Many companies claim that the community is at the center of what they do, and for these LGBTQ-owned beauty brands, that’s true. From advocating for gender expression beyond the binary to partnering with organizations that support marginalized groups within the broader queer community, these brands promote a safe and inclusive space for all, but especially those who need it.
This Pride Month, don’t fall into the trap of rainbow-covered corporate pinkwashing and instead try to support indie brands led by the LGBTQ+ community. Ahead, check out 16 LGBTQ-owned beauty brands and hear from some founders in skincare, makeup, fragrance and haircare, to support this Pride month and beyond.
A gender-neutral perfume brand that makes perfumes and candles at an accessible price, Snif breaks new ground in fine fragrances with its trial kits that allow you to test products before committing to a fragrance. “At Snif, we’re removing gendered words from the fragrance conversation, creating fragrances that everyone loves,” says Phil Riportelle, co-founder and co-CEO of Snif. “Our LGBTQIA+ community has always been an incredible inspiration to us to continue creating authentic and inclusive products and brand for everyone.”
Founded by life and business partners Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz, Malin + Goetz focuses on the essentials. The brand has been offering gender-neutral skincare since 2004, adding covetable fragrances, body care, and hair care products along the way. Its simple approach with a touch of luxury has made the brand an enduring favorite for people in New York and beyond. This year, the brand will donate 50% of all in-store and online sales made on June 28 to The Trevor Projectin honor of the anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969.
Now transported Target and Ultimate, what started as brick-and-mortar color bars in San Francisco and New York has grown into a hair color business anyone can access from home. With online tools and virtual consultations to help you find your perfect shade, Madison Reed focuses on hair transformations that build confidence.
“Madison Reed’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is rooted in our belief in representing diverse and unique perspectives, identities and lived experiences among all team members, including the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Founder and CEO Amy Erret. “As part of our commitment, we are proud to have partnered with The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth.”
Through its finely scented perfumes and candles, Boy Smells opens a portal to self-discovery. “As a brand, Boy Smells is liberating gender and identity through a new world of personal products that we define as ‘gendered,'” shares founder Matthew Herman, explaining, “Genderful reflects the evolution thinking around gender, where neither binary gender codes nor terms like asexual or unisex seem relevant. It’s permission to try all the things you were told were off limits. calling Boy Smells but wrapped in pink, we say identity is not an either/or, it’s a yes/and.
From the “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness, JVN is all about empowerment through amazing hair. With products like the best-selling Air dry cream – who gets a rainbow makeover for a special Pride edition benefiting #YouAreEssentiala non-profit organization that helps essential workers – and Instant Recovery Serumthe line sublimates your natural locks with clean hemisqualane to strengthen and smooth them.
A look at the founder by David Yi glowing skin, and you can expect her skincare line to deliver results. Each of the AAPI-owned brand’s effective formulas are designed with Good Light’s diverse community in mind, serving all skin types and gender identities. The Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion is a best-seller for its ultra-hydrating yet lightweight formula.
This queer, WOC-founded brand is committed to making beauty better for the environment with its plastic-free packaging and clean formulas. Developed by Chief Product Officer Angela Ubias and CEO Cary Lin, Common Heir was born two years ago to prove that high-performing skincare can be presented in biodegradable packaging.
SolaWave innovation LED light therapy wands are an easy way to incorporate an at-home spa treatment into your daily regimen. With five-minute sessions, the wand’s combination of red light therapy, microcurrents, facial massage, and therapeutic heat targets fine lines, uneven skin tone, blemishes, and more, making it a universal tool for all skin types, tones and ages.
“As a gay-funded company, supporting the LGBTQIA+ community is at the forefront of our philanthropic efforts,” says co-founder Andrew Silberstein. “This year we are raising funds through the launch of our new product, Goodbye acnesustain Folx Health HRT Care Fund, which helps transgender, non-binary, intersex and other gender-wide people access hormone replacement therapy care that makes them feel good about themselves. We also donate to True solid colors, which implement innovative solutions to youth homelessness that focus on the unique experiences of LGBTQ youth. We are honored to be able to contribute to these worthy causes that help the most marginalized people in our community. Being able to use our platform and our voice to raise awareness of these foundations and others we have worked with is important to us throughout the year, not just in June.
