Everyone knows winter months in the Midwest can get cold and, for some, colder weather means dry or irritated skin! This holiday season, boost your current skincare regiment by checking out six skincare brands created by entrepreneurs from St. Louis.

BRAVE Essentials


Created by Monique Renee, BRAVE Essentials was born after Monique lost her hair after battling and conquering cancer. After the hair loss, she sought out over the counter products to help her, but nothing was successful. One day, a close friend suggested she try making her own skincare and hair products. Her results were incredible and BRAVE began to transform the skincare health of herself and others around her.

“When buyers use my products, I want them to know what real feels like,” Monique said. “I want them to experience the confidence that comes from using something that will finally help them with their issues.”

Although BRAVE’s number one seller is their NOURISH Growth Oil for hair, the brand has expanded to include body creams, body polish, and soaps for those combatting dry skin, eczema, and hyperpigmentation.

Ziya Soul Co.


Ziya Soul Co. creator Keneisha Malone never had any intention of going into the skincare industry. For years, she’d struggled with eczema and hair breakage and wanted to find a viable solution.

Although haircare wasn’t her forte, Malone’s skincare endeavors took off, providing safe, non-toxic products for diverse skin. Ziya Soul’s Base Coat is a must-have product that’s better than most lotions on the market and their Creamer, a vegan milk bath made of oatmeal, coconut milk, and essential oils, is perfect for everyone’s self-care regimen. Through her efforts, Malone hopes to inspire other black women to venture into the skincare industry.

“Conscious skincare is very popular right now, but I still don’t think black women are taking up enough space in the minimalist niche,” Malone said. “I’d like to think that Ziya Soul is showing other black women that there’s room for us in the skincare industry.”

Pure Vibes


Pure Vibes is bridging the gap between skincare and mental health with branded products that don’t just make your skin look good, but make you feel good inside too! Founded by Tiffany Wesley and Demetrius Neal, PV emerged after Wesley struggled with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a disorder that often affects your mood and mental state. So Wesley created the natural product she needed, one designed to make you Feel Well and Live Well.

“There are many products on the market that look nice, smell good, and are natural but that’s it,” Wesley said. “But how does it really make you feel? Does it calm you or awaken your senses? When tension arises, does it provide the self-care and mental hug you need? Pure Vibes sets out to accomplish that missing element.”

A cooperative company that is owned by its workers and members, PV is dedicated to community and creating equity for African-Americans both in skincare and beyond. They also have incorporated CBD into the formula for their rollers, which is proven to reduce anxiety and depression, relieve pain and muscle aches, improve acne, and overall skin condition when used as a topical.

This holiday season, PV has a plethora of products geared towards making you feel good all over including their Uplift Bar and, our personal favorite, the Calm AF essential oil roller.

T.C.M Lifestyle


If male consumers can’t count on anything else, they can count on the TCM Lifestyle product line to deliver on its promise to perform. Created by master barber Rance John, TCM was developed after he noticed a disparity in the availability of quality cosmetic products for men. In the industry, most of the emphasis on self-care and beauty was geared towards women. Rance wanted to change that.

TCM is redefining cosmetics for men and changing the gender stigma’s associated with self-care. Most men not only neglect self-care, but also work in harsh conditions that can be rough on their skin. TCM seeks to change this and to create a space for black skin to receive proper care and nourishment.

“Black Americans are the number one consumers in the beauty industry,” Rance said. “It’s been long overdue that we take control of ownership and speak to our people’s needs correctly.”

This season, TCM Lifestyle is having their 12 Days of Christmas with an assortment of amazing products for men including their Beard Oil, Shave Cream, the Mancode Peppermint & Tea Tree Oil Tonic, and much more! All TCM products are infused with Moringa and Sunflower seed oil which aids in moisturizing and cleansing while protecting the skin from bacteria and germs.

Get Leighed Cosmetics


After working as a hair and makeup stylist for eight years, Kayla Hefele ventured into retail and noticed a lot of skincare brands were either very expensive or weren’t designed for multicultural skin.

“While working retail, I recall that many brands either weren’t affordable or didn’t accommodate many skin concerns I faced personally as a black woman,” she said. “I definitely took that into account when creating Get Leighed Cosmetics, as I wanted to create an inclusive brand with effective products that were affordable.”

Inclusivity has been an issue within the beauty industry for quite some time, but Get Leighed Cosmetics is changing that; creating a buyer experience with each purchase that encourages ‘Self Love, Self Care, & Skincare’ and that caters to people of all skin types, ages, and ethnicities.

To help buyers combat dry skin and lock in moisture during the winter months, Get Leighed Cosmetics is highlighting their Body Butters, Creme Soaps, and Body Scrubs. If you struggle with eczema or the cold season dries out your skin, Get Leighed Cosmetics has products to give your skin the boost it needs to weather the season change.



St. Louis Twitter influencer and entrepreneur Talisha Murphy, also known as @HollyandherEGO, had been growing an online following of over 10K for nearly a decade when rapper and podcast host Joe Budden began trolling her on Twitter about her love for beards. When another follower clapped back at Budden asking if he knew how profitable the beard industry was, Murphy was inspired to do her own research and created a beard balm that started going viral on the social media platform called BTB.

The self-proclaimed ‘Beard Collector’, Murphy has shipped her signature balm scent, Ego, all over the country since starting BTB during #NoShaveNovember and will be shipping her first international orders in a few weeks. BTB is also developing a beard growth oil to further heighten the male cosmetic experience.

“When they use any of the BTB products I want them to feel confident and be reminded that they are Kings in this day,” Murphy said. “I realize how important being groomed is because when you look good, you feel good. And then everything else falls in line.”

Jasmine Osby