March is Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day. Both celebrate the important role of women in our lives, past, present and future, globally and locally. It’s also a nod to future generations of women who will continue to break down barriers and crash through glass ceilings.
We are all about girl power here at Hey, Beautiful, and nothing makes me happier than beauty brands created by women of all different cultures and backgrounds. Here are six of my favorite brands founded by women (plus some that also give back to causes specific to women and girls) and recommendations on products to try from each.
The Better Skin Co.
Brand co-founder and esthetician Natalya Rachkova emigrated to the United States from Uzbekistan and started the company as a way to support her family. During March, The Better Skin Co. is partnering with Distinguished Young Women to offer college scholarships to women from all 50 states. When shopping on TheBetterSkinCo.com, you will be asked to donate $1 to the nonprofit organization, and The Better Skin Co. will match it dollar-for-dollar.
Lava Magik: Cleanser-Scrub-Mask
With a business school degree and a background in investment banking, Vicky Tsai felt burnt out when she embarked on a journey to happiness. Through this, she found a cure for her acute dermatitis (caused by using too many harsh products) by following the ancient, sacred rituals of Japanese Geishas. The beauty rituals of these strong and captivating women (the myth of Geishas as prostitutes is a perpetuated stereotype) became the basis of Tsai’s brand, which produces high-quality products in elegant packaging made to honor skin, not shame it.
Through the brand’s Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures program, every full-size product you buy from Tatcha funds one day of school for a girl in Asia or Africa with Room to Read to support the next generation of strong women.
Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
Jenn Harper, an Indigenous woman born and raised in Canada, knew she wanted to start a beauty brand made in her home country that gave back to First Nations people. In addition to creating 100% vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics that produce less waste (with a goal of zero waste by 2023), Cheekbone Beauty also donates 10% of its profits to Shannen’s Dream, an organization that ensures First Nations children and youth have the same educational opportunities as others.
Warrior Woman Liquid Lipstick in Alanis
Founder Pilar Quintero was born and raised in Mexico City to an American mother and a Mexican father. As one of five daughters, she understood what women want and need in their everyday lives. She sought to create a brand that women could rely on through each part of life, from changing seasons and travel to pregnancy and aging. Products are formulated without fragrance, alcohols, mineral oil, parabens and phthalates and are 100% cruelty-free. The packaging also is recyclable.
Deep Moisture Fix Hydrating Water Cream
Before she chased her lifelong dream of starting her own business, Cashmere Nicole became a mom at 16, put herself through college and nursing school, and underwent a double mastectomy. Beauty Bakerie came about through Nicole’s persistence and drive to create high-quality vegan products with an inclusive shade range and adorable dessert-themed packaging. A portion of proceeds from Beauty Bakerie go to Sugar Homes, an organization that donates money, clothes, toys and other items to orphanages around the globe, including Hopeworth, a female-led orphanage in Uganda that has tended to suffering children since 2011.
InstaBake 3-in-1 Hydrating Concealer
While working as a Vogue fashion assistant, Emily Weiss started a blog, Into the Gloss, where she went into the bathrooms of New York City’s most powerful and stylish women to highlight their “Top Shelf,” aka the beauty and personal care products they used the most. Into the Gloss transformed into a go-to for all things skin care, makeup and wellness before it spawned its own brand. Glossier’s mission has always been “skin first, makeup second” with an emphasis on “you but better” products in sleek, minimalistic, Instagram-worthy packaging.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT