The tides are finally changing in beauty and I could not be happier.
Last week, I wrote about the launch of Fenty Beauty, Rihanna’s new makeup line. As I predicted, the line ended up being a HUGE success, and although one would assume that has a lot to do with the fact that it was curated by one of music’s biggest pop icons, the line’s success actually had a lot to do with its versatility. Fenty Beauty has a total of 40 different foundation shades, in a range of undertones, that work to actually match people.Rihanna understood that there were groups of individuals being “left out” in the beauty world due to the lack of diverse shades offered from other brands, and decided to market her product towards those people. Her philosophy when creating the line was that everyone should be able to participate, and the clear success of such a philosophy has now brought other brands to follow in her footsteps, or at least attempt to do so.
It’s no secret that Rihanna is doing what other beauty brands may see as trendsetting — customers of color will hopefully soon (finally) be spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a product to complement their skin tones — but we have to wonder about brand motives.
Kylie Cosmetics was one of the first to promote inclusivity after Fenty Beauty’s launch, taking to social media to post a picture of a darker model donning some of Kylie Jenner’s products as a way to showcase that the line could work on a range of complexions. Unfortunately for Jenner, that post received tons of backlash for unoriginality, and commenters refused to support it since only a limited number of the brand’s products actually worked for different complexions. Kylie Cosmetics has since deleted the post.
Sephora prestige brand Too Faced took to social media in a similar fashion, however with a bit more thought put into their strategy.
The brand announced that it would be expanding its shade range to include more women of color, and their main consultant for the task would be Jackie Aina, one of YouTube’s most beloved black beauty bloggers. The brand’s want for expansion only makes sense – according to The Fader news, Sephora has seen an increase in their total client base diversity since Fenty Beauty’s launch.
Even drugstore brands, like L’Oréal Paris, are extending their shade ranges to be a part of the “inclusive trend.” The fact that brands are actually making an effort to include all shades of women is exciting; however, a question of true motive remains. Are brands expanding in the hopes of making more people happy, or just for making more money?
Hopefully, brands will see that including other shades in their range in about more than just finances – it’s about promoting change. The beauty industry can make a huge impact being inclusive, not just on the makeup community, but on society as a whole. Because to be inclusive is beautiful.