The stars were perfectly aligned on February 7. If you knew the endless e-mails, calendar shuffling and manifesting it took to get 15 of the most impressive Black women in the beauty industry into one room, then you would also know the immense pride we felt having made it happen. That feeling will live with us forever. But the most everlasting aspect of this moment is the impact each of these women’s words and mere presence will have on the lives of those who will be following in their footsteps. We can almost hear the tearing of the pages as young girls everywhere rip out this feature from the April 2019 print issue for their vision boards—or save this digital cover on their phones to serve as a reminder of their worth. It’s no surprise that the beauty industry, like so many others, has struggled with diversity and inclusion. However, this image of powerful Black women who are doing monumental work shows that we are moving in the right direction. What a stunning sight!
Dawn E. Norvell
Senior Buyer at Consumables, Walmart
“I give a voice to people who are marginalized, those who are typically on the periphery or not even considered in our industry. My career allows me to broaden the perspective of what beauty is.”
Executive Director of Marketing, NARS Cosmetics U.S.
“You can read research or reports and know all the demographics and the statistics, but there’s something about having a Black woman at the table who knows the nuances of that experience—[we know] the things you can’t get in a report.”
Vice-President of Integrated Marketing, Shiseido U.S.
“I truly believe that the beauty industry can change people’s lives through the work that we do and how we bring happiness and joy and positivity to women’s lives every single day from the moment when they wake up.”
Anne Marie Nelson-Bogle
Deputy General Manager,
L’Oréal Paris U.S.
“I want to pave the way for others to come behind me. We need to have representation at the top, with people sitting in positions like mine. The buck doesn’t stop here. There’s still a lot of work to do.”
Esi Eggleston Bracey
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice-President of Beauty and Personal Care, Unilever, North America
“Beauty is us. Beauty is identity.
Being a Black woman in an industry where there aren’t a lot of us allows me to make sure the industry is of service to us.”
Brand Director for Multicultural Beauty,
Procter & Gamble Beauty
“It is everything to be a Black woman in this space. We are this industry, we set the trends and we spend an incredible amount of money, so we need to have representation. We need to make sure that the products are designed for us and that we’re seen.”
Kimberly Evans Paige
Chief Operating and Brand Officer, Sundial Brands
“Our mission has always been about serving the underserved. Every day I get a chance to do that by supporting Black women entrepreneurs, which means that every day I’m on purpose, and that’s really cool.”
Brand Manager, DevaCurl
“I create visuals and content and tell stories that represent what’s really happening in the world. There are a variety of individuals out here who want to see themselves in stories and want to see themselves in visuals. It’s our job to bring their stories to life.”
Senior Director of Integrated Marketing and Media, Ulta Beauty
“I’m a mom to a little Black girl. Every day I make sure that I’m doing something that makes her feel like she is a part of this beauty industry. That her beauty is valued. That her beauty is highlighted. And that she never has to feel like an other.”
Director of Global Upstream Research and Technology, Mary Kay Products
“When I am looking at skin care, I’m focusing on how women are aging. That can vary depending on skin tone and where women are in their age and their lifestyles. We have to do the work to make sure all of those women feel included using our products.”
Amanda C. Jones
Global Marketing Director, BECCA Cosmetics
“Being a Black woman in this industry is so powerful; it’s what keeps me up every day. It keeps me committed to the cause, and, hopefully, I’m paying it forward so that women, including young women in college today or in business school, are able to continue this work after my career is said and done.”
Vice-President of Marketing, L’Oréal
“I get to do what I absolutely love—beauty is my first love. To be able to influence beauty trends and the way people, especially women, feel about themselves in relationship to hair is incredible.”
Vice-President of Marketing, Estée Lauder and Aerin Beauty, North America
“I think it’s important that not just one brand but all brands embrace diversity, because we’re here for Black women, not only in this country but also around the globe. Our products have an impact on the way we feel and think—and there’s power in that. I take that to heart every day.”
Vice-President of Marketing, L’Oréal Professional
“Throughout my career I’ve loved being able to create a space for products that meet the needs of women who look like me and develop a platform to inspire young girls of color coming up in future generations.”
Associate Brand Manager at Aveeno, Johnson & Johnson
“Being your full self in all your contradictions will get you further than trying to be what other people expect you to be. I’m a Christian and LGBTQ ally. I’m also a feminist and a loving wife. J&J has really supported my freedom to bring my authentic self, and I’m really grateful for that.”
Photographer: Rog & Bee Walker – @papermonday
Stylist: Avon Dorsey – @mrdoorsee
Stylist assistant: Jazmin Brooks – @jazminnbrooks
Hair: Monae Everett/Epiphany Artist Group – @monaeartistry
Makeup: Dre Brown – @drebrownnyc
Makeup: Tara Lauren/Epiphany Artist Group – @taralauren
Makeup: Jonet Williamson using NARS Cosmetics – @jonetwmakeup
Clothing: On Dawn E. Norvell is wearing a Zaxie bracelet. Erin Williams wears a DKNY jacket. Michelle Hines is wearing a Karl Lagerfeld jacket. All other items on them and the other women, subject’s own.