theGrio’s 100: Vera Moore, the soap opera star turned makeup guru

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Who is Vera Moore?

Vera Moore is a soap opera star turned entrepreneur who created her own cosmetics line, Vera Moore Cosmetics, after realizing there was limited selection of makeup geared towards minorities. She became a household name when she became the first African-American soap opera actress contracted to play Linda on NBC’s Another World.

“Makeup at that time didn’t allow the true color of women with beautiful dark skin to shine through. Add to this the fact that on Another World I portrayed Linda Metcalf,” she said in an interview with Madame Noire. “I had a big problem. Not only were the makeup colors not right, I didn’t want to get the colors on my white uniform or anything else I touched. As I sought a way to meet this challenge, I became inspired to go into the cosmetics business.”

With the launch of her makeup line in 1979, Vera has since built one of the most progressive and prestigious cosmetic and skin care lines for the ethnic market. Her success, both on-screen and off-screen, has garnered her national recognition such as an appearance on the cover of Black Enterprise magazine and featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Why is she on theGrio’s 100?

Moore not only broke racial barriers in the television industry, but she has also successfully entered the highly-competitive cosmetic industry. Her beauty line was one of the first of its kind to offer beauty products to a heavily underrepresented market. Furthermore, she broke another barrier when a Vera Moore Cosmetics boutique became the first African-American-owned store in Kings Plaza mall in New York. She has since paved the way for other African-American cosmetic lines to launch, such as Iman Cosmetics, Black Opal and Covergirl Queen.

What’s next for Moore?

Vera is currently celebrating the launch of her Vera Moore Cosmetics line at LOOK boutiques in  Duane Reade Stores in New York City this past spring. The release of her products in a drugstore marks her vision to make beauty products widely accessible to the general public. Additionally, these LOOK boutiques will be launching in 42 other Walgreens stores across the nation including New York City, Chicago, and Vegas. This past Friday, the first Walgreens LOOK boutique opened inside of the Empire State building.

Follow Vera Moore Cosmetics on Twitter @VeramooreCos