Welcome to The Highlight, our column dedicated to amplifying brands created by women of color.
Tisha Thompson has hit several milestones over the past few years. She launched her clean beauty brand LYS Beauty in 2019 and in Sephora stores in September, becoming the retailer’s first Black-owned clean makeup brand. “It’s all a dream come true for sure,” says Thompson. “We’re opening up a white space that Sephora has not tapped into.” Few clean beauty brands offer a product range that’s under $30 and geared towards skin concerns for women of color. Her goal is to fill the gap.
“A lot of clean beauty brands focus on anti-aging. They focus on lines and wrinkles,” says Thompson. From her personal experience, these aren’t major concerns for women of color. “Our concerns are sensitive skin, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, uneven complexion and skin texture,” she says. “So I focus on formulations that target those needs.” Her philosophy? You can’t have a good complexion without good skin—so the brand infuses skincare ingredients into all of its makeup products.
The Think Bright Glow + Hydrate Serum is one of three newly launched multipurpose products. It’s infused with hyaluronic acid to help the skin retain moisture and vitamin C and pineapple extract and licorice root to brighten the skin. The lightweight formula can also be used as a primer to give off a more radiant glow when used under foundation, which the brand offers in 35 shades.
The brand also recently rolled out two new highlighters that are formulated with ingredients to help boosts skin’s radiance. “I just love to glow, and I couldn’t decide if I wanted a powder highlight or a liquid highlight, so I did them both,” she says. “I think that’s what it’s all about, having options. Our counterparts can have thousands and thousands of options, and we have maybe 40 or 50. It’s not comparable.”
While LYS Beauty offers a clean product range that’s suitable for everyone, it was specifically designed to disrupt the beauty industry and shift standards of beauty that many women never signed up for. So rather than targeting women of color after a product is launched, the brand makes it a part of its formulation strategy from the start. “I always felt like I wasn’t being represented as a plus-size Black woman in the industry,” says Thompson. “But when you’re creating your own table and your own brand, you make your own rules.”