Actress, singer, and songwriter Ryan Destiny can add another accomplishment to her resume — beauty spokesmodel. The 26-year-old Star and Grown-ish actress announced that she is the new face of Black Opal Cosmetics.
In an Instagram post, Destiny wrote, “Very excited to announce that I’m the official face of BLK OPL. To be apart of a brand that is owned by Black women and for years has been ahead of the game when it comes to thinking of us ALL, makes me so proud! Catch us at your nearest Ulta + more in 2021. Shot by the coolest @quillemons”
Destiny echoed her sentiments in an interview with Allure magazine. “It just felt right when they came to me,” the actress said. “I love that it’s Black-owned and female-owned. This is a really cool thing to be a part of, and I’m just really honored.”
In 2019 Black Opal made a significant change when the company became Black-owned. Before then, the brand received flack for not being owned by a person of color. Per Essence, the brand, initially founded in 1994 by a Greek-American chemist named Niko Mouyiaris, was under question for years about whether it was Black-owned or not.
But here’s a bit of clarification. Mouyiaris created the brand specifically with Black women in mind. He noticed a lack of beauty products for women of color after seeking cosmetics for his wife, Carol, a woman of Jamaican descent. Mouyiaris worked with Black board-certified dermatologist Dr. Cheryl Burgess to develop an advanced skincare and color cosmetics line for women of color.
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As of 2019, the brand holds new leadership after its acquisition by Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, making it officially a Black-owned beauty brand. Both women have extensive resumes. Rogers was the CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, the White House’s Social Secretary, and special assistant to the President under Barack Obama’s administration. McKissack was CEO of Ebony Media Operations.
In an interview with Essence, the new founders spoke about what the recent acquisition meant for them. “When we acquired Black Opal, our goal was to stay true to the founders’ passion,” said President Cheryl Mayberry McKissack. “As we continue to grow the company and bring high-quality products to the market, we also plan to focus on creating a positive impact in our communities.”
The move to link Ryan Destiny to the brand comes at a good time. While beauty products for Black women may have been scarce in the 90s, lines like Fenty Beauty, Uoma Beauty, The Lip Bar, Mented Cosmetics, and Pat McGrath have added much-needed diversity to the beaty retail space. With Destiny joining as the brand’s new ambassador, Black Opal should reach a new and younger audience in 2021.