Since the launch of Rihanna’s Fenty makeup range in 2017 (and it’s 40 shades of foundation!), makeup brands have been making a continuous and exciting shift towards becoming more inclusive for women (and men for that matter) of all races, religions, sizes and ages.
Far from fleeting trends, inclusivity and diversity in makeup are part of an on-going change within the beauty industry – and we couldn’t be more excited!
40 Shades Is The New Industry Standard
When Fentylaunched its 40 shades of foundation in autumn 2017 and then its 50 concealers in winter 2019, it pushed every other beauty brand to think harder about creating an inclusive foundation collection.
A 40 shade range has now become a standard norm for the makeup industry, with brands offering a wide variety of shades, including NARS, NYX, Maybelline, Bobbi Brown, Lancôme and Smashbox to name just a few (all of which are available on LookFantasticby the way).
PÜR Launches 100 Shades!
You may also have heard that PÜR has just launched a new Love Your Selfiefour-in-one foundation, concealer, skincare and longwear makeup product in 100 shades! They’re new collection, released just last month, has 5 shade families, including light, medium, tan, dark and deep, each with 20 different options to perfectly match your skin tone. You can check out PÜR products here.
Catering To A Wide Range of Ages, Sizes And Religions
Beauty brands aren’t just trying to cater to more skin colours though, they’re also working to embrace women of all age ranges, religions and sizes.
NYR’s Age Well Revolution
While big brands like L’Oréal have always used older ambassadors, including Helen Mirren, Andie MacDowell and Susan Sarandon, as a general rule, older women are largely under-represented in the beauty world. The British organic brand Neal’s Yard Remedieswanted to rectify that with the launch of their ‘The Age Well Revolution’ campaign in August last year.
The campaign sought to make women over 40 more visible by using six everyday women aged between 45 and 80 as brand ambassadors. It celebrated their beauty and shared beauty tips on how to age well. A huge step towards inclusivity!
Revlon’s Live Boldly Campaign
January 2018 also saw the launch of Revlon’s Live Boldly campaign featuring actress and model Gal Gadot who served in the Israeli army, model Ashley Graham who promotes body positivity, model Adwoa Aboah who overcame depression and a drug addiction, and half-Moroccan, half-Egyptian model Imaan Hammam who is a proud Muslim.
By bringing together an array of strong and diverse women, the campaign challenged conventional beauty standards, spreading messages of self-love and inclusivity. We loved it!
The Change Continues
While the two above campaigns were (mostly likely) the result of a sudden pressure to represent and cater to a broader spectrum of people, beauty brands have continued to diversify their range of brand ambassadors.
Lancôme announced Zendaya as their latest brand ambassador in February this year, making her their youngest ever representative, while James Charles became CoverGirl’s first ever CoverBoy, and Kate Grant, a model with Down syndrome, was selected as brand ambassador for Benefit earlier this year.
Are Beauty Brand Doing Enough For Diversity?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the new 40 shade foundation standard covers all skin tones, or that signing brand ambassadors that aren’t the norm will immediately change the beauty industry as a whole, but it is a great start towards achieving diversity in the makeup industry.
When brand ambassadors have a disability, or are older, or aren’t the expected gender, then more people are being represented. This means that fewer people are being left behind, and hopefully, as beauty lovers continue to demand more from makeup brands, eventually no one will be.
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An avid sportswoman, I'm always on the prowl for the latest trending hair and skincare products that will keep my curls bouncy and my skin glowing despite intense exercise. I believe that when you look good, you feel good and it gives you the confidence to always perform at your best.