ESSENCE Best in Black Beauty Awa

Best In Black Beauty 2017: The A-Listers, Stylists and Influencers Making Major Moves

Celeb of the Year: Alicia Keys

Frederick M. Brown
Andrea Jordan
Apr, 20, 2017 5:05 PM UTC

It’s that time again–the 2017 edition of our annual Best in Black Beauty Awards has officially arrived! We’ve spent weeks swiping, swatching and smelling the newest products so you don’t have to. From the splurge-worthy to the drugstore faves and Black-owned must-haves, these are the picks that every Black woman must know. Stay tuned as we continue to unveil this year’s winners!

Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.

 

In late September 2016, the singer blessed the world with standout dos, crafted by hairstylist Nikki Nelms, in celebration of her third studio effort, A Seat at the Table.

 

From wearing Patrice Rushen–­inspired braids to the duckbill-clipped locks everyone tried to re-create, Knowles delivered music and mane moments we’ll never forget.

This fearless songstress made a major statement by going makeup-free and we love it. Keys encourages women to “do you” when it comes to rocking cosmetics, and she isn’t afraid to reveal her true beauty to the world. Whether you choose to pile it on or to push your makeup bag aside, her #NoMakeup movement inspires us all.

Frederick M. Brown

Not only do we give this starlet major props for staying woke, but we also salute how amazing she looks while doing so. From wash-and-gos to braids and buns, she isn’t afraid to rock a new style and own it. We adore her dare-to-be-different attitude and can’t wait to see what she’s got up her sleeve next.

tumasia

Though years have passed since we first met this enchantress, her beauty has stood the test of time. We applaud you, Ms. Bassett, for being a solid example of “Black don’t crack.” 

Getty Images

It’s no secret that celebrity partnerships are a hot topic and even hotter sellers. When DJ Khaled joined forces with this ash-buster favorite, we knew it was going to be a hit.

Laura Cavanaugh
$5 available at Walmart

She has more than 1 million followers on Instagram, so it’s obvious you love her just as much as we do. Vibrant blue lipstick? Check. Perfected winged liner? Check. She does it all, and we’re so here for it.

@ellarie/Instagram

Lacy Redway is responsible for perfecting the tresses of Alicia Keys, Uzo Aduba, Solange and more.  Her enviable Instagram feed is a who's who of the Hollywood elite, proving that her skills are always in high demand. And despite the trajectory of her career, the Jamaican-born stylist remains one of the most down-to-earth and humble professionals in her industry. 

As the makeup artisan for a slew of Tinseltown's most beautiful ladies--including the iconic Beyoncé--Sir John is undoubtedly at the top of his game. From breathtaking editorials to showstopping stage performances and red carpet events, this guru is always ready to craft the perfect makeup slay. 

Senegalese-born model Khoudia Diop took Instagram by storm after participating in the viral diversity campaign The “Colored” Girl Project. Now we can’t keep our eyes off her deep mocha complexion.

Outbrain