Rich in Color Cosmetics offers products for women with ‘melanin-rich’ skin
By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
Shalena Maxfield Edwards spent 21 years in the cosmetics industry as an executive at companies like Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and Juice Beauty before leaving the corporate world to launch her own makeup brand, Rich in Color Cosmetics, in 2020 .
Her path to entrepreneurship was not linear, like many other business owners, and initially she didn’t even want to work in beauty or cosmetics.
Edwards planned to be a real estate mogul, but while working in Macy’s shoe department, she was captivated by the women who worked the makeup counters.
One day, one of the women invited her to have her make-up done, and she was blown away by the physical but especially mental transformation. The makeover strengthened Edwards and boosted his self-confidence.
“From that day on, I remember talking to the young women at the counter like, ‘How can I do what you do? Can you introduce me to someone who can get me a job in the industry? ?” Edwards said.
Before launching Rich in Color Cosmetics, Edwards worked for a top skincare brand and she was the only woman of color at the corporate office. During this time, she also experienced the loss of her sister and her mother.
While she enjoyed her experience developing products for the company, she remembered that life is fleeting and knew it was time to pursue her personal passion independently.
Maxfield-Edwards had experienced firsthand the challenges black women face when trying to find makeup that suits their deeper, darker skin tones, so she decided to found Rich in Color Cosmetics as a brand that pays particular attention to melanin-rich skin.
“My main focus was that I wanted to have a matte lipstick, but I also wanted to have a matte lipstick that doesn’t dry out and lasts long, so they’re super hydrating and at the same time the shades are more pigmented than your average lipstick,” Edwards said.
The brand currently offers 18 different shades of lipstick with names ranging from “Material Girl” to “She’s Gotta Spend It”, which embody the brand’s vision of living lavishly. Each product is vegan and cruelty-free and created with natural ingredients.
Rich in Color Cosmetics’ best-selling lipstick is ‘Big Momma’, a bright, deep red color, but Edwards’ favorites are pink ‘Page Six’ and ‘Uptown Girl’.
Right now, the brand is getting ready to launch its “Glodeo Drive Collection,” a line of highlighters that will be released in September. This year, she will also launch a line of antioxidant-rich anti-aging blushers to prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
“I want all women to truly embrace who they are without being sorry or apologizing for it,” Edwards said.
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