When Fenty Beauty launched in 2017 with a whopping 40 shades of foundation —
from a colour as white as snow, to one as deep as the night sky — it unleashed a
celebratory sea around the world. Women and men whose skin colour was
rarely represented in a mainstream beauty brand can finally walk into a Sephora
store and buy their shade right out. The darkest shades quickly became their bestsellers, and they couldn’t keep them in stock fast enough — one of the reasons behind Fenty being one of the best beauty launches in 2017.
The funny thing is, with something as universal as beauty, inclusivity should
already be the norm. Of course, with Fenty Beauty leading the pack, beauty
insiders are finally coming to realise that while formulations are important, so is
catering to people of all shapes, sizes, styles and shades. Here are some of the
brands doing it right:
Known for their customisable foundation, the brand recently launched a ‘Nude is Not Beige’ campaign, highlighting that not everybody’s nude is a shade of beige — something so many brands have failed to acknowledge. The campaign also coincided with the launch of the brand’s virtual shade-matcher, which analyses their customers’ skin tone, and matches them with the foundation shade that best suits them.
While Glossier may not have a range of 40 foundation shades, or products with the best formulations, what they have nailed down is the ability to market so people experience FOMO. And they’ve managed to do that with a very diverse group of models — some of whom they’ve casted from their brand fans on Instagram. Their Body Hero campaign last year featured a pregnant woman, a plus sized woman, amongst a range of body types, all nude using hands, and strategically placed branding to protect their modesty.
Briogeo launched in Singapore without much fanfare, but the brand’s inclusive approach to haircare is something rarely seen on our shores. It’s hard enough to deal with hair when you live in a bubble of humidity, it becomes way harder when you add curls to the equation and you can’t find salons or products that can handle the curls and help them bloom. Very few brands within the hair-care category launch with notions of inclusivity in mind when it comes to hair type and texture, and Briogeo has managed to do this without sulfates, silicones, parabens phthelates, DEA, synthetic dyes and a long laundry list of ingredients they don’t include.
Despite the fact that a massive number of makeup artists are men, only in the recent years have our male counterparts started gracing ad campaigns wearing makeup, and Fluide is one of the brands that champions genderless beauty. The brand has a small, but covetable range of lip products, glitter and nail colours and a percentage of every sale goes to non-profit organizations focused on LGBTQ health and advocacy.
Too Faced updated and expanded their shade range with a collaboration with beauty Youtuber Jackie Aina. Their Born This Way foundation now has 35 shades, 11 more from their original with nine solely dedicated to those with richer skin tones.
Main image: Cover FX