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Musician Marlee Mitton was sure that Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty was the only company that caters to a wide variety of skin tones. But after browsing through the makeup selection at a new beauty store in Dupont Circle, she discovered that there are so many other options out there: Hue Noir, Danessa Myricks, AJ Crimson, and Maréna Beauté among them.

Besides lipsticks and liquid foundations that flatter darker skin tones, Mitton also checked out blushes, oils, and scrubs.

“Just to see that you don’t have to be Rihanna or be on TV to create that, it’s amazing and I’m just happy to be knowledgeable,” says Mitton, who also professionally goes by “The Mixtress.”

And that’s the one of the main goals of Brown Beauty Co-Op.

Amaya Smith and Kimberly Smith were tired of feeling like an afterthought when they shopped for makeup or hair and skin products.

For years, the entrepreneurs either couldn’t find them at all, or they were relegated to a special section. The pair (who aren’t related) felt like the staff at chain beauty stores frequently ignored them and their needs.

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