The Fifteen Percent Pledge hosted their Second Annual Gala earlier this month at the New York Public Library. Model Anok Yai (shown above) attended the gala in this gasp-inducing look above from Ferragamo’s Maximilian Davis. As one of my favorite beauty moments of 2023 so far, the look got me thinking about all the clean beauty brands out there raising the bar when it comes to the needs of melanin-rich skin.
During the evening, Christina Funke Tegbe of 54 Thrones was awarded the first-ever Achievement Award grant and inspired this spotlight on forward-thinking black female founders making moves in the clean beauty space.
Here are five founders whose meaningful missions and high-performance products stand out to us most lately…
5 Clean Beauty Brands with Black Female Founders Inspiring Us Now
Christina Funke Tegbe, Founder 54 Thrones | Best known for her shea-based body butters, 54 Thrones is committed to sourcing African-grown, organic botanicals for their skincare products and reconnecting people with traditional African beauty rituals. The brand’s name reflects the 54 countries of Africa. While sourcing decadent ingredients like Ugandan vanilla, Ethiopian honey, Egyptian lavender and championing skincare stars like marula oil and blue tansy, Christina reminds us all of clean beauty’s African roots.
Nyakio Grieco, Co-Founder thirteen lune, Founder Relevant: Your Skin Seen | Nyakio has been in the clean beauty space for quite some time. With two notable projects in the works, she tops our list of black female founders to watch.
As co-founder of Thirteen Lune, Nyakio is on a mission to “reframe how Black and Brown beauty brands are perceived”. An inclusive beauty retail experience, Thirteen Lune’s offerings suit skin types and tones of all kinds from 73 black-owned brands, including many that are found solely on their platform. Nyakio also has her own skincare brand, Relevant, offering modern skincare solutions that work for all skin types, most notably with their award-winning One & Done Everyday Cream, a sunscreen, moisturizer, serum and primer all in one. Nancy Twine, Founder Briogeo | I first met Nancy years ago on a clean beauty panel at Fred Segal. Briogeo was just launching, but Twine’s passion for revolutionizing the haircare space was apparent right from the start. Since then, the brand has gained shelf space at some of the more important beauty retailers across the country and has earned a devoted following thanks to their thoughtful and effective products. Do not sleep on their cult-hit Scalp Revival micro-exfoliating shampoo, an all-time favorite with both our readers and our team!
Tisha Thompson, Founder and CEO of LYS Beauty | Tisha is on a mission to build confidence in every LYS customer. With irresistibly fun packaging (their signature triangular cases are a whole thing), an affordable price point (everything is under $30!), and formulas that meet both Sephora and Credo clean standards, LYS Beauty has become the modern girl’s go-to for makeup that does it all. Best-sellers include their serum foundation that comes in a whopping 35 shades and a matte lipstick with nearly 8,000 hearts at Sephora.
Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye, Founder of Ami Colé | The Ami Cole brand is all about celebrating melanin-rich skin and Diarrha’s collection of 8 clean makeup products have received a ton of buzz. Products like the lip treatment oil and skin-enhancing tint blur the lines between skincare and makeup, which is why they have both become Sephora best-sellers.
Tracee Ellis Ross, Founder of Pattern Beauty | When actress Tracee Ellis Ross couldn’t find the perfect hair products for her own curly hair, she decided to take matters into her own hands and create her own. Her hair journey is documented here in a very relatable post complete with the awkward tween photos we’ve all got hidden somewhere.
Pattern Beauty was a dream in the back of Tracee’s mind for nearly 20 years, and the final result is a brand that’s beautiful, educational and filled with life-changing solutions for those with curly, coiled and textured hair. Explore Pattern Beauty’s best-sellers HERE.