Clean and Vegan Makeup for Dark Skin

Image: Laws of Nature

While womxn with black and darker tone skin enjoy using cosmetics as much if not more than white womxn, options to suit their complexion are hard to find. Fear not, these are the best clean and vegan makeup brands for dark skin.

Black womxn have been and are now more than ever a vital force in the makeup industry. Unfortunately up until this point, they haven’t received the recognition they deserve. It was only recently that people with darker skin tones experienced the joy of an extensive shade range in concealers and foundations when Rhianna’s Fenty beauty range was released. There are plenty of inspiring tales of black womxn in cosmetics, but it’s a market that, even though it always had a great demand, clean and non toxic options haven’t  been made accessible until recently.

In 1994, supermodel Iman started her own makeup brand, IMAN Cosmetics, largely because she thought makeup manufacturers had overlooked all women of colour. After almost a century of underrepresentation, today womxn of colour also have the option of wearing foundation from some mainstream brands. These brands are aligning to a need and demand from womxn with melanin who need more choice.

As reported by Laws of Nature, according to a 2016 study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), nearly 75% of products marketed to Black womxn score high in potentially hazardous ingredients. Therefore, Black womxn are at a higher risk of being disproportionately exposed to toxic chemicals from cosmetics. Fortunately, there are now plenty of clean beauty options, free from parabens, with sustainable packaging, organic ingredients, without silicones and made using ethical practices. Whatever your shade is, whatever your preferences in terms of ingredients and performance are, it’s safe to say that the makeup industry is a happier place for women of colour. Let’s invest in these brands that are clean, ethical, inclusive!

Clean and Vegan Makeup for Dark Skin Thandiwe Newton Inika Organics

Image: ThandieKay / Thandiwe Newton

6 Clean & Vegan Makeup brands for dark skin

Clean and Vegan Makeup for Dark Skin Laws of Nature Creme Foundation

Laws of Nature 

Jasmine Rose founded Laws of Nature as a response to the amount of hazardous ingredients found in cosmetics for black womxn. After receiving the news that her mother had metastatic Breast Cancer in 2007, she wanted to learn more about it and started to examine her beauty and dietary habits while shifting to natural living. She had difficulty finding an affordable, safer, natural foundation suitable for her skin tone and sensitive acne-prone skin. She also figured other Black womxn shared the same struggle finding a clean foundation that both addressed their skin concerns (i.e., hyperpigmentation, acne, eczema), matched their shade/undertones, and 100% vegan. Laws of Nature now offers a wide range of products for any step of your makeup routine.

Blac Minerals

Blac Minerals is the mineral makeup brand designed specifically for black womxn. Their Mineral Foundation is lightweight and creates an even, uniform colour, covering imperfections gracefully. It provides versatile coverage from sheer to full, but without an ashen/grey after effect. The ingredient list? You can’t get more transparent than this as the products are made using 5 ingredients only! Even the concealer sticks have an easy to pronounce list of naturally derived ingredients including oils and root extracts.

Clean and Vegan Makeup for Dark Skin Blac Minerals Concealors
Clean and Vegan Makeup for Dark Skin Gabriel Cosmetics Inc Foundation

Gabriel Cosmetics Inc.

Gabriel Cosmetics Inc. prides itself on developing clean, mistake-proof and results-driven beauty products. Products which have paved the way for the natural beauty industry for the past 25 years. The line is inclusive and has some great options when it comes to concealers and foundations for darker skin tones. Without compromising aesthetics, functionality, or accessibility, Gabriel products offer consumers earth conscious and ethical options to their beauty needs. All products are made from 100% natural ingredients with no synthetic chemicals or animal by-products.

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Black Up Paris

Black Up is the Parisian brand conceived to represent and enhance darker skin tones. Among the products available they have formulated lipsticks designed to make your skin tone truly pop. This is because the brand creates some of the most richly pigmented colour cosmetics on the market. Black Up Paris has also developed perfectly tinted clean foundations, eyeshadow palettes and blushes. Most of their products are vegan, and only a few contain beeswax however all are 100% cruelty-free.

Clean and Vegan Makeup for Dark Skin Black Up Paris Matifying Fluid Foundation
Clean and Vegan Makeup for Dark Skin Plain Jane Beauty

Plain Jane Beauty

Plain Jane Beauty® is the makeup brand where all skin tones are celebrated. This eco-beauty cosmetics line blends aesthetics with ethics. They champion beauty with sustainability in order to provide the tools to look good and do good, without sacrificing your sense of self. Plain Jane create luxurious, high-performance cosmetics using healthy, environmentally conscious vegan-based formulations. The mindful offering includes an inclusive range of shades. Their liquid foundations and Crème Minerals are formulated using natural colours inspired by the palette of real skin shades. The brand has been cruelty-free since 2010 and feature responsible packaging which is recyclable and uses glass and other thoughtful materials.  

Inika Organic 

Although not specifically catering to darker skin tones, Inika wins points for it’s shade range. Famous for being Australia’s best known natural beauty brand, they create effective products using organic and non toxic ingredients. Whilst their shade range isn’t as big as it could be they have developed darker shades with yellow and gold undertones which mean your skin won’t look ashy. The Organic Liquid Foundations and Loose Mineral Powders especially are well worth trying. As a brand thats been around for so long (since 2006), they can relied upon to offer great products that do exactly what they say they will. 

Clean and Vegan Makeup for Dark Skin Inika Organics Baked Mineral Foundation

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Disclaimer: The content of this article is for general advice only and should not be used as a substitute for professional healthcare or beauty advice. We make every effort to ensure we only recommend safe products however you should always do a patch test when trying new products. This post may contain affiliate links