Founded by Hollywood haircare expert Philip B., his eponymous brand has been the leader in plant-based haircare since 1991.
“I found a community with great mentors, peers and helped clients achieve a healthy, balanced scalp and beautiful hair,” says Philip B.. “I turned to the salon young because that’s where I found my creativity and self-acceptance. It was my talent, not my sexuality, that defined me in the salon environment with clients who embraced me in a world of prejudice.
“Being a gay man proudly in touch with my feminine side has helped me develop empathy and gain trust, which has allowed me to better serve my clients,” he continues. “People are people all over the world and solution equals resolution. I continue and always want to develop solutions to help people with real scalp and hair issues. I was able to overcome all barriers with exceptional formulations and products to finally transcend all forms of prejudice or discrimination.
With an emphasis on natural, scalp-friendly ingredients, Philip B.’s line of shampoos, conditioners and styling products deliver restorative nutrition from root to tip. Plus, the products will leave your hair feeling like you just left the salon.
Well People offers clean, long-lasting makeup and skincare that is Verified by EWG. The brand’s commitment to hassle-free beauty products that are good for you and the environment is spearheaded by its three Latinx co-founders, including Shirley Pinkson, who is also currently Head of Education for the favorite brand of Elf Beauty pharmacies. As a member of the queer community, Pinkson has prioritized making Well People an inclusive and safe space for all, sharing, “Every day I work to maintain a judgment-free space for myself and those around me. When you realize what you are truly capable of, a fire develops within you that extinguishes fear, doubt and shame…creating positive change.
A plant-based skincare brand that also sells adaptogen-infused chocolate bars, Undefined is at the intersection of wellness and beauty. Available at Targetthe brand’s skincare focuses on accessible products with a mission to democratize beauty.
Alder New York was founded by Pratt Institute alumni Nina Zilka and David Kraus, and their design background shows it. The brand makes whatever kind of skincare you want to flaunt on your vanity, and never forget to slather on your face. Highlighting natural ingredients like willow bark and sea kelp, plus dermatologist-approved hyaluronic acid and bakuchiol, the products support healthy, nourished skin.
Skincare and fluid cosmetics brand Noto Botanics was founded by makeup artist Glora Noto. Multi-use skin, hair and body products contain a blend of vegan botanical ingredients that are perfect for everyone – and they’re designed for everyone, including all identities. For Pride, Noto partners with global earth for a Pride kit including tote bag and full size Agender Oil with 10% of profits to profit Wise, a non-profit organization that helps LGBTQ+ seniors and caregivers. Outside of June, a percentage of Agenda Oil’s profits are donated to organizations such as Planned parenthood, Black Lives Matter, The center and more.
From glittery eyeliner to multi-use iridescent lip gloss, Fluide’s fun and expressive makeup is for everyone. The Brooklyn-based inclusive brand aims to elevate queer voices and support all forms of queer beauty. Currently, Fluide offers a Pride Galaxy Box, which includes a mysterious assortment of products that are sure to be a hit for Pride festivities. With three sizes available, each is a steal – a $19.99 Mini Galaxy Box includes six products, a $39.99 box includes nine products, and a $59.99 box includes 11 products.
Gen Z’s favorite fake freckle brand has expanded beyond its freckle pens and into a beauty company in its own right. Now, with a collection of vegan and cruelty-free skincare and makeup, Freck celebrates individualism.
This month, Peace Out is donating 20% of the retail price of its limited edition Pride collection at the Trevor project. The skincare brand is dedicated to helping you manage breakouts – the acne spots are a bestseller – and find confidence in your skin, and were launched based on founder Enrico Frezza’s own struggles with acne.