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The Melanin Awards

This year, MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful have teamed up for the grand return of iOne Digital’s Melanin Awards. The goal: Celebrate and amplify the best Black-owned beauty brands with honest reviews from our editorial staff. We’ve spent the last few months diving deep into the realm of foundations, serums, bundles and more, and have emerged all the better for it.

Now, we welcome you to immerse yourself into our beautyverse where you’ll have the opportunity to explore and shop all the winning products of the 2022 Melanin Awards.

Along the journey, be sure to check out our stunning HelloBeautiful digital cover, featuring multi-hyphenate superstar La La Anthony. Her hair brand, Inala, is replete with the Triple Threat Tonic, a scentless formula that immediately hydrates and smooths tresses. It’s a must-have and this year’s Newbie award winner.

We hope you enjoy this experience as much as we enjoyed creating it for you.

Cover Story

La La: Mogul In The Making and Melanin ‘Newbie’ Award Winner

by Shamika Sanders









Newbie Award

Inala Triple Threat Tonic

La La Anthony made her foray into haircare with her brand Inala in 2022. Launched with her Power Potion – a product that harnesses the strengthening and growing power of real rice water complex, biotin, and arginine in a scentless formula. As we celebrate La La with our “Newbie Award,” we had the pleasure of testing her recently released third product – a 3-in-1 Triple Threat Tonic. This tonic acts as a primer, styler, and refresher for your hair in between washes.  

The Triple Threat Tonic instantly adds moisture to your hair, instantly leaving your curls or waves softer and shinier. If you’ve ever created your own rice water treatment at home, you can attest to the pungent aroma. The Triple Threat Tonic ($27) packs the same great benefits without the awful smell. It’s especially sensitive to those sensitive scents. Combined with the Power Potion ($55) and Reset Rinse ($30), this lethal combo will fortify your hair for optimal retention and growth.  

“I started seeing a huge difference in my hair from rice water,” says La La about the product. “But I noticed after a certain number of hours it smells really bad. So I kept thinking how can I make this into something that people can use on a regular basis and see these same kinds of amazing results that I’m seeing from fermenting rice on my own in my kitchen? And that’s how Inala started.” 

Best Bundles

Mayvenn Peruvian Body Wave Bundles

Mayvenn makes mastering wigs and bundles easy. The popular hair distributer offers a variety of bundles, closures, and wigs in various textures, lengths, and styles. Their diversity in hair, durability, long wear, thickness and budget-friendly prices make them a top retailer in the hair industry.  

What makes their Peruvian Body Wave Bundles so good? They’re made from remy hair, which means all their cuticles face one direction to prevent tangling. The bundles arrived in individual satin baggies. The bundles had a soft and pleasant scent. The hair maintains its texture without chemicals thanks to the steamed process that locks in the wave. Their thick tight double machine wefts help prevent shedding for long-lasting wearability and easy installation. The thickness and sturdiness made it easy for the needle to maneuver each track, creating a fast and seamless finishing style. 

The hair maintained a natural sheen, and healthy volume, and produced little to no shedding before and after washing and conditioning. The hair remained soft, held a curl and was easy to manage. With one pass of the flat iron, the hair straightened with ease for a natural blowed-out texture. 

Best Deep Conditioner

Alwayz Pretti Camp Out Marshmallow Root Extreme Conditioner

Alwayz Pretti’s Camp Out Marshmallow Root Extreme Conditioner is high in plant proteins and is formulated to nourish and thicken the hair. Consistent usage allows a person to experience silkier, smoother, and healthier tresses. 

Coating the hair from root to tip after shampooing allows the plant proteins to penetrate the strand, strengthening and hydrating each follicle. The formula rejuvenates hair by restoring the mane’s natural oils while protecting it from the wear and tear of everyday styling and product usage.  

For optimal results, apply the Camp Out conditioner after each wash, put on a plastic cap, and sit under a dryer or steamer for approximately 20 minutes. Rinse the hair and style it as usual. Consistent usage is suggested to see continued growth and hydration. You can purchase Alwayz Pretti’s Camp Out Root Extreme Conditioner for $10.  

