What would it be like to travel the world through makeup? Maybe you would explore nearby Brooklyn. Perhaps Nairobi, Kenya is more your style. You might want to venture to Santiago, Chile, or in Dalian, China. You could soak up the sun in Alexandria, Egypt. Whichever country you choose, koyVoca Cosmetics makes it possible to explore the beauty and diversity of the world through their makeup palettes.
Launched by Courtney Coates in 2016, koyVoca is an up-and-coming cosmetics company whose mission it is to offer a wider range of makeup options to people of color. The creation of this black-owned business was largely inspired by the beauty industry’s slow progress in developing products suited for people with darker skin tones.
“The idea of creating koyVoca came to me as a young child while playing in makeup that didn’t show up on my skin tone,” Coates said in an exclusive interview with Violet Vision. “Launching koyVoca went from being a dream to a reality once I started college.”
A playful portmanteau of “coy” and “vocal,” koyVoca offers handmade, cruelty-free products—many of which are also vegan—that are versatile enough to create anything from a minimalist, “no makeup” look to an edgier aesthetic.
KoyVoca has recently been appearing in the headlines for their wide range of shades, 21 to be exact, available in their beauty products. This includes foundations, concealers, contour kits, highlighters, lipsticks and more. In a heartfelt homage to diversity and heritage, the budding beauty brand named each of its 21 signature cream-to-powder foundations after a world city.
Just five of the 21 shades of liquid foundation Koyvoca offers. See more here.
KoyVoca is garnering attention not only for its strides toward inclusivity, but also for its affordability. With nude lipsticks priced as low as $10, and each of its 21 foundations only $16, koyVoca is accessible in terms of both color and cash.
Young as it may be, koyVoca is already receiving praise for its product line. Online lifestyle publications Hello Giggles, Cosmopolitan, and Allure have all given koyVoca rave reviews. Even our own diverse student body at NYU are excited about new makeup options made possible through koyVoca. Khai Nelson, a freshman at the Silver School of Social Work, says, “I’m glad there are beauty companies like this that address the needs of people of all skin colors. It’s long overdue.”
Because her makeup line has garnered so much attention, Courtney Coates hopes to expand koyVoca’s makeup line in the near future. “I have big plans for koyVoca, which of course starts with adding more products like liquid foundations, tinted moisturizers, and eyebrow pomades,” Coates says. She also hopes to expand into other areas of beauty as well.
It is important that makeup companies acknowledge the beauty of all people, including those with skin tones outside of the mainstream, and develop products that reflect this wonderful diversity. The success of koyVoca marks one small step for the beauty industry and one giant step for inclusivity.
Sarah Jackson is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com