A search for blue lipstick led this Jamaican to start cosmetics empire that made $1M in 6 months

Abu Mubarik January 10, 2023
Keyshia Ka’oir started Ka’oir Cosmetics in 2011. Photo: YouTube/Ka’oir Cosmetics

The U.S. beauty industry is reportedly worth $60 billion. And despite Blacks being responsible for 11.1 percent ($6.6 billion) of total beauty spending, the industry is less diverse. It is largely dominated by products that are not suitable for Blacks.

As a result, many persons of color with a keen interest in the industry are compelled to come up with innovative brands to not only cater to their needs but also to others who look like them. One such person is Keyshia Ka’oir.

In 2009, she wanted to wear blue lipstick to match her shoes and her dress. However, she couldn’t find one from any of the major cosmetics firms. “My friends were all like, you can’t wear blue lipstick because people will make fun of you. I ignored them because I’m always a unique person and I want to be over the edge,” she told The Cut.

She continued: “No one knew my name, no one knew who I was, but everyone wanted to be the girl with the mohawk and the blue lipstick.”

Her unsuccessful search for blue lipstick led her to start Ka’oir Cosmetics because she wouldn’t take no for an answer. According to her, she made her first $1 million in the first six months after the launch of her business. And she even rewarded her effort with a Rolls-Royce. 

Ka’oir said her connection with the modeling and the music industry helped propel her business. She created a neon-pink lipstick for a best friend who is a rapper and a baby pink lipstick for a fan from Jersey Shore.

“If you see someone back in 2010 with blue, yellow, green lipstick, I knew it was my brand,” she recalled. “It was successful because it was different. You couldn’t get it from anywhere else.”

In addition to her cosmetic business, she runs Ka’oir Fitness, a business she launched because she wanted to lose weight. Her fitness brand comes with her own line of waist trainers called Waist Erasers. She also has Ka’oir Slimming Tea, Thigh Erasers, a Body Burner slimming cream, a full-body sweat suit, and a 14-day weight loss plan, according to The Cut.

Ka’oir also has a third business called Ka’oir Hair. Why the hair business? The serial entrepreneur explained: “I find myself in a brand-new wig every day, and wigs are a billion-dollar business.”

Originally from Jamaica, Ka’oir grew up in an entrepreneurial home. Her dad owned multiple businesses in Jamaica. She and her family lived in Jamaica until she was 10 years old. After going to college, she moved to South Beach in 2009 to pursue modeling under the name Keyshia Dior. Married to rapper  Gucci Mane, Ka’oir studied nursing but dropped out after finding out it wasn’t her career desire. She also studied a bit of cosmetology.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 11, 2023

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