Black History Month might be over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the movement year round by supporting businesses launched by our very own. That is why we put together a list of African owned beauty brands that sell products ranging from natural skincare oils and body butters, to lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes. Not only are these brands all founded by African women, but they also all utilize natural African resources and ingredients in their products. And the best part? The profits of some of these brands go directly to local harvesters and manufacturers, simultaneously supporting micro-finance businesses back home.
1. Shea Moisture
Looking for body butter, African black soap, lipstick, or even beard oil? Then look no further than Shea Moisture. This well-known brand was founded in 1991 by Nyema Tubman and Richelieu Dennis, who are both originally from Liberia. The women were inspired by Dennis’s Sierra Leonean grandmother, who would sell her own homemade shea butter at her local village market in the early 20th century. Not only does Shea Moisture sell a wide variety of skincare, hair, and makeup products that cater to men, women, and children of color, but their products are also widely available. You can shop them on their official website, on Amazon, or at your local Walgreens.
2. Juvia’s Place
Juvia’s Place is a cosmetics line founded by Nigerian entrepreneur Chichi Eburu in 2014. Although her brand is still relatively young, Juvia’s Place has grown rapidly in popularity within the last year amongst Instagram makeup influencers. Their Instagram now has over 800k followers! Juvia’s Place is most well-known for its eyeshadow palettes, which all boast bright, earthy colors bearing African names such as Zulu, Sokota, and Senegal, to name a few. You can shop them on their official website.
3. Shea Yeleen
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#throwbackthursday to when two of our shea producers from #Ghana, Joana & Gladys saw their own products at @wholefoods during our Fair Trade Tour back in 2013. We were so excited to bring these amazing women out to the US to share their experiences and their ability to make a living wage while working with Shea Yeleen. . Fast forward to 2018 ➡️ @rahamawright shared the story that led her to create Shea Yeleen with women leaders at @consciouscomag’s World Changing Women’s Summit in CA. If she hadn’t met these inspiring and motivated women while in the @peacecorps, Shea Yeleen probably would not exist today. . . . . . . #sheayeleen #womenempowerment #tbt #socialimpact #socialenterprise #womanowned #livingwage #blackgirlmagic #ethicalbeauty
Looking for a skincare line that also supports women empowerment? Then Shea Yeleen is your best bet. Shea Yeleen is a natural skincare line that was founded in 2005 by Ghanaian-American social entrepreneur, Rahama Wright. Unlike the other companies on this list, Shea Yeleen is also a non-profit organization whose profits go directly to the women that produce the products. According to the website, Shea Yeleen ‘promotes empowerment among women in rural West Africa by teaching them sustainable economic development through organizing and training women-owned cooperatives to produce, market, and sell high quality shea butter themselves’. You can shop their products on their official website or on Amazon.
4. Mbiri Natural Skincare
This all-natural skincare line was founded by Namibian businesswoman Tamarind ‘Tammy’ Nott. Nott only uses Namibian plant ingredients in her products, such as Namibian Myrrh, Marula Oil, and Kalahari Melon Seed Oil. Like Shea Yeleen, Mbiri Natural Skincare directly benefits local Namibian harvesters, most of whom are women who extract the raw ingredients themselves. They ship internationally, and you can shop their products on their website.
5. House of Tara International
Nigerian entrepreneur Tara Fela-Durotoye founded the cosmetics line House of Tara when she was just 20 years old. The brand has since emerged as one of Nigeria’s most popular cosmetics company, boasting 14 stores and shipping internationally. Since launching the company, Tara has also gone on to open her own beauty academy, which also became Nigeria’s first makeup school. You can shop House of Tara’s brushes, bronzers, foundation, and other products on their website here.
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