Black-Owned Beauty Supply Stores Are Popping Up, And We All Rejoice It's no secret that black women have the most diverse and unique set of hairstyles known to man. A major reason for that happens to be the beloved beauty supply store, a mainstay in predominately black neighborhoods. It's where black women get all of their well-needed hair products -- from their hair for braiding to wigs and luxurious hair-flip-worthy extensions. Yet, despite it holding such a crucial importance in our lives, there has been one unfavorable fact that has pervaded the black community for decades. Although black women are the main consumers, the majority of beauty supply stores in the United States are owned by Korean immigrants who have dominated the ethnic hair care market for years. Since the 1970s, Korean immigrants have had a monopoly in the beauty supply sector due to their close ties to hair suppliers and wholesalers based in South Korea. However, while that may be the reality right now, the landscape is quickly changing. Following in the tradition of Madame CJ Walker -- the iconic self-made millionaire and beauty mogul-- contemporary female black entrepreneurs are taking back control by spearheading their own black beauty supply businesses at a growing rate. pre bonded hairThe latest being Kayla Davis, 19, and Keonna Davis, 21, of Moreno Valley, California, who recently became the youngest black women in America to accomplish such a feat after opening KD Haircare Supply. Among them are a legion of other black business owners cashing in on this multi-billion dollar black haircare market. According to the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association (BOBSA), a consortium which was created in 2004 by Sam Ennon to tackle common issues facing independent black beauty supply owners. It goes without saying, these burgeoning moguls are at the forefront of a growing movement to take back economic power for the sake of their livelihoods and their communities. Sisters Judian Brown, 35, and Kadeian Brown, 33, have firsthand knowledge of how significant it is to own a beauty supply store. They opened up Black Girls Divine Beauty Supply and Salon in Flatbush, Brooklyn approximately four years ago. From the onset, they were well aware of how lucrative the industry was and just how much black women spend on average for their hair maintenance. As Kadeian expressed during an interview with ESSENCE, black women "have the most power, we spend the most money, so why not spend it with our own kind to build [ourselves] up." While the beginning stages of Black Girls Divine was an uphill battle since it was the first hair care business the two had opened together, it has proved worthwhile due to all the positive feedback and support they have received from other black women, and even some Korean vendors who have reached out to help since they are aware of their unique position in the market. Just like others in a similar position, through their joint business venture, they have become the drivers of their own financial future. While there's a lot to be said about the economic strength in black women owning and running their own beauty supply businesses, there's also a huge cultural significance in who has ownership of these shops. By possessing businesses that they themselves frequent, black entrepreneurs are not only just showing off their business acumen, they are developing clout in a world which has excluded them for so long. As the ethnic hair care landscape continually changes, it's likely in a couple of years that the black community will finally be able to proudly say black beauty supply stores serve us and are owned by us.
Color-correcting. It's a buzz-phrase permeating the beauty-sphere these days. Makeup palettes, complete with pastel blue, green, pink, and yellow hues are suddenly overcrowding your go-to spots for beauty purchases, from the drugstore to the makeup counter. And since hyperpigmentation is a common concern for darker skin tones, we can all likely benefit from this artful trend. However, going on a hunt through Easter egg-like shades can be intimidating. Will they look ashy against a darker complexion? Will they blend in well? Heck—will they even work? All questions that need answers. Here, celeb makeup artists Carola Gonzalez and Mylah Morales show you exactly how it's done. 22 Seriously Stunning Hair and Beauty Looks From The MET Gala 2016 Conceal and Even with Orange If your instinct told you to stay away from those pasty pastels, as the saying goes—trust your gut! "Brown skin tones should stay away from pinks, greens, and blues," says Gonzalez who is Scandal star Kerry Washington's trusted makeup artist. "Orange is really the color for darker skin tones because it's the highest in pigment." If you struggle with covering up pesky dark marks, Gonzalez recommends keeping creamy orange color-correctors on hand to spot-treat those areas. We like Amazing Cosmetics AmazingConcealer Corrector in Medium/Deep, $29, at sephora.com. Before applying foundation, use your fingers to dab the product onto the area that you're trying to conceal and blend until the orange color is muted but opaque enough to cover the dark spot. remy hair extensionsLooking for a bit more coverage? Gonzalez suggests investing in an orange primer. "Most women with darker complexions will notice that their skin is not even. There are naturally lighter and darker tones on different parts of the face like around the lips, under the cheekbones, on the chin, and on the forehead. Apply an orange primer on these areas to even out your skin tone before applying foundation." Try Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer in Radiant Primer Peach, $37, at sephora.com. Warm Up with Peach Peach, a neighbor to orange on the color wheel, is another shade to pick up when shopping for color-correcting products. "Peach-y tones tend to warm up darker skin," says Morales who is Rihanna's go-to glam gal. "It also cuts dark, gray tones and brightens up the skin especially under the eyes." Morales uses a concealer brush to cover up dark circles that appear in the under-eye area with a peach concealer. She then blots the product with a dampened BeautyBlender. Try Bobbi Brown Corrector in Dark Peach Bisque, $25, at bobbibrowncosmetics.com with the new color-correcting BeautyBlender Micro.Mini Correct.Four, $30, at beautyblender.com.Watch Jennifer Hudson Slay With a Purple Lip Again, Again and Again! Brighten with Purple With the sun in hiding for most of winter and early spring, you may notice that your skin is looking a tad