Hi, ABM friends! My name is Amanda. I am so thrilled to be a new contributor to the site. I’ve been reading and following the ladies at A Beautiful Mess for years now, so it’s such a treat to contribute a post. A little bit about me: I am a photographer based in Los Angeles and the creator of the blog Green Beauty Love, which highlights women of color in the clean beauty and wellness community. I created this site because, as a Latina, I didn’t feel like I saw myself represented in the beauty community I loved so much. So, I made a space that was reflective of what I wished to see: more inclusivity and diversity. In that spirit, today I am sharing my top five favorite skincare brands made by women of color. You may not have heard of these stellar brands yet, but I know you will love them!
Purpl & Prosper – Purpl & Prosper is a Pasadena-based company and one of the first brands I discovered when I moved to Southern California. The brand was created by esthetician Taianne Eiland after years of struggling with cystic acne. During this process, she discovered the power of keeping skincare ingredients simple and natural, which completely transformed her skin.
Purpl & Prosper offers a complete line of skin and bath products ranging from deodorant sprays to face serums and cleaners. My personal favorite is her Goat Milk Soap. She makes two varieties: one that is super hydrating and a second version that is more clarifying. The Goat Milk and Activated Charcoal soap is a multi-use product that can be used on both the face and body. The charcoal helps gently detox skin while the goat’s milk and coconut oil help to retain the skin’s moisture. Pro tip: This soap also makes a great weekly underarm cleansing wash.
Lotus Moon – Lotus Moon was created by scholar and skin care expert Lake Louise 18 years ago, before green beauty was even a genre in the industry. So, she was truly one of the early pioneers of this movement. She makes the best plant-based skin care for consumers as well as a complete line of professional-grade skincare for estheticians and spas (which is where I was initially introduced to the line).
I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve tried from Lotus Moon, but my absolute favorite product has to be the Lemon Poppy Seed Foaming Powder Cleanser. This super gentle exfoliating powder is made with 100% natural and organic ingredients like stoneground corn, lemon powder, jojoba, and poppy seeds. To use it, you simply mix with water and scrub.
Personally, I like to sprinkle a little in my gel cleansers a few times a week to super charge the formula. I have oily textured skin, so I use this every other day and my skin feels so smooth and perfectly prepped after every use. I also love that a little goes a long way! My last bottle lasted me almost a full year, so it’s a great value. If you’re looking for a new physical exfoliator to add to your skincare regime, I can’t recommend this one enough.
Half Hippy– This eco-conscious lifestyle and beauty brand was created by besties Upahar Rana and Marian Miranda in New York City. This unisex brand is all about celebrating inclusion and sustainable plant-powered beauty. Their products are made with all natural and organic ingredients. They also give back by donating products to health care workers and proceeds to BLM and the LGBTQI community.
Another thing I love about Half Hippy is that they have the best names for their products, like Pit Police (their deodorant), The Terminator (a muscle rub) and my personal favorite, Gem N’Juice. This hydrating mist is made with Bulgarian rose hydrosol, aloe and prickly pear. Each bottle also contains a rose quartz to promote heart chakra energy. I use this mist on my face after cleansing and whenever I need a little refreshing midday pick me up.
Quetzalli Skincare– Esthetician Adriana Ugalde wanted to create a line of non-toxic skincare and cosmetics that merged her passion for self-care while celebrating her indigenous Mexican roots. The word Quetzalli is a Nahuatl word meaning something beautiful or precious. Ingredients like chia, cactus, amaranth, agave, and arnica are just some of the ancient ingredients found in her products that were once used by the Aztec and Mayan empires.
My go-to product in the line is the Jamaica Rose Night Serum. It smells so yummy and reminds me of my favorite summer beverage—hibiscus iced tea! Jamaica (or hibiscus) is packed with antioxidants which help fight skin damaging free radicals. It’s also a natural source of AHA which helps gently exfoliate the skin. Because of this, some people call Jamaica the ultimate anti-aging plant, or even consider it a natural alternative to Botox. I love how moisturized my skin feels when I use it and would recommend it to anyone looking to add a hydrating serum to their skin care routine.
EleVen– My go to sunscreen this summer has been Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 by Venus Williams. Yes, as in the legendary tennis player, Venus Williams. Venus created this inclusive and environmentally-friendly mineral sunscreen for all skin types and tones.
I really like the serum’s unique liquid to satin finish formula because it’s completely weightless and fully absorbs into the skin, leaving no white cast. It’s also hydrating so I skip the moisturizer and apply it right after my toner. I often wear it alone, but it also layers really nicely under foundation. This SPF serum is, dare I say, a grand slam! I would expect nothing less from Miss Venus.
These are just a few of my favorite brands that I love that are made by women of color. And there are so many more out there. In the coming months, I hope to share even more incredible brands with you. In the meantime, if you feel called to diversify your own skincare regimens and makeup bags, I encourage you to do your own research and actively seek out BIPOC-owned brands that align with your values.
In the past few years, there’s definitely a growing awareness and demand for clean beauty, so it’s easier to find at major retailers. I’m also encouraged that these same retailers are now committing to diversifying their shelves through initiatives like the 15% Pledge. But, remember, we don’t have to wait for these markets to catch up. We can take matters into our own hands as consumers and actively support diversity in beauty by supporting BIPOC-owned brands directly. I encourage you to check out these brands, discover more on your own, and then tell your friends! In fact, start right here. Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite beauty brands made by women of color to share with the ABM community. -Amanda