Best Detangling Tool

PATTERN Wide Tooth Comb and Mini Shower Brush 

Wash day just got easier! Tracee Ellis Ross’ PATTERN Mini Shower Brush and Wide Tooth Comb is a match made in hair heaven. The mini brush is compact and perfect for traveling from an overnight sleepover with the girls to a weekend getaway with your significant other. Best used on wet tresses, the detangling brush glides through the hair with ease leaving your hair untangled. Apply your favorite shampoo and/or conditioner and let the bristles work their way from the ends of your curls to the roots of your scalp. The gentle bristles help define your curls. With an affordable price tag of $9, this product is a steal that’s easy on your pockets and, more importantly, your mane.  

The sister to the shower brush — the sturdy Wide Tooth Comb is quality at its finest. The space between the teeth ensures that the detangling process is as painless as possible. Best used on wet or dry hair, this comb knocked off thirty minutes to my typical two-hour haircare wash regimen. Part the hair in sections and let the teeth glide through your strands with your favorite leave-in conditioner. At a price tag of $15, it is indeed worth the coins. You will instantly notice the results that both the Mini Shower Brush and Wide Tooth Comb offer. Your tresses will thank you as you walk the streets rocking defined, gorgeous curls.  

Best Leave-In Conditioner

Briogeo Farewell Frizz 

Finding the right leave-in conditioner for your hair is a process. It’s why when we stumble across a product that works well for various hair types, we hold it dear. Such is the case for this year’s winner for best leave-in conditioner: Briogeo Farewell Frizz. It’s a clean, gluten-free product that uses its unique blend of ingredients to target hair woes.  

In a single bottle you’ll find rosehip oil packed with essential fatty acids, argan oil with vitamin E, and coconut oil that locks in moisture and fights breakage. The harmony of these oils is undeniable as they get to work taming frizz (for hours upon hours might we add) and shining dull tresses. It also has a light and fresh scent that almost doubles as a perfume. Consider it your new signature scent. 

We’ve been most pleased with the results after applying to clean, damp hair. But you want to be sure to thoroughly work the product through the strands before allowing it to dry. Feel free to style per usual afterwards. 

The Briogeo Farewell Frizz is definitely the product you want to throw in your purse on those potentially bad hair days. It gets straight to work and allows you to look like your best self. 

Best Scalp Oil

Mielle Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil 

If you’re looking for a new holy grail product for your tresses, look no further than Mielle’s Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil. The moment this formula touches your scalp, you know you’ve arrived somewhere worthwhile. Parched strands don’t stand a chance as the oil makes its way from the root down to the ends; leaving no follicle unmoisturized.  

It boasts a mix of over 30 essential oils and nutrients, including soothing mint, rosemary and long-time fan favorite, biotin. Together, these ingredients form a superpower that bolsters weak tresses and improves length retention. But for optimal results, you’ll have to follow a simple routine. 

If you’re using it as a scalp treatment, start by sectioning the hair so that the scalp is exposed. Then, apply a small amount to the scalp and massage in with fingers before combing through. Leave it as is and style as usual.  

When using to address split ends, apply the oil to the end of strands, place under a processing cap for 10 minutes, rinse and shampoo. We love that it is an effective product that doesn’t come close to breaking the bank. At $9.99 it’s easy on your pockets and hair. 

Word of wisdom: keep a bottle of Mielle’s Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair strengthening oil closeby if you want to keep your hair in tip-top shape. Split ends? Don’t know her. 

Best Wig

Glamher Studios/Made Pretty

For all the loyal lace front mommies, and the girlies looking to lose their wig-wearing virginity, we implore you to link up with Glamher Studios-Made Pretty. This duo has two independent beauty businesses but come together for one goal, and that’s the greater good of creating wigs to perfection. Glamher provided its top tier Passion Wave bundles and Made Pretty hand-crafted the unit using a swiss lace frontal; there’s also an HD lace option for those who want an elevated seamlessness. 

The Passion Wave wig reviewed by MADAMENOIRE is styled with a middle part and falls about 16 inches. It’s not too long and not too short. It offers just enough flexibility to control and manage a big hair look. And if you’re feeling extra, there’s more than enough to wear falling past your shoulders and whip your hair back and forth. The price point for this glam unit comes in at $350. That price is give or take depending on length. The luxury is well worth the spend. Maintenance for the wig involves normal washing and conditioning. The unit lasts up to three years. To extend the life of the unit, replacing the frontal closure regularly helps. A silk storage bag arrives with the purchase of the wig, however, investing in a wig head holds the shape.

