20 Products From Black-Owned Makeup Brands That Deserve a Spot on Everyone's List
It's 2020 — long (so long) past the time where there are only light, medium, and dark foundation colors that are supposed to match the complexions of billions of people. And while we've made remarkable strides in recent years with more-inclusive shade ranges, there's always room for improvement and pioneers who are leading the way.
The most influential forces are often people who are directly impacted — and who have directly experienced a situation where things were not one-nude-fits-all — and that person of color helps turn the tide. For this reason, we decided to find the best makeup sold at Sephora that comes from Black-owned businesses.
Now we still can't believe that Pat McGrath ever had to resort to using cocoa powder because she couldn't find a face powder to match her skin tone. And thank you, Rihanna, for launching your groundbreaking number of foundation shades that inspired so many other brands to do better, too. But it's not just about foundation. When it comes to eye shadows and lipsticks, it just so happens that some of these companies founded by people of color also offer the widest and most interesting range of choices, like a bold sunset-evoking orange or a turquoise that sends you straight to the beach. They are pigmented enough to show up on darker complexions, but that doesn't make them any less interesting for those who have lighter skin, too.
We picked out our favorite products that are suitable for just about anyone and that make us extra grateful that these entrepreneurs started out in the first place. If nothing else, let this list inspire you to consider switching up your lip color. Check out the best makeup items from Black-owned businesses that you can pick up right at Sephora ahead.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
When Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in 2017, the brand made news for introducing 40 different shades of foundation. That number is now up to 50, and (rightfully so) the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation ($35) remains one of the brand's bestsellers at Sephora with more than 15,000 reviews.
Pat McGrath Labs LUST: Mini MatteTrance Lipstick Trio
Pat McGrath Labs launched in 2015 by the renowned makeup artist of the same name and now offers a wide range of much-loved products, like its popular lipsticks and glosses. The great thing about picking up a set — like this new Pat McGrath Labs LUST: Mini MatteTrance Lipstick Trio ($25) — is that you can try out three different shades in a smaller size, but you can also find your favorite in a full-size MatteTrance Lipstick ($40) version.
But choosing just one favorite could be a problem: there are 30-plus colors of the highly pigmented matte lipsticks ranging from soft lilac to the bright orange-red and 20-plus satiny LuxeTrance Lipstick ($40) alternatives, too.
Black Up Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipcolor
Founded in 1999 by African makeup artist Fabrice Mahabo, Black Up Cosmetics may have a different owner now, but it remains no less committed to shades that answer the specific needs of darker skin tones. Like this Black Up Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipcolor ($14, originally $28), which comes in bright hues like orange and fuchsia, alongside unique lip colors like metal gray and deep green.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Hydrating Complexion Essentials
This Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Hydrating Complexion Essentials value set ($81) earns top marks because it includes any shade of the Pro Filt'r Hydrating Longwear Foundation along with Pro Filt'r Hydrating Primer and the Kabuki-Buff Foundation Brush 115 (which would total $103 if purchased separately). There are also 50 color options for this makeup, which offers more hydration and less coverage than the original matte version.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Fairy Bomb Shimmer Powder
Another thing that's commonly found in Fenty Beauty products is a healthy dose of shimmer . . . but with a range of shades that consider various skin tones and undertones. The Fairy Bomb Shimmer Powder ($28) first came in three different color choices — copper, gold, and rose gold — but now there's also a hypermetallic gold option for even more sparkle.
Pat McGrath Labs Mothership VI Eyeshadow Palette — Midnight Sun
Many people collect Pat McGrath's palettes because the colors are so richly pigmented and unique . . . and it's hard to stop at just one. Luckily, several are offered at Sephora with a range of jewel tones and neutrals like the latest one, Pat McGrath Labs Mothership VI Eyeshadow Palette — Midnight Sun ($125), with colors we don't see every day (like that periwinkle violet). Also up for grabs for $125 each are Mothership V (Bronze Seduction), Mothership II (Sublime), Mothership III (Subversive), and Mothership I (Subliminal) — can you name a favorite?
