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THE PARADOX 30: BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES WE LOVE

by Erika Fonseca 9 min read

THE PARADOX 30: BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES WE LOVE - Paradox

Paradox is a brand about empowerment. We strive to celebrate strong women who combat societal expectations and embrace their paradoxes and individuality. Just as we support strong women, we support all lives: in specific,  we support Black lives

Black people have been victims of systemic and violent racism for far too long and we, as a society and a brand, cannot stay silent. Systemic racism must stop. In an effort to support the Black community and the  #blacklivesmatter movement, Paradox has taken the initiative to support Black-owned beauty brands and businesses.

Supporting  #blackownedbusiness is one of the many ways that you can show support for the  Black Lives Matter movement. Supporting Black-owned businesses with your money gives direct financial support to the Black economy. As stated in an  article on mashable.com, it also contributes to the important efforts of:  “shrinking the racial wealth gap, foster[ing] more job creation forBlack people, and help[ing] to hold larger companies accountable in regards to diverse representation.” 

With this in mind, we’ve put together a compressive list of Black-owned businesses to support. From head-to-toe, these businesses have got you covered! Check out these 30 Black-owned  businesses to support for your style and beauty needs:

SKINCARE

(images left to right: @basebutter, @golde, @hanahana_beauty)

1 / BASE BUTTER.  Base Butter is a skincare company founded by the duo  @sheneilmonique and  @nicolette.camille. Base Butter specifically targets oily and combination skin and their  Aloe Vera Gel Face Moisturizer for oily + combo skin is their #1 best seller. Recognized in magazines such as  @elleusa and  @voguemagazine, Base Butter has created quite a name for itself. On top of that, “with every Base Butter purchase, you’re agreeing to help black women realize their potential.” 

2 / MARY LOUISE COSMETICS.  Mary Louise Cosmetics is a clean skincare brand founded by Akilah Mary-Louise Releford. Inspired by Releford’s grandmothers’ (Marie and Lousie) use of natural beauty remedies, Mary Louise Cosmetics emphasizes the importance of wholesome, natural, and organic ingredients that deliver real results. With love from Marie Claire, PopSugar and more,  @marylouisecosmetics is sure to satisfy your luxury skincare needs!

3 / GOLDE.  Golde is a skincare and wellness brand from co-founder and CEO  Trinity Mouzon Wofford. Golde emphasizes the importance of natural, superfood ingredients mixed with a fun, colorful energy. “From facemasks to smoothie boosters,” Golde offers quality, natural products to keep your wellness- and skincare- in check!

4 / BENEATH YOUR MASK.  Beneath Your Mask is a luxury beauty brand founded by Dana Jackson. After recovering from Lupus, Jackson found it difficult to find products that were suitable to her skin. Creating Beneath Your Mask was a step in her self-love journey; on her  About Page, she states that “beneath that mask lies a beauty that transcends being defined by society’s approval.” Referenced in  Elle and  Allure, to name a couple, Beneath Your Mask offers an array of gentle, high-quality products for even the most sensitive of skin.

5 / HANAHANA BEAUTY.  Hanahana Beauty is an all-natural skincare brand with a mission to “disrupt the global beauty industry through transparency, sustainability and accessibility.” Founder Abena Boamah-Acheampong  explains that Hanahana Beauty was started due to a “simple want to feel confident in my own skin.” Hanahana Beauty products are sourced from Ghana and celebrate the culture they were founded upon.

MAKEUP & COSMETICS

(images left to right:  @thelipbar,  @uomabeauty,  @colouredraine)

6 /  THE LIP BAR.  The Lip Bar is a makeup brand created by Melissa Butler. The Lip Bar was designed with every customer in mind, creating “easy to use beauty solutions for the girl on the go.” Butler made it a point to create a cosmetics company that combats the beauty standards presented in the media and tells everyone that  they are beautiful: “There is no standard! You are the standard.”

7 / MENTED COSMETICS.  Mented Cosmetics, founded by K.J. Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, challenges the connotation of the word “nude.” By introducing a surplus of diverse shades into the mix, Mented Cosmetics gives people of color the ability to wear nude shades no matter their skin tone.  @mentedcosmetics even encourages their customers to share their shades, thus embracing themselves for who they are!

8 / UOMA BEAUTY.  Uoma Beauty is a makeup company whose mission is to “empower all those who have been left out.” Founder, CEO, and Creative Director  Sharron Chuter was recognized by Women’s Wear Daily as one of the “50 most forward-thinking executives shaping the future of the beauty industry,” so it’s no surprise that her brand never fails to deliver high-quality, high-performance products for every shade. Uoma Beauty offers cruelty-free products for your face, lips, eyes and brows- basically anything you could ever need! Check them out  @uomabeauty.