Best Tape-ins


XOXO Virgin Hair tape-ins are what’s up in the hair extension game for Black girls. Though they aren’t novel, the innovation of the tape-in has the weave game in a clutch. It puts older methods of weaving to shame. Take for instance certain quick weaves. One technique involves molding the hair down with goobs of hair gel; swathing the head with a stocking cap; sealing the hair dry with high heat; then gluing the hair wefts around the head till completion. No shade to the process but–Issa lot. And if you’re a city girl on the go, ya might not be on that kinda time. XOXO tape-ins change the game.  

On average, install time is under two hours. The XOXO raw virgin straight hair used in this review is evenly distributed across each tape-in strip.  A reasonable amount of your own hair strands is carefully enmeshed between a pair of tape-ins. This technique yields an undetectable protective finish that looks natural AF–so much so, they might say it’s photoshopped. The brand is behind some of the trendiest looks in entertainment. 

Best Edge Control

Dreamgirls Hold & Glow Edge Control

There’s no deficit of edge control products in the hair care industry. The surge in edge control brands is in sync with the re-emerging trend of styling natural baby hairs, and the swooped edges you see laid along the perimeter of lace front wigs to create a seamless hairline.  

Dreamgirls Hold & Grow Edge Control gives new meaning to snatched edges. This dreamy product gathers those fine hairs and tough-to-manage strands and leaves that hairline smoothed to the gods. Though the consistency feels light and weightless, there’s no need to be heavy handed with this edge slayer. A little goes a long way. Dreamgirls glides slick over dry hair without caking up or leaving heavy residue. With damp hair, it gels nicely for optimum molding and a polished finish. —And it takes lasting power to new heights without flaking. Where other brands fall short, Dreamgirls edge control rises. Most holding products, particularly gels and pomades have a tendency to zap moisture, causing the hair to become brittle with the potential for breakage. Dreamgirls, obviously, had this in mind when concocting its edge control. The ingredients consist of AnaGain, Amla and castor oil which helps hydrate hairs while providing hold—that alone makes it a brand to patronize.  



Best Cuticle Oil

People of Color Beauty Citrus Breeze Cuticle Oil

Cuticle oils are probably the simplest and most effective thing you can do to keep your nails strong and healthy.   

Whether you’re consistently in between nail sets or like the look of clean and clear natural nails, cuticle oils keep them nourished and hydrated so your fingers always look well groomed. 

People of Color Beauty’s Citrus Breeze Cuticle Oil won the “Best Cuticle Oil” category this year because of its truly lightweight and non-greasy formula. 

Including apricot oil, grapeseed oil, and argan oil, this product applies smoothly to one’s cuticle area and nail bed. 

We love the product’s light citrusy scent, the sheen it leaves, and that a little dab on each nail goes a long way. 

Implementing a cuticle oil into your general beauty routine is a great way to take a moment for yourself throughout the week. 

After applying some to each finger, we recommend massaging in this cuticle oil and allowing it to soak into your skin and nails. 

Great times to use cuticle oil would be after the shower or doing the dishes, while giving yourself an at-home manicure, or when your nails just need some extra TLC. 

People of Color Beauty describes itself as a “non-toxic” nail polish brand “for women of color and those who live in color.” 

All of the brand’s products are vegan, cruelty-free, and 10-free – the latter meaning that they don’t contain the most common toxins commonly found in nail polishes. 

People of Color Beauty’s Citrus Cuticle Oil comes in a 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz and is priced at $12. 

Best Nail Lacquer

Breukelen Polished The Business Woman Collection 

Breukelen Polished serves up 11 free, cruelty-free, and vegan nail lacquer that goes beyond vanity. When it comes to nail care, it is crucial that women utilize products that will not harm their bodies in the long run. This means choosing quality. The brand prides itself in providing customers with a health-conscious formula. These nail lacquers do not contain any carcinogens such as Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Toluene, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, Acetone, Parabens, Wheat, and Eggs, making it a great choice. The Business Woman Collection offers three shades of nude nail lacquer that are perfect for the office or vacation. The lacquers in this collection feature the memorable names “It’s Brick” “Cocoa Bread” and “Therapy.”  

