5 Feminist Makeup Brands for Your 2019 Glow Up

As a yearly refresh, I like to usher in the new year by trading in my broken bronzer and dried up mascara for a fresh bag of makeup. Out with the old and in with the new! The only problem —shopping for makeup is a high anxiety activity for someone as beauty clueless as me.

feminist makeup brands

Every time I enter Sephora for Kat Von D liquid eyeliner, I leave perplexed how I ever lived without dewy skin mist and every Fenty highlighter ever. There are so many brands, hacks, finishes, and colors. It’s hard to know where to start!

Here’s an idea: support the brands who share your values. Check these feminist and lady-owned brands to get you started on your 2019 GlowUp.

1. Fenty Beauty

Created by the one, the only, the beautiful and talented goddess herself, Rihanna, Fenty is a great example of a company that values inclusivity and upholds intersectional feminist ideals. As a direct response to a lack of beauty products for women of color, Fenty strives to provide the right shade and products for everyone, regardless of race, age, and gender identity. Fenty is also GREAT for representation! In both the beauty and lingerie lines, Fenty features models of all colors and body sizes to show the beauty of inclusion.

To top it off, Fenty helps support Rihanna’s foundation, the Clara Lionel Foundation, which supports education initiatives and health and emergency responses around the world. If you need a new highlighter,check out the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter on sale now. All proceeds go directly to the Clara Lionel Foundation.

2. Urban Decay

Aside from saving women everywhere from overspending on eyeshadow with their life-changing naked palettes, Urban Decay has a social mission to empower women and girls around the world. Through their Ultraviolet Edge Initiative, UD has demonstrated their commitment to global women’s rights and empowerment by supporting a variety of women-focused organizations. Proceeds from certain items go directly to the foundation, but it always helps to show the love by heading to the UD counter for your makeup needs.  

3. Beautiful Rights

In their own words, Beautiful Rights is ‘taking beauty back’ and redefining it as an ‘act of resistance’. The company is women-created, women-owned, and cruelty-free. With lipsticks with names like #ENOUGH, Pantsuit Pink, and Gloss Ceiling, their message is clearly political. Additionally, 20% of all sales (not profits) go to organizations that support women’s rights and gender justice. Why 20% you ask? To represent the overall 20% pay gap between men and women in the U.S.

4. Josie Maran

Here’s another woman-owned line with a special dedication to the environment and sustainable practices. Josie Maran’s products and healthy, chemical free, and sold in eco-friendly packaging. Their main product, argan oil, is sourced from Moroccan women who grow and harvest the products responsibly. Josie’s goal is to “make effective and safe beauty accessible for everyone across the globe.”

josie maran quote

5. Sephora

Use this store as your go-to to purchase all your makeup needs. If you need a good happy cry, you NEED to watch this video. As part of their Sephora Stands initiative, Sephora is offering Classes for Confidence to the transgender and non-binary communities designed to teach makeup skills and encourage confidence and fearlessness. In addition, Sephora Stands has an accelerator program for female business owners in the beauty industry and has developed a series of sustainability practices to help protect the environment.

Shout out to some other women-owned cosmetics companies to support:

  • Kat Von D – Cruelty-free, vibrant makeup made by tattoo artist Kat Von D
  • Pacifica Beauty – 100% vegan and cruelty-free skincare
  • Birchbox – Women owned eCommerce brand meant to help consumers find the perfect products
  • Erin’s Face – Cruelty-free make-up and skincare
  • Nu Evolution Cosmetics – An all natural alternative for makeup and cosmetics


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