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Published September 27, 2019
Published September 27, 2019
Black Opal

Black Opal has been acquired by Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, making it officially a Black-owned beauty brand.

WHO: Black Opal was founded in the US in 1994 by Niko Mouyiaris for his wife of Jamaican descent at a time when there was a lack of product options for women of color in the beauty space. He worked closely with Black board-certified dermatologist Dr. Cheryl Burgess to develop products specifically formulated for melanin-rich skin.

Mana Cosmetics was established in 1975 by chemist and entrepreneur Nikos Mouyiaris. For over 40 years, Mana has developed groundbreaking formulas for some of the world’s most renowned beauty brands and globally recognized makeup artists. What began in a 900-square-foot loft on West 26th Street in New York City, is now headquartered in Long Island City, NY, employs over 800 people, and operates three product innovation labs and two manufacturing facilities for production, packaging, assembly, and distribution.

Desiree Rogers was the former chairman of the Chicago tourism agency, former CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, and the Social Secretary of the White House and special assistant to the President under Barack Obama’s administration.

Cheryl Mayberry McKissack was the former CEO of Ebony media operations, and a 19-year veteran as the founder and CEO of one of the largest online market insights businesses, Nia Enterprises

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We are delighted to own Black Opal, a company created almost three decades ago, to address the makeup needs for people of color,” said Black Opal CEO Desiree Rogers in a press release. “Rooted in its exceptional product quality and unparalleled knowledge of skincare for highly melanated skin, Black Opal is known for its superior ingredients and high product efficacy,” she continued. “Together, Cheryl and I are looking forward to creating even more innovative products and continuing to grow the brand globally.”

“When we acquired Black Opal our goal was to stay true to the founders’ passion,” said Black Opal President Cheryl Mayberry McKissack. “As we continue to grow the company and bring high quality products to the market, we also plan to focus on creating a positive impact in our communities.”

“Both Cheryl and I love beauty and use the products every day. For over 25 years, Black Opal has consistently created products specifically for women of color and our plan is to bring the newest trends to the brand. Talc free products, more skin care products and even more exciting color selections are coming,” Rogers told Essence. “Together Cheryl and I are looking forward to creating even more innovative products and continuing to grow the brand globally.”


  • Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack have acquired Black Opal from Mana Cosmetics.
  • No terms of the acquisition deal have been disclosed.
  • According to WWD, industry sources said Black Opal has more than $10 million in retail sales.

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