9 / BEAUTY BAKERIE.  Beauty Bakerie is a cruelty-free makeup company with the mission of “encouraging men and women to feel both empowered and beautiful.” Founded by Cashmere Nicole, Beauty Bakerie gained a lot of popular attention due to their  long-lasting liquid lipstick. Now, they have over 1 million followers and continue to deliver high-quality, fun, and empowering products to every one of their customers. 

10 / COLOURED RAINE.  Coloured Raine is a cruelty-free cosmetics company founded by  Loraine Dowdy. Coloured Raine products are high-quality and offer stunning colors and pigmentation. Not only is Coloured Raine Black-owned, but it employs Black women and men, emphasizing the need for diversity in the beauty industry. In fact, 100% of Coloured Raine employees are Black! Talk about representation! 

HAIR CARE

(images left to right:  @mielleorganics,  @tginatural,  @briogeo)

11 / MIELLE ORGANICS.  Mielle Organics is a hair product brand that specializes in hair growth and moisture control. Launched in 2014 by Monique Rodriguez, Mielle Organics has grown into a highly-acclaimed natural hair care company with over 600k followers on  Instagram. The quality of their products is further emphasized by celebrity endorsements and countless  5-star testimonials

12 / IYOBA HANDMADE.  Iyoba Handmade is an Oakland-based clean beauty and lifestyle brand founded by Efiya Asabi. Iyoba’s  hair care products range from root elixirs to curl cream, covering all your hair needs. Further, Iyoba is environmentally conscious: they use recycled / recyclable packaging and are working towards zero waste products. 

13 / THANK GOD IT’S NATURAL.  Thank God It's Natural is an all-natural hair care company founded by Chris-Tia Donaldson. With the mission of a continued search for new and innovative products,  @tginatural offers high-quality, high-performance products. Founder Donaldson is a breast-cancer survivor and works hard to ensure her products are safe and affordable. Further, the TGIN Foundation, established by Donaldson, contributes a portion of profits to help uninsured women get through breast cancer treatment. 

14 / AVOCURL.  AvoCurl is a hair care company whose products, as implied, are made from avocados. Founder and formulator  Jasmine Curtis promises natural, hand-made products that deliver amazing results.  @avocurl emphasizes the importance of products that truly nourish hair, from curly to straight. Curtis started her company from her college dorm room, and it has expanded to a multitude of retail locations throughout the Bay Area.

15 / BRIOGEO.  Briogeo Hair, founded by Nancy Twine, works to constantly improve the natural hair care market. Briogeo offers natural-based products for all hair types and never settles for anything less than high-quality performance. Being a successful, Black and female business owner is an accomplishment in itself, but Twine took that one step further by becoming the  youngest Black woman to launch a hair care line at Sephora. 

NAIL CARE

(images left to right:  @shespolishedthesalon,  @pearnova,  @auda_b)

16 / SHESPOLISHED.  Shespolished is a Black-owned nail salon based in Brooklyn, New York. Founder Angie Aguirre has had 12 years of professional experience in the field of nail art, so the quality of her salon is sure to be high. Along with the quality of her nail care comes the quality of the salon experience. Clients of Shespolished are said to “become family by sitting and sharing in the laughter and warmth that is known as part of the Shespolished experience.”

17 / TRIPLE O NAIL POLISH.  OOO Polish is a nail care and polish brand with a mission of “diversifying beauty in nail care.” OOO Polish offers 80+ shades, each hand-made and African-inspired.  @ooopolish is vegan, cruelty-free, and built to promote Black representation and the empowerment of women of color. With over 35k followers on Instagram and a surplus of 5-star reviews, OOO Polish is sure to satisfy your nail care needs.

18 / PEAR NOVA.  Pear Nova is a nail care brand and collection founded by Rachel James. Pear Nova offers an array of nail colors that are guaranteed to compliment every skin tone, giving women of color more options than they may have had prior. On top of their online  collections and products, Pear Nova also offers salon appointments at their Chicago location. Loved by Vogue, Marie Claire, Nail Pro and many more, it’s no question that  @pearnova delivers high-quality color you’ll never get sick of!

19 / PEOPLE OF COLOR.  People of Color Beauty is a vegan nail polish brand for “people of color and those who live in color.” Founded byJacqueline Carrington,  @peopleofcolorbeauty is non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free, and offers high-quality products. Carrington started this company in search of greater representation and diversity in the nail care community. Along with an  online shop, People of Color also offers  salons and  boutiques in select locations across the US. 