Whether you prefer the DIY method or bring your own polish to the nail salon for a nail technician to apply, the process of using the soft brush bristles to coat your fingernails or toenails is simple. The lacquer is chip resistant and long-lasting, so you don’t have to worry about the wear and tear from everyday tasks like washing dishes or putting on and removing footwear. Add this collection to your beauty kit and you will be sure to receive numerous compliments when you hit the streets. The collection retails for $28. 

Best Gel Polish

Pottle Deluxe Gel Kit

Pottle’s Deluxe Gel Kit is the answer to your DIY dreams. Gel polish is known to be long-lasting and prevent nails from breaking, cracking, or chipping. A trip to the salon for a gel manicure can be pricey and this kit will allow you to save money and create custom nail art from the comfort of your happy place. The kit includes all the materials needed for gorgeous gel nails. 1 Pottle with Fortify, 1 Pottle Mini No Wipe Gel Top Coat, 1 Compact Cure LED Lamp, 1 USP Adaptor, Glitter and/or Rhinestones, 1 Nail File, 1 Mini Nail Buffer, 1 Dram of Cuticle Oil, 1 Glass Wand, Alcohol Wipes, 2 Copper Mixing Marbles, Nail Forms and 1 Drawstring Pouch is included with your purchase.  

Fear not–what appears like it may be complicated upon unboxing is truly quick and easy. For optimal use, first prep your Pottle, insert the brush into the top and pour the gel into the base. Add in a touch of glitter for some glam. Stir with the crystal wand if needed, add mixing marbles, attach and tighten the cap, file your nails to your favorite shape and add desired layers of gel. Cure nails for 30 seconds under LED lamp, and your gel manicure is complete! The one-time fee of $70 will beat spending that amount plus more every two-three weeks.  



Best Concealer

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer

Fenty’s Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer has a thick but light consistency that melts smoothly into the skin once applied. With this product, a little goes a long way. Its creamy finish allows a person to spread the concealer under the eyes, or the desired areas, like butter. This product provides full coverage and is highly pigmented, covering dark spots, blemishes, red spots, and other problem areas. 

The combination of foundation, concealer and translucent powder can lead to creasing under the eyes. With Fenty’s Instant Retouch Concealer, creasing was minimal. The matte finish provides a soft, airbrushed look and promotes long wear with an occasional touch-up for any potential creasing.  

Overall, Fenty’s Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer wins for best concealer because of its minimal creasing, high pigment, and smooth coverage. The buttery consistency of the product makes the application process seamless. The concealer comes in 50 shades, retails for $28. 

Best Lipsticks

Juvia’s Place Nubian Earth Lip Gloss in Meroe  

Juvia’s Place Nubian Earth Lip Gloss collection comes in four shades. Oasis (a shimmery copper-gold), Mirage (a shimmery peach-gold), Nubian Nude (a soft cool toned nude brown), and Meroe (a soft nude brown).  

Each color speaks to the various nudes that complement melanated complexions. The application is smooth, and each color was highly pigmented. The Nubian Earth Lip Gloss collection boasts long wear, and rightfully so. Its thick consistency, rich hue, and long wear make this the best nude lippie. The gloss retails for $14.  

Best Lipsticks

Juvia’s Place The Reds Velvety Matte Liquid Lipstick in Red Velvet 

Juvia’s Place Red Velvet Matte Lipstick is rich in color. It is a true matte with a purple undertone. The application is smooth and easy to maneuver on the lip. The red hue is bold enough to make any complexion’s skin-pop. It is bright but in a subtle way that doesn’t overwhelm the face. To combat the dryness of matte lipsticks, apply Vaseline to moisturize the lips. Red Velvet retails for $10.  

Best Lip Gloss

Ami Colé Lip Treatment Oil

Ami Colé’s lip treatment oil provides a 3-in-1 multitasker for your lips. The lip oil-to-gloss gives your pout exactly what they have been missing–a load of protection, a dash of shine, and a smidge of tint. The gloss consists of ingredients that deliver. Baobab seed oil, Camellia seed oil, and Passion fruit seed oil make this product clean, vegan, and cruelty-free. The ingredients moisturize, hydrate, and oxidize the lips ensuring that they are the talk of the town. Upon application, the universally-flattering shade will give you smooth, instant results. As you press your lips together to evenly spread out the gloss, you will notice a calming scent that makes the product even more enjoyable.  

