The winners of the world's top five beauty pageants wore products from this Caribbean-founded makeup brand

In The Know is proud to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month. During this month, our team will highlight a wide range of Caribbean and Caribbean American-owned brands. We encourage you to support today and beyond.

The push for diversity in the beauty industry has been at an all-time high in recent years. Relatively newer additions to the beauty space like Fenty Beauty and UOMA Beauty — both Black-owned brands — have been spearheading the new wave of proper and authentically diverse representation in its campaigns and product formulations.

While, following these companies’ charges has become the norm for other makeup brands that are simply trying to save face or not be left in the dust, this conscious push for products designed with Black and Brown consumers in mind is nothing new. In fact, the Caribbean-founded staple beauty brand Sacha Cosmetics has been leading the charge on this mission for inclusive and Black and Brown girl-approved makeup for over 40 years.

In celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month, I chatted with the brand’s founder, Kama Maharaj, who opened up about being solely motivated to create this line after seeing the lack of options for women of color in the 1970s, why he continues to formulate the brand’s products in his home country of Trinidad, creating the setting powder that remains the standard in the top five beauty pageants in the world and much more.

Speaking on this type of “innovation,” which he credits as the key to success and longevity in the beauty space, he added that this is “the world’s first mask-friendly makeup.”

While many associate these ingenious methods of creativity with European and U.S.A.-founded public brands where resources are assumed to be more plentiful, Maharaj defies those odds by continuing to produce his brand’s products in the country where it all began: Trinidad. And his reasons for doing so are both noble and valiant.

“We will not manufacture anywhere else,” he stressed. “For instance, they asked me if I would manufacture in Ghana. I said no because we have workers who have been here for 40 years, then their children come and work here. We have a lot of institutional knowledge here.”

Maharaj further reinforced that the Sacha Cosmetics employees keep the brand afloat and, without them, its heart would be lost.

“I can start over without money, without equipment, but I can’t start over without my workers,” he said. “They’re the bedrock of the company and they make things with passion and love. They’re always coming up with ideas and we’re one big family, so I would not manufacture anywhere else.”

Sacha Cosmetics Ltd. storefront in Panama<br></p>
<p><strong>This familial approach Maharaj has adopted</strong> from the founding moments of his business to now only makes for a more authentic and receptive work environment for his staff of proud Trinidadian people — a group that is known for its pride and warmth.</p>
<p>“We have always been free people. We’ve always been one,” he said. “When I went to university, you would have people of all ethnicities, all countries, and you would find that Trinidadians of all skin tones, all colors, all religions banding together. So, it’s the cultural ties also — historic ties.”</p>
<p>Maharaj ended our chat with these powerful words that speak to the essence of Trinidadian people and the overall Caribbean experience: “We are the only people in the world who, I have seen, don’t tolerate one another — We embrace one another and that’s the big difference.”</p>
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<p><em>If you enjoyed this story, </em><em>check out these Caribbean-owned beauty brands that will keep your skin glowing and your hair flowing</em>.’</p>
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<p>The post Meet Sacha Cosmetics: The Caribbean-founded makeup brand leading the charge in diversity since 1979 appeared first on In The Know.</p>
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