Despite the fact that the number of Black-owned brands we see on shelves today has increased rapidly, many of the founders have faced distinctly similar challenges to get there as Black entrepreneurs. Dr Esho, founder of Esho Cosmetics tells me, “In many ways I have felt like a unicorn – isolated. Stats show it's harder to get venture capital investment for Black-owned companies. Our brands often do not meet the criteria for investment, so you have to wonder why that is.” Make-up artist Joy Adenuga concurs, saying, “the major challenge from the beginning, and still is a challenge, is race. I’ve lost count of how many opportunities were presented my way but got taken away once they’ve realised I’m Black.” These words hit me with a sharp sting; this feeling of being judged on race is all too familiar.
In order for something to be truly inclusive, it has to start from the inside. Beauty companies must have diverse teams so that this change is organic, and they’ll be able to point out the specific flaws in shades and products before they hit shelves.
The beauty world has come on leaps and bounds, but let’s face it, there’s still work to be done
Read more: Harper's Bazaar