15 Black Owned Beauty Brands

Black Owned Beauty Brands

Cannot believe that Thanksgiving 2017 is already a thing of the past!

Well, today is Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday is coming up in a couple of days. So we’re officially in holiday shopping season! With each purchase we make, we are also showing who and what we support.

Supporting small and local business is important to me. And being a Black woman, I like to support women, Black people and other Black women in particular.

After Retweeting a list of black owned lingerie brands by She Tweets Truth, Izzie responded asking  if there was a similar list for cosmetics. I had already been thinking about possibly blogging a list like this, but our Twitter conversation pushed me to do it.

Izzie mentioned Juvia’s Place and I learned about Faith’s Naturals from my cousin. While searching, I found a few lists from prior years and a post that seeks to correct some of those other lists. There are companies that focus on Black beauty products, but are not Black owned. Some of these companies are mistakenly listed as having Black ownership.

It’s easy for this to happen, because sometimes they may have originally been Black owned, but the Black founder no longer has a controlling interest or the company was sold outright to another company that is not Black owned — like what happened with Carol’s Daughter. Lisa Price founded the company, but in 2014 it was sold to L’Oréal USA.

From what I can tell, these companies listed below are currently Black owned in 2017. But who knows how things will change in the future? So if you’re reading this list in 2020, you might want to double check the ownership.

Also, I found that some of the companies in other listings no longer seem to exist. I figured with my new additions and corrections, another list would be helpful to me. Hopefully for you too!

This list is certainly not all inclusive or the end all of lists, but it’s a start. Happy shopping! Oh and there are actually 16 brands, because an additional one was added soon after the post was published.

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Danessa Myricks Beauty

Faith’s Naturals

Ginger + Liz

Glow by Melodye

Gold Label Cosmetics

Hanahana Beauty

Jacque Mgido Cosmetics

Juvia’s Place

KA’OIR Cosmetics

Laws of Nature Cosmetics

The Lip Bar

MDMflow

Mented Cosmetics

Pink Stiletto Cosmetics

Plain Jane Beauty

Vera Moore Cosmetics

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Image Credit: Collage created from Hanahana Beauty, MDMflow and Plain Jane Beauty website photos.

Recently Watched: The Incredible Jessica James

Recently watched, The Incredible Jessica James.

If you have Netflix and you’re looking for something to watch this holiday weekend, then I recommend The Incredible Jessica James starring Jessica Williams. I LOVED this movie! And take note that I’m not an all caps type of person.

Williams is known mostly for her role as senior correspondent on The Daily Show. I think she’s awesome. She’s funny, smart, sarcastic — black girl magic. And as she describes herself in the film, a cocoa queen.

The Incredible Jessica James is another movie that I wished existed when I was in my twenties. But I’m perfectly happy to have it now.

Overall the film is fun and lighthearted. Something to take your mind away from all the bad news in the world for an hour and a half.

The character Jessica is a quirky young woman trying to find her place in the world and get over her ex-boyfriend. Also, she is a teacher and the scenes with her students are absolutely adorable.

What else? The film is sexy, romantic, sweet and inspiring. After having watched the movie, I was left wanting way more and hope that this movie can turn into an ongoing series. I want to see what happens next! You probably will too.

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Screenshot: YouTube

Recently Watched: In The Morning

A group of friends, black men and women sharing a fun brunch at a restaurant.

I love slice of life films. A day in the life of a small group of people or just a couple — like in the “Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” trilogy with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. There are often separate stories, where you don’t know how they connect. Then the six degrees of separation thing happens and the intrigue builds.

“In The Morning” has that same finite period of time thing happening as the Hawke Delpy trilogy. Yet, in many ways, “In The Morning” picks up where “Love Jones” left off twenty years ago. Except for they moved east from Chicago to New York.

Until now, “Love Jones” was my only modern reference point for a relatively quiet film, about middle class black people, living in a city, talking about the nature of love and life, with soulful background music and high intensity dramatic relationships.

I guess my age is showing! Well, it’s about time that we have a new touchstone for this genre. We have waited long enough. It’s time for more layered romantic existential films about black people. Because that’s how our lives are too.

I loved this movie. The cinematography is beautiful and reveals the pulse of a neighborhood. It’s Brooklyn, but black Brooklyn. Not the white hipster Brooklyn that most only talk about now — but the people who were there decades ago and remain. The film is about regular people just living their lives. It’s quiet and yet pulls you along for the ride.

Mostly the film centers on relationships. I was immediately absorbed into the lives of these characters and drawn into their stories. I cared about them and was angry at some of them as well.

“Why are they still together?!” “Why are they apart?”

They know each other!?” “Okay. That’s how it happened.”

