By Mikaela Rose Alioto
The emotionally-charged Black Lives Matter movement has been a critical reminder that a conscious commitment to racial equity must always be at the forefront of our thought. I will speak for myself when I say that this amplified resurgence of oppressed voices was much needed.
As many have eloquently identified, it is a luxury to not have to actively think about racism, and I am someone with that privilege. It is this privilege that allowed me to spend the majority of my life blissfully unaware that I was surrounded by people who looked like me, and the connotations of those who didn’t, were unquestionably less flattering than those who did. To put it indelicately, I grew up racially ignorant, and I am not without the smell of smoke. Microaggressions and sinister assumptions are still present in my everyday life as a result of growing up in the white-washed suburbs of Boston. But let’s be very clear: my thoughts and emotions concerning systemic racism of the past and present are neither profound nor required. Instead, I only want to illuminate voices, brands, and individuals whose perspective is wholly necessary and grossly overdue.
Speaking of overdue realizations, it occurred to me that I have not been thorough in my research of the brands I support and have been neglecting Black-owned and minority-owned brands for no reason other than lack of awareness. To correct this oversight, I’ve compiled a list of fabulous brands that just so happen to be Black-owned businesses.
My coworkers have been raving about Brown and Coconut—a Boston-based company with an ingredient-conscious approach to skin-care. All products are plant-based, cruelty-free, and vegan without any artificial coloring or fragrance. Their beautiful product range includes a healing clay mask, nourishing oils, and cleansers to brighten and balance. I personally have my eye on the brightening set with a colorful combo of the brightening polish and the balancing cleanser—complete with a ceramic mixing bowl.
Golde has an exciting selection of wellness powders (the antithesis of the toxic detox teas that have infected social media) and superfood-powered face masks. Just looking at the vibrant packaging on your shelf is sure to cheer you up!
KLUR was founded on the ideals of clean, ethical, and inclusive beauty. The women owned and operated company creates function-able, sustainable products crafted through the soul of human connection.”
Epara skincare is a luxury range of skincare products that feature high-performing (cruelty-free) ingredients. The products are friendly for all skin types and tackle concerns including hyper-pigmentation, aging and dry skin.
BLK+GRN is an all natural marketplace for all Black artisans. The thoughtfully curated products are non-toxic and made with top quality ingredients. While not all products are certified vegan, a quick site search will reveal many, many great options including home products, menstrual care, and mom & baby products.
Beauty Bakerie offers a delicious selection of vegan makeup products with affordable pricing. One of their best selling products includes the 3-in-1 Neapolitan Bar palette with a blush, bronzer, and highlighter in super flattering shades. Yum!
Uoma Beauty is completely cruelty-free and their Foundation, Double Take Contour Stick, Stay Woke Concealer, and Afro.Dis.Iac Eyeliner are 100% vegan! Their contour stick comes in six shades for strobing and sculpting. Even those who are opposed to drawn on cheekbones will love this subtle, multi-use product.
Mented Cosmetics was founded to help women of color find the perfect nude lipstick. While their products are specifically designed for women with dark skin tones, they still have a few products that are universally flattering. I recommend checking out their blushes in particular.
Briogeo is a well-loved hair care company that is cruelty-free though not entirely vegan. A investigation in their FAQs will reveal their robust selection of vegan products:
- Be Gentle, Be Kind Kale + Apple Replenishing Superfood Shampoo
- Be Gentle, Be Kind Kale + Apple Replenishing Superfood Conditioner
- Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash
- Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo
- Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Conditioner
- Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Blow-Dry Spray
- Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Root Powder
- Well Organic + Australian 100% Tea Tree Oil
- Well Organic + Cold-Pressed 100% Castor Oil
- Curl Charisma Chia + Flax Seed Coil Custard
- Color Me Brilliant Mushroom + Bamboo Color Protect Conditioner
- Color Me Brilliant Mushroom + Bamboo Color Protect Primer
- Color Me Brilliant Mushroom + Bamboo Color Protect Shampoo
- Farewell Frizz Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray
- Farewell Frizz Smoothing Conditioner
- Farewell Frizz Smoothing Shampoo
- Farwell Frizz Rosehip, Argan & Coconut Oil Blend
- Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo
- Scalp Revival Charcoal + Peppermint Oil Cooling Jelly Conditioner
- Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment
- Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo
- Sea Goddess Hair + Body Shimmer Mist
Beneath Your Mask provides skin, hair, and body rejuvenation with luxurious botanical ingredients. All cruelty-free and vegan!
Please join me in my commitment to be better–starting with the brands I support!
Mikaela Rose Alioto is a recent Northeastern grad with an affinity for all things plant-based! A lifelong animal rights advocate, she was a vegetarian for 13 years before making the switch to veganism two years ago. In her spare time, she enjoys researching cruelty-free beauty products, spending time with her two rescue kitties, and working on her French proficiency. You can follow her and her “Unnecessary pairings” on Instagram at @m.rose.alioto