Opinion: Your Melanin Summer Glow

K. Revs

My Beautiful Melanin Queens, the time is upon us once more.

The time when the sun provides us with serotonin but strips us of all hydration. Makeup gets cakey. Edges no longer lay flat. Our skin gets darker with tan and lighter with ash.

Ah, sweet summer.

And regardless of all of that, it is also the most social time of year. With Juneteenth celebrations, cookouts, bachelorette parties, baby showers, birthday vacations, weddings, and on and on and on…

The problem is, however, the bar for Black beauty products has been so low for the past twenty years that for a minute it was actually looking up at hell. Before Rihanna’s Fenty Line (A moment of silence for our blessed new mama, RiRi) most cosmetics offered only three shades of black — black, blacker, and blackest. They didn’t take into account our underlying hues of pinks or oranges the way that they always have with white skin.

And don’t even get me started on the lengths we had to go to get good hair care products. Pink lotion PTSD, anyone?

Pink Lotion via Google

However, in recent years beauty brands have begun to recognize the value of the Black shopper. The coins that we spend on maintaining ourselves. Black Americans spend upward of 300 billion dollars annually and more than nine times what a non-black consumer spends on beauty and hair care.

And since our country was built on capitalism, brands have decided to focus on “inclusivity” under the guise of equal practices instead of the real reason…financial gains.

But fear not. I have done my due diligence in finding the best products made for us, by people who look like us. In shopping these products, we may be giving into capitalism (no real way around that one, I fear) but we are also investing in Black Excellence. And that in itself makes these options entirely worth it. So without further ado, here are ten of my favorite Black Owned beauty brands available on Amazon. (This post include affiliate links, if you purchase anything through these affiliated links, the author may earn a commission)

1. Buttah Skin Transforming Kit

The bread and butter (ha, get it) of my daily routines. This skincare set keeps my skin feeling silky smooth for days at a time. The brand targets the issues we face every day — dryness, discoloration, oiliness, and blemishes. And as someone who naturally produces enough oil to straight up cook a whole meal with, these products manage to moisturize me without leaving a sticky residue or clogging my skin up. Plus, it makes me glow like Beyonce onstage at Coachella. There are three different kit options: Cocoa Shea Cream, Facial Shea Cream, and Hyaluronic acid, each coming with 3–4 products.

Hydrate your skin with the Buttah Skin Transforming Kit here.

2. Mented Cosmetics

This brand, formed in 2017 was ahead of its time when it came to pigmented colors for dark skin. Between their lipstick and their eyeshadow, the richness of the formulas makes those shades POP, honey. As the natural look movement is taking hold I have been using their nude pallet as my day-to-day look. A quick dusting over my lids provides an easy natural highlight without being too overwhelming. They have a nighttime pallet and a ton of lipstick shades too, although I haven’t tried those personally. Most importantly, the two founders came up with the idea over a glass of Pinot. All I do over a glass of Pinot is cry about how much I love my friends. They win.

You can shop Mented Cosmetics here.

3. Grace Eleyae GE

When I tell you I CRIED tears of joy when I found this brand. I mean, fall to my knees sobbing. If there is one thing I hate more than anything, it is wrapping my hair at night. First off, I’m trash at it. Secondly, they were always slipping off. Then I found caps with elastic which alternately cut off my circulation and stripped me of my edges (hello, new bald spots). But finally when I thought all hope was lost in saunters Grace Eleyae with these beautifully easy satin caps. Even better, they are having a 20% off deal right now bringing these to a cool $20 which is a pretty darn affordable amount to pay for my sanity.

Sleep peacefully with Grace Eleyae here.

4. SwirlyCurly

I used to lose a small dog worth of hair every time I took a ponytail holder out. Every. Single. Time. No matter how gentle I was, at least six strands were lost daily. SwirlyCurly has fixed that for me. I’ve used these magical hair ties with my hair straightened, my hair natural, and even with box braids. They never slip and they never pull. I will never go back to those elastic demons again. Mark my words.

Protect those strands with SwirlyCurly here.


Listen. Good makeup is expensive AF. And sometimes I don’t have $45 to throw at a 4-ounce bottle of foundation. HOWEVER. BLK/OPL manages to be affordable and incredible. Their perfecting stick foundation covers up dark spots and hyperpigmentation almost flawlessly. It’s also hypoallergenic for those sensitive skin folks, like me. But the creme de la creme of BLK/OPL? Their foundation is enriched with sunscreen. Which, my melanin beauties IS IMPORTANT FOR BLACK PEOPLE TOO. Say it. Say it out loud. And then go put on some sunscreen. In fact, let me help you out…

Make that skin glow with BLK/OPL here.

6. Unsun

Sunscreen is important. Sunscreen is important. Sunscreen is important. Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out, let’s talk Unsun. Katonya Breaux founded Unsun in 2016, after being frustrated by the lack of clean sunscreen products for women of color. The tinted sunscreen in particular doubles as a light makeup foundation and sun protection so it’s perfect for the lazy ones out there like myself. It’s highly moisturizing so great for those who get dry in the summer. If you’re oily though, this formula may sit a bit too thick on your face so keep in mind if you choose to support this biz.

Protect yourself with Unsun Tinted Sunscreen here.

7. Bolden Skincare

Full disclosure, I’m a skincare aficionado. I LOVE a good skincare routine. I cannot stress that enough. But I was spending a lot of money on skincare that was ridiculously expensive from very big companies. During the past two years though, I’ve been trying to shift much of my spending to Black-owned brands. And I gotta say, with my whole chest, this is one of my favorite switches. The entire Bolden skincare line (cleanser, toner, moisturizer) is so simple to use, affordable, and gives me the perfect balance of skin moisture, never drying me out or making me too oily. If there is one product that you look into from this list, let it be this one.

Clear up with Bolden Skincare here.

8. Briogeo

If you are not a deep conditioner then we need to sit down and have a little chat, honey. There is nothing, nothing, nothing (Whitney Houston 4 ever) that is better for your hair than deep conditioning. And this one is the only one I use anymore. Briogeo has a whole line of products of course, but this is their gold standard. My hair has a tendency to get very brittle at the ends and where my ponytail is. My strands soak this up like water to a sponge though, and ever since I’ve begun using it my hair shedding ratio has gone done by like….75%. Run don’t walk.

Get your shiny, luscious locks here from Briogeo.

9. The Honey Pot Company

I won’t go too deep into this one but just know it’s exactly what you need for Hot Girl Summer, Established Relationship Summer, or New Mama Summer. Trust me.

Stay fresh with The Honey Pot Company here.

10. You Tell Me

While these are just my personal favorites, there are so many Black beauty brands out there in the world. Some are on Amazon and some are not yet big enough for it. Which ones have you found and fallen completely head over heels for? Let me know. Let the world know! If we’re going to throw our coins, we should at least be throwing them at each other, right?

This article holds my own opinions on the reported content and contains affiliate links. To read more of my musings on the world today, follow me on Newsbreak.

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Word purging about personal development, modern society, and politics.

Dallas, TX

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