Karuna Skin’s Maintain skincare line is now being sold at Whole Foods. (©Karuna)
By Jennifer McKee
There are so many wonderful female-owned products out there it’s hard to find the time to try them all. Don’t worry, we’ve vetted some for you—here are a dozen of our favorite brands you’ll want to test for yourself in celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8.
Karuna Skin is the innovative brand created in 2009 by founder Linda Wang. After a doctor’s visit yielded a skin care regimen of traditional Chinese herbs, Wang was hooked on all things skincare. She first developed a line of paper facial masks, and was the first entrepreneur to bring them to the U.S. market. Her latest collection, which just debuted in Whole Foods stores across the country, helps balance skin with gentle and effective products that have no preservatives. You’ll glow and smell great doing it!
Danessa Myricks Beauty’s new serums also balance skin as they hydrate, smooth and protect. The Yummy Skin Serum Foundation is available in 26 universal shades that works like magic to produce a natural glow, with the help of hyaluronic acid and skin-loving oils. The Yummy Skin Glow Serum can be worn alone or as a primer for a luminous finish; it’s also made with hyaluronic acid, plus Niacinamide and Vitamin C. Myricks is a self-taught cosmetic artist, photographer and entrepreneur who worked brand development before founding her own line; find it on Amazon, Sephora and her website.
Stay dewy and fabulous with True+Luscious, the clean, plant-derived skincare line from beauty industry veteran Mehir Sethi. Sethi’s 15 years in the industry and her own skincare battles introduced her to the formulations not to use; her line is packed with plant-derived actives, fruit and flower extracts and skin-soothing ingredients that are all vegan and cruelty-free. And it’s also full of glam—Sethi’s new Flora Furiosa Palette uses luxurious, talc-free pigments inspired by fierce flowers and resilient blooms. Available on Amazon.
Crystals enthusiast Yetunde Alabi harnesses the healing powers of crystals in her year-old brand Majenye, making gentle products to nourish the skin and soul. The line combines botanicals, superfoods, essential oils and natural minerals to bring balance to the skin, and ingredients are sourced from fair-trade suppliers. The products, which include bath salts, body soufflés, shampoo bars and face mist, are all vegan and cruelty-free. Available on Amazon.
Solvasa Beauty uses crystals, oils and elixirs and the power of mindfulness to combat the havoc everyday stressors wreak on our skin. Co-founder and executive chairman Lori Bush worked for some of the biggest names in the skincare industry and co-authored the book “Write Your Skin a Prescription for Change;” with Solvasa, she now focuses on integrative beauty and wellness. Those who want to meditate on it should download the Solvasa Life Mindfulness app.
When Ashlyn Rowland founded Bare Candle Co. in 2019, she was still in high school. Her goal was to create a candle that was safe to use around herself and her family. After months of trial and error, she came up with the perfect combination of luxurious scents and 100 percent soy wax grown in the United States. Candle materials are sourced locally, which aids in reducing the brand’s carbon footprint. The enticing fragrances include teakwood + spice, lavender + sandalwood and pear + honey, Rowland’s favorite scent.
Vietnamese-American founder and designer Sandra Martinelli is the face behind Delicora Jewelry. The lightweight, high-quality, delicate pieces contain semi-precious stones intended to capture a woman’s confidence, natural beauty and individual style. The Made for Jade collection, for example, is inspired by Martinelli’s Vietnamese heritage and her grandmother’s jewelry pieces, but with a modern update. The beautiful pieces are perfect for layering or wearing alone. For every item sold, Delicora makes a contribution to a charitable donation.
Amy Chestnut’s passion for wool and her felting loom led her to found Sonoma Wool Company in 2013. She wanted to share her love of wool’s natural properties and practical uses, began experimenting and crafted the products. The brand’s 100% Wool Bedding Collection breathes naturally, helping you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Additional products include the Wool Dish Drying Mat, Wool Ironing Board Pad and Wool Cat Mat. Support of these products helps support family sheep ranches.
Lifelong friends Jen Hinton and Thayer Sylvester came together to found Carve Designs in 2003 after a surfing trip on which they couldn’t find board shorts for women with real bodies. The company began as a surf apparel company but quickly blossomed into a complete beach lifestyle brand, offering surf, swim, fitness and lifestyle clothing. Its female designers test drive every piece before it goes to market. This year, to embrace its heritage, Carve Designs launched its Women X Good campaign and film series to celebrate the power of Mother Nature and motherhood.
Bananas rise to super-food status thanks to Banana Samba, founded by two sisters from Brazil, Carla and Ruth Wahnon. Using a 400-year-old recipe, bananas are cooked until they are caramelized in their own natural sugars, then made into soft, chewy snacks for before and after exercise, the 3 p.m. slump or anytime you want a wholesome, gluten-free snack. Choose from four delicious flavors; the flat shipping rate of $2.50 can’t be beat!
A vision to get Haiti’s coffee industry back on track spurred Beverly Malbranche to create Carribrew—from its launch in 2018 to today, the brand has partnered with more than 100 coffee and cocoa farmers in Haiti to create economic opportunities. The company hires young people in Haiti to package and export the coffee to the U.S. shipping facility in New Jersey, where they hire local residents. Its shipping facility is 75 percent female employed.
Barbara Tamburini knew she wanted be an enologist (an expert in the science of wine) at a young age. Her passion led her to the University of Pisa; her success in the industry led her to be named Best Winemaker in Italy in 2019. Her winemaking philosophy focuses on the balanced combination of tradition and modernity; at Duca di Salaparuta in Sicily, she makes the most of the native Sicilian varietals to create truly flavorful and unique flavors. Do yourself a favor and try the fruits of her labor, the Passo delle Mule, Lavico and Kados.