By: Lavanya Kathirgamanathan
Published on October 14, 2022.
The makeup industry continues to grow every day and has been around since the dawn of time. Evidence of makeup use can be dated back to 6000 years ago in Egypt. During this time, makeup was used by the elite and affluent to make their appearance look powerful and regal. Egyptian tombs contained kits and boxes of makeup, which contained items like lipstick that were made from natural ingredients such as clay. Both men and women from Egypt would use eye makeup to protect themselves from danger and bad spirits.
Approaching the 20th century, makeup products started to gain greater commercial relevance. Although their products lacked quality due to harsh chemicals that were in some cases, deadly, the makeup industry has become one of the most culturally monumental and lucrative businesses internationally, that all genders use daily.
The beauty industry of the 21st century has started to learn lessons about accessibility , such as price, delivery range, and inclusivity, especially when formulating shades for all skin tones. It was not until recently that people of colour, makeup artists, and brands called out the beauty industry on the lack of shades available for purchase. Makeup brands have changed how they market their products and fixed their issue with limited colour ranges.
Without the concern from the beauty community to expand to include diverse shades, pigmentation, quality products, and affordable prices; the makeup community would not look as diverse as it does today. Thanks to the BIPOC customers, there are brands that offer over 50 different shades of foundation.
Black-owned makeup brands have become experts in diversity and inclusion. Here are a few makeup brands that are gaining popularity by making a difference in the way BIPOC customers are accepted:
Black Opal has been in business for 25 years and continues to receive support on the market. Although the brand originally catered towards consumers with darker complexions, Black Opal had only become Black-owned as of 2020. Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, the new CEO and president of the company, hope to build an empire with this makeup brand to continue catering towards people of colour.
Black Radiance’s mission statement, “love your shade of beauty” tells you everything you would need to know about this brand and its core values. This makeup brand started its journey in the 90s in New York City. They encourage Black women to accept themselves and their dark skin, with products providing even coverage to help enhance their skin and boost their confidence.
Pat McGrath is a world-renowned female British makeup artist, and over the span of her 25 year career it has been recognized with prestigious awards and titles. Her brand is one of the most influential makeup brands worldwide. Since 2015, Pat McGrath Labs, though costly, has been able to break global sales records with her best-selling eyeshadow palettes and lip products.
Last but not least, Fenty Beauty is a brand founded by the Artist and Entrepreneur Rihanna Fenty in 2017. The brand became successful due to the many ethnicities Rihanna included in her campaigns, where she included every skin tone imaginable on the spectrum. Rihanna’s main focus for this brand was to ensure that every makeup lover felt included, using products with ingredients that would amplify your look and leave you glowing.
Lavanya Kathirgamanathan is one of the Writers for this year’s publication at Black Voice. She’s a recent graduate from Toronto Metropolitan University, where she studied Journalism and will further her education in Human Resources at George Brown College. Lavanya has experience writing for multiple publications and has her own food blog on social media. Lavanya’s main goal as a writer for the Black Voice publication is to showcase Black excellence within the community, and in the city of Toronto.