It’s 2018 and the words diversity and representation are becoming more than just buzz words. A quick scroll through social media reveals that beauty brands are not only creating better products, but are marketing them to a wider audience. Starting just a few years ago, L’oreal became the first brand to use a male model in a colour cosmetics campaign, in the same year MAC teamed up with Caitlyn Jenner, making her the first transgender woman to have her own products under the brand.
Today, we can say that many brands have followed suit, from Chanel to Marc Jacobs, campaigns are looking more and more inclusive. But what is it about diversity that goes beyond the façade? The considered approach to producing products especially for different ethnicities, taking head of the use of bleaches and other toxic chemicals to create products that be as good as they appear on billboards.
We can’t talk about diversity without making special mention of award-winning musician, actor, philanthropist, designer Rihanna, now also the creator of the makeup brand hailed as one of Time’s 25 Best Inventions of 2017. There was a lot of hype when Fenty Beauty launched in 2017 and rightfully so, while most major beauty brands had 10 foundation shades, Rihanna’s Fenty beauty dropped 40 shades of foundation which focused specifically on darker women of colour, tackling the issue with undertones, colour correctness and ensuring the products were chemical free and FELT good. The first truly inclusive makeup brand up until 2017. A first and something that Rihanna attributed to wanting every woman to feel included. Rihanna’s own assembled beauty squad featured models of different races, skin colours and bodies, who in their own capacity advocate for the same values the brand stands for.
"Fenty beauty was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included. That's the real reason I made this line."
We’ve seen beauty done boldly over the past few years, but these campaigns are some of the best we’ve seen thus far.
Untouched and unfiltered are the words that come to mind when one sees this campaign. Luxury skincare brand Babor teamed up with a North American NPO, All Women Project to create a campaign targeted at empowering different women showing that beauty has no prototype.
One of the most youth-centric online retailers out there and true champions of diversity in many respects, ASOS’ campaign featured a host of uniquely beautiful fresh faces to launch their very affordable makeup range. From lipstick to eye liner, this range is for everyone.
In what they say is their most diverse campaign to date, L’oreal’s True Match foundation depicted the many faces of beauty which extends across race and gender by telling everyone’s story through their match-made foundation colour. The campaign which featured stars like Blake Lively, received an amazing reception when it was launched at the 2017 Golden Globes.
We certainly did not foresee that there would be a brand that would surpass the Fenty Beauty 40 foundation mark but
Known for their edgy and cool brand archetype, Milk has never been shy when it comes to pushing the boundaries of self-expression. One of their 2017 campaigns, #BlurTheLines was no different, to launch the new blur stick(how catchy?) the brand partnered with trans and non-gender conforming models to promote the fluidity of makeup.