A little goes a long way with the thick, long-lasting, non-sticky consistency. This guarantees that you will not need to constantly re-apply and your lips will be shining and hydrated for hours. The compact size allows you to slip it in your purse or jeans for on-the-go travel. It’s rare to find a lip treatment that offers you benefits that perform and we are happy to have cracked the code. The $20 price stamp makes this lip gloss affordable and worthwhile.  

Best Highlighter

Fenty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter

Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty remains the crème de la crème of celebrity beauty lines. This year, we stand by her Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter because it’s simply the best. It has rich pigment that gives you that pop and glow you’re looking for in a highlighter, but doesn’t overpower the rest of your face. 

The cream-powder formula is light on the skin, but don’t be fooled! It’s crafted to last all day long, so you don’t have to worry about touching up while you’re on the go. The Killawatt Freestyle highlighter comes in a variety of shades, leaving plenty of room for you to find the perfect hue. 

When putting on this beauty, be sure to show some love to your eyes and collarbone to maximize the shimmery effects. On the cheeks, go bold for a big and bright glow. 

While this highlighter can be used every day, we especially recommend it for those important events when you want to stand out a little more than usual. The high-sheen never fails and is just the thing you need while posing it up for the cameras. 

Best Foundation


OMGEEZUZ. Pat McGrath Skin Fetish is the future of glowing complexions and smooth texture perfection. The brand is also the Melanin Award winner for Black-owned foundation. We became familiar with Pat McGrath’s cosmetic line as they became hyper visual on social media. On any given day, the brand would flood the timelines with ads that boasted the best red lip could be achieved with Pat McGrath’s Mattetrance lipstick or the Venom Vixen in the color Vendetta. Back to this foundation, though. Skin Fetish is a light, but buildable liquid that glides on like a second layer of skin. Its natural coverage makes it sublime for everyday use. True makeup lovers will understand the value of these deliverables and know that it is absolutely worth every last one of the $68 it retails for. 

Best Lashes


When lashes first became a staple–and by staple we mean a mainstay aesthetic rocked by many around-the-way women and girls–they weren’t well received. At the time, commonfolk associated false eyelashes with entertainment, divas, makeup artistry or stripper culture. The everyday Black woman was charged with being extra or doing the most. However, these very women deserve credit for breathing life into lash wear and transforming the industry. Big lash energy ain’t going nowhere, no time soon. No cap. 

The Melanin Award goes to Minx & Mane for its luxe line of lashes that vary in styles, that appeal to volume, length and eye shape. The brand was sure to carry something for a bevy of lash wearing women which are named with colorful monikers like Basic Bish, Zero Fux and Walk Of Shame. MN tried the Zero Fux and Litty Lash and reached the verdict quickly. Minx & Mane lashes are featherlight. Its lash strips are fine which is integral to lash application. Thick strips can potentially create a bulky looking eyelid. Minx & Mane keeps it sultry. —And don’t be confused by the name. Minx & Mane is 100% vegan free, socially conscious, and a percentage of company sales go toward social justice causes.  



Best Eye Cream

OAM Replenishing Vitamin C Eye Revitalizer

Ciara’s brand On A Mission encourages users to level up their skincare routine through a product with clinical proven results. The Replenishing Vitamin C Eye Revitalizer is the formula your eyes have been waiting for. Wrinkles and dark circles are real, and it is important to take care of the skin underneath your eyes no matter what age you are. This silky eye cream deeply penetrates the skin and targets undereye circles, diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, reduces under-eye puffiness, and brightens the skin. The key ingredients tested by dermatologists include Tri-C Pro-Peptide Complex, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, CoQ10, and Green Tea. Each element works to hydrate, protect, moisturize, and soothe the most delicate area of skin on the face.  

For ultimate results, apply one small pump of the eye cream onto clean fingertips and lightly tap around the eye area. We advise using this product in the A.M. and P.M. to truly reap its benefits. It can take three to four weeks to truly see what this product has to offer; however, the non-sticky and moisturizing impacts are felt immediately. Sold on shelves for $35, this eye revitalizer gives you a bang for your buck.  

