Lana Gregg is excited. “We have been trying for a very long time,” says the Black Radiance brand manager. For years, she’d been getting messages from Canadian consumers asking when the line would be coming up north. “That was one of the hardest things, especially for me with managing our social.”
Now, she finally gets to share some good news: Black Radiance has rolled out test displays in select Loblaws and will be coming to more locations if all goes well. Additionally, the brand will be available at Rexall starting mid-November.
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Developed in New York in the ’90s, Black Radiance was specifically built to meet the needs of women of colour. (It was acquired by Markwins Beauty Brands, owners of Wet n Wild and Physicians Formula, in 2003.) While it makes everything from lipstick to eyeshadow, its main point of difference concerns its complexion products, starting with the Color Perfect Liquid Make-Up.
“That is one of the iconic Black Radiance products that put us on the map,” says Gregg. “We offer a deeper shade range of foundations and they’re all oil-free and they are all fabulous.” (Ed. note: For its initial foray into Canada, the brand will be offering a selection of its bestselling shades, but is hoping to expand the assortment in the future.)
Black Radiance’s face category also includes a plethora of powders, highlighters and other complexion-enhancers women of colour often have a tough time shopping for. Gregg recalls the early days of the contour trend when she couldn’t find a suitable product for her skin tone. “All of us chocolate girls were contouring dark eyeshadows and stuff like that. Nobody had a contour palette that was made for us.” She ended up being the reference shade for one of Black Radiance’s True Complexion Contour Palettes, now a bestseller in the line.
The palette, along with about 120 other Black Radiance products, will soon be available in a store near you (the brand’s website also ships to Canada if you’d prefer to shop from the comfort of your home). “One of the biggest questions we get from our retailers is ‘With everybody being multicultural, why do we need a black brand around? Why do we need a black brand taking up space in the store when we have foundations for women of colour?’ We are not talking about a shade of brown at the end of the spectrum. This is a lifestyle, this is a consumer we cater to. You will see her in our ads and she gets to see herself on our packaging and all that other stuff. That’s what it’s about.”