I found myself thinking about the different relationships that I’ve been in. Difficult conversations that we had. And didn’t have. When you’re in close like that. Really in deep to how the characters are feeling, you can’t help but feel too.

They talk about the nature of love and relationships and everyone has a different answer. There really is no one answer to what is love, because everyone is different. People need and want different things at certain points in their lives. We all perceive things through our own personal lens too.

The film’s ruminations on love reminded me of an article called “Memory of Color” that I just read in Kinfolk. Below is an excerpt.

In 2015, the internet went into meltdown when a photo was posted on Tumblr that showed a seemingly innocuous dress. Was it a white dress with gold trim, or dark blue with black? … The dress was, in fact, blue and black; a bluish tint to the lighting had wreaked havoc with people’s perception. But along the way it revealed two interesting things: Not only can our own perception be skewed without the necessary contextual aids, but it’s possible to look at a color and experience something entirely different from a friend. Our grasp on color becomes more tenuous still when we try to recall it by memory.

Maybe like with colors, we see and feel many shades of love. And context matters. Context shapes how we see, feel and react. It’s impossible to compare one relationship to another, because we don’t see what happens behind closed doors.

There can be no real comparison when we can’t even begin to know the truth. For two people in a relationship, it’s hard to even know the truth. Time brings change and things shift. What’s true one moment, may not be in the next.

As you can tell, the film has me thinking. I first learned about the film three years ago, but wasn’t able to see it. It was being shown at a film festival in New York and was not widely available for viewing.

I’m so glad that “In The Morning” is now available on Amazon Prime, so that more people can see it. Also, if you’re in the Newark, New Jersey area, there is a free screening of the film this Thursday, June 15th, at 6:30pm.

It’s always refreshing to see a movie about black people where the characters are nuanced and real. Seeking happiness and meaning — not just surviving.

Writer, Director and Producer Nefertite Nguvu added another dimension to how we are shown in film and I cannot wait to see more of her work. The film was truly a labor of love for her. She did two Kickstarter Campaigns to come up with the funding.

I think and hope the film will garner a wide audience, because it speaks to what many of us are wondering about and seeking. I definitely recommend that you watch it if you get the chance. There are a few ways to watch online.

Now this movie has me hoping for a sequel, because I’m wondering what happens next. And a trilogy would be even sweeter.

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Image: In The Morning Trailer 2.0

Happy Mother’s Day!

Three picture collage, pink blossoms on tree, pink flowers in container on grass, pink petals scatterd on green grass beside a tree.

Hope all you moms out there have a wonderful day! I’m baking a cake right now and will see my family later on.

Recently on Twitter, I found the hashtag #FreeBlackMamas. It’s a movement to free black mothers from jail who are only there because they could not afford to pay bail.

This is truly unfair. Incarceration solely for the lack of money. Mama’s Bail Out Day is an offshoot of the Black Lives Matter movement. The people involved have been raising money with the help of other organizations and bailing out women all over the country in time to see their children for Mother’s Day.

The work will continue after Mother’s Day, but I think it’s a great start. Part of the inspiration was looking back at history. During slavery, free black people would raise money to buy the freedom of their relatives. #FreeBlackMamas is in the same tradition of buying freedom for our loved ones.

From what I have read, most of the women were charged with minor nonviolent offenses. A Rewire article, gives a glimpse into the bail system and how it has needlessly broken apart so many families.

Most of the people in local jails have NOT been convicted of a crime, but they don’t have the money to buy their freedom. So they languish away in jail.

An estimated 700,000 people are condemned every day to cages and separated from their families often simply because they cannot afford to pay bail.

Prison Policy’s research shows that between 60 and 70 percent of people held in local jails have not been convicted of a crime. U.S. Code §3142 permits individuals who have been charged of a crime to be held if the judicial officer believes that the person will not return for trial. However, the criterion is very vague and allows counties to have broad discretion over the terms of keeping someone detained. Sadly, these laws disproportionately affect Black people.

If you’re interested in reading more, here are three good articles below.

For Mother’s Day, You Can Donate To Bail Out Moms So They Can See Their Kids
Why I’m Helping to Bail Out Black Mamas
In The Tradition Of Our Ancestors, This Mother’s Day We’re Bailing Out Our Mamas

Hundreds of thousands of dollars has been raised, but there is a lot more work to do.

Every Body Yoga Tour: Jessamyn Stanley in Boston

Young black woman doing yoga in background with text showing cities she's visiting for Every Body Yoga book tour.

Instagram star and internationally acclaimed yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley is now also a published author.

Her new book, Every Body Yoga, will be released in April  and she’s going on tour to promote it.

Lucky for us, Boston is on her tour list and she will be speaking at Boston Public Library on Tuesday, June 6th, 6pm – 7:30pm.

Mark your calendars!

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Image: JessamynStanley.com