5 DC Businesses That Are Changing the Local Beauty Industry

Brown Beauty Co-Op owners Kimberly Smith and Amaya Smith. Photo courtesy of the Brown Beauty Co-Op.

Brown Beauty Co-Op

Frustrated with DC’s offerings for women of color, best friends Kimberly Smith and Amaya Smith decided to found their own multicultural beauty company. The sleek retreat is opening in mid-December off Dupont Circle.

Well-Kept Beauty

This locally founded app helps beauty-product addicts look up specific brands’ ingredients, document how well products work, and even track expiration dates. Yes, you really do need to toss that old mascara.

well-kept beauty
Well Kept Beauty. Photo courtesy of Sheena Franklin.

Mischo Beauty

When chemistry-degree-wielding aesthetician Kitiya King began searching for high-quality nail polish that was safe to use during pregnancy, she was confronted with clumpy options and a limited range of hues. Sensing a need, she launched a line of smooth lacquers that are free from harsh ingredients, such as formaldehyde, commonly used by major brands.

mischo beauty
Left to right: Diana, Front Row, and Good Kisser from Mischo Beauty. Photos courtesy of Mischo Beauty.

Own Your Wonder

Inclusivity is key at this year-old Georgetown salon, which holds classes that welcome all gender identities, displays photos of both men and women in makeup, and provides a designated room for people who want privacy, including those whose faith requires modesty.

own your wonder
Own Your Wonder. Photo courtesy of Tenneal Mcnair.

Varnish Lane

The Friendship Heights nail salon offers manicures and pedicures that don’t use any water, a method that’s better for the environment and helps prevent the spread of infections. The idea is catching on: A new Varnish Lane recently opened in the West End.

varnish lane
Varnish Lane’s West End salon. Photo courtesy of Varnish Lane.

This article appears in the December 2018 issue of Washingtonian.

Assistant Editor

Hayley is an Associate Editor at Washingtonian Weddings. Previously she was the the Style Editor at The Local Palate, a Southern food culture magazine based out of Charleston, South Carolina. You can follow her on instagram @wandertaste.