The Beat Goes On—and So Does Black-Owned Beauty Month!

Does runway work in real life? Sometimes, it just takes a little shadow play...
Does runway work in real life? Sometimes, it just takes a little shadow play...
Photo: Maiysha Kai

Don’t call it a comeback... I’ve been using black-owned beauty products all month! Still, last weekend, I admittedly had to take a little break from daily documenting to both travel and cover a few little no-name events like the Grammys, the BAFTAs and New York Fashion Week (thankfully, not all in person).


Needless to say, makeup wasn’t my highest priority while hunched behind my laptop—which left me ample time to focus on my skin! As week one of our Black-Owned Beauty Challenge closed, I received some goodies from black-owned beauty mecca Marjani Beauty. After a week of using strictly body wash and oil to clean my face (with so-so results) I was thrilled!

What got my face feeling fresh again? Pholk Beauty’s Glow Replenish Face Wash ($20 for 4 oz.), which did as great a job as my tried and true Kiehls’ Products at getting me squeaky clean without drying me out. In fact, I liked the product so much, I’m trying to get my hands on some of their face oils and toners—and now might be the time, since they’re having a 20 percent off sale. I might have a medicine cabinet overhaul in store.

Of course, bottles of face wash aren’t always ideal for travel (though Pholk’s plastic packaging came close). For an overnight stay like the one I took this weekend, wipes are my jam, and since I’ve procrastinated about copping some luxury jawns from Lauren Napier Beauty ($15 for $20), Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Clarifying Wipes (30 for $5.99) were the ones I tossed in my carry-on. (I’m still going to get into those Lauren Napier’s—I’m just afraid it might become a very expensive habit.)

What else was ideal for being on-the-go? Oyin Handmade’s mini offerings, which were a great way to try try their product line without adding extra bulk to my bag. After buying pretty much the entire collection, what did I love? Their Gingermint Co-Wash ($3.99 for 2 oz.; $11.99-$34.99 for full sizes) followed by their Hair Dew Daily Hair Quenching Lotion ($3.99 for 2oz; $13.99-$37.99 for full-sizes). The combination of the two was exactly the refresh my transitioning tresses needed without the full labor of wash day.


Speaking of washing, big ups to Scotch Porter, whose Mineral Enriched Body Collection ($15-$20; $45.99 for the collection) has been carrying me through the first two weeks of this challenge. Though these products are technically made with men in mind, when he sent me samples of the collection last year, founder Calvin Quallis assured me they were equally great for women—and he ain’t never lied. Particularly great? The line’s Hydro Defense Body Lotion ($15), which has become an instant fave for quick emollience.

And of course, your now deodorant-obsessed editor had to bring along Oyin’s creamy Funk Butter ($7.99 for 3 oz.), which did the Lord’s work with a lovely black fig and cedar scent. (Seriously, I could get used to it).


But obviously, I didn’t spend all my time makeup-free. So, what’s a girl to do when forced to overhaul her typical beauty bag? She focuses on beautiful basics—which for me meant packing Iman’s sized-right-for travel Luxury Concealing Foundation ($16), Fenty Beauty’s Instant Retouch Pro Filt’r Concealer (which doubles as a highlighter; $26) and Flyliner ($20), Beauty Bakerie’s Coffee & Cocoa Bronzer Palette ($38 for velvety textures of contour, bronzer, blush and eyeshadow in one. Need I say more?) and Icing waterproof mascara ($18, and admittedly, not my fave—but one of the few in the black-owned market, and the squeezable tube is cool). And I can’t forget my new addiction, Hue Noir Moisturizing Lip Butter in Touch of Copper ($5), which is exactly what my lips are craving every day—definitely a keeper.

A model walks the runway during the Tory Burch Fall Winter 2019 Fashion Show at Pier 17 on February 10, 2019 in New York City.
A model walks the runway during the Tory Burch Fall Winter 2019 Fashion Show at Pier 17 on February 10, 2019 in New York City.
Photo: Slaven Vlasic (Getty Images for Tory Burch)

But after all these days away, I can’t leave you without a lewk! Today’s simple but striking look was inspired by the black beauties walking down Tory Burch’s NYFW runway with a matte brown smoky eye on Sunday (above). I created mine using the almost sepia-toned grey in Danessa Myricks’ Primary-toned Waterproof Cream Palette ($36) as a base, then lining the eyes with Black Up’s Waterproof Smoky Kohl Pencil in KS01 ($5.70, on sale) and dabbing “Iron Cone” from Beauty Bakerie’s Game of Cones eyeshadow palette ($38) up to the crease of my upper lid, lightly smudging along the lower to create a subtle smoky effect.

Did I nail it? You be the judge... and stay tuned for more “runway to real way” moments as I attempt to recreate the most notable beauty and makeup looks from this Fashion Week—using only black-owned brands, of course!

The Glow Up tip: If you’re a black beauty entrepreneur still hoping to be featured for Black-Owned Beauty Month, there’s still time to get me your samples! Shoot me an email at

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?



I love this series. I really, really, really do love it. I’m trying to get my Mother to take a break from her freakish loyalty to Fashion Fair and Zuri, when MAC just stopped making her foundation.

I had to HUNT DOWN her non-spoiled Fashion Fair liquid foundation and hoard all the Zuri powder when it was on clearance at Target.

She is so set in her ways, I had to send her a fax today (it took me 5 minutes on how to do that via email), but this is a wonderful series for a Black woman who doesn’t get anything outside of make-up counters and is scared of looking like an early 80s Grace Jones.

Thank you so much Maiysha.