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'I'm Not Going to Change the World by Myself, But I Can Start.': How UOMA Beauty's Founder Merges Activism and Makeup to Fight for Change Sharon Chuter is trailblazing her way through the beauty industry while fighting for equality, equity and representation for women and the Black community.

By Kara McIntyre Edited by Jessica Thomas

Luis Trujillo

Sharon Chuter was running away from something — fast — when she decided to launch her own inclusive, Black-owned cosmetics company, UOMA Beauty, in 2019.

She was running from the beauty industry's open secret: It caters primarily to women, but the conglomerates that dominate the market have historically been helmed by white men, a structure she calls traumatic to women and people of color — and one she's working hard to dismantle, disrupt and transform.

The ramifications of this structure are far-reaching. It wasn't unheard of for beauty brands to offer just three shades of foundation and concealer. Lipstick shades are made to complement light skin tones. And the decision-makers for many brands ignore diversity except as a talking point, excluding marginalized communities in more ways than one.

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