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By Amma Aburam
Let’s face it: finding make-up for black skin is still not as easy as it should be. Whether you’re shopping in a drugstore or a department store, it seems huge brands like Boots, Dior or Lancome fail to cater to the diversity in the black skin tone. Now, imagine looking for natural and ethical make-up for black skin- I can tell you from personal experience that it’s beyond difficult! I’ve been working on this article for ages, and it was delayed again and again, mainly because some of the brands I found were too chemical (though they looked great on black skin), or not vegan friendly.
Finally, I’ve come up with this fab list of natural and vegan makeup brands for black skin, most of which I have tried and tested myself – but if I’ve missed any brands, please let me know in the comments, below!
Packed with organic, natural and sustainable goodness, Shea Moisture makes not only makeup geared to black skin, but also produces an array of hair care and skincare products you’ll love. The Fair Trade brand strives to be sulphate free, paraben free and is even tested on members of the founding family – not on animals. In addition to this, 10% of commercial sales go to women-led businesses that are involved in providing the ingredients for the brand’s products. How great is that?
Vegan? No, but it’s cruelty-free. Hero Products? Black Plum lipstick and CC Cream SPF 15
Blac Minerals incorporates healthy, skin-enhancing ingredients into their products. It’s all created without animal testing, FD&C synthetic lakes and dyes, phthalates, parabens, sulphates, propylene glycol, benzene, mineral oil, petroleum, peanut oil, triclosan, and other ingredients you just don’t want on your skin. I love their chic, minimalist packaging, and the M.A.C. foundation shade matching feature. And the best part? They sell small samples you can try before committing to larger size.
Vegan? Cruelty free Hero products? Flawless Finish Dust and their Mineral Foundations
This is one seriously ethical lipstick brand! Not only are their cosmetics cruelty-free and free of all nasty chemicals normally present in deeply hued lipstick (i.e. heavy metals), but they also donate a nice chunk of profits towards saving orangutans. And did I mention that their recycled, recyclable packaging is made by a Bali women’s collective?
Vegan? Yes. Hero product? I am loving their Elusive shade right now.
This gorgeous makeup brand is watertight when it comes to ethics! It’s all natural, gluten free, vegan friendly, cruelty free and 91% organic, with no parabens, talc, mineral oil, or other nasties. Sounds heavenly, right? But it gets even better: they offer a free, online skin consultation, which you can take here.
Vegan? Yes. Hero products? Their perfectly shaded mineral foundations and concealer sticks.
5. Cover FX
Forget Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty – Cover FX has over 40 inclusive shades with a formula that provides a perfect match. The brand creates high-quality makeup made from ‘good for skin’ ingredients by staying clear from what they call the “inflammatory five”: parabens, fragrance, gluten, mineral oil, and talc. Their products are packed with vitamins and emollients to reduce discolouration and inflammation of the skin. The best part? You can customize your makeup formulae!
Vegan? No Hero product? The Custom Cover drops, which can transform the texture and colour of any of your existing foundations, serums, oils or even skin creams.
Plain Jane Beauty is an eco-friendly brand that blends aesthetics with ethics with the aim to make sure that everything that goes on your skin is healthy, effective, safe, and cruelty-free. With a whopping 17 organic foundation shades, there’s certainly something here for everyone! Not sure you want to commit to a product? No problem – you can purchase small samples cheaply. The brand is part of the Green Business Leadership Forum and owns a Leaping Bunny logo (proving they don’t test on animals), but what I love the most is that they also offer a monthly subscription beauty box (called Eco BeautyBytes), so you can try and test new products.
Vegan? Cruelty free Hero product? Their retractable brow pencils are the perfect texture, never need sharpening and come in an array of colours.
This brand was created to highlight women’s natural beauty through organic, NPA certified skincare and vegan/gluten free cosmetics. Some extra offerings from Gabriel Cosmetics that the other brands mentioned above don’t have is an array of nail polishes, and a ‘clean kids’ range, which is a great idea.
Vegan? Yes. Hero product? Their Zuzu Luxe oil-free foundation that comes in a wide variety of shades, from a honey complexion to darker tones.
8. Alima Pure
Alima Pure cosmetics are made for the modern, confident woman using only the purest natural ingredients. They offer samples, a colour matching tool, and of course, have a great colour range for all skin tones. A sweet touch is that they donate a percentage of profits to a dog rescue charity, and also offer refills of products to save on packaging.
Vegan? 100% cruelty free, with most products being vegan friendly Hero products? Their Pressed Foundation with Rosehip Antioxidant Complex in 17 shades.
Stephanie Belleci Manna, beauty expert and the Founder of Belleci Cosmetics, just recently launched a very unique, patent pending, anti-aging custom foundation system with only 4 SKUs that works on all skin tones and ethnicities. It took ten years and a tremendous amount of market research to create this mistake proof product, which is free of parabens, propylene glycol, alcohol, dyes, fragrances, mineral oil, gluten and talc.
Vegan? Nope Hero product? Well, it’s really all about the foundation, but the lip palette looks good, too!