In honor of Black History Month, let’s talk Black history in the beauty industry and how LAMIK is positioned to influence a new dream for the future of beauty.
Main Stream Options: Origins of Black Makeup in Retail
Until the 1970's, there just weren’t any options for Black women at the beauty counter. Women of color found themselves mixing their own pigments just to have an option. These days, we’ll do the custom makeup for you, but more on that later. In 1973, one woman had enough of the limited shades of makeup. Eunice Johnson founded Fashion Fair as one of the first retail options for women with darker shades of skin. Fashion Fair was originally rejected by companies like Revlon as a new initiative when Eunice pitched the company. That rejection is hard to imagine now after Fashion Fair became a staple in the makeup bags of generations of Black women.
The Next Phase: Clean Makeup
Even though new brands and makeup lines joined Fashion Fair in providing makeup for Black women, the clean beauty industry basically ignored them. The options for clean, nontoxic makeup were limited. To this day 75% of beauty products sold to women of color contain toxic ingredients. In fact, brands like The Lip Bar, founded by Melissa Butler, were laughed at for even dreaming to create clean cosmetics for Black women. Many of us remember Melissa’s disheartening rejection on Shark Tank. Thankfully, the brand has moved on and become a success story while still providing nontoxic options for Black women.
Beauty as Inclusion and Health
Enter LAMIK, poised and positioned to change the game (and the face) of clean makeup for all women, with Black women as our starting point. Our CEO, Kim Roxie, founded LAMIK after years of working behind a beauty counter as an entrepreneur, licensed esthetician, and makeup artist. Kim knew women – particularly Black women – deserved more from their makeup. LAMIK launched its e-commerce product line in 2020.
Kim brings true diversity to the clean beauty space for the sake of the women in her life who frequently found themselves on the bad end of a beauty-counter makeover or an absurd foundation match. She took matters into her own hands, creating a color-positive makeup brand in a space where she wasn’t represented. But she didn’t stop at creating nontoxic makeup for women who couldn’t find darker shades in the clean beauty industry. As the woman who hadn’t been included, making a new brand of makeup didn’t mean just filling the gap for herself and women who looked like her, it meant creating a new narrative of inclusion. Doing this meant that she wanted to create a brand that didn’t leave any woman out, no matter how dark or light she may be.
LAMIK is built on love and that makes all welcome in this community. Creating products for Black women really means creating options and a healthy product for all women. LAMIK understands that shade ranges for women of color can span from the fairest to the deepest of hues. “Inclusive” isn’t a buzzword; it’s nontoxic in every skin tone.
That’s where the LAMIK Custom Blend Foundation comes in as a perfect solution: medium-coverage, buildable foundation customized to match your skin tone. All it takes is a selfie in natural light, and LAMIK builds your perfect foundation so you can take the guess-work out of finding the right shade and the right ingredients (all listed on the product page)!
This February, we’re celebrating Black women revolutionizing the beauty industry through their own power, care, and ingenuity, rejecting an old story of exclusivity and trading it for something better. Beauty is forever better because of women like Eunice, Melissa, Kim, and so many more, and we hope you’ll find your confidence and home here in LAMIK. You are beautiful, exactly the way you are.