ESSENCE's Best in Black Beauty 2018: The Beautiful Black Women That Inspired Us This Year
Best in Beauty Influencers
Every year we hand out awads to the best beauty products for women of color, but we also make sure to honor the Black women that constantly inspire us. There’s no denying that the we’ve been mesmerized by the following ladies over the past 365 days. But don’t get it twisted, these stars will be shining for a long time to come!
CELEB OF THE YEAR: SZA
The Ctrl singer encourages us to be empowered by the differences that make each of us unique and beautiful, which is why we’re obsessed with her. Oh, and we can’t get enough of her voluminous curly mane and freckles.
Breakout Beauty Star: ANOK YAI
A major modeling agency signed Yai after a photo of her at Howard University’s 2017 homecoming went viral. We were instantly mesmerized by her natural beauty and deep complexion and can’t wait to see her take the fashion world by storm.
Artists of the Year: SHEIKA DALEY (MAKEUP) and VERNON FRANÇOIS (HAIR)
These beauty moguls are the artists behind many of our favorite celebrity looks. Daley is the mastermind behind Nicki Minaj’s and Lala Anthony’s flawless faces, while François continues to craft the tresses of stars such as Lupita Nyong’o and Serena Williams.
Natural-Hair Crush: DEWANDA WISE
The lovely She’s Gotta Have It actress teaches us that we have infinite options when it comes to styling our natural locks. From the many ways she rocks an updo or a wash-and-go, we can learn a lot from Wise.
Blogger We Can’t Stop Watching: JACKIE AINA
She is not new to the beauty blogging game. In fact, she’s an og who has nearly nine years of vlogging experience under her belt. But what keeps us tuning in after all this time is that Aina uses her platform to discuss crucial political and social issues that -affect Black women.
Black Beauty Boss: MELISSA BUTLER
Melissa Butler has come a long way from her humble beginnings of making lipsticks in her Brooklyn home. Since then, her vegan lippies have become beloved by so many of us because of their beautiful colors and amazing formulas. When we learned The Lip Bar had been picked-up by Target earlier this year, we couldn't be more excited for Melissa because she's truly the epitome of a beauty boss.