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Tonya Lewis Lee’s Favorite Things From Black-Owned Wellness and Beauty Brands

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In 2007, I became the national spokesperson for “A Healthy Baby Begins With You,” a campaign initiated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health to raise awareness about infant mortality in the Black community.

Photo: Noa Griffel/Courtesy of Whitney Thomas/Noa Griffel

Through that work, I’ve spoken with thousands of women across the country and become a women’s-health advocate — especially for Black women, who are left out of wellness conversations despite carrying so much burden in our country. I’ve found that women must make their own wellness a priority. It’s not easy, but I’ve learned in my own life that I am better able to meet the needs of my family and my work when I treat myself kindly. I founded Movita Organics, my organic-vitamin-supplement collection, from this place. I want to help women gain a baseline of good nutrition and make it a bit easier to make positive choices that support a lifestyle of well-being.

My heroine Audre Lorde once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” I know that some days, one simple good decision is enough to help me feel good about how I treat my body. And that’s how I use these products. They’re all founded by Black women, so I’m supporting their work and taking care of myself, too. Join me in prioritizing your own wellness, no matter how many responsibilities you manage.


I love Golde’s Matcha Turmeric in the morning. The energy is a lot smoother than what I feel when I drink coffee. The turmeric in this blend is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant — it tastes great and is good for me.

I was introduced to founders KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson through their Mented line, which is specifically designed for women of color. The nude lipsticks are great natural shades — they add a little color to my look, which helps me feel great while attending virtual meetings from home.

Pat McGrath mascara is my go-to. The formula makes my lashes full and pop, but it doesn’t have that heaviness of thicker formulas. We communicate so much with our eyes. So with this mascara — and a good lip gloss — I feel ready to meet the challenges of my day.

We all know Fenty, and, like most, I am a fan. I love the way Rihanna has grown her brand and has made cosmetics for Black women of every complexion, ranging from the fairest to the richest skin tones. Fenty has made every woman feel seen — like she has an entire brand on her side. “Fu$$y” is my color!

I get busy, and grabbing a cleansing wipe is so easy. This one from Lauren Napier removes makeup with natural ingredients that moisturize and rejuvenate my skin. Even when I’m short on time, I can give my skin a chance to breathe, makeup free.

New Secrets Tea is a great way to boost your immune system throughout the day. Instead of grabbing a cup of coffee in the middle of the day, sometimes I like to have green or black tea to keep me energized and alert. I love that founder Natalie Antoinette’s passion for tea has inspired an entire brand that blends ingredients known for their positive effects on both the physical and mental well-being.

Nolaskinsentials makes a green-tea-antioxidant face mask that my skin just loves. After ten minutes, my pores feel cleaner, and my skin feels softer. Supporting brands like this one, that uses clean ingredients and is vegan-friendly, is part of my ethos.

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Tonya Lewis Lee’s Favorites From Black-Owned Wellness Brands