Earlier this month, Rihanna introduced a far-flung idea into the contemporary beauty industry that historically evaded cosmetics brands: diversity.
Now, beauty lines are scrambling to catch up.
While the pop star didn’t invent the concept itself, it would certainly seem so to a beauty outsider. Mega brands like MAC and Bobbi Brown have always offered deeper foundations shades. Even Covergirl’s drugstore real estate extends a healthy range of pigments to makeup buyers. So as Sephora store locations swell with the presence of the most coloured customers they’ve ever experienced and quantities of Fenty Beauty’s darkest shades run dry, brands like Kylie Cosmetics and Estee Lauder are taking advantage of the hype generated by Riri’s diversity train.
— black history heaux (@localblactivist) September 12, 2017
Just after the September 8th grand debut of Rihanna’s first cosmetics venture, Kylie Cosmetics tweeted a photo of a new “Brown Sugar Matte” lipstick on black singer and model Justine Skye. Twitter didn’t seem to be impressed with the coincidental timing of the release, and the tweet was swiftly deleted.
Soon after, Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty tweeted its own photo, showcasing dark shades of powder contour and highlight, all to the continued disdain of Twitter.
— KKW BEAUTY (@kkwbeauty) September 10, 2017
But it wasn’t just the Kardashians who capitalized on Fenty Beauty’s glorious inclusivity.
“TRUE MATCH HEAVEN. We extended the range to an incredible 29 shades celebrating diversity,” L’Oreal wrote in an announcement on Instagram.
From Cover FX to Marc Jacobs to Hourglass Cosmetics, the whole beauty industry is clambering after Badgalriri, pushing their products to a demographic they’d previously ignored.
Fenty Beauty’s ad campaign and ensuing release sparked an important conversation about makeup inclusivity. Social media has continued to explode, with Twitter users fawning over the brand’s unusual offering of 40 foundation shades — all cruelty-free and not sold in China, where testing on animals is required for cosmetic lines.
“There needs to be something for a dark-skinned girl,” Rihanna said of Fenty Beauty. “There needs to be something for a really pale girl, there needs to be something for someone in between.”
This all opens an important discussion about the beauty industry’s exclusion of women of colour. Hopefully the newfound attention won’t be short-lived and Fenty’s success will be a boisterous call to action.
But in the meantime, they do say imitation is the greatest form of flattery.
?TRUE MATCH HEAVEN ?We extended the range to an incredible 29 shades celebrating diversity ! ?????? Pick your own shade! ( The quantity of shades extension depends on countries & USA ?? are launching their new one later ) #lorealparis #truematch #foundation #diversity #skintone #naturalbeauty #shades #beauty #liquidfoundation #foundationroutine #glowyskin #glowymakeup #regram from @lilawolke_testet