The Latest in Beauty News: Does Black | Up Paris Have a Dark History?

Image result for lionel durandFabrice Mahabo, the Original Creator of Black|Up Cosmetics
Lionel Durand (left) Bernard Fabrice Mahabo (right)

French makeup line, Black | Up got the beauty world excited for it's release online at on September 1, 2015, and  in ten Sephora stores across the U.S on September 15, 2015. However, I came across an interesting article this morning on Blaq Vixen Beauty. The author unveils what seems to be a pandora's box of secrets surrounding the brand. The original founder, Bernard Fabrice Mahabo (known as Fabrice Mahabo) was allegedly outed by his business partner and his secret business partner.  Founding the company in 1999 after completing his studies at the Christian Chauveau makeup academy, Fabrice Mahabo started Godo Black |Up Paris, a luxury line of makeup geared towards women of color and was named after his father, Godo. The line became the mysterious luxury makeup line for woman as it came and went from many retailers, such as Macy's.

I encourage you to read the full article on Blaq Vixen's site here.

Meanwhile, other articles or blurbs I found listed Fabrice Mahabo as the founder are, interestingly enough,  all minority ran. Blaq Vixen, as listed above, is one of them.

  • African Success has a short biography about him. Read it here. The bio was written in 2010 and credits a personal blog of Mahabo's that no longer exists.
  • In just September of 2014, Cocotique an article about Black | Up naming the original founder, but nothing about him no longer owning the company. Maybe it was unknown then.
  • Fashionista is the only  site I have come across so far that names Lionel Durand as the French founder of the brand, no co-founder, but founder.
  • There is this article on Brand Online Commerce's site naming Lionel Durand as the CEO in which he talks about launching a U.S. site for the company. There is a short blurb about the history, but nothing about Fabrice Mahabo. It reads:

"Created in 1999, black|Up has become the leading French professional makeup brand that combines quality, glamour and effectiveness.

Specially formulated for women of color, yet suitable for all women, black|Up is both a leader and innovator in foundation and makeup shades, offering unprecedented choice to its clientèle.
The brand has experienced impressive growth for several years and is present in over 20 countries."

So here is what we don't know?

  • Where is Fabrice Mahabo? Did he leave Black | Up or was forced out?
  • Why is the history of Black | Up to hard to obtain? On their About page, it only mentions the company being founded by an African makeup artist. Fabrice Mahabo's name was nowhere to be found.
  • The online launch of Black | Up on Sephora's site was supposed to be yesterday, but I cannot find it. Can you? It is not even on the brand list.

I will be sure to update this post as I obtain more info.


Danielle of the Style & Beauty Doctor posted a Q&A with Black | Up's CEO and  US Director. Read it here

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