Rihanna’s Beauty Brands Creates Boom In Women Of Color Cosmetics (#GotBitcoin?)
Customers with darker complexions are finding more makeup options, as startups and established brands follow Fenty Beauty by Rihanna in targeting an untapped market with inclusive offerings. Rihanna’s Beauty Brands Creates Boom In Women Of Color Cosmetics (#GotBitcoin?)
When Brittany Williams started wearing makeup in her early 20s, she struggled to find products that matched her skin. The 29-year-old pharmacy technician said she is “darker-complexioned” and tried countless foundations, including one that made her “end up looking sort of orangey,” due to its red undertones.
But in the past 18 months she has noticed a broader range of shades for brown skin. “It’s a big relief. I know tons of women of color that love makeup,” said Ms. Williams, of Bolingbrook, Ill. More brands “are starting to see us and see that we are their consumer base, too.”
After often treating black women as a marketing afterthought, cosmetics brands are courting these shoppers with blushes, lipsticks, concealers, eyeshadows and foundations designed for them. Such moves come on the heels of the success of Rihanna’s beauty line. When it launched in September 2017, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna offered foundation in 40 shades—more than most other big brands at the time—and emphasized the star’s goal to meet the needs of women of color.
Global makeup sales are expected to reach $71.8 billion this year, according to market researcher Euromonitor. Given the growing multicultural population, established players risk losing market share to Fenty Beauty and a host of newer brands that specialize in makeup for women of color.
The multicultural beauty market has been growing faster than the overall market, according to research firm Kline & Company. In 2017, black consumers in the U.S. spent almost nine times more than non-blacks on ethnic hair and beauty products, according to a report by Nielsen. During the 52 weeks ended June 15 of this year, black women in the U.S. spent $237.8 million on cosmetics, representing 10% of the $2.36 billion spent, Nielsen said.
Estée Lauder introduced its new Double Wear Matte Powder foundation in 41 shades this year, after expanding its Double Wear Stay-In-Place foundation from 42 to 56 shades last year. Nars Cosmetics increased its sheer glow foundation to a “global shade range” of 40 hues, up from 20, in December. CoverGirl launched its TruBlend Matte Made foundation with 40 shades last year.
“I think brands have gotten into a little bit of an arms race with how many shades can you say you have,” said KJ Miller, co-founder and chief executive of Mented Cosmetics, one of several startups owned by and catering to women of color. Ms. Miller and her fellow Harvard Business School graduate Amanda Johnson began Mented in 2017 after they couldn’t find nude lipsticks for brown-skinned women in stores. The company has expanded into foundations and other cosmetics.
Beauty brands’ advertising and social-media campaigns now feature more celebrities, models and influencers of color. Brands also are touting their broad spectrums, in part to avoid being called out online for not being inclusive. On Instagram, Revlon says its PhotoReady Candid foundation comes in 31 shades “for all skin tones.” A recent ad for Maybelline New York’s Color Sensational Made For All lipstick features a diverse mix of models alongside copy saying the product was “tested on 50 diverse skin tones.”
Some beauty companies and retailers say they have long had wide product ranges.They credit Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, which has “Beauty For All” as its tagline, with drawing attention to the industry’s need for more inclusivity.
“The launch was an eye-opening moment in the industry, just to say, ‘Are we really doing the best we can as an industry?’ ” said Balanda Atis, director of face development and multicultural beauty at L’Oréal USA, whose French parent company, L’Oréal Group , owns drugstore brands including L’Oréal Paris and Maybelline, and prestige brands like Lancôme. The company’s scientists travel the world collecting skin-tone data. “A skin tone is born every day, especially in Western cultures,” Ms. Atis said. “You have different races blending, combining to create different skin tones. As the population continues to grow, we know that our work is continual.”
For Maybelline’s Made For All lipstick, a group of makeup artists tested lipstick shades on 50 women across a swath of ethnicities, ultimately choosing seven hues that best complemented the womens’ complexions, said Amy Whang, senior vice president of marketing.
Retailers like Ulta Beauty and Sephora have added to their offerings. “What’s exciting is the new brands being built, many of them built by women of color in particular,” said Ulta’s Dave Kimbell, president and chief merchandising and marketing officer. Ulta sought out brands to carry exclusively, such as Beauty Bakerie, Juvia’s Place and Uoma Beauty.
Sephora carries 48 brands with 30 or more shades of foundation, up from five brands with 30 or more shades in 2015. The retailer’s in-house Sephora Collection plans to expand the range of its 10HR Wear Perfection foundation, launched in 2013 with 40 shades, to 50 by 2020.
At Estée Lauder Cos., which includes brands Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Clinique and M.A.C Cosmetics, the company’s Research & Development and Product Development teams use analysis on 8,000 photographs of women around the world “to really understand the nuances of not just skin color in terms of shades, but also undertones,” said Susan Akkad, the company’s senior vice president of local and cultural innovation. Meanwhile, her team supplies the brands with insights into cultural preferences, customs and practices as well as the physiology of skin.
Some brands have rolled out enhanced shade-matching tools. Francesca Hogan, a voice actor and plus-size model from Omaha, Neb., wrote in an e-mail that having more options is a welcome and overdue change, after “A LOT of trial and error” and considerable “mixing of shades.” She hopes the inclusivity push isn’t just a fad and that wide-ranging makeup shades are here to stay. “It would be amazing if there were something available to each of us,” she wrote. “If this is something a brand cannot adhere to then…I don’t even see you. Next!” Rihanna’s Beauty Brands Creates, Rihanna’s Beauty Brands Creates, Rihanna’s Beauty Brands Creates