Invest in these brilliant beauty brands owned by black entrepreneurs.

The #blacklivesmatter campaign of 2020 shone an overdue global light, not only on the violent racist acts that black communities are abhorrently, unacceptably and frequently subjected to, but also on the the systemic racism, racial-bias and white privilege that is present across many professional industries. The beauty industry is one such arena in which black-owned businesses are poorly represented and, too often, black consumers are marginalised, both across retail and in main-stream beauty media. Conversations have started, but there is a lot of work still to be done. Here, we share seven black-owned beauty brands that are leaders in their fields – from globally acclaimed make-up to sustainable skincare.


Fenty, founded by the inimitable Rihanna, made waves in the beauty industry for its inclusive spectrum of fifty foundation shades; something that many make-up brands overlook when formulating their collections. Created with a passion for enabling every woman to feel catered for, beyond the fantastic range of bases and concealers there are also great bronzers and blushes that work on all skin tones, too.

Pat McGrath Labs

Globally acclaimed make-up artist Pat McGrath has diffused thirty years of industry knowledge into her own make-up range: Pat McGrath Labs. The fantastic collection gives us mere mortals the chance to recreate some of her iconic runway looks at home. Her signature is flawless, luminous skin, achieved with her ‘skin fetish’ foundations and highlighting kits. Coupled with intense, volumizing mascaras and high-pigment eyeshadow palettes all in beautiful, luxe packaging, they are a joy to use and universally flattering.

Malee Natural Science

In 2010, Malee’s founder, Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao, has a eureka moment: to create a luxury fragrance, bath and body care range inspired by generations of African healing rituals and time-honoured beauty traditions. The range’s 100 per cent pure plant-based ingredients have ancient wisdom to back their credentials, but also modern science; each formula has been rigorously tested for efficacy. A powerful combination that provides beautiful products with heritage that you know will deliver.

Liha Beauty

Founded by Liha Okunniwa and Abi Oyepitan, Liha Beauty was created with a vision to fuse ‘African roots and quintessentially British attitudes’. The vegan, organic skincare brand uses all-natural Nigerian ingredients and has created quite the buzz since launching, often selling out of its range of nourishing butters, oils and beautifully scented candles. Catch them whilst you can.


Michele Scott-Lynch founded Boucleme out of frustration at the lack of curl-friendly haircare. Creating an ethically sourced and UK-manufactured range that, most importantly, delivers a truly good curl was a tall order. Boucleme delivers. Whether you are looking to nourish and perfect your coils, ringlets or kinks, the range includes deeply nourishing treatments as well as styling products to give your curls the love they deserve.


Beauty writer Loretta de Feo created Dissiak when she found her hair needs didn’t fit into any one pigeonhole. ‘All hair is different – Dizziak is different’ goes the tagline, and, as such, the full range of textures is catered for. The instantly recognisable graphic packaging trumpets their award-winning ‘free-from’ formulas. Out go the parabens, sulphates and mineral oils and in come the nourishing Argan and castor oils, strengthening quinoa protein and hydrating aloe vera. Dizziak is multi-award winning and it’s clear to see why.

Uoma Beauty

Former beauty executive Sharon Chuter is the Nigerian-born, LA and London-based founder of Uoma, a game-changing range of high-quality make-up formulas. Using the Fitzpatrick scale to measure the skin’s reaction to the sun, the metrics identify six skin groups that a customer can fall in to – taking into account colour, tone and condition. Once you know you can shop by ‘Skin Kin’, a group of illuminating, contouring and pigment-packed products that you can be confident are tailored just for you.

By Lydia Mansi
October 2020

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.