True Intentions Hydrating Foundation – My go-to foundation right now is the True Intentions Hydrating Foundation by Range Beauty. The line was created by former fashion industry insider Alicia Scott. While on photoshoot sets and in the aisles of her local drug store, she noticed the lack of foundation shade options for people of color. In addition, she noticed that a lot of the brands on the market contained ingredients that inflamed her sensitive skin. So she decided to create a solution: a collection of complexion products with skin-loving ingredients for the forgotten shades.
I am a fan of the Range Beauty foundation because it’s fragrance-free, weightless, and provides sheer to medium coverage that blurs imperfections but leaves skin still feeling and looking like skin. The foundation feels hydrating when first applied then dries down to a lovely satin finish that I don’t need to powder.
The foundation is made with natural ingredients like chamomile, calendula, and cornflower to help soothe sensitive skin. It also includes kaolin clay which keeps oily skin in check.
This foundation comes in 21 shades from fair to deep and in various undertones like red, yellow, olive, cool, and neutral. They also offer a great sample program (I love a sample program!) so you can test out colors before committing to the full size.
2. Plain Jane Beauty Creme Concealer – Plain Jane Beauty makes a full range of clean color cosmetics including foundations, powders, lipsticks, and blushes. You name it, they make it. This inclusive and cruelty-free brand was created by Mrs. Lake Louise who also happens to be the creator of Lotus Moon (a favorite from my last roundup!). Honestly, is there nothing this woman can’t do?
I’ve tried a handful of the products in her beauty line that I really enjoy, but the one I keep reaching for is the Creme Color Concealer. This concealer has a slightly thick, yet creamy consistency that dries down to a satin finish and stays put all day. It’s ideal for covering up blemishes or any hard-to-cover imperfections. I use the shade teak as a bronzer as it has a lovely warm earth tone that mimics sun-kissed skin, so even though I am not spending a lot of time outside, I can still look like I do on my Zoom calls.
3. Kobee’s Eco Balm – Everyone needs a good lip balm in their makeup bag and this one by Kobee’s is my jam. This organic balm was created by college student Kobe Harris to help people live more sustainable lives and fight climate change. The company’s ethos is that we can all take small steps to help change the world for good. He believes one way we can do this is by switching over to using plastic-free lip products that are made in bio-degradable and compostable packaging.
Kobee’s Eco Balm is made with 100% natural ingredients like beeswax, sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, mango butter, and essential oils. There are five flavors in the collection: Peppermint, Grapefruit Lemon Orange, CBD, Natural Beeswax, and my personal favorite, Coconut Vanilla. These balms are creamy, ultra hydrating, and leave your lips feeling ultra smooth. They can also be used anywhere you need some extra TLC like cuticles, under the eyes, or on elbows.
His balms are available in the zero-waste tubes or in recycled aluminum tins. When you buy one of Kobee’s Eco Balms, a percentage of every sale goes towards The Alliance for the Great Lakes, One Tree Planted, and Our Children’s Earth Foundation—so you’re truly helping to save the planet, one lip balm at a time.
4. Habit Cosmetics Bright Lights Organic Creme Highlighter – Some of you may already be familiar with Habit Cosmetics. (I know Elsie has been a fan of their nail polish for years.) But did you know they also make creme colors and highlighters that can be used on the eyes, cheeks, and lips? Created by Aja Frierson last year to specifically cater to the skin tones of women of color, these multi-use pots of loveliness are super pigmented and made with skin-loving ingredients like sunflower, sesame, and seabuckthorn oil.
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I am a huge fan of the Bright Lights Organic Creme Highlighter in the color Starchild which is a warm, shimmering lavender color that looks great applied to cheekbones or on the eyes (where I like to rock it!). I set the lid color with a little bit of translucent powder so it doesn’t crease. This glistening shade can be sheered out for a subtle effect or layered for a more bold look. There are eight different colors in the collection ranging from sparkly champagne to deep sienna.
5. Cheekbone Beauty Sustain Lipstick – Cheekbone Beauty was founded by Jennifer Harper as a way to empower indigenous youth and to help bridge the education funding gap facing many first nation children and young adults. They make an array of makeup products like glosses, liquid lipsticks, contour palettes, and brow gels.
My go-to product in their line is the Sustain Lipstick in the color Keyah. It’s a versatile rosy nude shade that can be blended with fingers for a lovely my-natural-lips-but-better color, or layered for a more opaque look. The long-lasting matte formula never dries out lips and wears off nicely. Their lipsticks are made with sustainable ingredients and are free of any fragrance or essential oils. The packaging is also zero-waste so you can recycle the lipstick tube and compost the cardboard components.
Fun fact: Many of the lip products in this collection are inspired by trailblazing indigenous women or named using a word from one of 7,000 indigenous languages, which I think is a lovely way to honor the culture and introduce others to its beauty. The word Keyah, for example, means land or earth in the Dine Bizaad and Navajo language.
6. Tower 28 ShineOn Lip Jelly – For my folks who prefer lip glosses, check out the ShineOn Lip Jelly from Tower 28. These glosses are out-of-this-world shiny and moisturizing without any stickiness whatsoever. In fact, the formula feels more like a lip treatment than a gloss thanks to the formula’s hydrating blend of botanical oils. One swipe leaves lips feeling extra plump and hydrated. These glosses come in six sheer high-shine shades. I use the color XOXO which looks pretty bold in the tube but when applied, looks like a translucent cherry pink.
Tower 28 was founded by Amy Lui, a former beauty executive turned beauty entrepreneur who suffered from eczema. She made this line as a way to create a fun, affordable, and inclusive line of clean beauty products that are gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. Not only does she make lip glosses but there are also bronzers, tinted multi-use balms, and a restorative facial spray in her line that is on my must-try-next list.
7. Mischo Beauty Nail Lacquers – Have you ever seen a prettier bottle of nail polish? Mischo Beauty makes one of the most elegant, display-worthy luxury nail polishes that I have ever seen. That gold cap. Ahh, It gets me every time!
The idea to create this brand was first sparked while chemist and beauty expert Kitiya Mischo King was pregnant with her first son. While on a mission to find high-performance, non-toxic nail polish during her pregnancy, she discovered a gap in the market and soon began her journey to create the perfect cruelty-free, vegan, and 10-free nail polish. (This means they avoid using the 10 most common chemicals found in standard nail products.)
There are over 32 shades of bold, fashion-forward colors in the collection. I personally love the color Bebe, which is a creamy pink blush color that goes on opaque and glossy, making a topcoat conveniently optional.
These of just a few of my favorite BIPOC beauty brands. A few great retailers that carry an array of products made specifically by people of color are Blk + Green, Credo Collection, and ShopLatinx. Instagram is another way I like to find new brands. I recommend looking up hashtags that resonate with you or following beauty influencers who share your same beauty values.
It’s no secret that BIPOC beauty brands are underrepresented in both mainstream media and in major retailers. We can change this and make the industry a more equitable place, one beauty product at a time. If you have the means, I highly recommend purchasing any of the products above to actively support BIPOC brands! And don’t forget to leave your positive reviews too. Or, if you’re saving, remember that even telling a friend or resharing posts on IG costs you nothing but can make a huge difference for the livelihood of these brands.
Thanks for reading, friends. I hope you discovered new goodies to add to your future shopping list. Feel free to leave your favorites below too. I’d love to know what’s in your makeup bag.
Credits // Author and Photography: Amanda Lopez. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
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