Best Face Mask

456 SKIN To Be Clear

They say necessity is the mother of invention. That adage couldn’t be more true for 4.5.6 Skin. The brand’s inception came about as CEO Noelly Michoux yearned for products that truly catered to her skin’s needs. It led her to form a consortium of skincare heavyweights who have worked tirelessly to address the inequity in the beauty industry.  

That expertise and extra attention to detail is evident in To Be Clear; this year’s winner for best face mask. The peach-hued formula has anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties your skin will thank you for. It’s a resurfacing exfoliant that offers tightening and smoothing results (all of which you begin to notice after a few applications). 

What we love most about To Be Clear (and 4.5.6 as a whole) is that you get specifics on why the product works for melanin-rich skin in particular. In the case of this exfoliating mask, they note that over-exfoliation can cause irritation which can then lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Their formula addresses this concern with skin-renewing ingredients that gently rejuvenate and brighten the skin. Think: pumpkin enzyme, oat kernel oil, shea butter, rosehip seed oil and more. Plus, unlike a lot of exfoliating masks, your face isn’t left feeling dry or stripped afterwards. This mixture cleanses deep without sacrificing hydration. It’s a winner through and through. 

Best Face Moisturizer

Shani Darden Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer 

When you pop open a bottle of Shani Darden’s Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer, it becomes evident she’s a vet in the skincare game (no wonder she’s a celebrity favorite). Her lightweight formula is our 2022 winner for best moisturizer for good reason.  

It glides onto your face with ease and is, in fact, fast-absorbing. While the product seeps into your skin, it provides hydration without clogging those ever-present pores. The best part? You’re not left with a shiny or greasy visage. 

Darden’s oil-free moisturizer owes its efficacy to hero ingredients hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed collagen and red algae extract that work in tandem to provide maximum results. It’s recommended that you apply the formula in the mornings and evenings after cleansing and toning. Be sure to massage into the skin from the center of your face, outward, upward, and down into the neck. After application, your skin will be noticeably smoother and more supple.  

While this weightless moisturizer skews towards the pricey side, a little goes a long way. Rest assured this formula will give you your money’s worth and then some. It also gets bonus points for working through all four seasons; so there’s no need to worry about switching things up as the weather fluctuates. The net-net: Shani Darden’s weightless oil-free moisturizer is that girl. If you have normal to oily skin, add this to your cart STAT! 

Best Eye Mask

KNC Beauty Leaf Eye Mask 

In beauty camps, we can all agree there’s no shortage of pretty and neatly packaged products. Once you’ve moved beyond the cutesy details the question becomes: does this item actually deliver? We’re thrilled to share that KNC Beauty’s Leaf Eye Masks aren’t just Instagram fodder. They work–and the results come in spades. 

Formulated with all-natural plant extracts and ultra-moisturizing hyaluronic acid, it offers up a burst of rejuvenation that isn’t harsh on the delicate eye area. What truly makes this product a standout is its secret weapon: cactus extract. This key ingredient is packed with vitamin E that fights toxins and firms the skin. The leaf eye masks are loaded with cucumber and green tea leaf that work to soothe irritation and encourage DNA repair, respectively. This superior mixture minimizes redness and offers relief to acne-prone skin.  

It’s also worth noting that this product isn’t tested on animals, is paraben and sulfate-free and does not contain any artificial dyes or fragrances. Guilt-free self-care? Count us in. 

For best results, ensure your eye area is clean and dry before application, leave on for 10 minutes and use 2-3 times a week. 

Best Body Moisturizer

 Pholk Werkacita Allover Balm

Tis’ the season to be deeply hydrated, moisturized and minding Black-owned skincare businesses. After 50-11 rub downs using copious amounts of greasy goodness from several Black-owned brands, we landed on Pholk Werkacita Allover Balm. And listen—it is the bestest (yup, bestest) body butter for Melanin Mommies and Papis and non-binary babes. The balm is an aromatic mashup of mango butter and essential oils that come in two flavors scents: Eucalyptus and Moroccan Rose. The product is vegan and can be used on the face, lips and body. Pholk definitely lives up to its humble brag as “soul food for the skin.” The eucalyptus mix soothes achy muscles as it moisturizes and the Moroccan Rose melts away ash and quenches thirsty skin as it hydrates and calms stressed skin. Pholk has an entire skincare system and products that complement the Werkacita Allover Balm. The brand is intentional about bringing Black excellence to Black skin.  

