Pride Month might be winding down, but if we’ve learned one thing over these last few weeks, it’s that we need long-term change. One way of doing that: Showing your support through the products you use personally and sell to your clients.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of our favorite LGBTQ+ -owned hair, skin, and beauty brands. Add these to your salon shelves or just to your own medicine cabinet to support the queer small business community one shampoo or facial application at a time.
2020’s Best LGBTQ+-Owned Beauty Brands
Words can’t really express how much I love this brand, which opened a flagship store in my neighborhood of Los Angeles approximately…weeks before the pandemic shut everything down. (Meaning they could use your support more than ever.)
NOTO products are all-natural, gender-free, and smell and feel like you’ve somehow stumbled into a Garden of Eden in your own cramped LA bathroom — yes, speaking from experience here. And they’re also incredibly socially aware. Makeup artist and founder Gloria J. Noto, who identifies as queer, told Teen Vogue that a lack of inclusion in the industry drove her to create her own line:
“I never saw queer faces on the ads of the products I was buying, and I didn’t know why. Even diversity in backgrounds was a hard thing to find. I got to a place with my career where I wanted to make a personal difference in what I was attached to and be a part of a bigger idea that was cultivating change within the space of beauty. I wanted to create a space for all of us who didn’t see ourselves in other things.”
The brand also offers a nonprofit product called AGENDER OIL. Each month, NOTO donates a portion of proceeds to a rotating list of organizations dedicated to inclusion and community activism.
Fluide’s site does a pretty fantastic job of summing up its take on the beauty industry:
“To us, beauty is malleable, political, powerful, play. We are they. We are them. We are you. We are Fluide, makeup for him, her, them, everyone.”
Co-founder Laura Kraber created the company to amplify queer voices in part because she’s raising Gen Z teens who are exploring their own identities and means of activism. And while Fluide really does speak to a Gen Z teenager (the range of glitter products is insane), there’s something for everyone — especially if you’re looking to tap into your most liberated self — from pop-colored eyeliner to holographic lip glosses. We’re smitten with their 7-free nail polishes (as in free of the seven most common toxins. This brand is clean clean clean.)
Founder Jessica Blackler created this brand specifically to meet the needs of transgender women. Jecca Blaq aims to “represent all beauty lovers: all expressions, genders, sexualities, abilities, pronouns, shapes and sizes.” Renowned for its Correct & Conceal palette that seeks to help with the usual suspects (undereye bags, acne) as well as the trans-specific (it’s intentionally formulated for covering beard shadow), every one of the Jecca Blaq’s products is also vegan.
Malin + Goetz has always had me at the branding, but fabulous bonus fact: Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz are partners in work and in life. The line was designed with Malin’s sensitive skin in mind, so the products are super gentle. And may I just say: Yes, cilantro conditioner is a thing, and it smells — and is — glorious.
In a world where we’re increasingly worried about all the crap we’re putting into and onto our bodies, W3ll is about as clean as you can get, which might explain why the brand has gotten so much attention over the last couple of years. (You’ve probably seen it at Target where it’s part of the new roster of Target’s clean beauty brands.)
But what you may not know is that it was founded by the queer makeup artist Shirley Pinkson, who has previously worked at Barney’s New York, M.A.C., and Nars (power trio!). She knows her stuff.
Skincare, Hair, + Beauty Brands That Support the Queer Community
There are also plenty of brands that have a long history of supporting inclusivity in the industry — and building more inclusion into beauty “standards.” Here are just a few brands that support the LGBTQ+ community not only during Pride Month but year-round.
Youth to the People founder Lauren E. Banks is not just a skincare mogul and feminist, she’s also a Black actor in Hollywood, so she knows about the struggle for inclusion. The brand is as intersectional as her beliefs. Youth to the People is skincare “created for all genders, all skin types, all skin tones—all people—backed by three generations of skincare expertise.” And yes, it’s one many an Allure beauty award.
The company’s Pride To The People initiative supports GLSEN, a leading education organization working to create safe and inclusive schools for LBGTQ+ students. You can read more about it here.
Youth to the People’s blog is also a treasure trove of information for and about BIPOC and queer industry leaders. Bookmark it!
We’ve all learned at some point that all that glitters isn’t gold, but sometimes it is. And in the case of Milk, no question. The brand has long been a proponent for inclusivity and launches a fundraising campaign in tandem with PRIDE yearly. This year, its beloved Kush lip balm got a makeover with 100% of profits going to The Center.
From facial oils to CBD products, Herbivore is all about all-natural ingredients. Add to that its Prism Pride Kit, which donates 100% of its proceeds to The Trevor Project and The Trans Women of Color Collective, and you’ve got yourself a win-win.