dull—yellow even. Instead of piling on the bronzer or turning to a darker foundation shade to get your chocolate-y glow back, Gonzalez recommends opting for a purple primer. "Purple helps counteract yellow tones and takes the dullness away," she says. Go for a cushion compact like Lancôme Miracle CC Cushion Color Correcting Primer in Purple, $39.50, at lancome.com. Lose the Blues with Yellow If you're planning an upcoming vacation and intend to bare a bit more skin than the weather has allowed over the past few months, color-correcting products can be used on your body too! Bruise easily? Or perhaps you have some veins that you'd prefer to hide? Gonzalez says there's a color for that. "Yellow is perfect for concealing bruises, veins, or anything with a blue tint to it." Dab a sunny-colored concealer like Cover FX Correct Click in Yellow, $18, at sephora.com onto those areas to take cover. And as with any beauty tip, color-correcting products are meant to be used in moderation. Use just enough to conceal your blemish and apply foundation as usual. Once you master the technique, you may never look back. WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news. § Bae-cations are nice and all, but pulling one off is quite the adventure. Once another person enters the getaway equation, there are a couple of things to consider. Are you sharing a beauty stash? Will all of the products fit into your carry-on? Is everything weather appropriate? If you’re preparing to jet set with or without a special someone, now is the time to re-up on the best travel tips. And who better to lend a helping hand than our beauty experts? The ESSENCE Beauty team is a one-stop shop for beauty guidance, impromptu traveling advice and of course—hilarious “bae” commentary. Press play to see how their take on all things “bae-cation.” What’s something you’d never leave behind on a vacation?
Yelitsa Jean-Charles is the founder and creative director of Healthy Roots Dolls, the first line of natural hair dolls. Healthy Roots’ mission is “to combat internalized racism and colorism by getting to the root of the problem: diversity and knowledge.” The ESSENCE Ultimate Natural Hair Dictionary Yelitsa shares a personal account of the dolls she preferred growing up and what led her to address diversity and representation in children’s media. “In 2014 alone, there were 5,000 books made,” she explains. “But only 8% were about children of color. But over 50% of children in the U.S. are of color. Those numbers just don’t add up. It doesn’t make any sense.” perruques cheveux naturelsYelitsa believes that toys are a great way to solve this problem. “When you’re ignored by the mainstream media, you have to become a problem solver, become an innovator and you have to be smart about it… I look forward to a future where more young women rise to the occasion through innovative solutions and a little bit of Black girl magic, and my hope is that all of you here will support the work that I and other young women are doing because we need your help to change the world.” The 15 Best Sunglasses and Natural Hair Pairings Watch her TED Talk above.
Ginger is the secret beauty weapon we never knew we needed. Its existence dates back to 14th century India and Southern Asia, where it was used for both internal consumption and topical use. When you consider ginger root’s internal makeup of over 20 antioxidants and distinct aroma, its longstanding popularity is basically a no brainer. That’s why Lisa Jones has made it the star ingredient of her Ginger Yum line. Every soap bar, massage candle (in our May box!) and body butter contains the magical veggie. Consequently, using any of her products guarantees smoother, firmer and healthier skin. We can rant and rave about Ginger Yum for days, but Lisa’s journey as a black business owner is just as compelling. After spending almost 30 years with a Fortune 500 company, the Memphis native decided to combine that corporate experience with a natural entrepreneurial spirit to start her own small business. No matter your level of expertise, there’s a lot to be learned from the journey of black women like Lisa Jones. Keep reading for some beauty boss talk that will inspire your own entrepreneur journey. Roadmaps are the key to success. Most small businesses require the owner to leave a 9-5 life behind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare beforehand. While living in Atlanta and working full time , Lisa took classes through the Small Business Association and used those same resources to map out a marketing plan for Ginger Yum. “Check with your local library and chamber of commerce for small business offerings as well,” she adds. “Invest in an electronic bookkeeping program such as QuickBooks to aid in running the business. That way you will not have to take so much time on back logging and entry.” Let's Talk About Poo! 13 Fast Facts About the Dreaded P-Word The customer always comes first. perruques cheveuxNo matter the industry you work in, it’s important to identify and cater to whomever you want the customer to be. Keep this in mind as you learn what does and doesn’t work from a business standpoint. It’s very easy for customer needs to get lost in the mix as you experience setbacks. For Lisa, Ginger Yum customers are black men and women. “As a black woman, I am in awe of those that laid the path for me including my grandmother and grandfather. It’s in that spirit as a people person, I have always had the motto to treat people the way I wanted to be treated. The most important advice I received was to listen to the customer and follow your heart. Never short cut and always produce quality product. Whenever discouraged, reflect back to your ‘why’ and your businesses core values.” Start small and utilize outside platforms. Part of what makes starting a business seem intimidating is this expectation that it has to be perfect from the start. Wrong! In fact, starting small leaves more room for fast improvements. For Lisa, this meant her core staples across several sites, including her own and Etsy. “Build upon your idea and do the research. Start small, do not try to have so many products at once,” she adds. “Have patience and take the required educational courses to have the full ‘knowledge of’ in the field, but also keep learning to stay innovative and authentic. As a new entrepreneur, it is important to utilize multiple platforms to reach your targeted customer.” Shop the entire Ginger Yum line here and if you’re a subscriber, head over to our Facebook page for a quick tutorial on the Soy Massage Candle!
