Traditional makeup brands get a bad rap for offering a super limited palate of skin colors that almost always prioritize white skin. Not only that, but makeup is nearly exclusively marketed toward women. We rarely see men wearing, say, eyeliner in ads. Because only girls can wear makeup, apparently.
Take Fenty. The promotional campaign not only features models of all skin tones and ethnicities, but the line itself offers 40 shades of foundation, in addition to “universal” products that work on all skin tones. And with prices that hover around $30, Rihanna’s line is more accessible than many. *Adds to shopping cart.*
As for the 40 shades of foundation, Rihanna explained why that was important to her in a direct message with an Instagram fan account:
ASOS Face + Beauty, dropping September 20, promotes a similar message. In an interview with Teen Vogue, an ASOS representative explained the brand wants to make beauty inclusive of all genders, not just women. And it is. The line’s first major promotional video features a group of diverse models who actually look like real people and not, you know, translucent skeletons.
Its “go play” tagline nods to the concept of playing with makeup, but it’s also about playing with conventional beauty standards. From the looks of ASOS’s diverse Instagram feed and the line’s affordable price point (everything’s under $20!), anyone and everyone is invited to wear makeup. Amen.
There’s a long way to go before beauty becomes as inclusive as it should be, but it’s refreshing to see big brands finally recognizing women of color and gender-nonconforming beauty lovers. Of course, nobody needs makeup to be beautiful, but we firmly believe anyone who wants to wear it should be able to find their skin tone on a color wheel.