Diversity in the Beauty Industry

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  • Carla Manuel

Diversity in the Beauty Industry

Updated: Apr 15, 2018


The first time I wore make-up I was 20 or 21 years old, I had my make-up done at MAC Cosmetics store in a shopping mall named Colombo in Lisbon, I remember loving the final result, loving to see myself all dolled up. I wanted to look good for a job interview so I bought the Studio Fix pressed powder in the color NW50 a foundation that I kept rebuying because I was unaware of any other options. On those days I only knew that MAC Cosmetics and Bobbi Brown catered to dark skin woman, I am sure there were others but I didn't even know they existed, so MAC became my go to make-up brand. Even though their products are not cheap I made the effort to buy my foundation there because they had good quality they had a name and they were the only ones that advertised that they had a wide range of products for every skin tone. I hardly even heard anyone talking about Bobbi Brown. I knew Maybeline and L'Oreal but for their lipsticks, nail polish and other beauty products, their foundations were always too light for me so I never payed them much attention. My point is that there was no publicity nothing that told me that there were options for my skin tone available. Now ten years have passed since my first experience with make-up, a lot have changed and fortunately brands are now making an effort to be more inclusive even though there are still some problems to be solved. The fact that foundations for dark skin have always existed, several brands have been making it for years now but I still can't find them as easily as I find lighter colors baffles me. Specially in France where you have so much diversity. Now I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg, the beauty industry still has a long way to go when it comes to inclusion but I choose to keep a positive mindset,brands are starting to take notice of black women as consistent buyers and they are adapting to us. And I will focus on the brands that want to cater to me, it's pointless to try to make brands be diverse it's like having everything you want and always focusing on what you don't have. I am well aware that in order for us to have the options that we have now a large group of people had to show discontentment and complain over and over again, so of course it is important to take a stand, but it is also important to know when to relax and let things flow naturally.


I've included a list of some of the brands that I know that have products for WOC (women of color):


- Bobbi Brown

- Benefit

- Éstee Lauder

- MAC

- Lâncome

- L'Oreal

- Maybelline

- Revlon



Cruelty Free (no animal testing)


- Anastasia Beverly Hills

- Becca Cosmetics

- Fenty Beauty

- Kat Vond D

- Marc Jacobs

- NYX

- Too Faced

- Sleek Cosmetics

- Urban Decay



What about you? Have you had any problems in founding the right foundation for you?