As you may know, there’s a lot going on in the world with everything that happened with George Floyd’s death and all of the others affected by police brutality who have lost their lives. Rightfully so, there are a lot of protests going on. In addition to that, there is a lot of social justice content happening on social media. When all of this first broke, I didn’t really speak up, because I was at a loss for what to say. I didn’t really know what to say or how to express how I was feeling. I didn’t know how to be an ally in the moment to my Black friends. In addition to that, I didn’t really think that I had a voice in this space being someone who is a white male; there’s a lot of privilege that comes with that.
However, I am a gay man so I’ve definitely had a lot of discrimination and hate directed towards me over the years. I have been threatened, bullied, and even chased with a knife by a group of guys yelling “Kill the F word”! So while I have definitely had a lot of experiences as a gay man around discrimination and hate, I am still a white man in the white man’s world. So I do have a little bit of privilege over my Black friends and my friends that are people of color, so at the time I was like I don’t even know if I really have a voice to speak up. Instead, I decided to step back, listen and learn. Because there’s a lot I don’t know, so I decided to hear and amplify the voices of my Black friends.
I started sharing a lot of resources on my social media that a lot of my Black friends were sharing including, petitions to sign, different places to donate, different organizations and charities to support, movies to watch, and books to read. So in this process, I was trying to become a better ally and thinking about all of the things that I could do. I’m sharing a lot of those resources on my social media; you can go to my Instagram account and the link in the bio there’s two separate resources. In addition to those resources links, I’ve been sharing a lot of Black artists, Black authors, and more to help them to amplify their voices, share their work, and help get their message and their stories out there.
I really started taking stock of the beauty products that I currently have, the ones that are out in the market and realized I wasn’t using any Black owned beauty brands. I then realized that the beauty space is very white! There is not a lot of Black owned beauty brands and the ones that there are available are not really getting the exposure that they need. Creative Director of Brother Vellies, Auora James, recently put a call out to major retailers like Sephora, Ulta, Walmart, Target and Whole Foods to take what she called the “15 Percent Pledge” which means that these retailers will take 15% of their shelf space and dedicate it to Black owned brands. Immediately, I thought “Can’t we do better than 15%?”
To give you an idea of the lack of exposure of Black owned beauty brands, Sephora currently stocks 290 brands of which only 9 of those are Black owned. After doing research on all of the Black owned beauty brands that are out there, I think there’s more that we can do! That’s why I wanted to create this video on my YouTube channel and this post here on the blog. To call attention to these brands and help get them more exposure and support. In addition to that I’ve also created a Black Owned Beauty Brand resource page on the blog, located here. These are the Black owned brands that are currently in the market that I was able to find. I just want to say that this is only what I was able to find in my research, if you know of any more please link them below in the comments.
So in addition to these posts, I also went out and bought a few products from some of these brands on Friday, Juneteenth to support the New Black Friday. I wanted to share my haul and first impressions here as well.
FENTY PRO FILT’R HYDRATING LONGWEAR FOUNDATION
So I looked at a few foundations to try and this was the one I landed on. I really wanted to try the one from Uoma Beauty but I was unable to find them in my local Ulta stores (only online for me). This foundation from Fenty Beauty is supposed to have a buildable, medium to full coverage with a natural finish.
Using the Fenty online shade founder, I was given shade 185. On Sephora’s online shade finder, I was suggested 140. When I actually went in the store, the Sephora Advisor and I settled on 210. I found this to be too light in color, too heavy, too cakey and just all around bad. It was so thick that it was hard to buff out with a brush. It settled into lines and made my pores look horrible. It’s a no for me, and I will be returning this soon.
SHEA MOISTURE PURPLE RICE WATER VELVET SKIN SOAP AND BODY LOTION
I have actually been wanting to try Shea Moisture for awhile now. This is a clean and natural brand that makes some seriously amazing products. Their products are formulated with no Parabens, no Phthalates, no Mineral Oil, no Petroleum, no Formaldehyde and no animal testing. In addition to that, they use Fair Trade Shea and other ingredients.
The products have a gorgeous scent that is due to the use of essential oils like Myrrh. I loved this Purple Rice Water Velvet Skin line because it is great for dry and sensitive skin like mine. It has really helped my hands that are currently breaking out in eczema from all of the COVID related hand washing and santizing.
I will DEFINITELY be trying more from this brand! And they are super affordable too. Check them out!
CAROL’S DAUGHTER MONOI SULFATE FREE REPAIRING SHAMPOO
I’m always on the hunt for a good shampoo, especially one that is sulfate free. This one from Carol’s Daughter smells amazing, like Tiare flowers. It reminds me of going away on a tropical vacation. The shampoo left my hair soft and shiny. It is a bit pricey, but I would be curious to try more from this brand.
PLANT APOTHECARY SHOWER GELS
Aww man, I was super happy to discover Plant Apothecary. They create certified organic, eco-friendly products including skincare and body washes. They use the highest-quality organic essential oils and other super-powered botanical ingredients to make highly effective, plant-based skincare—for those who demand the ultimate in clean, vegan, cruelty-free beauty and grooming.
I got the Refresh toner and the shower gel set which includes Wakey Wakey, Start Happy and Be Calm. These all smell amazing with the gorgeous and unique essential oil blends. I can’t wait to try more from this brand. Seriously, I’m super obsessed with them already.
JUVIA’S PLACE WARRIOR THREE PALETTE and TRIBE HIGHLIGHTER
Juvia’s Place is another makeup brand stocked at Ulta that I have been curious about for awhile. I recently picked up the Warrior Three eye shadow palette and the Tribe Volume Two Highlighter. Just look at these gorgeous colors! While I don’t wear makeup, I used to be a makeup artist and occasionally get the desire to play. I can’t wait to dive into these.
Juvia’s Place has a great selection and the prices are incredible too. I will pick up more highlighters and palettes from them. I’m also curious about their foundation.
To hear more of my thoughts on these brands, check out the video below. Also, make sure to check out the resource page and let me know if I am missing any other Black owned beauty brands.