For years, the myopic beauty industry dismissed women of colour – particularly women of darker pigments – by categorizing them under a single shade; while white women got to have a million shades ranging from mayonnaise to beige.
Thankfully, over the last couple of years, a lot more beauty brands for women of colour by women of colour have been popping up and completely slaying the game.
A good example of a beauty brand that popped up to combat underrepresentation is Taos Cosmetics, which was founded by 24-year-old Vanessa Onwughalu. From highlighters to lipsticks, the brand produces affordable cosmetics – specifically for black skin.
Vanessa officially started research for the brand in 2011, with samples and testings starting in 2013. Then in 2014, the brand was born in the UK and later launched, that same year, in Nigeria.
Speaking with The Guardian about what inspired her to start her brand, Vanessa said:
"Taos cosmetics was born out of a pressing need to have makeup for women like me. My aim for Taos Cosmetics was to be a go-to brand of cosmetics for women of colour all around the world.
I wanted the everyday woman to have a relatable brand; one that people feel some sort of connection to while using."
About her goal for the future of her brand, she continued:
"My goal for Taos Cosmetics is to be an internationally recognised brand that can compete internationally with foreign brands.
It is my dream that we bring a new face to the Nigerian market. We want people to start to think 'if Taos can do this, other Nigerian brands can do it as well'."
You can learn more about the brand right here.