Transformation remains a central component of beauty. From foundation and contour powder that function to rework a woman’s face, to spanx —designed to instantly slim a woman’s figure—beauty is a quick fix designed to distance the female body from what she possesses naturally.

Beauty, therefore, is toxic in nature and execution, conditioning the female body to believe that she is never quite beautiful enough.

The transformative premise of beauty proves particularly harmful to the black female body, a body that bears the cruel duality of oppression. Residing at the intersection of race and gender, the black female body is “othered” as both a woman and member of the black collective.

Furthermore, the featured black businesses and products stand out because they lack the transformative nature of most beauty products. Instead, these products highlight the natural beauty of the black female body:

  1. Mented CosmeticsmentedStarted by K. J. Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, Mented caters to the black female
    lip. Specifically, the company offers a lip product that accounts for the hued lips of black women. The company specializes in the black girl nude, offering something previously omitted from the black female experience—options.

Mented presents the sun-kissed black woman with six nude options. I personally recommend the following:           mentedlippies

Dope Taupe: The ultimate nude with whose slight shimmer only fitting for a queen.
Mented # 5: A plum nude perfect for work or a night on the town.
Nude Lala: A pink nude great for the effortless glamazon.

2.  Nubian Skin

Nubian Skin is a London based black owned company that specializes in black lingerie. Most of the talk around this company focuses on the nude undergarments the company created especially for the black woman. However, Nubian Skin also excels in its hosiery. The company makes its hosiery in four shades: Cafe Au Lait, Caramel, Cinnamon and Berry.

Nubian-Skin-Hosiery

I purchased the hosiery in Caramel and the tights are like a second skin—the perfect companion for both casual and formal outings. The tights are also available in curve, to accommodate the curvy black woman.

While other beauty companies and products function to present various ways to be anyone other than yourself, Mented Cosmetics and Nubian Skin  present multiple ways for the black woman to bask in her own beauty.

For us by us, for now and hopefully forever.

** I purchased all products with my own money, and provide this review as a means to promote black patronage of black businesses.