November 01, 2020
When it comes to beauty, women understand the needs of their kin, and the brilliant women in the industry certainly don’t disappoint with their innovative products. Each female beauty brand founder has her own unique story, empowering other women to leverage their entrepreneurial skills and creative minds to reshape their fields and be at the forefront of their industries.
Defying the odds and leaving their mark with their game-changing products, these successful visionaries are building legacies. They're also part of a revolutionary movement—the future is female and we’re taking it by storm. Whether you’re looking for natural beauty products or makeup accessories, check out these standout women-owned beauty brands in California.
Female-owned makeup companies
Founded by Rea Ann Silva, one of the most sought-after Hollywood makeup artists, Beautyblender is a Latina woman-owned beauty brand that revolutionized the industry. See the egg-shaped sponge in your drawer that you use to apply foundation? It was created by Silva in 2002; she used the edgeless sponge applicator to make her clients look flawless on camera, and it quickly generated a lot of buzz thanks to the perfectly blended complexion it achieved. Now, the award-winning beautyblender is ubiquitous.
Initially, Silva was drawn to fashion illustration, but when she became a single parent, she pursued makeup to make a living. As a result of her hard work, dedication, and ingenuity, she built an empire. Aside from its signature product, Beautyblender offers everything from foundations and cleansers to brushes and accessories. Silva's unique perspective and in-depth understanding of the nuances in skin tone have empowered people to feel comfortable in their own skin.
2. Anastasia Beverly Hills
Coining the golden ratio for shaping brows, Anastasia Beverly Hills is a female-owned makeup company best known for its eyebrow products. Ever since its establishment in 1997, the company has been helping customers get their eyebrows on fleek. Romanian-American beauty entrepreneur Anastasia Soare is credited with the brow revolution.
While working as an aesthetician when she first moved to California, Soare developed a technique to shape brows according to clients’ bone structure. Now, she runs a billion-dollar empire thanks to her prestigious cosmetics. Receiving industry-wide recognition for digital innovation, Soare has won many awards for her iconic products like the Brow Wiz, Contour Kit, and Liquid Lipstick. Almost everyone has owned an Anastasia Beverly Hills product at some point, and now, we all know who to thank.
3. Kate Somerville Skincare
Kate Somerville is the mastermind behind the best-selling skincare brand Kate Somerville, LLC. Struggling with eczema as a child, Somerville wanted to feel comfortable in her own skin and help others discover a life-altering solution. Over the years, she worked alongside some of the world’s best cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists, which led her to open the Skin Health Experts Clinic in California. Now, she creates products using highly active ingredients with soothing properties to overcome specific skin conditions.
Unlike many other beauty brands, Kate Sommerville celebrates ageism and sees grace and elegance in every phase of a woman’s life. This California company’s clientele includes Hollywood celebrities such as Eva Mendes and Demi Moore. With a wide selection of effective cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums, and exfoliators, everyone trusts the industry legend’s expertise.
4. Black Moon Cosmetics
Black Moon Cosmetics is a women-owned beauty brand that creates paraben-, gluten-, and cruelty-free vegan products that also help you channel your inner goth. Founded in 2015 by Tina Munster, the L.A.-based company first started experimenting with liquid lipstick and soon expanded to eyes, face, and body products using quality ingredients. Munster wanted to make liquid shadows more versatile and combine her three favorite things: glitter, outer space, and the color black. Creating ethereal makeup products as a result of her passion, she's designed an out-of-this-world collection that's perfect to use year-round. The female-owned makeup company is flourishing and continues to introduce awesome new products that keep the beauty world moving forward.
