Diverse and inclusive beauty brands: What does it actually mean?
In 2018, beauty brands — including Best in Beauty Awards nominated brands Fenty Beauty, M.A.C, Covergirl, Benefit and Dove — did their part to make the industry as inclusive as possible. While there are always plenty more strides to be taken when it comes to diversifying the industry, there were some notable wins worthy of recognition.
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Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
While arguably not the first brand to offer a wide shade range, there’s no doubt about it, Rihanna's beauty brand shone a much-needed light on the lack of diversity in the beauty market. Last year, Fenty Beauty officially turned one. It debuted with no less than 40 foundation shades and representation of all ethnicities in its marketing. Fenty has continued to churn out hit after hit and stuck to their day one promise: inclusion for all women
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When life gives you bags, make sure you secure ‘em in #FENTYBEAUTY!💰Conceal your undereyes in any of our 50 shades of creamy soft-matte #PROFILTRCONCEALER! Available at fentybeauty.com, @sephora, @harveynichols, and #SephorainJCP!
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Definitely under-acknowledged, 62-year old cosmetics brand CoverGirl has long flown the flag for diversity. From ambassadors Queen Latifah and Nura Afia to mature supermodel Maye Musk and the first-ever male ambassador James Charles. In 2018, they took it up a notch and ditched their iconic “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful” slogan in favour of “I Am What I Make Up” – a message of empowerment and inclusivity. “People no longer strive for a singular standard of beauty, but use makeup as a tool for self-expression and personal transformation," says Ukonwa Ojo, senior vice president of CoverGirl. "We’ve always been inclusive and known for pushing the boundaries of what it means to be beautiful, which means we have a responsibility to elevate how we connect and communicate with people. We hope to spark a provocative dialogue that shifts cultural assumptions about when, where, how and why people wear makeup.”
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💜#LashEquality = bold, sexy lashes for ALL.💜 At COVERGIRL, we’ve always stood for inclusive beauty that supports any and all types — from skin types to lash types. We know that whether you have short, straight, light or long lashes, you all crave the same bold end look, so we listened and created #SoLashy mascara: the first mascara designed for any and all lash types. Representing all types of beauty, our #SoLashy fam (and their lashes) have come together to stand for #LashEquality. Bold, sexy lashes for all: are you on board? #Repost, comment, 💜 to be a part, and stay tuned for more!
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Early this year, Benefit made headlines when it appointed its first Down syndrome model Kate Grant. While shade ranges have increased by leaps and bounds, representation of disabilities in the beauty industry is still disappointingly rare. Benefit spotted Kate on Instagram wearing one of the brand’s liners, loved what she was about and asked her to become a brand ambassador. Kate’s mum Deidre has spoken out about the impact this has personally had on the model as well as the wider disability community. "She is paving the way for people coming behind her," she told Metro. "Kate wants to spread awareness about inclusion for people with disabilities and that is what she has done from the very start. She is aware that she is able to do that in a way some of her friends cannot. She is using her voice for them."
In an industry where people of colour are often ignored or considered an afterthought, M.A.C has consistently catered to those with darker skin tones - their slogan, ‘All Ages, All Races, All Genders’, further attests to this. Did you know the M.A.C Studio Fix Foundation has always had 40 shades? Then, last year, they added an additional 18 to the line-up totalling a choice of now 60 shades! M.A.C is also renowned for its celebrity collaborations, which have featured an assortment of people of colour ranging from Rihanna and Nicki Minaj to Mary J. Blige and RuPaul. Recently, M.A.C launched its Strip Down collection featuring a nude lipstick to suit every skin tone.
Dove famously kicked off its plight to boycott retouching in January 2015 with a powerful (and scary) video demonstrating just how easy it is to totally alter a model’s face. Since then, the brand has remained true to its ‘Real Beauty Pledge’ – ensuring beauty is a source of confidence and not anxiety. The brand vows to only feature real women, never models, of all ages, sizes and ethnicities. And of course, zero retouching. You’ll never see any Dove campaigns with digitally distorted, unachievable, flawless images ideals of beauty. This year, Dove joined forced with Getty Images to create the world's largest photo library of disabled and differently abled people to change perceptions and normalise disability. We also love that Dove isn't just doing it for the kudos and are happy to acknowledge and shout-out to other beauty brands doing good on their Instagram.
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Bold, iconic and – most importantly – real: photographer Christian Weber’s style was perfect for capturing our message 📸 He says: “Dove has no single definition of human beauty. It seeks a celebration of humanity in all its diversity of forms.” Thanks Christian! We couldn’t have put it better ourselves 🥳 #Dove #RealBeauty #Photography #Beauty
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What does diversity mean to you?