Diversity in the beauty – Are other brands following Fenty’s lead?

Before the launch of Fenty Beauty, the beauty industry seemed to be at a stand still. Uninteresting launch followed uninteresting launch and there was very little progression in inclusion. Since its launch in September 2017, Fenty has delivered on their promise of inclusivity for all skin tones and genders, with it even getting named by TIME magazine as one of the best inventions of 2017. But have other brands receptive to calls for diversity in beauty?

Diversity has always been an issue in the beauty industry, but very little attention had been paid to it by large, white-owned brands. There is an odd misconception/excuse that black people don’t wear foundation that has resulted in many brands overlooking darker shades. The success of Fenty’s line and the excitement that still surrounds the brand shows that people of colour do indeed buy makeup, and when they find a range that caters to them, they’re going spend some serious money. It took an industry disruptor and a prominent person of colour like Rihanna to demonstrate this and show that the old norm is no longer acceptable.

Fenty Beauty undoubtedly opened the eyes of the consumer to the total lack of diversity in the industry. For many, it was glaringly obvious already, but for others, they didn’t realise the extent of the issue. Now, whenever a brand releases a complexion product, people of all skin tones are looking at the shades with a critical eye – questioning where the shades are for dark-deep skin tones, where the varying undertones are, where olive undertones are etc. By bringing out a foundation line with 40 shades (now extended to 50), Fenty demonstrated that it could be done and set the bar high for other brands to follow suit. There is now an expectationΒ for foundations to come to the market with an inclusive shade range right off the bat – and one that is totally realistic. While it may not always be possible to launch 50 shades immediately (especially for indie brands) as long as there is an even spread of shades between the skin tones (fair, light, medium, tan, dark, deep), then you can’t say fairer than that.

Some brands have since been quick to expand their shade ranges following Fenty’s success, but now it’s difficult to judge whether brands are placing inclusivity at the forefront of their own accord or because it’s a wise PR move. The major beauty conglomerates are playing catch up, while trying to maintain the fascade that they’re still at the front of the pack. A new game has begun where brands are trying to out-do each other with the number of shades they can come out with. Fenty came out with 40, Morphe came out with 50, now PUR is coming out with 100. Does it seem genuine? Honestly, I don’t think so. Diversity has become a trend that brands are subscribing to just to say that they do, otherwise they would’ve come out with more inclusive products much earlier. Does it matter whether the effort is genuine as long as it’s happening? Supposedly not, but the shades have to be good – the undertones have to be right, there needs to be a wide range and the shades need to go deep enough. We’ve all witnessed the backlash a brand receives when they don’t make the effort with diversity, but now it seem as though brands feel that it’s something they have to do rather than something they are driven organically to do.

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This couldn’t be better demonstrated than by the brands that are still missing the mark.Β When IT Cosmetics were asked why there were only 3 shades out of 12 geared towards darker skin, they claimed that due to the SPF in their CC cream they couldn’t go any deeper. YSL equally came out with a new foundation recently (see above) that included just 2 darker shades. These attitudes are highly disappointing – not only does it clearly flaunt the fact that inclusion is not a priority but it also highlights that there is an element of bias or carelessness that they think it is still acceptable. Such blatant exclusion won’t fly much longer. As demonstrated by Beauty Blender and Tarte, if you get it wrong your product/brand can become ‘cancelled’. Too much focus on one end of the spectrum simply won’t cut it anymore – the consumer is demandingΒ inclusion. Even with the recent relaunch of Tarte’s defunct Shape Tape foundation (now as the Face Tape foundation) where the shade range was expanded, the memory of such an exclusive shade range left people cold. Getting the shade range right has never been more important and yet brands are still slow on the uptake.

Taking failing brands as an example, it is clear that not everyone understands the importance of true diversity. Soon it won’t be the case where it’s optional. Shade ranges will continue to improve, understanding of shades will develop and brands will have a genuine desire to release makeup to fit everyone. We have come a long way in just a few years, so the next few years should be monumental.

What are your thoughts on diversity in the beauty industry?

Xo

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Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Bronzer Review – Is it pale girl approved?

Fenty Beauty recently released a new and inclusive range of bronzers which has once again sent ripples through the beauty industry. Unable to resist, I picked up ‘Inda Sun’, the lightest shade. Here are my thoughts:

The shade range

739675_INDA_SUN_4_1The Sun Stalk’r bronzer comes in 8 shades, which is almost unheard of in the beauty industry. By releasing 8 shades off the bat, Fenty have thrown their hat into the ring with other industry giants like MAC (who offer 15 bronzing shades) to offer darker skin tones something to add dimension to their base. There has been some criticism that there are not enough shades and that they don’t go deep enough – these are fair comments. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that most brands release 1 or 2 shades that suit light-medium skin tones and offer nothing for darker skin tones or varying undertones. Fenty is a leader in diversity within the beauty industry and 8 is a massive number of shades to start with. Few other brands have ever released such an inclusive bronzing range, let alone a brand that is still in its infancy. Once again, Fenty is leading the way with diversity – now expanding from foundation and concealers into other complexion products which are often lacking for darker skin tones.

When I saw the first promotional images, I was sure there wouldn’t be a shade for me – and I was totally fine with that. I was really pleasantly surprised when there was aΒ  shade light enough for me, and as I had been looking for a new bronzer anyway, I decided to bite the bullet.img_8220.jpg

My shade

I picked up the lightest shade ‘Inda Sun’, which is described as a fair shade with neutral undertones. For fair skin, I would go so far as to say it is perfect. It is the ultimate neutral shade that gives the skin warmth and looks naturally sunkissed.

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Application

The shade is buildable and not too pigmented on first application. For me, this is a massive positive because there is nothing worse than applying a product straight on to the skin only to find that it is too pigmented and impossible to blend out. It builds up beautifully and even when a lot of product is applied, it doesn’t look muddy or obvious. Another major plus is that when you swirl your brush in the pan, there is no fall out and no residue gets on the white packaging that surrounds the pan. I have NO idea how they have managed to do this, but I spent ages swirling my brush and there was absolutely no staining on the white. The FB logo also doesn’t seem to erode away either, so it’s always looking as beautiful as when you first bought it.

Cost

The Sun Stalk’r bronzer comes in at Β£23, which does place it in the high end bracket. I personally wouldn’t have a problem paying for a bronzer that is matches my skin tone, especially as I struggle to find bronzers in my shade. As bronzers do tend to last quite a while totally find with the price.

Overall, this bronzer is a total winner in my eyes! It’s so great for Fenty to extend their line of complexion products, especially for a product that is so rarely inclusive. It would be amazing for the range to expand even further so that darker skin tones can become even more included. If you want to try out the range and you’re in the UK, you can find Fenty at Harvey Nichols.

Xo

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