5. Earth Tu Face All Natural Skincare
Sarah Buscho and Marina Storm launched Earth Tu Face All Natural Skincare with the intention of creating 100-percent natural skincare products. Using only plant-based ingredients sourced right from their own organic herb garden, the duo makes products that heal, nourish, and rejuvenate the skin. The San Francisco-based, woman-owned beauty brand creates highly effective and safe products—you can even eat them (but there’s no guarantee they’ll actually taste good). Thanks to the simplicity of these natural solutions, many customers have praised Earth Tu Face’s moisturizer, saying that their skin looks alive for the first time. From the exfoliant powders masks and treatment serums to the toning mists and body butters, the women-owned brand ensures that all of its skincare products are completely free of toxins and synthetic compounds.
6. Pattern Beauty
Crafted specifically for those with curly, coily, and tight-textured hair, the products from Pattern Beauty make it easy to maintain healthy, hydrated, and joyful hair. The woman-owned company was founded by none other than iconic actress Tracee Ellis Ross. Focusing on hair health, Pattern Beauty encourages women to let their hair be free and take up as much space it requires. Instead of stifling your curls and straightening your hair every week, follow the company's Curl Guide, which teaches you how to best care for your coils and curls. Aside from encouraging clients to embrace their natural hair texture, Pattern Beauty also supports organizations and programs that empower women and people of color.
7. Beauty Bakerie
Cashmere Nicole was born to be an entrepreneur; growing up, she would beg her mother to take her to the library to read books on how to start a business. Though she became a teen mom struggling to make ends meet, she was always driven by her passion to start a company, and she eventually made her entrepreneurial dreams come true by building a multi-million dollar cosmetics brand: In 2011, Nicole launched Beauty Bakerie, a San Diego makeup company that also highlighted her sweet tooth. In less than a decade, the Black woman-owned beauty brand expanded its product line from no-smudge lipsticks to eyeshadow palettes, foundations, highlighters, and more. The best part? All of the products are 100-percent cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.
8. Volition Beauty
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Volition Beauty is a one-of-a-kind women-owned beauty brand that solely focuses on clients’ needs. Bonding over their passion for beauty, founders Patricia Santos and Brandy Hoffman had the idea to ask consumers to pitch products and support other people's ideas by voting on them. Now, Volition is famed for its consumer-facing product development, resulting in effective, clean, expertly-formulated solutions for real women, by real women.
Let’s break down how the process works. If you have an idea for a beauty product, submit it on the Volition website. If your idea is approved, it's sent out to the beauty community. Once the votes are in, Volition Beauty makes the product for you, and voila, you’re now a Volition innovator. Offering paraben-, sulfate-, and cruelty-free exfoliators, serums, and moisturizers, this brilliant woman-owned beauty brand provides a platform for the underrepresented and the creative. Who knows, the next big thing might just be your own idea.
9. Kosas Cosmetics
Founded by Sheena Yaitanes in 2015, Kosas is an L.A.-based, female-owned makeup company comprising nourishing, skin-flattering color cosmetics. Motivated to launch her company because she couldn’t find the perfect lipstick, Yaitanes pursued her dream to invent products that challenge the traditional standards of beauty in relation to makeup. Celebrating simplicity and defying convention, Kosas offers makeup products that feel as good as they look. Made using clean, skin-loving, botanical formulas, they’re effortless to apply and are enriched with beneficial skincare ingredients. With the aim of transforming color cosmetics, the woman-owned beauty brand is now at the forefront of a beauty revolution—with no intention of slowing down.
10. Laurel Skin
Combining purity and efficacy, Laurel Skin offers a ritualistic range of flower- and herb-based skincare products in Sausalito. Founder Laurel Shaffer only uses raw, unrefined, and organic ingredients sourced from local artisan farms to craft every item in her line. The company practices slow beauty, meaning its approach comes from an ecological and responsible perspective, solely using ingredients that are ethical and sustainable. Believing that beauty is a loving practice of self-care that begins and ends with mindfulness, the woman-owned beauty brand is committed to health and well-being. Between the seed-to-bottle cleansers, exfoliating masks, lip balms, and hydrating elixirs, you’re going to want to try all of the Laurel Skin products.
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