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In The Know is proud to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month. During this month, our team will highlight a wide range of Caribbean and Caribbean American-owned brands. We encourage you to support today and beyond.
Part of what makes beauty so much fun is getting to experiment with and try new products. Sure, you may have your tried and true go-tos that you can rely on on the regular, but that doesn’t mean you can’t branch out. Who knows where you’ll find your new favorite conditioner or concealer?
You could stroll the aisles of Sephora in search of new products to try, or you could peruse the Caribbean-owned beauty brands below. From clean body care to hair products formulated for those with curls, these Caribbean-owned beauty brands offer a little something for everyone.
If you want some new skin care goodness to add to your routine, you’ll want to hit up Itiba, an all-natural skin care line founded by a St. Croix native, plus Terra-Tory which specializes in products for sensitive and eczema-prone skin
When it comes to getting glam for a special occasion or a night out, you should check out KA’OIR Cosmetics, Luna Magic Beauty and of course, Fenty Beauty. These are just three Caribbean-owned makeup brands that can help you feel fabulous whenever the mood strikes.
In a rut with your same ol’ shampoo and hair mask? Take a break and try something special from Bomba Curls, Botanika Beauty or Kinky-Curl. These Caribbean-owned hair care brands offer products that are designed with lots of different hair types and textures in mind.
Whatever your beauty needs, the Caribbean-owned beauty brands that follow definitely have you covered.
Founder: Angelique Husbands
About the Brand: For wonderfully smelling candles to light up your home, Ahmazing Aromas is a small business to keep in mind. Founded by self-described “Island Queen” Angie, these hand-poured candles come in a range of scents to spice up your life, including vanilla, red rose, pineapple sage and Jamaica mi crazy.
Founder: Gabriela Trujillo
About the Brand: Alamar Cosmetics is a Cuban-founded beauty brand with humble beginnings. The brand gets its name from Alamar, Cuba, where founder and CEO Gabriela Trujillo was born. “We are more than just a makeup company, we are the very essence of beauty — a celebration of culture, an emblem of pride, an avenue of self-expression.” Shop some of the brand’s best-sellers, like the DesNUDEAs Birthday Suit Lip Gloss and the Complexion Brush Trio.
Founder: Lulu Cordero
About the Brand: Created by Afro-Dominicana Lulu Cordero, Bomba Curls is all about celebrating natural curls. When Cordero herself was suffering from severe traction alopecia, she wanted a solution to naturally help promote hair growth. Each of the hair care products is made with natural ingredients and is inspired by the Dominican beauty secrets passed down by generations of women. For your own curls, try the Dominican Forbidden Oil to smooth your hair or the Bomba Beauty Bites that promote hair growth.
Read more about Bomba Curls here.
Founders: Ada Rojas and Aisha Ceballos-Crump
About the Brand: Botanika Beauty is a hair care line made for Latinas by Latinas. Its mission is to represent all hair types in the Latin community with a range of masks and special treatments. The company’s name actually comes from the word “botanica,” which is a place traditionally known in Hispanic communities to sell folk medicines and herbs. Each product from Botanika Beauty contains some of these healing herbs to help nourish your hair and your body.
Cultured Naturals Body Care
Founder: Ramone Reid
About the Brand: After her cancer diagnosis and the journey of regaining her health, nurse Ramone Reid was inspired to create Cultured Naturals Body Care, a line of body products that use non-toxic and vegan ingredients. Blended with the scents found on St. Croix, Reid’s products, including a brightening face serum and ezcema butter, not only smell delicious but also offer aromatherapeutic and healing benefits.
EC Soap Co.
Founder: Alexandra Durante
About the Brand: EC Soap Co. is a Caribbean-owned beauty brand and the Virgin Island’s first and only local manufacturer of natural bath and body products. Stock up on its lotion, soap, salt scrub, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and more — you’ll want it all. EC Soap Co.’s products are environmentally friendly and use recyclable packaging to help reduce waste and harsh chemicals that wash into the sea. The brand was founded by Alexandra Durante, who also works with local farmers to purchase raw materials, create jobs and support local charities.
About the Brand: Fenty Beauty is the brainchild of musician and entrepreneur Rihanna. The Caribbean-owned beauty brand is one of the few Caribbean offerings at Sephora and made history in 2017 for its broad inclusivity across skin tones. Grab the popular Remove-It-All Cleanser or the Soft Matte Foundation.
Hair Repair Bar
Founder: Giovanny Jorge
About the Brand: For Giovanny Jorge, hair health starts at the root. Thus, Hair Repair Bar was born. Starting with the scalp, the Caribbean-owned salon has hair experts analyze the health of the hair and make repairs with products using the brand’s organic essential oil blends. The brand’s own Keratin Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner Set helps hydrate and nourish the hair shaft and keeps flakiness at bay. Meanwhile, products like the Keratin Deep Conditioning Protein Mask address damaged and distressed hair.
Hause of Curls
Founder: Sherly Tavarez
About the Brand: Dominican American stylist Sherly Tavarez created her hair care brand, Hause of Curls, with a commitment to change how people feel about their natural hair. Currently, the brand’s product line features a collapsable hair diffuser, hair clips and also satin scrunchies in a variety of colors.
