All Articles Tagged "african american cosmetics"
Almost 100 years ago, Madam CJ Walker became America’s first self-made female millionaire of any race by creating hair products specifically for black people. This brilliant entrepreneur took advantage of the beauty industry’s decision to ignore black consumers by instead serving them well. An economic visionary, Walker also created a beauty school that fed a job market for the black women selling her products. Madam CJ Walker’s acumen in the field of beauty was an overall boon to African-Americans.
In the ‘50s Abram Minis, founder of Carson, Inc., made a grip formulating ubiquitous household products like Dark & Lovely. Black entrepreneurs Edward and Bettiann Gardner founded SoftSheen in the ‘60s, the firm responsible for the infamously greasy Care Free Curl. The early ‘70s saw the birth of Fashion Fair cosmetics, launched by the owners of Johnson Publishing to help black women find make-up that matched their skin. Black businesses have been central to the development of products African-American women need to look good.
But recent moves by mainstream brands make the original need to have our own beauty companies questionable. Revlon and similar entities now shell out millions for spokeswomen like Halle Berry hoping to attract our audience. Mainstream brands like CoverGirl are partnering with stars like Queen Latifah to design lines that target consumers of color. Pantene has created highly popular shampoos and conditioners for relaxed and natural hair.
Black customers may want to support our beauty businesses to reverse years of economic inequality and keep money in the community. Yet, this is an increasingly difficult task, because beauty giants are snapping up black-owned companies, even as they manufacture products for people of African descent.
by Evette Brown
These Black women are controlling the board rooms at these cosmetics brands targeted towards other black women.
Walking through the cosmetics department in WalMart and other retail chains, most African-American women will notice that quality products designed for them are few and far between. Outside of MAC, Queen Collection, and Fashion Fair, there are a select number of cosmetics lines created for black women that we are aware of and indulge in purchasing. It might be due to lack of promotion, proper marketing, or funding, but cosmetic lines that have dedicated themselves to servicing black women are difficult to uncover; but, they do exist. Some are retailed nationally while others are strictly available online. Nonetheless, these six cosmetic lines for African-American women are continuing to build their niche in the billion-dollar industry.
Supermodel Iman has evolved into a cosmetics mogul with her line, IMAN Cosmetics, Skincare, and Fragrance. Regarded as the first cosmetics line designed for all women with skin color, IMAN was created in 1994 after the model grew tired of having to mix foundations together to create the perfect shade. After a landmark alliance with Proctor & Gamble in 2004, IMAN is now on the shelves of mass retailers including WalMart, Target, Walgreens, and Duane Reade. Her line is considered one of the best available for African-American women. Iman is using her line to prove that you don’t have to walk the runways to be a supermodel. You can transform into one every day with just a smudge of eyeliner and a swipe of concealer.