With the nation battling two pandemics, racism and COVID-19, it might not seem like an ideal time to launch a beauty line, but Kimora Lee Simmons says otherwise.

The fashion designer—who in 1999 founded Baby Phat, which brought us sparkly velour sweatsuits, baby tees, shoes and feminine fragrances—is expanding her lifestyle brand’s range with Baby Phat Beauty.

At a time of civil unrest and injustice, “We have to claim a space for people who look like us. That’s people of color,” Simmons tells ESSENCE. “Oddly enough, it’s a perfect time to offer this, and I think it answers a demand, which is beauty brands by women of color,” says Simmons.

On September 1, Baby Phat Beauty, a collaboration between Simmons and her daughters, Ming and Aoki, launched with Shimmer Dreams. The collection features three kits that include a high-shine lip gloss, hand lotion and iridescent high-shimmer body spray inspired by each of their personalities.

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“One girl is maybe more dramatic and glamorous. And the other girl is a little bit more ethereal and dreamier,” the goddess mom of five said before offering the best self-care advice.

“I’ve been through a lot. I’ve been a single mom. I’ve been married, divorced. I’ve done a lot of stuff. Trust me when I tell you to get your glass of wine and lip gloss, honey. It’ll go a long way,” she says. “Don’t forget about yourself.”

With everything that’s going on right now, coupled with the looming recession, Simmons suggests starting with the easy things. “We maybe didn’t get a face-lift, but we have lip gloss,” she quips. And at $45, the Shimmer Dreams kits offer essentials for an affordable glow-up.

The new collection is available on babyphatbeauty.com, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Fair Fight, an organization that brings awareness to education reform and advocates for election reform at all levels.


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