For years, we’ve heard that Milani Cosmetics is black-owned, but does this mean they are? So we set out to find out more about the story behind Milani Cosmetics. We’ll look at who owns the company and whether it is black-owned or has a general association with black people and culture.
What Are Milani Cosmetics?
Milani Cosmetics is a popular brand of cosmetics that started in 2001. The company was founded by Laurie Minc in Los Angeles. The founder happens to be a Caucasian woman.
Customers can easily find these cosmetics at various drug stores across the country at a very favorable price point.
Due to a range of shades and popularity amongst black women, the question of whether Milani Cosmetics is black-owned has frequently come up.
Is Milani Cosmetics a Black-Owned Business?
We define a Black-Owned Business as any for-profit business that is at least 51% owned (or controlled) by black people/entrepreneurs. With that said, Milani Cosmetics is not a black-owned business.
Has It Ever Been Black Owned?
No, the popular cosmetics chain has never been Black Owned. The company has not changed ownership from its founder, who appears to be a Caucasian woman. When revealing employment stats a couple of years ago, only 6% of the staff were black.
Why Do Some People Think Milani Cosmetics Is a Black-Owned Business?
Milani Cosmetics has never shied away from diversity. The owner Lauri gained inspiration from her life in East Los Angeles. She wanted to showcase and honor the multiculturalism and energy that she saw around her daily.
She wanted a makeup brand to be inclusive and cater to a range of women. She especially wanted to show the women often overlooked by mainstream cosmetic media. When you go to the Milani Cosmetics website, the company makes its inclusivity mission loud and clear.
Does This Makeup Brand Cater to Black Women?
It’s not that Milani Cosmetics caters to black women. The makeup brand simply doesn’t shut black women out. It includes all women. Unlike other makeup brands that may only have three shades of foundation, Milani understands that women of all ethnicities and races want to get dolled up with flattering makeup.
So the company produces melanin-friendly products that women of all ethnicities can use. It has a range of foundations, lipstick shades, and blushes that can flatter light skin, dark skin, and anything in between.
Black women, in particular, love buying their cosmetics since they usually have a large selection of shades and products designed for various skin tones and types.
It is no secret that black women had to spend time searching for the right foundation years ago. Black models spoke on this issue of having to mix different foundations until something matched. Companies like Milani helped change the game and take the stress out of shopping for makeup for black women.
Another appealing factor to Milani Cosmetics is its easy availability at the drugstore. You don’t have to go to an overpriced store with aggressive makeup salespeople to find your perfect Milani blush. Whether you live in a small town in the USA or a big metropolis, any type of woman can stock up on Milani Cosmetics at Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, etc.
What Is the Most Popular Product?
Their most popular product by far is the Milani Baked Blush. The blush comes in 8 shades and has glowing reviews from consumers. People love how affordable it is while also being of great quality. This popular brush comes in lavish powder to add a shimmer as well as color to the face. Regardless of your skin tone, you can find a Baked blush to compliment you.
Is Milani Cosmetics Involved in the Black Community?
Milani Makers Campaign
Milani Cosmetics continues to find ways to give back to showcase diversity – including the diversity of black women.
One recent example of Milani’s commitment to diversity involves the launch of the “Milani makers” campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to highlight the young innovators, Influencers, and creators that represent the community that supported Milani cosmetics over the years.
The campaign shows a range of women, including black women, in their advertisements.
During Black History Month in 2021, Milani cosmetics ran a Giving Back campaign in which customers could receive a donation credit that was 10% of the subtotal of their purchase. The NAACP, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the Equal justice initiative were the charity organizations that benefited from this purchase campaign.
Partnership With Hip Hop Queens, Salt-N-Pepa
Salt-N-Pepa, the iconic hip-hop Duo that made waves in the 80s and 90s, teamed up with Milani cosmetics to launch their unique makeup collection for a limited time in 2020.
This collection featured fun pigments and energetic colors that represent the energy of the duo and the time that they came up in. Of course, one of the featured products was the “Push It” Lip Kit.
Do They Have a Diverse Staff or Board of Directors?
In 2020, in the online “Pull Up or Shut Up” campaign, Black activists brought many companies to task about how many people of color they had on staff. Milani was transparent about its low numbers of black employees.
At the time, the company revealed the staff consisted of 6% black, 10% Asian, 41% Hispanic/ Latino, and 2% other races.
There is no word yet on whether Milani Cosmetics has improved staffing diversity. During that time, the company also released the titles of the four black employees. The black employees on staff had key roles as Senior Demand Manager, Marketing Manager of Brand Innovation, Product Development Manager, and Vice President of Integrated Communication.
Is Milani Cosmetics Black Owned? Final Thoughts
Milani Cosmetics is not a black-owned company. However, for two decades, the company has made makeup accessible and flattering for different types of women. As long as they continue to make good affordable products that showcase the spectrum of women, the company will continue to have many black fans.