With an overabundance of beauty products on the market it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Every day we’re inundated with some “hot” new product, but the formulations are not always fitting for a melanin queen. Lip gloss is having a renaissance right now, showing up on runways for many spring and fall 2019 collections. But not all glosses are made for beautiful black lips, especially when it comes to color. The same can also be the case for traditional lipsticks and stains. We all know that they aren’t always well-built for fuller lips that need moisture, or color-matched to fit our array of skin colors and tones.
With these brands, you can rest assured. Created by us, for us, and with our beauty nuances and intricacies in mind (dark pigment, fullness, propensity for dryness, you name it) these lip brands offer quality products that won’t run you your entire check, and will easily become your favorite mouth-pieces.
Gold Label Cosmetics launched in 2012 by Kristen Elise Brown after she saw a lack of inclusivity in beauty imagery. She realized that her calling was bigger than styling. Their lip products are cruelty-free, paraben-free, and packaged in a way that speaks to the luxury shopper in all of us. Their smooth gliding liquid pens are easily becoming some of their most covetable items.
“I wanted to speak positivity and grandeur into everyone’s life [and create] a safe place to love where you’re going in life and looking good on the way there,” said Brown.
Born in the melting pot that is New York, Celfie Cosmetics is rooted in empowering a diverse array of people through makeup. You don’t have to be Kim K. to make this Celfie perfect. The pigments in their products (they offer mostly lippies but also have some eye shadows) are rich, and meant to be brilliant against the skin. With collection collaborations with Demetria McKinney, Claudia Jordan, Miss Universe Kenya Scarlet Were, and influencer Edwina Kulego, the brand is poised for nothing but greatness.
The Lip Bar
By now you probably already know The Lip Bar and might have even seen founder Melissa Butler on Shark Tank. The sharks devoured her like she was chum. But she didn’t let that stop her. And since founding her brand she’s only been on the ascend. She admitted to ESSENCE that when she went on the show her brand wasn’t ready. But seven years later (and finally with outside investors), the brand is becoming a Black household name.
Her lipsticks are bright and bold, just like her—and just the beginning. Check out their current line and stay tuned for some goodies debuting soon.
With a focus on individuality (its website exclaims “No one is you and that is your superpower”), LIPP Beauty brings customization to this sector of color cosmetics. Makeup artist and educator Aleah Rae Dorsey created LIPP in order to complement diverse skin tones. The brand is based on creating custom lippies, letting you choose everything from your hue and finish to tubing and even packaging. Beauty is indeed subjective, and what makes a woman feel beautiful can vary greatly. With that in mind LIPP offers more than 1,000 color combinations in 3 finishes. Who says bespoke is just for clothing?
MFMG (Makeup For Melanin Girls)
We get excited just hearing the name of this brand. When founder Tomi Gbeyeli was met with a quizzical look by a makeup artist “challenged” to do her makeup for a runway show, her journey began. At the time she didn’t know it, she just felt sorry for showing up with dark skin in a world that still didn’t understand her needs. Eventually she turned her feelings of melancholy and disappointment into action, and founded MFMG, a social media community where women of color could show up and share—no shame, no guilt. Today, it has evolved into a destination for beauty products, especially lipsticks, for melanin rich ladies. The lipsticks are sure to become a favorite amongst many for their gorgeous hues and deep unique nudes.
You likely know Mented Cosmetics from your favorite beauty vloggers going on and on about their lipsticks, most especially their nudes. There’s a reason why they swear by these products. Made with pigmented lips and pigmented women in mind (you see what they did there?), founders Amanda E. Johnson and KJ Miller set out to fill a void. Now that the brand has expanded beyond just lips, offering foundation, an eye palette, and nail polish, there’s even more to play with. But their lipsticks are still near and dear to our hearts. With everything from liners and glosses, to long-wear lipsticks and even a build-your-own trio option, Mented is undoubtedly a go-to brand for women of color. We’re always waiting to see what’s coming next. And to think it all started over a glass of Pinot!
Essentials by Edwina Kulego
Born from her collaboration with Celfie Cosmetics, Edwina Kulego lipsticks are a collection of truly dynamic nude shades that make all lips look memorable. A businesswoman with Ghanian roots, Kulego has absorbed her professional savvy working for some big-name companies, including Zara/Inditex Group, Tommy Hilfiger, and even ESSENCE, where she once interned. With Essentials by Edwina, the vegan makeup partnership with Celfie, Kulego is able to tap into something different. As creamy and beautiful as these lipsticks are, we’re hoping there are even more products launching very soon.
People from the west coast like to think it’s the best coast but they will certainly go east for a dope lip—127East to be exact. Owner Nicole Dupree might have a modest social media following, but her liquid lipstick mattes and luxurious feeling lipsticks will put this New Jersey-based brand on the map. With such an affordable price point, you’ll feel like you’re getting away with a crime. Sky’s the limit for this growing brand, with colors that pop and matte formulations that don’t leave lips feeling desperately dry.