Colorful, Cool, and Inclusive: 4 Beauty Brands That Make the Cut
It is taking the beauty industry an achingly long time to fully come to terms with what its consumers already know: representation matters. We want to see more than just great formulations from products, but also our favorite brands catering to people of all shapes, sizes and shades.
When beauty brands’ ad campaigns or products ignore the reality that 35 percent of American women are women of color, and that black women specifically spend $7.5 billion dollars on beauty products (80 percent more than any other group of women) as reported by Allure/WWD/Essence, they fall behind in producing deeper shades for darker skin tones. This perpetuates antiquated beauty standards that prioritize Eurocentric features and lighter skin, making anyone who doesn’t fit within that definition of beautiful feel as less than. (And they ultimately lose money from black and other non-black women of color who are done with the b.s.)
Representation matters, and the people are demanding service!
More and more people of color are using social media to lobby for more diversity and inclusion from beauty brands. And some brands have heard their call, as cis, trans, gender nonconforming and queer POC alike are all lobbying for their deserved representation all across social media. In the last couple of years, consumers have seen an uptick in brands making inclusivity a key factor in their branding and business culture. Check out these brands that have been making a name for themselves by being cool, colorful, and inclusive.
1. Fenty Beauty
"Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: for [people] of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures and races. I wanted everyone to feel included. That’s the real reason I made this line.” -Rihanna (mission statement via fentybeauty.com)
You already knew Fenty Beauty was going to be on this list! Since its initial release, September 8, 2017, Rihanna’s beauty brand has been making waves all across social media for its extensive foundation shade range (and the fact that the coolest person on the planet, badgalriri, was putting out a makeup line.) Rihanna’s line aims to include women from everywhere. Fenty Beauty is all about “focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades,” while being badass and boundary breaking. Fenty Beauty has been a catalyst for other beauty brands to up their diversity game. Just scrolling through the brand’s instagram will show you why. In their ads they always use a diverse range of models and they make it a point to showcase all different types of people who use their products. People are excited to see others who look just like them on such a huge platform!
Stunna Lip Paint $24
“Fluide is where we meet our irreverent, otherworldly selves. An irresistible future where radical inventiveness & queer kinship thrives. To us, beauty is malleable, political, powerful, play. We are they. We are them. We are you.” (mission statement via fluide.us)
Gender is a social construct. Point. Blank. Periodt. And Fluide is working to make sure you understand that. Gender isn’t constrained to the binary but in fact fluid. Fluide is a cruelty-free, vegan, non-toxic, gender neutral beauty brand with Freckle, a gender-nonconforming performer, artist and actor as their brand ambassador. As their mission statement suggests, this brand is expanding upon the idea of beauty and who can play around with makeup. They use product shots that challenge conventional ideals of beauty by pairing gay Latinx male models and non-binary black femme models slaying the same shade of electric blue lipstick. Fluide doesn’t just pander to consumers with inclusive advertising, but they also donate a percentage of their sales to LGBTQ+ organizations like The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, which works to improve access to social, health, and legal services for low-income people of color and trans, intersex and gender non-conforming people of color.
3. Wet n Wild
“We are the trusted beauty destination for all beauty lovers, inclusive of all ages, ethnicities, skin colors and economic statuses. So basically, no matter who/where you are in life, we have a product for you, Wild One.” (mission statement via wetnwildbeauty.com)
More likely than not, a Wet n Wild product was one of your first makeup purchases, when you began building your makeup collection. The drugstore brand has made a name for itself as an affordable, cruelty-free, and colorful company. It also made history when they hired Diandra Forrest, an albino model, for its “Breaking Boundaries” campaign in 2017. It was the first beauty brand to hire an albino model ever. The campaign also included other “non-traditional” beauties such as Mama C, a famous motivational speaker with a prosthetic leg, Brianna Marquez, a weight-lifter and model, Valentijn de Hingh, a transgender model, and Michelle Zauner, a popular Asian singer. Wet n Wild provides people of all skin tones with reasonably priced products in the shades they want. The brand is also almost 100% vegan! So not only do they care about true inclusivity, but also the environment and animal cruelty.
4. Cover FX
“We celebrate uniqueness and champion realness. Because putting on a good face isn’t just something you do with makeup.” (via coverfx.com)
Do you know what Cover FX was doing back in 2015? Breaking the beauty industry’s overwhelmingly beige barrier. Cover FX was one of the first beauty brands to introduce a foundation with 40 shades with 3 undertone variations. The brand is a cult-favorite and only ramping up on the positive qualities: vegan, cruelty free, clean ingredients, customizable formulas, and an online shade-matcher. They’ve really taken the initiative when it comes to empowering shoppers. When it comes to making sure every person regardless of skin tone feels beautiful and seen in the beauty industry, Cover FX is a great example. Their “Nude is Not Beige” campaign didn’t just promote their Natural Finish Foundation but aimed to celebrate makeup lover’s skin no matter the shade. This brand is all about building confidence with their products.
In this day and age, there’s no excuse for brands to not be catering to and including people of every color, shape, and gender. And these four beauty brands are showing just how true that is.