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Matte Skinstick
These Match Stix Matte Skinsticks ($25) were created to contour and conceal on a range of skin tones — with 20 different shades offered in warm, cool, and neutral undertones. Or sweep on something with a bit more shimmer as highlighter or blush with 15 color choices for the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick ($25) as well.
Pat McGrath LabsOpuLUST Lip Gloss
The new, limited-edition Pat McGrath Labs OpuLUST Lip Gloss ($30) offers five uberglittery color choices to leave lips with a glassy, sparkling finish (that's not sticky). There are also high-shine and slightly shimmery alternatives in a wide range of colors with the LUST: Lip Gloss ($25-$30), if that's more your speed.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Sun Stalk'r Instant Warmth Bronzer
Forget just a light, a medium, and a dark option in a bronzer; the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Sun Stalk'r Instant Warmth Bronzer ($30) comes in eight colors ranging from fair with neutral undertones to very deep with warm red undertones. Pick the one that best suits you to add a warm glow on cheeks (or elsewhere for contouring), even in the dead of Winter.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter
Bold is the name of the game with the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighters ($36), megareflective luminizers ranging from metallic mint blue to magenta. Several come with two colors side by side, but there are foil finishes packaged with just one hue, too. (If those are too bold, there's also the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter ($36) with softer, more shimmery shades.)
Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil
Use the Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil ($28) to coordinate with any matte or satin lipstick of your choosing as there's a range of long-lasting, matching colors to shape and define your lips. What's more: the waterproof lip pencils are also bold enough to fill in your lips as if they were a lipstick, then be finished off with gloss on top.
Black Up Cosmetics Lip Lacquer
The ultrashiny Black Up Cosmetics Lip Lacquer ($12, originally $23) was also created to suit a wide range of skin tones, while making sure to keep darker complexions in mind. The gloss-lipstick hybrid is creamy when applied but ends with a glossy-yet-not-sticky sheen, because pretty much no one wants tacky lips.
Pat McGrath Labs Blitz Astral Quad Eyeshadow Palette
For just a taste of the brand's shadows, there's also this Pat McGrath Labs Blitz Astral Quad Eyeshadow Palette ($65). Blending the gold, burgundy, brown, and bronze colors together offers up a rich look on a range of skin tones, and several reviewers note that applying directly with your finger can up the wow factor even more.
Pat McGrath Labs Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner
Ready to finish your eye look with some liner? Well, Pat McGrath Labs has you covered with the Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner ($32), which can stand up to humidity, rain, tears, and more. It also makes an incredibly dark black line so you can get it right, one and done.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil
If you want to look like you're dripping in diamonds (without spending all your dollars), Fenty Beauty by Rihanna offers a highly pigmented shimmer with the Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil ($39). It's actually diamond-like glitter set in a unique jelly so you can dust sparkles all over your skin but not have a gritty mess afterward.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Full Frontal Volume, Lift and Curl Mascara
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna recently added a mascara to its collection, and we're here to welcome it to the party. The special thing about the new Full Frontal Volume, Lift and Curl Mascara ($24) is that the brush itself is two-sided: there's a flat side that defines and curls lashes, while the fat side lifts them up with extra volume.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer
There are now six different shades of the beloved Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer ($19), including a new clear Glass Slipper option. The original hues were on the lighter, more pink side, but check out the bold Hot Chocolit, a rich, shimmery brown that would complement darker complexions, too.
Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Skin Highlighting Trio
Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Skin Highlighting Trio ($50) are pearl-infused luminizers that mimic the reflection of light on the high points of your face. Or you can choose one of the three colors — pale rose, pearly gold, and soft copper — to buff into an all-over shimmer instead. Either way, the gel-powder formula can be built up as bold as you'd like.
Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation
The Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation ($68) offers sheer-to-medium coverage that also blurs the look of fine lines, pores, and other imperfections. There are also a range of undertones addressed in each shade from Light 1 to Deep 36, all in the same silky, long-wearing formula.