20 / ÀUDA.B.  Auda.B Beautyis a luxury vegan nail lacquer brand founded by Samara Walker. Àuda.B “fosters diversity, inclusion and empowerment of beauty for everyone.” Recognized by  Essence and  @nyfw, Àuda.B is well on it’s way to taking the nail care world by storm. Keep it up ladies!

FASHION & APPAREL

(images left to right:  @nlthelabel,  @dailypaper,  @tongorostudio)

21 / NL THE LABEL.  NL The Label is a Los Angeles based clothing company offering exclusive designs by  Nichole Lynel. After starting in 2019, the NL  Instagram page is up to over 17k followers and offers a variety of high-quality, unique designs. From to streetstyle to power suits - and even bridal- NL The Label has got you covered!

22 / TIER.  Tier is an NYC based luxury streetwear / loungewear brand offering t-shirts, sweatpants, and hoodies to lounge in style. In  Tier's own words, they are a brand focused on “expressing art, design and culture through the lens of garment construction.” With over 27k followers and a fun-yet-minimalist aesthetic, it’s no surprise that Tier is rising up on every influencer’s radar. 

23 / DAILY PAPER.  Daily Paper Clothing is an  Amsterdam based fashion brand founded in 2010 by Jefferson Osei, Abderrahmane Trabsini and Hussein Suleiman.  @dailypaper fuse together African inspirations to create modern, ready-to-wear pieces. Originally created as a menswear brand, Daily Paper has expanded to include androgenous looks for any gender.

24 / RIOT SWIM.  Riot Swim is a luxury swimwear brand created by Monti Landers. Riot Swim offers unique, sexy pieces at reasonable prices. As a brand, it inspires women to embrace their bodies and love their skin, a message we can all get behind! With  appearances and mentions in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle and more, Riot Swim is a swimwear must-have.

25 / TONGORO.  Tongoro is an online fashion brand whose pieces are made entirely in Africa and embrace African inspirations and prints. Tongoro offers fun, unique pieces fit for the modern fashion world. For a greater appreciation of their culture and brand, check out the  "Made in Africa" The Documentary on their IGTV channel.

JEWELRY & ACCESSORIES

(images left to right:  @humansbeforehandles,  @_melaniemarie_,  @jamandrico)

26 / HUMANS BEFORE HANDLES.  Humans for Handles is a jewelry brand created by  Ashley Sims. Humans Before Handles operates under the philosophy that “humanity is love,” sending the message that we are all human before we are anything else.  @humansbeforehandles is known for their statement earrings, but they offer necklaces and hair accessories, as well. Alongside the highly-acclaimed quality comes the promise that all under products are under $50. It’s a win-win!

27 / TELFAR.  Telfar is an NYC based luxury handbag brand established in 2005 by fashion designer Telfar Clemens. Telfar offers unisex, androgenous bag designs for the modern world.  @telfarglobal bags come in an ever increasing variety of colors- but be quick because they tend to sell out fast! (P.S. be sure to follow this  care information guide when cleaning your Telfar bag).

28 / MELANIE MARIE.  Melanie Marie is a jewelry and clothing company based in New York. Melanie Marie offers an array of ready-to-wear jewelry, but has a specialty in custom designed jewelry. For instance, they offer  handwriting and  photo-memory necklaces.  @_melaniemarie_ takes special care to give their customers the high-quality products they ask for, thus earning themselves a surplus of  press representation and acclaim. 

29 / ASHYA.  Ashya, pronouncedagh-shya, is a luxury, unisex bag brand founded by Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece. Not only does Ashya offer cutting-edge designs and products, but Ashya as a brand also  strives “to diversify cultural perspectives through broadly researched narratives and design.” Through their  platform, Ashya makes it a point to deliver both high-quality products and high-quality  cultural conversations

30 / JAM+RICO.  Jam and Rico is a Black-female-owned jewelry brand based in NYC and India. Jam and Rico is named after the islands of Jamaica and Puerto Rico, where founder and owner  Lisette Scott's grandparents were originally from. Hence, Jam and Rico prides itself on its cultural roots, which seep into the jewelry design and aesthetic flare of the company.  @jamandrico has been recognized in  @refinery29 and  @harpersbazaarus for the high-quality and beautiful design it has to offer.

“Supporting Black businesses also means supporting Black communities, as they are usually more than just places that offer goods and services” -  Tayo Giwa of  Black-Owned Brooklyn 

Have another Black-owned brand to add to the list? We love hearing from the  #paradoxmafia, so be sure to let us know in the comments below! For beauty tips, sustainable skincare products, and more content like this, follow us on  Instagram and  Pinterest. Be sure to check out our article “Simple Ways To Improve Your Skin Without Any Products” (here) and our “Paradox Profile” series (here)!

Erika Fonseca
Erika Fonseca


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