On August 12, I attended Project Beauty Expo, a tradeshow dedicated to giving a platform for natural beauty and wellness brands that cater to women of color. Here, a recap of some of the brands I saw that I think should be on your radar.
EA Polish – After giving birth to her daughter in 2012, nail polish aficionado, Ellyse, realized the need for fast drying, non-toxic, trendy nail polish for young moms and busy women on-the-go. She launched a line of bold hues with empowering names such as Boss (fuschia) and Goals (red) with bottles inscribed with encouraging phrases such as “Self-care is the Best Care” and “Darling You’re Amazing” to invoke positive moments of reflection. Each bottle retails for $8.
Kreyòl Essence – Created by Yve-Car Momperousse, with a focus on stimulating economic activity in Haiti, this line of plant-based oils, herbs, and butters, is made indigenous ingredients from Caribbean farms. The company is best known for its multi-purpose Haitian Black Castor Oil ($15, 3.4oz), sustainably harvested from farms in Haiti using a traditional hand processing method. At the show, the brand’s Haitian Hand & Body Crème Mango Rhum Punch ($25) was a favorite with its tropical scent and skin-softening ingredients. To date, the company has creating sustainable jobs for over 380 farmers and planted 100,000 castor trees.
Forever Wild Organics – Based in Brooklyn, NY, this luxury handmade hair and body care product company was created by an herbalist and offers vegan friendly formulations made from medicinal ingredients with the goal of balancing hormones, reversing hyper-pigmentation and growing kinky hair. The company’s bestselling item is its tea formula ($10 for 8 oz), which is available in three blends, and designed to be used internally as a drink and externally as a soothing treatment to stimulate the natural hair growth cycle.
LivSo – After noticing her patients with textured kinky and curly hair had difficulty finding relief from their scalp conditions, Board-Certified Dermatologist, Shari Hicks-Graham, M.D., developed a non-prescription line of moisturizing hair products that aims to reduce dryness, flaking and itching. The full system, which includes a shampoo, conditioner and moisturizer, retails for $50, and utilizes a unique blend of carefully chosen ingredients designed to meet the needs of textured hair.
I See You Wellness – Developed by Mariam Mouna Guessous, a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki practitioner, I See You Wellness is a the wellness line features a range of self-care items including candles, oils and facial care that are plant-based, handmade and Reiki infused. All orders come with an affirmation card, that Mariam says she chooses intuitively for each consumer. A standout in the collection is the brand’s “Feel Yourself” Moroccan Black Soap ($10), a paste with a butter-like texture made with black olives, designed to moisturize and exfoliate the skin.