Shopping

Six Beauty Brands Created by Colorado Women

Madam CJ Walker was ahead of her time. Born in Louisiana in 1867, the child of former slaves went on to create her own beauty line in 1905, a business that eventually made her one of the first female (not to mention African-American) self-made millionaires in America. While living in Denver, Walker formulated her own remedy to treat a scalp disorder. This led to the creation of a full line of hair and skin-care products made specifically for African-American women. The business maverick soon took it a step further, traveling the country to sell her products while giving demonstrations of the "Walker Method" of hair care and styling.

Her products and mission live on today in the Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture line, which can be purchased at retailers across the country. Walker's story is also preserved in the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened last month in Washington, D.C. In honor of Madam CJ Walker's accomplishments and her place in Colorado's rich history, here are six more local health and beauty companies founded and run by women.
1. Anasa Bath & Body Bakery
There's a reason that the Anasa Bath & Body Bakery line of products looks good enough to eat: It was created by local pastry chef Diedra Rae. Her sweet take on soaps, scrubs and body soufflés are made with such ingredients as shea butter, essential oils and real sugar, and they're available in a variety of flavorful scents. See Rae's full line of mouthwatering, good-body products on the Anasa website, and be sure to look at what the chef is doing on the culinary side: Rae also makes elaborate cakes and hearty meals that are actually edible.

2. Base Coat Nail Salon
3244 Navajo Street, #101
A longtime Denver business owner and entrepreneur who's always on the forefront of trends, Tran Wills opened Base Coat Nail Salon in 2013. Boasting the use of chemical-free products in a fashion-forward environment where nail technicians are compensated fairly for their work, Base Coat provides a unique salon experience. Not long ago, the brand started producing its own line of chemical and cruelty-free nail polishes, which are used for mani/pedi services and can be purchased online or in-store. Later this year, Base Coat will open additional locations in Stapleton and downtown Los Angeles.

3. Fig+Yarrow
3600 Tejon Street
Fig+Yarrow founder Brandy Monique's vision is simple: to create skin and beauty products guided by the spiritual nature of plant-based medicine. Oats, herbs and plant-derived oils are used to create hydrating toners, cleansers, scents and scrubs that are free of synthetic ingredients. Fig+Yarrow partners with Base Coat Nail Salon to make the spa products used in the salon's services. Visit the brand's physical location on the Northside or order products via the Fig+Yarrow website

Keep reading for three more women-owned beauty businesses.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies