Popular makeup brand BLK/OPL (formally Black Opal) was, and continues to be, most Black women’s go-to brand for makeup before everyone started jumping on the Fenty Beauty inclusivity bandwagon, especially since it was made specifically with Black girls in mind! But apparently, they’ve never been Black owned -- until now!
We love beauty brands like Fenty Beauty that have brought us a wide array of foundation shades to include every shade that Black women come in. But we also LOVE the brands that were specifically made for Black girls! BLK/OPL is known for their bomb foundations, concealers and for basically catering to all the different shades of Black girls out there!
But sometimes these brands aren’t owned by Black people, and it kind of takes away from the magic -- like BLK/OPL. One of the most widely known makeup brands made for women of color since 1994 was actually owned by a Greek-American cosmetics businessman, Nikos P. Mouiaris, who died in January, according to The Root. He created and co-owned the brand with his wife, Carol, and they worked with a Black dermatologist, Dr. Cheryl Burgess, in order to fill the beauty gap for Black women!
Black entrepreneurs Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack have acquired the 25-year-old beauty brand and are the new president and CEO. Black women stay winning!
The new CEO, Desiree, says, “We are delighted to own Black Opal, a company created almost three decades ago, to address the makeup needs for people of color. Rooted in its exceptional product quality and unparalleled knowledge of skincare for highly melanated skin, Black Opal is known for its superior ingredients and high product efficacy. Together, Cheryl and I are looking forward to creating even more innovative products and continuing to grow the brand globally.”
If you think you know these names, you’re right! According to Essence, Desiree was the first social secretary of the White House and special assistant to the president under Barack Obama’s administration and Cheryl was the former CEO of Ebony media operations. With 50 years of building brands under their belt, BLK/OPL is definitely in good hands!
As the new president, Cheryl’s excited for this new venture, too, as she says, “When we acquired Black Opal our goal was to stay true to the founders’ passion. As we continue to grow the company and bring high quality products to the market, we also plan to focus on creating a positive impact in our communities.”
Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack are joining the ranks of Black-owned brands made for Black women. And we are so happy that these Black girl bosses are making money moves in an industry that continues to exclude Black women!
For the past 10 years, Yusef has been dictating all of the beauty trends we emulate via his most famous client, none other than Rihanna. He started out his career as a performer, but he ended up behind the scenes. In Hairstory, he details his rise in the industry from aspiring singer to creative directing the hair for Fenty x Puma.