woc makeup

10 Makeup Brands for People of Color

I wish I could say I achieved VIB status at Sephora by building the most perfect makeup collection one could ever ask for, but alas—as a mixed-race, medium-toned Latinx, a lot of time and money was spent on buying lipstick that I’d only ever seen swatched on white women. Needless to say, they either washed me out or made me look like a fool, and that’s when I knew it was time to find some quality makeup brands aimed at people of color. So if you’re reading this, today is your lucky day, because I’m passing along some of my favorites so that you can save yourself from the heartbreak that is spending $22 on the wrong shade of Urban Decay.

1. Iman Cosmetics

Founded by none other than international model Iman, Iman Cosmetics is probably the most well-known makeup line intended for women of color. They have a really thorough way of f​inding the perfect makeup for your skin tone, ​and you can find their line in drugstores at affordable prices.

2. Sleek Makeup

All of the makeup runs $15 and under—including their best-selling eyeshadow palettes. You’re welcome.

3. COVERGIRL Queen Collection

Speaking of affordable, COVERGIRL has a line specifically aimed at women with darker skin. You can mostly find it in Target, d​rugstore.com,​ and some Walmarts.

4. Black Opal Makeup

One of my personal favorites, Black Opal was created by people of color for people of color. Not only is the line affordable, but they have a “Find Your Shade” section similar to Iman Cosmetics’, as well as shaving products for men. It looks like they’re developing an affordable haircare line aimed at—you guessed it!—the haircare needs of people of color. As if all of this wasn’t cool enough, Black Opal also a​wards scholarships to young women.

5. Sacha Cosmetics

Sacha carries some of the most extensive beauty products I’ve seen, and the prices range from below $10 to $50 depending on what you’re looking for. Their skincare products are also known for being long-lasting and weather-resistant, and their lipsticks have intense color payoff.

6. ColorPop

Although Colourpop isn’t exclusively aimed at people of color, I thought I’d include it because it’s one of my absolute favorite makeup brands. Not only are all of the lipsticks sold alongside matching lip liners, but most of them are swatched on both light and dark skin, and their color payoff is strong and long-lasting. There’s also about a million different shades of lipstick and eyeshadow you can try. The best part? Everything is cruelty-free and only $5.​

7. black|Up cosmetics

On the higher end side of makeup, black|Up cosmetics was created specifically with Black and mixed women in mind. With over 18 shades of foundation, ultra-pigmented eyeshadows, and 30 shades of matte and glossy lipsticks, I can see why their prices rival Sephora’s.

8. Fashion Fair

Fashion Fair is another line with a wide range of beauty and skincare products for a variety of skin tones, although it was created with the needs of Black women in mind. Two of my favorite products are the o​ily​ and d​ry skin ​travel kits, perfect for when traveling on airplanes takes a toll on your skin. Their prices are also comparable to most of the brands sold at Sephora.

9. Aida Cosmetics

Cruelty-free, all-natural, hypo-allergenic, and non-comedogenic (meaning your skin won’t break out). They don’t have a lot of products listed on their site, but the ones they do have are magic.

10. Hue Noir

I love the inspiration behind Hue Noir—the CEO, Paula Hayes, is a Black woman who worked as a product development chemist and loved makeup. After having difficulty finding makeup for darker skin tones, she established Hue Noir, a higher end makeup line that is also organic and biodegradable. You can save the environment and look hot af while doing so. Again, you’re welcome.

- Larissa Pienkowski

Tumblr being bad for businesses

One thing I’ve observed over the years of being in this delightful wasteland of memes and anger (TLOMAA) is the neat microcosmic presentation of the effect a financially weak and business-unsavvy civilian population with a huge soundboard has on business, and how people think.

I’ve always known, or had the idea, but still..

If you extract the urge most of its users have to buy almost anything if it’s fandom-branded, most people on here, understandably, do not and cannot afford to support small artist, clothing, or luxury (anything not a necessity) businesses.

However, these are the same people who complain about capitalism, yet often in a way that leads me to believe that they don’t know what it is about capitalism they don’t like, and what literally will not and cannot be changed or blamed unless you want to obliterate the concept of money- or at least reset the global trade market and the US economy.

