50 Shades of Nude: Inclusivity and Diversity in the Makeup Industry

CultureHealth & Beauty

50 Shades of Nude: Inclusivity and Diversity in the Makeup Industry

Four brands who are getting it right

In 2017, Rihanna’s launch of her shade-inclusive cosmetics company Fenty Beauty caused a seismic shift in the beauty industry. Following Fenty Beauty’s overwhelming success, many large beauty brands began to follow suit by expanding their shade ranges and diversifying their brand advertising. Despite these positive moves towards inclusivity, the beauty industry is still wrought with obstacles for individuals who do not fit the heteronormative and Eurocentric beauty standard. Even though this change is certainly past due, there are many brands determined to change this.

As a makeup consumer in 2020, it is often hard to navigate the plethora of existing beauty products, let alone parse through each manufacturer’s philosophy. While some makeup brands now boast inclusivity as a mere marketing tactic, a growing number of companies truly embody inclusion from their inception. Here are four such brands that deserve your support.

1. UOMA Beauty

Image from UOMA Beauty

Founded by Nigerian-born and LA and London-based beauty executive Sharon Chuter, UOMA Beauty directly challenges the one-dimensional beauty standard that dominates the makeup industry.

Perhaps UOMA Beauty’s most impressive product is the Say What?! Foundation ($39), offered in a record-breaking 51 shades and specifically targeting the needs of 6 distinct skin color groups. Going further than just an expansive shade range, UOMA Beauty seeks to celebrate diversity and facilitate unity among people everywhere. As the brand website states, “All are welcome to our beautiful tribe.”

2. Jecca Blac

Image from @jeccablac

After being approached for a makeup application lesson by someone who was transitioning, makeup artist Jessica Blackler realized that the makeup industry was seriously lacking in both products and information for transgender men and women. Thus, her company Jecca Blac emerged in 2017, and it has lived up to its slogan of #MakeupHasNoGender ever since.

Jecca Blac offers a broad array of products such as the Blur & Matte Primer ($21.32) and the Play Pot cream pigments ($21.99), and although trans people were the inspiration behind Jecca Blac, the company creates products that work for everyone. In addition, the brand also offers free makeup advice through their website and makeup tutorials through their youtube channel for all levels of ability – so Jecca Blac does not just give people the tools to succeed in the makeup industry; rather, she actively leads the way for them to do so.

3. Mented Cosmetics

Image from The Startup

Drawing from their own personal struggles in finding the perfect nude lipstick, founders KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson launched Mented Cosmetics as a vegan, neutral lipstick line specifically formulated for women of color.

Since its founding in 2017, Mented Cosmetics has expanded from their initial launch of matte nude lipsticks to a wider variety of cosmetics such as the High Brow Pencil ($15) and the Everyday Eyeshadow Palette ($28). No matter the product, however, Mented Cosmetics remains committed to its founding belief that “every woman should be able to find herself in the world of beauty, no matter her skin tone”.

4. Kohl Kreatives

Image from Kohl Kreatives

A British startup founded by Trisha Daswaney, Kohl Kreatives is devoted to increasing the accessibility of cosmetic tools to ensure that everyone can reap the empowering benefits of makeup. With its innovative brush designs, Kohl Kreatives creates brushes that disabled individuals can more easily use. Its newest brush collection, The Flex Collection ($58.85) features 5 brushes that are highly flexible, pliable, and stable, making them the perfect option for individuals who have a motor disability or disease.

And Kohl Kreatives doesn’t just talk the talk of inclusivity- proceeds from brush sales go towards the brand’s charity, Kohl Kares. Kohl Kares provides free makeup workshops around the world to individuals who need some makeup assistance, primarily those who are transitioning and those who are undergoing chemotherapy.

Feature Image from Allure

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