If you follow the beauty industry closely, it hasn’t had the best week. Popular brand, Tarte Cosmetics, caused an uproar after releasing their new Shape Tape foundation with a less than stellar range. Specifically, their line-up lacked brown shades and had very little to offer beyond what most would label as “tan.” While this caused an epic dragging on social media, it spoke to a larger issue of the overall lack of inclusion and diversity that often occurs with complexion products from makeup brands. Tarte isn’t the first brand to leave out deeper tones (they have since proclaimed that they are releasing 10 more shades, but the launch proceeded with the original range). You can learn more about the lack of inclusion in the beauty industry and my thoughts on solutions below.
As a result of this epic public relations disaster, up-and-coming powerhouse indie brand, Beauty Bakerie, accelerated the release of their new concealer range to this past Thursday. Originally, it was planned for February and had been met with much anticipation from fans and indie beauty lovers. The range includes eight shades — two each for light, olive, brown, and deep skin tones — which is pretty good for a range of concealers (concealers don’t have to match your skin), especially from a brand that doesn’t have conglomerate backing (like say, Fenty or Maybelline).
And what’s more important, in releasing the new concealers, the vegan and cruelty-free brand also encouraged consumers to sign up for their “digital summit” as a way to continue the conversation around diversity and inclusion in the beauty industry. Their CEO, Cashmere Nicole, recorded a short video on Instagram recognizing the issue and inviting people to join their summit. She also spoke with Norvina of Anastasia Beverly Hills about how the industry can move forward.
Why is this important? Because so often we hear brands boast about diversity, but when it comes down to it, they don’t really “walk the walk.” They collaborate with black beauty influencers periodically but can’t develop an inclusive shade range for foundation or nude lipsticks that aren’t pale tan or pink. They claim to be social activists for change, but fire influencers for speaking out against racism but forgive ignorant (racist) comments from others. Furthermore, they may casually accept feedback on social media and through customer service, but never seem to do anything about our concerns. This is the first time I’ve seen a brand make a point to develop an intake tool to specifically address these issues, and I commend them.
Beauty Bakerie will be launching a line of foundations in the late spring, and I hope they use the feedback they receive to ensure their line is truly for everyone. I only hope that the conversation will continue and we as consumers will continue to support those brands who support us.
What’s your take on diversity in the beauty industry?
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