8 Black-Owned Nail Polish Brands That Should Be On Your Radar

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Founder: Bernadette Thompson

Launched: “The Bernadette Thompson collection was the first black-owned nail lacquer brand. We launched in 2001.”

How would you describe the Bernadette Thompson collection?:

“The Bernadette Thompson Nail Care and Color Collection consists of 75 of the latest and most fashion-forward shades. The colors are bold yet effortlessly chic and sophisticated. Each color is carefully created by celebrity manicurist Bernadette Thompson. The collection also includes spa treatments, hand emollients, a top coat, base coat, cuticle oil, polish remover and restorative nail treatments.”

How did you break into the business?

“I have admired Madam C J Walker since I was a very young girl. I opened a small nail salon in Yonkers, NY where Mary. J. Blige and I were raised. One day Mary sent a 16-passenger limo to pick me up and take me to her house. I began to work exclusively with Mary for 10 years on every album cover, every tour, even her wedding day. Mary introduced me to Puff Daddy who then introduced me to fashion and beauty photographers. I started creating colors, formulas and design patterns for some of the largest beauty companies in the world. I would read Madam C J Walker’s book [On Her Own Ground] from time to time when I needed guidance in business. One day I was on the express bus reading her book and on that day I decided to take a leap of faith and create the first black nail brand.”

What is the most popular color in your collection?

“The most popular color in the line is one that we named ‘Shirley;’ after my mother.”
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