Vera Moore is the president and CEO of Vera Moore Cosmetics. Throughout her time in the beauty industry, Moore has built one of the most progressive and prestigious cosmetics and skin care lines for the global market.
Tell us about Vera Moore Cosmetics.
We created Vera Moore Cosmetics in the ’70s. Since there was a void in the market for cosmetics, I wanted to have colors that would accommodate our skin tone[s]. Also, I wanted to differentiate myself from other brands because nobody was talking about skin care. For most Black girls, we’re told to just … put on makeup to cover it up, but we advocated that skin care is the foundation and makeup is an accessory. Anytime you thought about foundation, you think, “I need to get my foundation, my powder, my cream foundation,” and when you wash that stuff off, it’s all over the sink and your clothes. But we wanted people to know the importance of taking care of their skin and we had to explain to them the differences in skin types. We would do seminars, my daughter is a licensed aesthetician for 15 years, and my husband was an aesthetician cosmetologist for 45 years. So we were always about clean [and clear] skin.
We went to the cosmetic companies and took these products to them so they could see them. The quality of the product, the texture of the product [was important], [we wanted] it smooth, we didn’t want it thick, we didn’t want it greasy, and we didn’t want it oily. This is when we did classes because we had to educate women. It was a twofold dilemma; not only did we have to educate them about what to use on their skin, but there was low self-esteem there. We’re talking about the ’70s, and late ’60s when people were saying, “I’m too black. I can’t do this. My lips are too big. Do you have a color dark enough for me?” I had to tell them that they [could] do it.
I combated that with customer service, teaching and training with my daughter to tell them this is what we’ve made exclusively for you. And it stood on its own merit. We had a culture of integrity, honesty and respect, but they still had to like the product. So we proved ourselves, and the product proved itself. Forty-four years later, and we’re still here.