Mikki Taylor, Editor-at-Large for “Essence Magazine” loves her job.

“To me there is no greater joy than to get up and go to work on behalf of black women,” says Taylor, the author of two books, including “Self-Seduction: Your Ultimate Path to Inner and Outer Beauty.”

For over 30 years Taylor was the magazine’s beauty editor. Her interest in beauty came from her mother, a stylist for jazz icon Sarah Vaughan.

“That was my firsthand experience in the power of beauty,” she says, noting, “Women weren’t just coming into the salon for a great hairstyle or a great color.  They were really coming in for affirmation and fellowship.”

Beauty advocate

At “Essence,” Taylor noticed black women, “were still largely invisible” when it came to beauty products. Cosmetics including foundation, blush and lipstick didn’t address their needs.

“'Own the queen in you,' says Taylor, encouraging black women to embrace their inner and outer beauty."

Motivated to make an impact, Taylor decided, “I’m going to take it upon myself to educate and inform the industry about this untapped frontier that is black women. I made it my mission to inform and educate.”

Her commitment is working. “The possibilities are finally becoming endless in color cosmetics,” says Taylor, who says makeup these days is “more like a second skin” and helps enhance black women’s features, instead of masking them.

She encourages manufacturers to engage black consumers, creating products within their lines that address the needs and desires of black women.

Inner beauty

“Own the queen in you,” says Taylor, encouraging black women to embrace their inner and outer beauty: “You must own your life and celebrate the magnificent truth of who you are.”