I don’t know what I was doing in a crowded mall. [I like Mall of Georgia, but, in general, I kinda hate malls]. On a crowded Sunday. [I tend to be quite lazy on Sundays.] Ugh. Well, I do know; I’d just finished stuffing my face at brunch with mom and we walked around to burn some calories[and people watch] and I couldn’t help but spot the blinding, come hither fluorescent glow of Sephora. For those of you who don’t know, Sephora is a makeup haven, like having all the beauty counters of a department store within a shopable, smaller store. Even though I love how makeup looks sometimes, I don’t wear much more than gloss and maybe some mascara on a daily, because 1. It’s expensive! The good stuff is anyway.. 2. My skin is temperamental and sensitive 😦 3. I really hate to say it, but ain’t nobody got time fa dat; and 4. It’s expensive!
No lie, I’ve been using the same drug store brand of gloss for years. I know I know, I’m a horrible person but one tube lasts me forever! And it’s cheap! But I recognized the problem and made moves toward an upgrade. Anyway, as usual, I was just looking for some clear lip gloss [and by clear I mean c l e a r-no iridescence, no tint, no glitter. Why is this so difficult to find?]… so after a quick, luckless once over, I tackled the nearest saleslady and asked where it was. She showed me two brands [TWO! out of all that lip stuff in all that square footage!] within my stated budget and desire for a tube instead of a wand. With one in each hand, head cocked and lip snarled, I had an epiphany:
What tf am I doing here?
Gloss is my daily staple. I buy it over and over and over.. so, on this day, double fisting these overpriced, glitter-free yet unimpressive glosses, I asked myself: “self, why are you contemplating buying a product from a mass distributor when you’re aware of Black-owned and operated beauty brands and you’re trying to go full throttle on this buy Black mission?”
I had no answers. Plus they both had petrolatum so I had to pass anyway.
So I came home and got to hunting online for a natural lip gloss made by my sisters. Made with love. And I was inundated with results! Who knows our plethora of skin tones and sexy, full lips better than us? And why wouldn’t I want to invest in a brand that has my best interest in mind for something I always purchase? This time I had answers.
For my shortlist, I narrowed it down to brands who had the most appeal in the categories of ingredients, appearance + variety:
- Black Up Cosmetics
- Love And Makeup In Kindness, bka Lamik Beauty
- The Lip Bar
- B.L.A.C. Minerals
- Beauty Bakerie
- Luv Mineral Cosmetics
+ a host of other Black owned makeup, hair and skincare brands to whom you might want to patron
My efforts resulted in the purchase of a slightly pricey -yet very clear and lovely- all natural gloss from Lamik. With a wand instead of a tube, but I’ll live. And I learned some things on my WWW Gloss Hunt Mission 2015. The most important?: I really really like the ingredients blatantly displayed. All natural, vegan and cruelty-free brands usually boast them while others don’t even bother to break it down for you. I mean you’ll be applying it to your face. Lips. EYES! Daily. So it’s kind of important to know what’s in this stuff. I’d much rather see all the crap in the products and make a conscious decision to purchase, just as I would food, as opposed to not knowing at all[or learning after the fact when I’ve already purchased it], because if it’s not listed, we can assume nature’s best is not in the formula.
4 thoughts on “Black Beauty: Full Throttle”
I like how you always leave the links so that others can find and support black owned businesses!
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Thank you! I know what I like to see when I read blogs and articles, so I try to provide the same. It takes out the guesswork/searching so there’s really no excuse, right 😉
As always, thank you for reading!
Thank you so much! I’m a makeup junkie and constantly grapple with the fact that my obsession forces me to payroll non-Black businesses. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised to see BlackUp available in Sephora. Unfortunately I don’t see many of us patronizing the brand on my numerous trips to the beauty haven. And in an effort to be fully transparent, I too have contributed to this issue, but in my defense I haven’t found my exact skin tone available in this brand. I’m a constant work in progress and will make more diligent efforts when possible.
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Really, that is all we can ask of ourselves. We can’t patronize brands that we don’t know exist or that don’t cater to us.
You’re so very welcome. So glad you tuned in.