Read more about Hause of Curls here.
Founder: Magdaline Hurtado
About the Brand: Women with textured hair already go through enough to keep up appearances in the workplace. Thankfully, there are brands like Hello Updo that offer stylish, practical solutions. Their game-changing hair accessories are just what thick-haired naturals need to keep coarse, curly tresses out of their faces.
Read more about Hello Updo here.
Founder: Yoki Hanley
About the Brand: Itiba, founded by St. Croix native Yoki Hanley, offers a line of all-natural skin care products that are suitable for all skin types and genders. Hanley first created the plant-based skin care line to soothe her baby’s irritated skin, and the rest is history. Today, Hanley’s children and grandchildren are the first ones to test and approve all of the products before they’re mass-produced and sold. This Caribbean-owned skin care brand’s products are made using unrefined butters and oils and are free of phthalates, mineral oils, silicones and parabens. Two fan-favorite products are Itiba’s Mango Body Butter and Crucian Spice Lotion.
Founder: Keisha Ka’oir
About the Brand: KA’OIR Cosmetics was founded by Keisha Ka’oir, a businesswoman, model and entrepreneur. For those who do not know, Ka’oir is also the wife of famed Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane. The Caribbean-owned makeup brand prides itself on inclusive tones and shades for all. Snag their highlighter palette and vibrant lipstick to add a pop to any outfit.
Founder: Shelley Davis
About the Brand: Kinky-Curly is one of the most popular Black and Caribbean-owned hair care brands today. Its founder, Shelley Davis, hails from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and has been natural since 1998. When the natural hair movement gained major popularity in the early 2000s, she launched the line, which became one of the very first to go mainstream. Today, you can find Kinky-Curly products at popular retailers like Whole Foods and Target. One of the brand’s best-selling products to date is its Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner.
Luna Magic Beauty
Founders: Mabel and Shaira Frías
About the Brand: Founded by Afro-Latina and Dominican American sisters Mabel and Shaira Frías, this LA-based company is an indie beauty brand that offers high-quality cosmetics with major color payoffs. After showing off a few of their cruelty-free eyeshadows, lipsticks and lashes on Shark Tank, the Luna Magic Beauty founders received an offer from Barbara Corcoran. Shop a few of the Caribbean-owned beauty brand’s best-sellers to add some color to your makeup routine, like the brand’s Eyeshadow Makeup Palette and Matte Liquid Lipstick.
Founder: Rocio Nuñez
About the Brand: Midas Cosmetics is an Afro-Latina-owned indie beauty brand that specializes in vegan and cruelty-free products. The Caribbean-owned makeup brand’s mission is for “every person and every skin tone to feel loved.” With an emphasis on inclusivity and diversity, the brand specializes in beauty products for all, like the Flower Bomb Eyeshadow Palette and the Smokey Glow Highlighter Duo.
Miss Rizos Salon
Founder: Carolina Contreras
About the Brand: Miss Rizos, a Dominican-founded salon, initially started as a blog to give advice to readers in Spanish about their natural hair. When the salon opened, it became a socially impactful space to educate other Afro-Latinas on their natural curls. The salon specializes in curls without the use of toxic chemicals or heat. Additionally, Miss Rizos carries its own merch, like its “Yo Amo Mi Pajon Tote,” as well as other brands like Kinky-Curly and Rich and Funky.
Founder: Kama Maharaj
About the Brand: Sacha Cosmetics was one of the first makeup brands to lead the charge in diversity. Founded in 1979 by Trinidad native Kama Maharaj, the brand has been a leading force for shade inclusivity since before it became trendy. Maharaj, who still runs the company from the Caribbean island, was motivated to create this line after seeing the lack of suitable options available for women of color in the 1970s. Today, the Caribbean-owned beauty brand’s Buttercup Setting Powder is a timeless classic that spans generations. In fact, it’s also Miss Universe-approved.
Read more about Sacha Cosmetics here.
Sharana Soap Co.
About the Brand: What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. That’s why we’re such big fans of Sharana Soap Co. This Caribbean-owned beauty brand only uses the finest herbs, botanicals, clays and butters to create their delightfully scented soaps. Their products don’t just smell great; they actually leave your skin looking and feel great, too.
Founder: Kimberly Waldropt
About the Brand: Clean Caribbean beauty brand Terra-Tory focuses on sensitive and ezcema-prone skin. By using natural ingredients and superfoods, the wellness and skincare brand is on a mission to make products everyone, including kids, can use daily. The brand also uses zero-waste and plastic-free packaging materials as part of its sustainability promise. Treat your body to popular items like the Sweet Plantain + Coffee Scrub Cube or the Fresh Aloe Detox Cube.
Founder: Scarlett Rocourt
About the Brand: Calling all curly girls! Wonder Curl founder Scarlett Rocourt knows all about the struggle of finding products that hydrate and nourish curly hair. That’s precisely why she started Wonder Curl. She started off just wanting to create the perfect hair gel, but now the Caribbean-owned beauty brand offers shampoo, styling lotion, hair butter and more.
Contributors: Madison Alcedo, Taylor Bell, Ari Bines, Ellie Conley, Moriba Cummings, Jeanine Edwards, Jamé Jackson, Brittany Nims, Julia Webb
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