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If you told me years ago as a teenager growing up in Toronto that in several years the beauty industry would receive a major inclusivity overhaul with black owned brands such as FENTY, UOMA Beauty and Pat McGrath leading the charge, I would have shaken my head in disbelief. When you grow up without seeing images of yourself reflected in the glossy beauty spreads in magazines, or even in beauty havens like Sephora, it’s easy to scoff at the idea of Black owned beauty brands that cater specifically to Black people.
This is largely due to the fact that we have been neglected in the beauty category for so long. From the lack of shade ranges to the erasure of images of Black people in beauty campaigns, as well as ill-informed brands buying into the stereotype that the Black buying power is weak. According to a 2018 Reuters article, Black buying power grew to $1.3 trillion in the Unites States alone. But despite these numbers, brands continued to exclude us from the narrative.
Beauty companies have done the bare minimum for years, so it’s no surprise that countless Black-owned beauty companies started popping up across Canada to provide what the market is missing. They may not be on the shelves of prominent beauty hubs like Sephora and The Bay but they’re making waves in the industry with high quality products.
Put your money where your mouth is and join us in supporting Black owned Canadian beauty brands. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites below.
This Toronto based self-care line is rooted in authenticity and using simple ingredients we can all pronounce. Raw ingredients are mixed by hand for all your #SelfCareSunday needs. The brand carries everything from toners, masks, dark-spot correctors and even a product called Beard Juice, an oil that will do away with patchy beards during the winter season.
Plant based seemed to be the lifestyle choice for a lot of people in 2019, and Apprenti Orjanik is right on trend. The brand boasts 100% natural ingredients, plant-based food grade oils and certified organic ingredients all whipped up in founder Alexe’s home. Expect body butters, soaps and oils galore from the Montreal brand.
Blumseed provides women of colour with paraben- and toxin-free products for their hair care regimen. The brand hopes to support women on their journey back to loving their curls with natural products like their Chamomile + Calendula (Rhassoul Clay Hair Wash).
Skin Drama uses natural ingredients to fight hyperpigmentation – discolouration in skin tone due to excess melanin – and acne scarring. The brand produces organic, cruelty free and anti-oxidant rich skin care to combat acne and dehydrated skin.
Beauty subscription boxes have become all the rage the last couple of years and they aren’t going away anytime soon. Curls and Confidence has joined the party with their own quarterly boxes dedicated to natural hair care products. The brand wants to help others find confidence in rocking their curls, one subscription box at a time.
Founder Temi started this organic brand due to her long history working in beauty and seeing first-hand the damaging ingredients found in some of our cult favourites. Expect skincare essentials stylishly packaged in recyclable jars and pure ingredients.
Say goodbye to synthetic ingredients and harsh chemicals, Lala Skin Essentials is 100% natural and dedicated to making good skincare products. All products are handmade and cruelty-free.
Luxury skincare is Okoko Cosmetique’s business, they have garnered a following with products backed by scientific research and nature. Artfully designed to make glowing skin a reality with products targeting moisture, nutrition, protection, renewal and radiance.
Soothe dry scalp during harsh winters with the Mel Gold’s oils and butters. The Montreal-based line is handmade and utilizes the best natural ingredients in its product range.
Lisa Keizer founded the now popular Up North Naturals to provide cruelty-free products for her friends and family. The brand is vegan friendly and does not test on animals.
Earthtones Naturals was born from the rocky journey founder Susan Walker had with her natural hair. A certified trichologist (dermatology concerning the scalp and health of the hair) Susan set out to make premium products for curly and kinky hair textures like her own.
This beauty brand is tapping into the gender-neutral market with their vibrant cosmetics. The brand also caters to all skin types.
A girl can never have too many lip glosses, so why not add one of Atelier Sirah’s creamy nudes to your collection. The brand produces premium body care and skincare products but is widely known for their vegan friendly glosses.