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Image via Mented's Instagram page.

11 Black Owned Beauty Brands To Keep You Glowing This Holiday Season

These will make great gifts for the beauty lover in your life—especially if that person is you.

This is our second gift guide in the run-up to the holidays. Keep checking for more lists of great African products here. And for more ideas check out the Okayafrica Shop.

Some of the most useful, stimulating and loving gifts you can get for your boo, loved one (or yourself) during the holidays are beauty and body products. Nothing says "I appreciate you" better than giving a gift that one can actually use, and that makes them feel more luxurious and beautiful - especially during the cold, skin-cracking months ahead.

See our 2019 Black Friday and holiday shopping guide here


But if you really want to spread joy this holiday season, you can kill two birds with one stone by buying from a black owned business. We rounded up 11 black owned beauty and body brands that will make your self care and glow dreams come true: from lip glosses and nail polish to body butters and all natural soap.

Limegreen

Limgreen's mantra is "live your multi". The vegan brand's mission is to make skincare accessible and multifunctional. Their multi-oil revitalizes the skin, moisturizes hair and is a natural makeup remover, and their wax-oil candle doubles as a massage oil - plus, comes in a container that can be used as a mug once the candle runs out. Skincare can be a pricey investment, but if it can be used all over the body, you're definitely getting your money's worth.

Mented Cosmetics

As black people, we have various shades of complexion and are always looking for the perfect nude lippie. Mented Cosmetics offers a handful of nudes - from berries to browns and caramels - in hopes that you'll find one, or more, that suits you. They also just released a gorgeous lip gloss line, which I am excited to try (I am obsessed with gloss right now).

Hunny Bunny Boutique

Founded by two adorable little girls in Washington, D.C., Hunny Bunny features a delicious array of all natural body treats. You'll find olive oil, cherry almond and rose clay soaps, charcoal facial bars, star-shaped lotion bars and all natural deodorant, among other delights. The cutest part - a handwritten letter from the young founders are included with your purchase.

Breedlove Beauty Co.

If you're looking for pure, minimal essential oils that you can mix and match for your liking, or classics like liquid black soap and charcoal cleansers, Breedlove Beauty Co.'s got you covered. The Baton-Rogue based company makes luxurious handmade hair and body butters, organic rosewater facial toners, scalp serums, clay masks and beard oils for anyone to enjoy.

Coloured Raine

Looking for an eclectic array of matte lipstick, eye shadows and highlighters? Coloured Raine has all that, in magical shades that bring out your inner god or goddess.

LIT Brooklyn

Sure, candles aren't necessarily a body or beauty product, but the right scent can revitalize your mind and body and make you feel beautiful. LIT Brooklyn has a collection of scents that will make you feel nostalgic, sexy, relaxed or uplifted. With names like "Home", "Muse" and "Beau", these citrusy, floral and woody scents are sure to invite any mood.

Kaike

Here's a special one if you're buying gifts for someone with a sweet tooth. Kaike (pronounced “cake") makes skin and hair butters that feel, and smell, as smooth and inviting as frosting. Their all natural, vegan products have names like “Frosting" and “Marshmallow Mask" and “Sugar Scrub" and unlike edible baked goods, they're entirely guilt free.

The Lip Bar

Here's another lip wear brand for those who are as obsessed with lip stuff as me - especially lip gloss. The Lip Bar has vibrant lipsticks, liquid mattes and a funky selection of pigmented lip gloss. Perfect for holiday parties or just staying at home and feeling yourself.

Ginger + Liz

Colourful nails can brighten up anyone's mood and outfit during the cold season. Ginger + Liz offers a variety of gorgeous and uplifting colors that inspire and express all kinds of personalities and styles.

Bahi Cosmetics

Offering skin care and makeup, Bahi Cosmetics is a nice pit stop to satisfy beauty and body needs. They sell powder highlighters, primers and lashes as well as dewy mists, facial cleansers and serums. Dope.

Beauty Bakerie

Here's another shop for the sweets lovers in your life. Beauty Bakerie's whole aesthetic revolves around vibrant and fun makeup that makes you feel...tasty. They offer a variety of products, from matte and creme lip whips to eyeshadows, glitter and palettes.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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