I Should Support More Black-Owned Beauty Brands—And So Should You

If you've been following me through the blog or my Instagram for any length of time, you probably know that I love makeup. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement finally getting the attention it deserves from non-Black folks ( including myself, which I'm not proud of ), I was curious as to how many Black-owned makeup products I own. My gut told me not very many, and I was extremely disappointed to find out just how few are in my very large makeup collection.

I went through my vanity and pulled out every Black-owned makeup product in my collection. I then counted every single makeup product I own. I’m ashamed at the tally: out of the 387 makeup products I own ( I know it's a lot, but it's what I collect ), only 12 are from Black-owned brands. What’s even more shameful is that the 12 products all come from just three brands: Pat McGrath Labs, Fenty Beauty, and Ace BeautĂ©.

Taking advice from Black people as far as practicing good allyship goes, I wanted to self-reflect on why I don’t own makeup from very many Black-owned brands. The first thing that came to mind is the notion that Black-owned makeup isn’t for me as a White person. I sensed the covert racist tone of that idea and felt more shame and discomfort. Black makeup lovers purchase and use products from White-owned brands, so why should I shy away from Black-owned brands? Even further, I SHOULD BE supporting Black-owned brands to help uplift Black people, their businesses, their livelihoods, and to encourage my White counterparts to do the same.

Unlearning racism all the way down to its most subtle forms is definitely a process, as is becoming a better ally—while I have always been repulsed by racism, I can’t say that I’ve ever used my voice to this extent before the murder of George Floyd. I made a vow to myself that I will be the best ally I can be in every way going forward, so in regards to makeup, I’ve vowed to actively pursue Black-owned brands in my future purchases. I’ve also reached out to BoxyCharm and FabFitFun via Instagram DMs and email requesting that they incorporate more Black-owned products in their subscription boxes, as the majority of my “shopping” lies in my subscriptions with them.

Non-Black people, especially White people, have a lot of learning and unlearning to do. Like I said above, racism has never made sense to me and it's always disgusted & angered me, but after this past week, I've come to learn and realize that racism runs deeper than we think, and White-dominated society ingrains all non-Black folks to believe implicit biases regarding the Black community. I'm doing my part to learn about these biases, how they came to be ingrained in White society, and what I need to do to dismantle those stereotypical beliefs.

If you enjoy makeup to any extent, I encourage you to peruse your own makeup collection as far as your support of Black-owned brands goes. It was a really eye-opening “activity” for me, and it’s lit a fire in me to consciously support more Black-owned brands from here on out.

Please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments below, and to recommend any Black-owned brands, regardless of industry. If you don't have anything kind and respectful to say, I politely ask that you keep your thoughts to yourself. And remember, BLACK LIVES MATTER.

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