You see, people on tumblr are quick to try and dismantle an upcoming business’ popularity and consumer base if they think the product is too expensive.

A population of young people rightfully scrupulous of spending what they have, yet bearing totally unrealistic expectations is such a bad mix!

I hate watching this Nubian Skin drama. I hope what I’m seeing is disproportionately presented to me through a selection bias- what I’m seeing is inarguably augmented by the fact that I follow thelingerieaddict . However, this is still a trend. Anyway, in regards to the Nubian Skin drama… You know how the lingerie industry standard of ‘nude’ is just beige? And how while it certainly doesn’t match most light skinned people, it matches little to no dark skinned people? You know how the fashion industry as a whole seemingly ignores the reality that a lot of people have brown skin?

And you know how POC on tumblr are always saying ‘we need to support black businesses’? I’ll get to that one in a second.

Enter Nubian Skin Lingerie is a brand made and run by WOC. It is new. It is small. It is non-corporate. Ade Hassan started it up from the ground, and unlike huge brands like Hanes or Victorias Secret, she doesn’t (and can’t) ship her designs to a factory in another country to have her stuff made on the cheap. Nor is she stocked by every Target and Wal-Mart, or even every shopping mall. She doesn’t have that power, yet.

Starting a company is always expensive. Buying materials, getting the time to make your product (I mean you don’t have time for a regular job anymore so you have to invest and then hope it pays off!), finding and paying people to help you, making something high quality enough that people will buy, marketing it so people know it exists, trying to get other stores to carry it.. all of this takes time (which is money) and money.

But let me take a moment to explain the process of undercutting.

Undercutting is the business practice of under-pricing a product so your competition seems too expensive. This has become a standard business practice. Let’s say I make soda out of a small neighborhood factory. My soda is $6 for a 4-pack. This is what I need to charge to still make a profit and cover production costs and rent. Let’s say my competitor, who doesn’t like the homegrown popularity of my brand, and who knows someone in beverage distribution, originally sold their soda for almost the same price. So, to wipe me out, they don’t decide to make a new flavor, they don’t focus on buying commercials…they just drop the price of the soda. Initially, they’ll be eating the cost, but they can afford that more than I can. And after their deal goes through, they’ll be supported by a wider distribution range because of their new industry ties. Meanwhile, when people go to the soda aisle, they will see my $6 soda and their $4 soda and make their choice based on cost. 

Even though my soda is priced to cover the necessary production costs and leave me with a little bit of profit, undercutting has now made me look too expensive.

Undercutting is exclusively only something businesses who favor profit far over quality can do- because if you’re concerned with the quality of your materials, the pay of your employees, and the ethics of your methods, it will cost you too damn much.

This concept applies everywhere in almost every industry. Undercutting is why people look at the $55 bras Nubian Skin makes and go ‘that’s too expensive’. A lot of people are used to the prices of horrible companies like H&M that have huuuuge made-in-china factory capability, major distribution, and millions in profit. That, and aaalll of the Chinese resellers you can imagine. Let me digress:

I see this habit that people have here, when someone goes “Hey look at this new small brand that came up! This person sells x-useful-or-neat-thing for $x and you can buy it here!” People inevitably will say ‘Cool!’ and ‘Take all my money!’ but eventually people start tagging onto the promo post like ‘why? this is so expensive! You can buy something like it here and here at Wal-Mart or from this (exclusively stocked via AlieExpress) store’ so now this advertisement for a new startup company has been parasitized by people making it look unreasonably and frivolously expensive.

I’ve said it before, but I need to say it again, you also need to be aware that a lot of popular blogs that turn around and offer links to ‘cheap’ clothing are promoing stores that ship directly from China, often use photos stolen from other companies to present the concept of a quality item (just like x company but way cheaper!), and incentivize these people through affiliate programs. For a website that finds artists being ripped off completely heinous, I don’t see much of a qualm about businesses doing it. Take Blackmilk for instance.

 I know I’ve spoken on this in the past, but long story short, the business practices listed above are a problem for this company, especially when not only are people ripping off their product/photos, but I’ve seen people on tumblr actually accusing them of fraud, literally saying “They are selling leggings you can get from china at five times the price!”

