Next time you are walking down the beauty aisle at your local drugstore, or you are shopping for your next holy grail product online, take note of how many brands you know are founded by women in the industry. The truth is, while there are endless products marketed to women, the money behind the industry is still largely not held by women.
The influence women have in beauty—from discovering new and powerful ingredients to gaps in the market that take the beauty world by storm—is major. That is why we are celebrating the female founders that are redefining standards of beauty, sustainability, and inclusivity, and creating products we cannot live without.
These brands were founded by movers and shakers, by women who challenge the status quo, and who champion inclusivity in the beauty space. To sum it up, they are inspiring. Read on to discover 41 of our favorite female-founded and -owned beauty brands to support today (and every day).
1. KEYS SOULCARE
Developed by Alicia Keys and board-certified dermatologist Renée Synder, MD, KEYS SOULCARE believes in the power of serious skincare and soul-nurturing rituals because beauty is more than skin deep. The brand goes beyond just skincare to truly care for the whole self, meaning body, mind, and spirit. The radiant results, from our faves including KEYS SOULCARE Nourishing Cleansing Balm + Makeup Remover and SOULCARE Harmony Mask speak for themselves .
2. ACE BEAUTÉ
ACE BEAUTÉ was founded by Niye Aniekan-Attang in 2016. The brand relies on the simple principle that makeup should help individuals embrace who they are. Makeup is a tool that allows people to love themselves and use it as a form of self-expression and identity. Their mission is to provide high-quality products (like the ACE BEAUTÉ Blushed Up Blush in Peachy and ACE BEAUTÉ Violet Sage Palette) that appeal to a wide-spectrum of individuals, so that they can freely express themselves through makeup.
3. BEAUTY BAKERIE
A powerful story of resilience and inspiration, Cashmere Nicole founded BEAUTY BAKERIE in 2011 with the mission to be sweet and sweeten the lives of others (this BEAUTY BAKERIE Do It For The Graham Eyeshadow Palette being a perfect example!). During a challenging but successful fight with breast cancer, Cashmere became extremely health conscious and research-driven about the products we put in and on our bodies. Her brand is a direct reflection of Cashmere perseverance and passion for high quality, healthy ingredients that enhance the beauty in everyone every day.
4. HONEST BEAUTY
THE HONEST COMPANY, founded by Jessica Alba in 2012, was born of a simple purpose: to create safe, effective products for the family. Their Honest Standard is how they make that intention a reality. It is their set of guiding principles, and it is the way in which they apply their values to innovation and development. “Health and wellness are a universal foundation for a life well-lived, and I believe it is our responsibility to leave the world better than when we found it,” says Jessica on the brand website. In 2015, the brand expanded their offerings to include beauty (like HONEST BEAUTY Lip Crayon Demi Matte in Melon and HONEST BEAUTY Everything Cream Foundation in Cream), and HONEST BEAUTY was born.
5. KNC BEAUTY
Kristen Noel Crawley was on a trip to Japan and exploring Don Quijote in Tokyo, when a wall of lip masks caught her eye. She was instantly obsessed with the idea of perfect, kissable lips. When she discovered there were no natural lip masks on the market, the solution was obvious: she had to create her own. Two years and countless trials later, Kristen created the first all-natural, collagen-infused lip mask (like KNC BEAUTY Kiss My Lips All-Natural Collagen Infused Lip Mask) that now sits on the lips of A-listers and beauty lovers everywhere. The brand now makes everything from eye masks (like KNC BEAUTY Star Eye Mask) to face masks and even lip balms to pair with their OG lip masks.
6. KOA LIFE
KOA LIFE was founded by entrepreneurial twins Kymber and Alexis McClay (AKA the Naven Twins). After years of struggling with adult acne and psoriasis that was not only painful but also caused insecurity and dimed their glow, Kymber and Alexis set out to find a natural solution that actually worked. They decided to ditch chemical products that left harsh side effects and go green. The twins spent over a year developing natural nutrient-dense formulas (we love their KOA LIFE Vit-C Brightening Oil and KOA LIFE Niacinamide Booster) with their doctor and labs that cured their skin issues and thus developed KOA LIFE.
7. PURLISSE BEAUTY
Founder Jennifer Yen created PURLISSE BEAUTY after a stint in Hollywood (and the makeup chair) that left her with irritated skin and looking for a gentler option. With collections featuring ingredients like blue lotus (like PURLISSE BEAUTY Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer) and green tea (we love the PURLISSE BEAUTY Matcha Green Tea Antioxidant Priming Moisturizer), the brand reinvents time-honored Asian beauty rituals into high-performing, modern products that empower individuals to embrace their beauty.
8. YENSA BEAUTY
From PURLISSE BEAUTY founder Jennifer Yen also comes YENSA BEAUTY, a brand rooted in superfood traditions and Asian rituals. Yen was inspired by her mother, who followed a 2,000-year-old practice called zuo yue zi, where a new mother takes a month rest after childbirth to heal her body by integrating superfoods in her routine. One of our all-time faves from YENSA BEAUTY is the YENSA BEAUTY Pink Lotus Peptide Renewal Eye Cream, an anti-aging eye cream that uses antioxidant-rich pink lotus extract and firming peptides to help brighten and smooth tired skin.
9. SOL DE JANEIRO
SOL DE JANEIRO is all about loving your life and loving your body. They are here to celebrate every body. “When I moved to Brazil, I was wonderfully inspired by the joyful attitude that was everywhere,” says Heela Yang, the brand CEO and co-founder. “There is no judgment and no one way of looking and feeling beautiful.” Through their products, like the OG favorite SOL DE JANEIRO Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and the SOL DE JANEIRO Coco Cabana Body Cream, they encourage you to play up and flaunt your best assets and celebrate what you have got.
10. KOPARI BEAUTY
Based in sunny San Diego, KOPARI is an award-winning beauty brand that kicks coconut up a notch with high-performance actives to create efficacious, cleaner than clean products for every body. From skincare (like KOPARI BEAUTY Moisture Whipped Ceramide Cream) to bodycare (like KOPARI BEAUTY Ultra Restore Body Butter with Hyaluronic Acid), their consciously-made products have you covered from head-to-toe, formulated with the purest intentions, so you can feel good about what you put on your skin. "We built KOPARI BEAUTY to be a company that believes in creating natural beauty from the inside out with products that are as pure as possible, and transport you to paradise. And that is KOPARI in a nutshell," says co-founders Gigi Goldman and Kiana Cabell of their brand.