Inclusivity is beyond being just an industry buzzword. Making sure brands are providing age-, race-, gender- and culturally-diverse models is key to resonating with today’s consumer. Servicing all is now a requirement not a “nice to have,” and it’s become a focus for brand marketers. Here, some of the brands tackling inclusivity from an age, gender and cultural perspective, as well as some insight on why they’re resonating with consumers.
Cover FX, a brand known for its customizable coverage, championed diversity this past fall with its “Nude is Not Beige” campaign. In perhaps the most dramatic shift in the industry, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty
foundation offerings sold out in mere days in many of the range’s deeper tones. This signaled a makeup range that addresses a major pain point in the industry. While some makeup brands offer a robust spectrum of hues (Bobbi Brown, for example, has long offered one of the most extensive ranges in the industry), many others provide just a few medium and deeper tones, or stopped short of providing the deepest hues to suit all consumers. The good news is that after Fenty Beauty’s sweeping success, makeup brands are stepping up their game and catering their foundation offerings to those of every skin tone and making this a priority and part of their launch strategy.
Men wearing makeup isn’t exactly new, however, makeup brands partnering with male influencers and making them the face of their campaigns is a distinctly modern thing. Most recently Laura Geller New York announced its first-ever influencer product collaboration, with male blogger (Jose) Alan Macias Perez of Alannized. Best known for his sculpted brows, lash extensions and luminous cheekbones, the influencer, who has more than 450,000 followers on Instagram, will show his love of highlighter with the debut of the Limited Edition Alannized x Laura Geller two-piece Illuminator Kit. Transgender reality star Caitlyn Jenner collaborated with M.A.C Cosmetics on a capsule collection in 2017; Patrick Simondac, A.K.A. Patrick Starr, also created a capsule collection with M.A.C recently. In mass beauty, influencer James Charles Dickenson was only 16 when he was chosen to be the new face of CoverGirl; Maybelline partnered last year with Manny Gutierrez, A.K.A. Manny MUA. Milk Makeup’s “Blur the Lines” campaign in collaboration with grooming site Very Good Light celebrated gender fluidity and freedom via cosmetics. It featured diverse faces, including Avie Acosta, Madeleine Vintback and Eddy LeRoy.
MDNA Skin eschewed the words “anti-aging” in its product descriptions to keep the focus on good-looking skin as opposed to skin that looks “young.” There’s also a trend toward 60+ brand ambassadors. Marc Jacobs Beauty chose 64-year-old Jessica Lange as its face a few years ago. Charlotte Rampling became a face for NARS Cosmetics at age 68, in 2015. That same year, L’Oréal Paris made 69-year-old Helen Mirren a face of its brand. This year, CoverGirl made headlines when it tapped 70-year-old Maye Musk as its newest face.