Black history has been an integral part of the beauty and cosmetics industry for decades. From the invention of the hot comb to the development of the multicultural beauty movement, African-Americans have left an indelible mark on the beauty landscape. From Madam C.J. Walker, the first self-made female African-American millionaire, to the countless beauty moguls of today, African-Americans have created products, lines, and services that have revolutionized the beauty industry. From hair care to skin care, cosmetics to fragrances, the contributions of African-Americans have made the beauty industry a more inclusive and diverse space. Here's a few inventions in beauty led by African Americans that caught my attention:
Madam C.J. Walker was the first African American woman to become a millionaire. She invented a line of hair care products specifically for African American hair, including Madam Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower. She ALSO invented the first mass-produced mascara, which was made from a combination of petroleum jelly, coal and ash.
Marie E. Daly was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. She invented a method of separating and purifying amino acids, which can be used in beauty products like hair conditioners.
Garrett Morgan invented the first hair-straightening cream, which allowed African Americans to straighten their hair without using harsh chemicals.
George Washington Carver invented numerous beauty products, such as lotions, creams, and ointments, that used natural ingredients like peanut oil and plant extracts.
Lipstick: In 1884, the first patent for lip color was issued to an African American woman, Annie Turnbo Malone.
Foundation: In 1940, Dr. Elsie M. R. E. Johnson developed the first foundation formula specifically for women of color.
Eye Shadow: In 1949, the first eye shadow specifically made for black women was created by Helena Rubinstein.
Blush: In 1964, the first blush specifically designed for women of color was created by the beauty company, Black Opal.
There are many talented Black beauty moguls who have created their own unique paths to success and empowerment. Many staple products we use today to enhance our beauty and even modern beauty started with an African American behind the idea.
Did you know... you could be one of the history makers as well? You, too could be one that we'll talk about to the next generation. It's not easy building a business or even inventing something new, but doing it as a Black King/Queen is an accomplishment to be honored. Many of us shy away from our calling simply because we feel we don't have the support, empowerment and/or skills as our counterparts, it Im here to tell you... YOU CAN!! IT IS POSSIBLE!!
Here are some tips I found to be very helpful on my journey to help you find your own success and empowerment in the beauty industry:
Find mentors. Find people who have already achieved success and ask them for advice and guidance.
Build relationships. Networking and building relationships with other beauty moguls will help you gain insight into the industry and give you access to more resources.
Believe in yourself. Believe that you have the ability to create a successful beauty business and have faith in your own abilities.
Take risks. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Taking risks can often lead to amazing opportunities and growth.
Stay organized. Having a plan and staying organized are essential for success.
Know your worth. Don’t let anyone take away your power. Know your worth and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
Stay focused. Focus on your goals and don’t get distracted by what other people are doing.Have fun.
Enjoy the process and don’t forget to have fun and celebrate your successes!