Beauty has never been about a one-size-fits-all approach, and the wider array of voices heard within it the better. “There’s so many different ways that we as an industry can come together to honor one another in our traditions and cultural beauty,”Nyakio Grieco, co-founder of poly-cultural beauty retail destination Thirteen Lune, told BeautyMatter. Sharon Chuter recently launched the Pull Up for Change Small Business Impact Fund to support Black-owned businesses amidst news that these startups only received 1% of capital investment in 2020. As the world continues to awaken to the dazzling diversity of expressions within it, BM highlighted a handful of brands that are showing us their own unique perspective.
The Beem Box: This bi-monthly beauty subscription box is specifically tailored towards women of color, and offers 5 to 6 full-sized color cosmetic and skincare products for subscribers. “I started The Beem Box to create a community that admires and acknowledges those who are often left out of the beauty conversation,” explains founder Nimilolu Fafowora. Brand collaborators include the likes of Uoma Beauty, Moira Beauty, and Midas Cosmetics.
AcARRE: A tribute to Pacific Islander and African ancestry and the power of plant biodiversity, AcARRE is the brainchild of chemist Tracey Kearse. Its star product is Beauty Edit, a multi-use dry oil packed with nourishing ingredients like rosehip oil, kalahari melon seed oil, and baobab oil. “AcARRE started from family and friends’ request of a beauty product they could use either on their face. Also in becoming a mother I had to create products that were multi use based on the little time we do and make for ourselves,” Kearse explains. “My vision for AcARRE is to grow into a sustainable wellness business for the beauty minimalist.”
Sḵwálwen Botanicals: An Indigenous, botanical skincare line founded by ethnobotanist and community activist, Leigh Joseph, which incorporates wild-harvested ingredients into their products, each one of which has a Skwxwú7mesh name in honor of the Squamish people of the Pacific Northwest (Sḵwálwen translates to “essence of being”). “One of the most powerful ways I have found to connect to culture and community has been through learning from and working with Indigenous plants,” Joseph comments. The range includes Tewín’xw Cleansing Clay (made with cranberries), Shkweń Rainforest Bath & Body Oil (featuring ache-alleviating devil’s club), and a soon-to-be-released Téýwilh Sweetgras, Sage and Rose Geranium Cream.
Quw’utsun’ Made: Arianna Lauren, a daughter of the Quw’utsun’/Cowichan Tribes, founded Quw’utsun’ Made “to preserve the traditional knowledge of the Coast Salish Nation in order to pass it on to the next generations”, with the aim of “connecting our modern life with the natural world”. Each product is made with 100% renewable energy, with locally-sourced packaging and wild-harvested ingredients. Product offerings include Kw’atl’kwa Mist inspired by the Salish sea containing organic kelp and blue green algae, Kîsik Clay Mask with Coconut Milk, and The Tzinquaw Handmade Fragrance (with bay leaf and cedarwood) inspired by the Quw’utsun’ Tzinquaw story.
Epara: CEO Ozohu Adoh, who grew up in Nigeria, was inspired to create Epara after struggling to find the right products for her own skin conditions. She found the answer in the native and organic ingredients of Africa, naming the brand after the Ebira word for “to cocoon oneself”. The resulting range tends to a variety of skin types and concerns, including ageing and hyperpigmentation, with ingredients like neroli oil to balance, frankincense to soften, and moringa oil to fight free radicals, sourced from the countries of Ghana, Morocco, Kenya, and Egypt.