Beauty Spotlight on Black Women

By Karim Orange / February 27, 2018

By Karim Orange

In celebration of Black History Month, here are some news, highlights and facts about the beauty industry and black women. In some ways, there has been progress made in leaps and bounds, but in other areas, there is room for improvement. What remains constant is that women of all shades should be treated beautifully.

In The Media

The movie Black Panther is achieving record-breaking sales at the box office. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told ABC News on Saturday that Black Panther is the best film Marvel Studios has ever made. The real celebration around the movie has been about the beautiful black women, and the positive roles they played. As an African-American woman, I have to say bravo! Finally, a positive mainstream celebration of natural hair and brown beauty on the big screen.

In the News

Liberian-American Richelieu Dennis, founder of the natural hair and skincare brands Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage, acquired Essence magazine from Time Inc last month. This makes the magazine, once again, 100 percent black-owned. The magazine executive team is run entirely by women. Here is an interview with Richelieu Dennis on his plans for Essence magazine and the future of Shea Moisture:

Historically Speaking

Beauty should be celebrated in all shades, but historically that has not always been the case in the personal-care products industry. Women of color have had to face Discrimination at the Makeup Counter from commercial makeup brands for years, despite the fact that we spend a ton of money. According to WWD, Black women spend an estimated $7.5 billion annually on beauty products. This equates to 80 percent more on cosmetics and twice as much on skin care than other groups, yet we are still underserved by the cosmetics industry.

The Power of Beauty

There is currently a huge celebration of the commercial makeup brand Fenty Beauty. The new makeup line by Rihanna is inclusive of all shades and, due to the demand, it is constantly selling out. Her decision to create 40 skin tones of foundation is incredible! Including all shades of foundation within a brand basically says, “You are welcome here and we appreciate you.” Her decision is also shining a light on the buying power of women of color.

While the actual ingredients of Fenty Beauty do not fit in the “clean” beauty world we observe here at Organic Spa Magazine, the message of “you are beautiful and you are welcome here” is a message we celebrate. There are makeup brands in the clean beauty world that welcome women of color by including foundation shades we can wear, but there are still far too many brands that do not.

Natural Makeup for Women of Color

Makeup by Karim Orange

There are a lot of clean brands for that have foundation shades for black women. Here are a few of my favorites:

Gabriel Cosmetics This brand makes fabulous shades for deeper skin tones. Their Moisturizing Liquid Foundation offers medium to full coverage.

It's also one of the brands that are most easily accessible since they retail at Whole Foods Market nationwide.

Plain Jane Beauty This brand gives each of their shades empowering names like I Am Magnificant and I Am Exquisite. Their Pure Cream Minerals Foundation is made with 85 percent organic ingredients.

Vapour Organic Beauty This flawless foundation simply makes your skin feel better when you put it on. It comes in two formulas Atmosphere Soft Focus, which is geared towards normal, sensitive and combination skin. Their Atmosphere Luminous Foundation is great for sensitive and dry skin. They will also be introducing seven new shades in the deeper range by May.

Au Naturale They make both cream and powder foundations for women of deeper shades. Their all-star product, in my opinion, is the Completly Covered Creme Concealer which is a mixture of pure pigments and organic oils.

Jane Iredale The Pure Pressed Based Mineral Foundation is a sheer way, and a great way to achieve flawless looking skin. Made from micronized minerals this powder also has an SPF of 20.

RMS Beauty The 'Un' Cover-Up foundation and concealer helps skin look healthier by minimizing the appearance of pores. The formula is simply fabulous, and I love it. The creator of the brand Rose-Marie Swift has been a makeup artist for over 35 years. Her work has been featured in magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and Allure. While I have nothing but praises for RMS, I must say I hope they will add a few more deeper shades to the collection soon.

Green Beauty Bloggers Celebrating Black Women

Makeup by Karim Orange

Here are a few of my favorite online destinations that celebrate black women that have gone green.

The Holistic Honey This site is targeted specifically towards green beauty for black women. The creator, Carron Coleman, offers great advice, tips, and news making it a great destination for all of your needs. Carron currently has an ebook available on the site called Drink Yourself Beautiful eGuide which is filled with over 50 recipes that will help you glow from the inside out. This is a yummy way to enter spring. Follow her on Instagram.

Melanin and Sustainable Style The founder Dominique Drakeford has created a platform that discusses issues and the success of communities of color in fashion and beauty. I love the fact that this site covers sensitive topics that a lot of us are thinking in the green space but afraid to say. This sister says it and stands by it. Follow her on Instagram.

Yolis Green Living This site is not a destination for just women of color, but for everyone that wants great advice and tips on everything green. Yoli has been nationally recognized as the “Queen of Green” by Black Enterprise Magazine. For the past three years, she has been touring the country as a spokesperson representing Toyota’s Green Initiative. Her next venture is African Hippie, an eco-lifestyle brand that empowers unserved demographics with wellness-focused resources and products. Follow her on Instagram.

Until next time, Love and Lipstick!


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Karim Orange

Karim Orange

Karim Orange, aka That Girl Orange, is a two-time Emmy Award nominee for her makeup artistry on The View. One of the most respected pioneers in the sustainable beauty industry. She advocates more choices for real women who presently sacrifice beauty for fear of harmful chemicals. She is an on-air host for About.Com. She is an active urban farmer in New York City and is currently exploring South American beauty, culture and biodynamic farming practices.

Follow her on Instagram @thatgirlorange
Karim Orange

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