Staying in the know can be a tough job; especially when it comes to your beauty routine. That’s why our editors curate the latest and greatest products each year for the ESSENCE Best In Black Beauty Awards. This month’s BeautyBox is your chance to experience some of our top winners. Trust us: we’ve swatched, swiped and slathered just about everything so that you don’t have to. And if you’re meeting us at Festival, there’s a little something to help you slay in New Orleans. Press play to watch our editors unveil the best of the best and learn more about the BeautyBoxhere. lace front wigs Amber Riley is a star to be reckoned with. A singer, an actress and an author, this 30-year-old beauty can do it all. The Wiz live star is busier than ever and we cannot get enough of her talent as well as her amazing hair. The busy diva shared a behind the scenes of a recent photo shoot where she rocked thigh-high heels, a short jersey dress and topped it off with a badass Fro covering one eye. That Afro is everything! Big, bad, sexy, and full -- her Afro pops out from the pic and we cannot wait to see these finished shots being photographed from none other than Lance Gross. Oh, you didn’t know? The handsome actor is also a brilliant photographer. Can you imagine trying to focus on your pout and pose while being shot by all that sexiness? No worries, because Amber is a professional and she rocks that pose and that Afro with such attitude you know she’s feeling that whole look. We love it, Amber! And can we get a session with Lance?
Shawntae Harris, better known as DA BRAT, has always been a natural hair icon. The 42 year old Grammy Award-nominated rapper and actress have been rocking braided styles since she stepped up to the mike over 20 years ago and continues to stay true to flavor. Now, she’s added radio and TV host with Dish Nation and The Rickey Smiley Morning Show to her repertoire and while braids are still in her hairstyle realm we see an updated version and we love it! Cornrows braided into curly puffs with a bandana at the top are her new signature style and we love it! Who says afro puffs are just for kids? What makes them even better is her choice to add a coppery blond as the color and it makes her hair pop. She looks absolutely stunning and aligns with the natural hair movement that she was always a part of and might as well be called one of the leaders. While she mostly rocked braids and cornrows back in the day, she’s added a shimmering color and curls to give her a more reflective style of today. We actually got to see a peek of this new style on FOX’s Empire in Season Two and all we can say is we love it, keep rocking it and so happy to have DA BRAT back! Beyoncé can do no wrong and while heavily embroiled in her highly successful Formation World Tour, she is still gracing us with her personal side on Instagram. The painfully private world dominator is known for sharing very little of herself on social media but as of late, she’s been in a giving mood and posting more than we are normally used to and we are loving it! Just a few days ago, Queen Bey shared a few pics of herself in a garden oasis in a two piece summer outfit baring shoulders and stomach while rocking her blond mane in an updo with flowers and pins. What made the picture even more glamorous was her #nomakeup close-up. Her skin is gorgeous with a few freckles in a close-up profile. Bey is known for making a statement with no words needed and these few pics with her in a full bloom of summer foliage and no makeup was just want we needed. Flowers in her hair and a #nomakeup selfie are just the way to bring in the first day of summer. We love it Beyoncé! WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.
Hardly a day goes by without some attack or disrespect being thrown at black women and her natural hair. Natural hair is a huge movement that is steadily growing. But despite the love of the hair that grows naturally out of our heads, many are not so in love with the idea of it. From salon shaming to being sent home from school , or the all-time favorite of it being “unprofessional” -- natural hair gets a bad rap from a lot of people and most of the time it is coming from white people. Well, a new video is making waves on social media that hopefully has the answer to this difficult problem. “13 Crazy Things White People Think About Black Hair” is an animated video by founder/Editor-in-Chief of Successful Black Parenting Magazine that touches on all kinds of false beliefs that white folk have about natural hair -- like it being dirty or unkempt. Take a look: The truth of the matter is, this video can be for quite a few black folks as well. And just for the record, we love it! cosplay wigs Be it a disaster or absolute dream, we all have one beauty moment that’s etched in our memories forever. In fact, ESSENCE editors are digging into their personal vaults as part of this month’s “Best In Black Beauty” celebration. From epic elementary school photos to wedding day perfection, we have a feeling you’ll relate to at least one of these throwback beauty moments. Press play to see our team bare all. (And if you’re meeting us at Festival, we have a couple of quick tips that will keep you from melting in the New Orleans sun.) WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.