How Female-Owned Brands Are Shaping the Beauty Industry

by Chinea Rodriguez

Beauty Products


When Rihanna launched her inclusive beauty brand, Fenty Beauty with 40 shades of foundation and a handful of complementing products it sparked something in the beauty industry. Dubbed “The Fenty Effect” the largely positive reaction from consumers led other beauty brands to follow suit, whether it was taking to social media to promote their already inclusive shade range or adding a line of inclusive complexion products and new shades. 


Female-Owned Beauty Brands

Of course, Rihanna isn’t the only woman making strides in the beauty industry. Female-owned innovations, brands, and companies have shaped the world as a whole and their effect on the beauty industry is undeniable. Beauty is more than skin deep, the same products we apply to our skin and hair can also affect our health and more and more brands are recognizing that. Whether it is launching products catering to the needs of an underrepresented market, highlighting harmful ingredients and creating products without them or literally making history. We’ve rounded up a few brands you may or may not know are making strides in the beauty industry, keep reading to see our picks. 


View this post on Instagram

@minamigessel in Lucuma Bright 💫

A post shared by GOLDE (@golde) on

The Brand Making Wellness Accessible: Golde

At 25 Trinity Mouzon Wofford became the youngest black woman to launch a line at beauty retailer Sephora. Her wellness line is a mix of ingestible supplements and skincare, featuring natural ingredients like turmeric, matcha, cinnamon and ginger and catering to a range of concerns like energy or mood-boosting. Though everyone can benefit from an interest in wellness, the area hasn’t always been diverse or affordable, Trinity told Fashionista in 2019 that her mission is to make wellness more accessible.  See more on the Golde Instagram.


The Brand Making Sunscreen for All: Black Girl Sunscreen

Regardless of your skin tone, sunscreen is an essential part of your skincare routine, not only is it essential for preventing sun damage, hyperpigmentation and skin sensitivity due to certain skincare products like exfoliants and vitamin C but it’s essential for protecting skin from the sun’s harmful rays which can cause skin cancer. One issue many faces with sunscreens is the white cast it leaves on the skin, which is more visible on darker skin tones. Enter, Black Girl Sunscreen. The Miami-born brand caters specifically to women of darker complexions, hence the name, and doesn’t leave a white cast. It’s also free of fragrance, parabens, and oxybenzone. Check out Black Girl Sunscreen Instagram.


The Billion-Dollar Brand Bring Editorial Makeup to the Masses: Pat McGrath Labs

Any fashion or beauty devotee knows her name, Pat McGrath the makeup artist is a legend, and if you don’t know her name you’ve no doubt seen her walk on the runways or in print. It was no surprise when she launched her beauty brand with a handful of beauty products unlike those you’re used to seeing at Sephora, her version of a lip kit was a sequin-packaged duo of lipsticks with glitter, gloss and gold pigment meant to mix, match and layer. Her highlighter set a double-ended stick featuring a clear balm and shimmering cream highlight, with a nearly holographic pressed powder to layer on. She’s since expanded her line to include runway-worthy eyeshadow palettes, complexion products, eyeliner, lipsticks and more. Get inspired on the Pat McGrath Instagram.


The Brand Making Nudes for All: Mented 

Born out of the idea of creating nude lipstick for all skin tones, this brand black-owned brand’s mission was to create nudes that weren’t just flattering but also pigmented and non-toxic, cruelty-free and vegan, so you don’t have to compromise. Since launching in 2017, they’ve also launched inclusive complexion products like foundation, blush, bronzer and highlighter, other areas severely lacking in a range of shades, and a collection of opaque, nude nail polishes. Catch more on Mented Cosmetics Instagram.


View this post on Instagram

"My #barewithus Story🐘 ⁣⁣ ⁣ I have an oily skin, suffering from acne and scars. I’ve been engaged to korean skincare for years. No negative comments on my previous k-skincare. It was amazing!! ⁣⁣ ⁣ Then I felt like my skin is very used to what I am using. With all the influence of social media and of course our dear @reynoldaesprer, I finally gave in! Trying my first @drunkelephant with the littles. I’m on my straight 3 weeks using it. And wow!! It is so amazing! My skin really loves it. ⁣⁣ ⁣ I usually video call my family every weekends only due to my busy weekdays work schedule. It’s been 2 weeks now that I’m receiving compliments from them. “Your skin is glowing, your skin is flawless, no acne, so fresh!” ⁣⁣ ⁣ At work, my colleagues are starting to recognize my skin too. And it’s so flattering!! ⁣⁣ ⁣ I started seeing the difference and effect after a week! Oh my gosh! These are really a gems to my skin. ⁣ I’m so impress with the results. And my skin love it very much💕⁣ ⁣ And now, I’m excited to use my new Lala Retro Whipped Cream. 💕❣️ 🐘" —@gemmyandmakeup⁣ ⁣ What’s your #barewithus🐘 story? We want to see your beautiful face. Tag us in your selfie with your full DE routine—we'll be gifting our favorite DE goodies!

A post shared by Drunk Elephant (@drunkelephant) on

The Brand Bringing Clean Ingredients to Luxury Skincare: Drunk Elephant

No doubt you’ve heard of this skincare brand, whether you saw them at a beauty retailer or heard of their cult-favorite exfoliator, the beauty brand has made it their mission to keep their ingredients as clean as possible. “Clean” meaning they cut ingredients they believe to be irritants or damaging “Essential Oils, Drying Alcohols, Silicones, Chemical Sunscreens, Fragrances/Dyes, SLS”.  See more on the Drunk Elephant Instagram.


The Brand Making Clean Luxury Hair Care For All Hair Types: Briogeo 

This black-owned brand also made a historic debut at Sephora, Nancy Twine was the youngest black woman to launch a brand with Sephora at the time. The clean hair care brand has since been a staple of the retailer and a favorite among consumers. Twine told The Cut, “I learned that most of the natural brands focused on the body, but very few on hair care, and hardly any of those existed in the prestige market.” And none of these brands catered to hair or her hair type, thus Briogeo was born. Browse more on the Briogeo Instagram.


What are your favorite female-owned beauty brands, pretty birds?


Image via Jess @ Harper Sunday


Related All The Pretty Birds Beauty Posts:

You may also like