I’ve even seen creepyyeha accused of this, even when it’s entirely not true, and the fact that ‘cheaper versions’ of any of her pieces exist is not because she bought and resold them, but because someone stole her designs and remade them with cheaper materials and labor.

Like.. *facepalm*.

You fell for it.

So what is my point here? Let me summarize. You see people rightfully complain about capitalism, but I don’t think you guys get how it works. Capitalism isn’t when everything is expensive and no one can afford it- that doesn’t even make sense how would anyone make money? No, part of capitalism is big bottom-line-based businesses choking out smaller honest companies. And how do they do that? By being cheaper. On all accounts. Cheaper materials, cheaper production costs, lower pay for employees, etc. So when you guys spit in the face of new, small, honest businesses with “this is too expensive!” even though you have NO CLUE what actual start up and production costs are (because your idea of price is defined by what dishonest, unsustainable, huge corporation, big box companies have sold you) you are doing one of the most capitalist things possible. You are undervaluing labor, buying into the cost over quality mentality, and supporting the idea that smaller companies are ‘too expensive’ and should not be supported.

This is not an attack on people who can’t afford otherwise (a populace with restricted income ((to a point)) is super fab for capitalism, in this way), this is an attack on those who attack smaller companies with their ignorance.

You want corporations to stop running everything? Then stop helping them crush their competition.

You want innovation? Companies that fill niches? Then support them. It costs money.


Are you a person of color and trying to find a prestigious foundation that also matches your skin color? 

Well look no longer! 

You guys have to try out this brand, Black Up. They were made specifically for people of color who have trouble finding the right foundation. I’ve heard all positive things about this brand and if you would like to see how the products actually work, check out the videos I posted up there ! (  X  )  (  X  )

I realize that the price is pretty high but please keep in mind this is a prestigious brand that you can only buy at places like Sephora or on their website. Buuuutttt! When you go on their website and sign up for their news letter they’ll send you an email with 20% off of your first purchase!

Also a little goes a long way for the foundation and CC cream and it has great staying power and good coverage so you’re paying for a great quality product and by buying this you’ll be supporting a company that is trying to cater to people of color ( something that doesn’t happen too often. )

and If you’re worried about not being able to find the right shade if you cant find this in person, their team really helps you find a shade thats perfect for you so don’t be scared to contact them or use their Shade finder.

Happy slayings every one! <3

Black Up website : https://www.blackupcosmetics.com/

Black Up instagram for more pictures : https://instagram.com/blackup/

Sephora :  http://www.sephora.com/black-up


What with the 40 degree temperatures, it reeeally isn’t possible to take photos out of doors now, so I thought I might do a makeup look! My inspiration is from the makeup at John Galliano’s F/W 2009-10 show, in particular this image which I found on Pinterest a very long time ago. I love a bit of gold on my face. The highlight of this look is my MAC Superslick liquid liner in Pure Show which is actually the best gold eyeliner I’ve ever come across. I added to the vintage circus-y vibe with my ASOS Denim smock and Flimsymoon Etoiles Collar. 

Here’s what I used for my face

  Sleek makeup Be Beautiful Blemish Balm    Benefit Boing concealer  

   Benefit Cha Cha Tint    Rimmel Colour Rush Balm in Rumour has It    MAC Superslick Liner in Pure Show 

 Maybelline Lasting Drama gel eyeliner    Rimmel Scandaleyes Rocking Curves mascara   Maybelline Brow Drama eyebrow mascara   

@ anybody starting in makeup

fuck whoever told you that you had to buy expensive products to get the look you want. fuck em! they’re product-pushers & they’re lying to you.
Foundation? 7-$10
Concealer? $2.50
Eyeliner? $1 or less
Mascara? $5
Lipstick? 5-$10
Eyeshadow pallete? 10-$15
Translucent powder? $6
Contour powder? 4-$5

Are MAC brushes necessary? No. Go to michael’s & get you some brushes.

Don’t like brushes? Use makeup wedges. they’re about $6 per pack. fuck a booty blender.

Don’t have enough money for either one? Use your fingers (wash your hands first)

Don’t believe me? My face is proof.