OUI the People: A black-woman-owned beauty brand that prioritizes black women

Unhealthy and unrealistic health and beauty standards are forced on consumers from every angle. Television, social media, advertisements at transportation hubs and even subliminal messages in our entertainment do a good job of reminding us all that we’re lacking something special.

We’d all be better of if we just purchase the right products and style ourselves like our favorite celebrities, right?

A Black woman decided to take a different approach with OUI the People, a beauty brand for, well, the people. Founder Karen Young said she struggled with razor burn and ingrown hairs as a young woman. She took note of the vast differences between beauty and grooming options for men compared to women.

“When I wanted to gift a man in my life with something beautiful and useful, I often went for a safety razor. The whole set would be beautifully presented with the right shaving cream, oils, and a razor,” she told Skincare.com. “It struck me that I was not only having a terrible experience shaving but that the very act of shaving was far from luxurious.”

Young set out to create a product line that was tailored for women. 

“Each OUI The People razor is a modern version of a timeless tool, hand-crafted in Germany with a weighted handle and a special non-aggressive angle,” explained the Fordham University graduate. “The blade glides over the top of the skin, hugging a woman’s curves and edges to deliver a close, irritation-free shave.”

The company sells custom milled steel razor blades and a host of products, from body cleansers to body butter, masks and its famous “BIG MOOD” bath soak, a mix of magnesium, potassium and calcium that helps detox the body through the skin scented with Italian-sourced bergamot essential oil.

All OUI the People products are ethically sourced and void of parabens or synthetic fragrances. Products are never tested on animals and are sustainably made. The packaging is either refillable or recyclable. Prices start around $25 and top out just under $150.

In an effort to stand out from the crowd, the company’s marketing campaign is a tongue-in-cheek manifesto called the reConstituion of Beauty that bucks against the patriarchy and antiquated beauty standards with both humor and humility.

According to the website, “The reConstruction of Beauty is our commitment to ‘watch our language.’ No brand is just a brand. Clearly. Brands inform culture and language, as beauty has done for decades. We believe beauty shouldn’t come at the expense of our psyche. Rather than pursuing lawlessness, we aim to build efficacious products, designed thoughtfully, that help you feel great in the skin you’re already in.”

Young also created a rewards program that allows customers to accumulate points for joining the club, getting referrals, each dollar purchased, and even in observance of members’ birthdays. Points can be redeemed for up to 15 percent off OUI the People orders.

OUI the People products and gift cards are sold exclusively on the company website.

“Beauty is the elusive space where I’m not ruminating on the past or building the future,” Young said. “Where I just am, and it’s more than good enough.”

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