Black beauty has been a pivotal aspect within the beauty industry. Black women and women of color have had to endure a long standing fight of feeling seen, heard, and appreciated within the beauty world. And although we have a long way to go, Black women are slowly but surely on the forefront of major beauty enterprises and retail conglomerates, and Tisha Thompson of LYS beauty is one of the many Black women trailblazers that is forever changing the industry of beauty- the clean way. 

With over 15 years of industry experience, Tisha Thompson has made her mark within the industry of beauty. With a focus and emphasis on clean beauty products that are specifically crafted with self love and care in mind, Thompson is the beauty veteran we all need in our lives and is here to help change the narrative of beauty with a twist. 

LYS cosmetics is accessible for all skin tones, complexions, and skin types and is currently sold at Sephora. The brand announced its expansion earlier this month and is most certainly changing the game for Black owned beauty brands that are finally making way into a lucrative industry. 

Clean beauty is a long awaited fix we’ve all been waiting for, and now it’s finally here for Black Women and women of color to enjoy. Without further ado, here is Tisha Thompson of LYS. 

21Ninety: Can you tell me a little about your background? How did you enter the beauty/cosmetics industry? 

Tisha Thompson: I’ve worked in this industry for awhile, and I was initially introduced through makeup artistry as a teenager. I worked as a makeup artist for several years while obtaining my undergraduate degree, which definitely expanded my product knowledge and love for the industry. Post-college, I was able to stay in beauty through a finance position, and eventually made my way over to the marketing team where I was able to climb the corporate ladder over the course of fifteen years. 

21N: As a Black woman entrepreneur, how have you dealt with the naysayers' opinions and the limiting beliefs of others? 

TT: I am a firm believer that the key to your own confidence should never lie in the hands of others’ opinions, so I’ve mastered the ability to block out any negativity that is not in alignment with my goals. 2020 really showed me that life is short and there’s no better time than the present to aggressively tackle whatever concept or idea you want to try. 

I’m incredibly purpose-driven with LYS Beauty and creating products that truly make people celebrate the skin they’re in. It is far too important a mission to be sidetracked by naysayers. I also have an incredible support system with my husband, family, friends, sorority sisters, and the LYS team who help drown out any negative noise with positivity and encouragement. 

21N: Why are clean Black-owned cosmetic brands important for our health and overall well-being? 

TT: For LYS Beauty, clean beauty is defined as ingredient-rich formulas designed to promote overall skin health without ever including our extremely strict list of excluded ingredients. It’s important for consumers to intimately understand their skin and what they’re allowing to rest on their skin every day, and for brands to be open about their ingredient selection. The better we know our skin, the more effective we are in protecting and preserving it. We intentionally address common concerns for deeper complexions, like hyperpigmentation, excess oil, or dehydrated skin in our complexion products, so people don’t have to sacrifice their skin health for a beat. 

21N: Can you explain what you’ve learned during the past 15 years while you’ve been in the industry? What advice would you give to young Black professionals who want to make their mark? 

TT: The bulk of my career has been two-fold, managing both new product development and marketing for clean beauty brands. My focus area has always been in clean beauty, so I built a career innovating with strict formulation standards. This includes working closely with the lab to create an awesome product that fills a gap in the market, then developing the go-to-market strategy to get people just as excited as we are about the product. My biggest piece of advice is to remain connected to your purpose and let that be the driving force when the going gets tough. Any truly rewarding accomplishment is on the other side of hard work and sacrifice, so clinging tight to your bigger mission will motivate you as you grow in your career.

21N: How is LYS changing the beauty industry for Black Women and WOC?  

TT: LYS Beauty is taking a bold stance on confidence without compromise; meaning, gone are the days where consumers have to settle using harmful ingredients, improper shade matches, or products from brands who don’t truly represent them. This is about indulging in skincare-enriched products that help protect our skin while showing it off in the most beautiful way, which is an experience everyone deserves. 

21N: Can you tell me more about the meaning behind LYS? Why is self-love more important now more than ever during an ongoing pandemic?  

TT: LYS stands for Love Your Self, which is a nod to our brand mission of confidence. We simply want to connect people with their most authentic, liberated, and unapologetic selves through the expressive process of beauty.  

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