Black Beauty Roster, the collective founded in 2020 with the aim of supporting diverse hairstylists, makeup artists and other beauty professionals in landing editorial, film and red carpet jobs, is taking its mission further with the launch of its new portal.
“For so long, we would hear, ‘Oh I don’t know where to find the talent,’ — well, with this portal, we’re streamlining the process of connecting artists with brands and productions, creating these great discovery moments, and taking away excuses,” said Black Beauty Roster founder Maude Okrah.
Debuting Feb. 1, the Black Beauty Roster portal allows film, fashion and entertainment executives to explore the platform’s roster of more than 10,000 vetted beauty industry professionals for hire.
“We’ve heard stories of models and actresses who had to do their own hair on set, carry their own products with them or have literally cried in their chair because they didn’t feel heard or seen when it came to their beauty experiences,” Okrah added. “With brands and productions, we knew many of them want to do the right thing, but just weren’t sure what that looked like, so we’re changing that.”
Talent seekers can filter their search by location, specialty, availability, union or non-union talent, and view potential matches’ assigned tier (ranging from Tier 1, who are those with extensive on-set experience for large productions, to Tier 4, designated to fledgling professionals seeking opportunities to build their skills).
“We believe diversity goes both ways, so our community of artists includes both people of color and non-people of color, but all of them have demonstrated the skill and ability to work with all hair textures and all complexions — that’s what is really important to us,” Okrah said.
Users can also opt into curated shortlists of suitable talent for specific gigs, and both companies and talent can anonymously submit questions and share personal experiences through the portal’s advice line.
“What we’ve found is that, sometimes because people don’t want to come off as insensitive or racist, they won’t ask the question. With this advice line, we’re creating a safe space for them to get clarity, and alleviating the responsibility of fielding these requests from the [person of color] colleague, who is often the one to get them, which is draining and can be a microaggression,” Okrah said.