At Long Last, Makeup for Every Skin Tone That Exists

Inclusive diverse beauty brands
Photo: Courtesy of @FentyBeauty

There’s no denying that in the beauty world, 2017 was the year of Rihanna. When the singer released her highly anticipated Fenty Beauty makeup line, it caused waves in the industry, sparking a monumental change that was a long time coming. How? Simply by launching with 40 shades of foundation.

“Foundation is one of those areas in the beauty industry that has a big void for women at extreme ends of the shade spectrum,” explained Rihanna. “There’s this middle ground that’s covered really, really well. But then if you’re very pale or very dark, there aren’t a lot of options. And so, I wanted to make sure that women of all skin tones were covered, so they could be included in what I created.”

And that she did.

There’s this middle ground that’s covered really, really well. But then if you’re very pale or very dark, there aren’t a lot of options.

Although Fenty Beauty wasn’t the first brand to launch with 40+ shades of foundation, it’s definitely the one that put inclusivity on the map and started a conversation, pushing other major players to do the same. Aptly named the “Fenty Effect”, beauty brands are now either adding more shades to existing lines or following in RiRi’s footsteps by launching foundations with 40 shades. And it’s about time. This is fast becoming the industry standard as some brands are learning the hard way.

When Tarte launched its ‘Shape Tape’ foundation at the start of the year with only 15 shades, bloggers and consumers took to social media to express their disappointment at the lack of thought given to darker complexions. Conveniently, the brand extended its line of the ‘Amazonian Clay Foundation’ from 25 to 40 shades a few months later…

Inclusive beauty brands foundations
Photo: Courtesy of @TarteCosmetics

It’s clear the pressure is on for brands to step up and acknowledge the need for diversity – not just in campaign imagery, but in the products themselves. Last week, MAC announced that it was launching more shades and undertones of its ‘Studio Fix Foundation’ than any other, following suit from brands such as Lancôme, Estée Lauder, and Smashbox adding more shades to their collections.

Linda Wells also announced that she’s launching her own beauty line under the Revlon umbrella. Flesh, as its name suggests, is about all flesh tones. It will be one of the most inclusive beauty lines on the market, encompassing all skin tones and colors in everything from its 40 foundation shades to its highlighters and palettes. The good news is that, slowly but surely, change is happening. And thanks to these foundation lines, 40 shades of beige no longer has a place in the beauty industry.

Fenty Beauty
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