The Small Retailer That Changed the Makeup Landscape for Women of Color


National Retail Federation | April 23, 2021


When women of color purchase makeup, they often experience a problem that white women don’t: a lack of selection. No one knows this better than Kimberly Smith, founder and CEO of Marjani Beauty, who started the company in 2017 after repeatedly experiencing frustrations while trying to purchase makeup.


"For Black and Brown women, it’s frustrating to walk into a store and find they do not carry your foundation shade, or be told that certain colors don’t work for darker skin tones. That message has permeated the industry for years. It’s still a thing." Smith shared.


Major retailers should be paying attention to Marjani and the demographic served as

Smith shares, "Black women actually outspend their counterparts in the beauty industry. While the dollars are there, the actual experience doesn’t match."


Marjani was ideated as an online beauty destination that would cater to women of color transforming makeup into a fun, rather than frustrating experience. With 50 shades of brown foundation, Marjani also includes eye shadow, deeply pigmented blush and shades of lipstick that work for Black and Brown women.


Marjani expands into skincare with Black and Brown women-owned beauty products addressing skin concerns that Black and Brown women experience more than white women. This shift in product focus comes after the pandemic, as women at home are more interested in experiencing skincare treatments. Marjani meets this need with virtual skincare consulting, facial cleansers, facial moisturizers and skin care treatment serums.


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