WOODBURY, N.Y. (PIX11) — An entrepreneur breaking barriers in the beauty business is giving back to women in need.

Decades before the beauty market was saturated with cosmetics brands, Vera Moore was the pioneer of the beauty business for women of color.

Moore is a living legend with a great sense of humor. The 78-year-old is the president and CEO of Vera Moore Cosmetics. She invited PIX11 News to her Long Island home to talk about her life, legacy and makeup. 

It wasn’t easy for Moore. She was the first Black tenant of the Green Acres Mall back in 1979, and one of the first Black actresses on a TV soap opera, called “Another World.”  

Moore grew up poor. Her mother was a domestic worker and her father was a porter who couldn’t read. One of seven children, her first job was to support her family. It’s those humble beginnings that propelled her. 

What defines Moore now is her philanthropy. She just back from a trip to Bogota, Colombia with the New York State Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce visiting victims of violence. This year she’s nominated for the Legacy Award by Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit. Despite all the covers of magazines and attention, Moore said her real legacy is her family and her two daughters.  

Moore said she is just getting started. Next year she’s in a movie called “Tried by Fire” and she’s writing a book on her life story.