Best Cosmetic Lines for Women of Color

 The best cosmetic lines for black women.

By: Amanda Anderson

When we think of beauty products, there are thousands of companies that we’ve come to know, trust, and expect in our makeup bags. However, as a woman of color, most of these products leave us desiring more because they don’t give us the results that we’re looking for. It’s no secret that most of the top cosmetic lines aren’t catered to women of color, and we’ll spend most of our makeup addicted lives searching for cosmetics that work for our beautiful and diverse features. While many of the top brands are working diligently to develop cosmetics lines for the brown girls, there are some cosmetic lines that are harmonious to our long range of beautiful complexions, and particular skin digressions. After much trial and error, here’s the top cosmetic lines for women of color, that I have grown to love over time and are home to a series of great products.

1. MAC

MAC is by far one of the most notorious powerhouses of cosmetics. Known for its diverse range of palettes and incredible pigment intensity, it’s no wonder these cosmetics work great for women of color. While MAC may be a tad bit on the pricey side, any belle will do well by picking up the essentials. I suggest purchasing a range of eyeshadows, from dramatic to daily wear. They also carry a great line of lip glosses and lipsticks, gorgeous blushes, and fantastic brushes. But to stay true to your budget, only purchase what you need. If you know you don’t need every limited collection or gift set that hits the department stores, but you can’t live without your eye palettes; I’d stick to stacking up on gorgeous eyeshadows.

2. H.I.P.

If you love MAC and find it impossible to indulge due to a tight budget, H.I.P. is a great alternative. The line has a great mix of spicy colors and essential nudes, and packages both as a handy compact that can fit anywhere. Now H.I.P. isn’t as intense as MAC as far as pigments are concerned, but it will do the job at a drugstore price that I’ve come to love. In my makeup stash, you’ll find a healthy mix of MAC and H.I.P. products. Both brands look great on sisters.

3. Covergirl Queen Collection

You’ve probably been eyeing the Covergirl Queen Collection for the last couple of years, but hesitated because you found it hard to believe that Covergirl could actually put together a cosmetic line for the cosmetic addicted sisters, and actually get it right at such an affordable price. Well I can tell you that these products not only work wonders for a woman who’s ultra hard to please, but I have yet to find a bronzer at a drugstore price that makes my skin glow like Covergirl Queen has.

With a fabulous line of lip glosses, eye shadows, bronzers, nail polishes and more; it’s no wonder that the Queen Collections is still going strong.

4. Iman

Created by black supermodel Iman, this cosmetics line was created exclusively with the woman of color in mind. Iman has a great range of creamy lipsticks, foundations, eye palettes, powders, and bronzers. These hues are deep and eccentric; essentially perfect for the brown girls. Iman’s cosmetics can be purchased at JC Penny’s, most drug stores, and online.


Not quite as popular as MAC or H.I.P., NARS is one cosmetic line to be reckoned with. The line is one of my favorites because it combines intensity with the essentials, while never sacrificing the glam that every girl loves. And as a woman of color, we need cosmetics that won’t get lost in our gorgeous skin tones. With NARS, not only will you get long lasting cosmetics, but you’ll also have the perfect balance of intensity and essential.

The cosmetic line offers a wide range of eye palettes, lipsticks and glosses, concealers, bronzers, nail polishes, blushes and more; and can usually be purchased at Neiman Marcus or through the company website.

While these may be my top picks, there’s always an easy way to spot a woman of color friendly product. When selecting cosmetics, look for colors that compliment your natural skintone. That means deep colors, high in pigment and intensity. Colors that work well on black women includes golds, bronzes, browns, burgundies, coppers, and rich purples. When selecting foundations and concealers, choose brands that don’t contain any oil. As African American women, we are more oily than other race. Also stay true to your complexion, and pick concealers and powders that are as close as possible to your natural shade. You’ll come across many products that may seem like a perfect fit for you, so a little trial and error will be crucial to find products that you will absolutely love.

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