Best Face Oil

Danessa Myricks Beauty Oil

Bay-bee, you have not experienced face oil until you’ve experienced Danessa Myricks beauty oil: The Original. It is liquid gold–literally. Myricks did not come to play in your face, the self-taught makeup guru gathers that skin intentionally. The win-win for MN is its lightweight consistency–the face oil doesn’t sit on the skin, it is absorbed by the skin–and unlike many face oils, it can be worn with makeup products without breaking them down. The gold glow that glistens on Black skin is the cherry on top.  

The one-ounce bottle of beauty oil is loaded with luscious ingredients that love on melanin skin of all types. It contains “hero oils” which the Danessa Myricks website lists as “jojoba, squalene, sunflower seed and sweet almond” to nourish dense, complete skin and treat issues like dryness, dullness and texture. 



Best Perfume Oil


Look good, feel good, and most importantly—smell good. MOODEAUX’s limited edition Worthy Supercharged Skinscent Grab Then-Go Duo perfume oil is an excellent scent for all seasons. Created with top key notes of White Tea, Orange Blossom; middle key notes of Red Rose, Lavender, Leafy Greens; and bottom key notes of Dry Musk, Vanilla Woods and Amber the aroma exudes femininity. This fragrance is made for skin and contains no alcohol, dyes or water. Fractionated Coconut Oil allows the perfume oil to fight dryness, Apricot Oil helps to restore skin from within. Grape Seed Oil shields against environmental damage and Meadowfoam Seed Oil helps lock in the scent onto the skin. The namesake “Worthy” is proven as soon as you spritz the fragrance onto your skin after a shower.  

The long-lasting scent can carry you from work to play and its compact, sleek size allows you to bring it with you as you hit the streets. In addition to the fabulous perfume oil, a limited edition bright and vibrant orange Grab-Then-Go Stash Bag with a keychain comes with the package. The reusable Grab Then-Go bag is great to throw in your tote and helps you easily locate the perfume amongst a plethora of items in your bag. Retailing for $45, your skin will be grateful for this scent that guarantees sophisticated, sensual lingering effects.  

Best Eau de Parfum

Mair Remember When

Selecting a fragrance is such a personal experience, we suggest approaching it with the utmost care and consideration. Your scent lingers in the minds of all the people you encounter, and should be memorable for all the best reasons.  

If you’re looking for a perfume that makes a statement, lasts for hours, but isn’t too overwhelming, cop this year’s best eau de parfum: Mair Remember When. This fragrance is a delight to the senses with rich notes of jasmine, Italian bergamot and amber. A spritz to the wrist and neck are all you need to carry you through the day. 

Pro tip: After spraying the scent, don’t rub, dab gently into the skin. Rubbing may dull the scent, which is the opposite of what you’re looking for. 

A full-size bottle will run you upwards of $100, so if you’re going to commit, commit. However, if you’re feeling a little uncertain, we recommend testing out a sample before taking the leap. We also love the site’s feature that allows you to purchase the fragrance as a subscription, so you’re never caught slipping. 

Best Eau de toilette


While your favorite solar galactic mama Erykah Badu was trending for slanging whiffs of her Badussy, Rihanna dropped Fenty fragrance right under our noses and sold out.  Rihanna has long had a reputation for smelling like heaven. If you could wake up and smell like anyone in the world, it may as well be Robyn Rihanna Fenty. When Fenty fragrance first dropped in August 2021, it flew off the shelves. When it restocked for the holidays, it did the same. Fortunately for us, the famous aroma is here to stay and it is ery’thang you think it is. It is fabulously Riri. The packing is chocolatey brown, as is the 2.5 ounce Fenty fragrance bottle which is said to fit perfectly into Rihanna’s palm–and your weekend bag. If Afro-fragrance was a thing, Fenty is it. It is oozing Melanin Mastery. The scent is celestial indeed and embodies a sexy floral fragrance with a robust mix of  “Magnolia, musk, tangerine and Bulgarian rose create a sensual warm floral. Finished with unexpected touches of vanilla, blueberry, coconut, geranium and patchouli,” according to its product details. Fenty is on some rich auntie-ish, like its producer and retails at $140. 






Step Into Melanin Magic

Madame Noire

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