7 Black-Owned Nail Brands To Shop For The Hottest Nails This FallNov 26, 2021 10:00AM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
When it comes to playing around with new nail polish brands, you've got a million options. Whether you've just recently mastered how to paint your nails at home, or you've always been a big fan of DIY nails, you're probably well aware of how important it is to use good-quality formulas and nail polishes for the best results. No matter the type of manicure you prefer or the kind of polish required to achieve it, you'll be able to level up your nail game this fall with a new nail polish from one of these seven Black-owned nail brands.
A driving force in the fashion and beauty scene, Bernadette Thompson has created trend-setting nail art for the world’s premier fashion houses and has been featured in virtually every fashion magazine in circulation. Bernadette Thompson has its place cemented in history as the first Black-owned nail brand in the United States. The woman behind the eponymous brand has worked with celebrities like Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Spice Girls, Lauryn Hill, Lil’ Kim, and Mary J. Blige.
If you have sensitive skin and are prone to allergic reactions from chemicals in regular nail polishes, Suite Eleven is here to sort you out. The brand was started by Arieal "Ari" Smith-Liburd, who created her brand with sensitivity in mind, due to several chemical and food allergies. Suite Eleven lacquers are 10-free, vegan, and PETA-certified, which makes them suitable for even for most sensitive skin.
Pear Nova was born in December 2012 in Chicago at the intersection of fashion and beauty, after founder and CEO Rachel James completed her formal studies at the International Academy of Design and Technology. James’s love for art and passion for elegance, the brand draws inspiration from world wonders, runway designers, and remarkable women. “I’ve always been obsessed with nails,” James explains. “I used to give my mother manicures and pedicures when I was in grammar school.” She noticed a void in the representation of medium to dark skin tones in the nail world and committed to bridging that gap. James wants to create more luxury nail care and self-care products while encouraging women everywhere to indulge in elegance.
Rooted Woman boasts non-toxic, ethical nail polishes and treatments to promote radical self-care for women. Founder India D. Williams is an attorney at an international law firm, a self-care maven, and a wellness advocate. After an unexpected turn in her health in 2015, Williams unapologetically hit the pause button, and while retiring the belief that work is life, her values such as self-care, self-love, and self-work came sharply into focus. Rooted Woman’s polishes are made in small batches, and as such, may reflect slight variation in color. This is by design and in keeping with their standard of authenticity.
When Kitaya Mischo King was pregnant with her first child, she couldn't find a chip-resistant polish with safe ingredients, which lead her to spend two years creating her own. Mischo Beauty assures that its formulation has always been 10-FREE, which means it contains no Formaldehyde, no Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), no Toluene, no Formaldehyde Resin, no Camphor, no Ethyl Tosylamide, no Xylene, no Triphenyl Phosphate, no Tert-butyl hydroperoxide, and no parabens - all ingredients that have been known to contribute to cancer, birth defects, reproductive issues, nausea, light-headedness, headaches and more. Mischo Beauty nail lacquers are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and void of artificial fragrances. The brand launched the Lacquer of Love campaign, which will feature a new limited edition nail lacquer each campaign season, with 100% of the proceeds from the sale being donated to an organization that empowers women.
Founder Aja Frierson because within the clean beauty space, she saw lots of other brands doing one or two things really well, but not everything she was looking for all in one product. “I rarely saw myself represented at the junction of these fields in the clean beauty space,” says Frierson on the website. “So with Habit, my goal was to create the all-around best clean makeup products.”
Each of these 10-FREE nail polishes is infused with myrrh extract to help strengthen the nails and is sustainably packed with a bamboo cap, glass bottle, recycled plastic parts, and FSC-certified paperboard. Habit Cosmetics is the only makeup brand using post-consumer plastic packaging, plus FSC-certified paperboard boxes, while with their full-size polish, they limit the plastic they do use as much as possible by using a bamboo overcap.
Samara Walker is a Boston-based entrepreneur and she sought to create a Beauty Tech company that is inclusive for all while offering health-conscious luxury products for all skin tones. Walker is a young maven excited to dominate the beauty industry with technology and creativity while providing luxury products that are vegan, non-toxic, and natural. This year, Auda B Beauty became the first Black-owned nail polish brand to be stocked at luxury department store chain Nordstrom. “Our partnership with Nordstrom is a monumental moment for the company. This opportunity allows the multifaceted beauty enthusiast to experience luxury non-toxic nail lacquer with inclusive shade offerings and superior pigments for all skin tones,” said Walke.
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies. She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.
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