Press release

ESSENCE and Ulta Beauty Announce the Launch of New Collection for Girls United: Beautiful Possibilities 2.0 Mentorship Program

Sponsored by Businesswire

ESSENCE, the leading media, technology and commerce company serving Black women and communities, and Ulta Beauty, the nation’s largest beauty retailer announced the launch of their second ESSENCE X Ulta Beauty Girls United Beautiful Possibilities collection. The collection is the culmination of Girls United: Beautiful Possibilities 2.0, a year-long mentorship initiative designed to inspire and mentor African-American young women. This second phase of the partnership features a stunning new collection of exclusive beauty products curated by six aspiring young women who were selected after a national search. Their journeys, challenges and triumphs while co-creating the collection—and receiving a first-hand look into the beauty business—are chronicled in a six-part video series on This exciting program originally launched in Fall 2018 and resulted in the development of their first collection.

The Girls United: Beautiful Possibilities 2.0 Collection is available now in all Ulta Beauty stores and online at (click here to view.) The two-part collection features an incredible assortment of beauty must-haves—including a four-piece Self-Caramel Bath Kit with a Plush Headband, Caramel Scented Body Sorbet, Caramel Body Scrub and a Holographic Bag; as well as a five-piece Cosmetics Kit inclusive of a Glow Up Eye Shadow Palette, Fresh Faced Eyeshadow Palette, Caramel Drip Lip Gloss, Unfiltered Lip Gloss and Cosmetic Bag.

Through Girls United: Beautiful Possibilities 2.0, the selected teens received the opportunity of a lifetime that allowed them to share their creativity with people across the country and receive invaluable career counsel from ESSENCE and Ulta Beauty leaders virtually. The six teens chosen to participate in the mentorship program are:

  • Jitarra Ellis, 17 (Massachusetts)
  • Jacqueline Means, 17 (Delaware)
  • Nelly Ghansah, 19 (New York)
  • Kalonii Sparks, 17 (Virginia)
  • Fanta Kaba, 18 (Michigan)
  • Balqees El-Tawekgi, 17 (Maryland)

“I’ve always believed that when you understand your purpose, the limits of what is available for you does not become the limit of what is possible for you. Black women have had the unmitigated gall to believe in a future that others can’t see, and ESSENCE has been the congregational center of the tenacity and audacity that’s fuels that journey, “ said ESSENCE CEO Caroline Wanga. “Despite the sticky floors, broken ladders, and glass ceilings—the past, present and future are illuminated with the achievements of Black women and the communities they lead within. Platforms such as Beautiful Possibilities 2.0 position and prepare Black women with acumen and access to accomplish their goals.”

“We’re thrilled to bring our second season of ESSENCE Girls United to life, helping future leaders make their mark on the beauty industry, said Karla Davis, vice president, integrated marketing at Ulta Beauty. “These talented young women are a shining example of Black excellence and we believe they are amazing examples who can and will inspire others to believe in their own beautiful possibilities.”

Girls United is ESSENCE’s global platform focused on empowering the Gen Z multicultural woman to find the perspectives, tools, resources, and opportunities to support her through her life’s milestones.

For more on ESSENCE Girls United, visit or join the conversation on social @Essence and @essencegu #ESSENCEGirlsUnited.


Essence Communications is the number one—and only 100% Black-owned—media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities. With a community of more than 31 million Black women, ESSENCE inspires a global audience through diverse storytelling and immersive original content rooted in Culture, Equity and Celebration. The brand’s multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online encompasses its namesake magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; and signature live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival of Culture.