Cosmetics and Women of Color
According to a Nielsen report, “African American consumers spend more than 9 times more on hair products than any other group.” In 2018, black consumers spent $54.4 of the $63.5 million that was spent on ethnic hair and beauty aids. In 2019, they were in the 79th percentile of mass cosmetic consumers compared to white consumers, who were in the 16th percentile. And yet, going through cosmetic isles you will notice a distinct lack of cosmetics for women of color.
Some may say, “it is only makeup. Aren’t there bigger issues to worry about?” There are always bigger issues to worry about. However, this is not just a makeup and vanity issue. This is about representation. And in this case, the lack of black representation in the beauty isles suggests, loudly, that the standard of beauty is white skin, white hair and white features.
However, as with most issues, women, and black women specifically here, do not just sit back and wait for others to fix their problems. In recent years, many WOC have stepped up and created or supported companies who want to be inclusive and empowering.
Some may say, “wait, Naomi Campbell was featured in makeup commercials years ago.” And that is true, but she has lighter skin. So while her appearance on television commercials was an attempt at being inclusive, at its heart was colorism. Lighter skin is beautiful. Where were the women with dark skin and natural hair? They lack representation in the beauty industry.
The lack of representation in advertisements and makeup lines has an impact on women, especially young women. That is why we are so excited to highlight these two women who have changed the world of cosmetics for women.
In 2017, Rihanna became the first black woman to head a luxury brand from LVHM, a luxury conglomerate that includes Dior. The mission of Fenty was clear from the beginning- leave no one out. They launched with 40 shades of foundation, and today have 50. Being a woman of color, Rihanna understood what it felt like to be left out.
Another way Fenty left no one out, was to make the line accessible to women all over the world. When Fenty launched, it launched in 17 countries simultaneously- on the same day at the same hour regardless of the time zone. Fenty was also willing and able to ship to 137 countries at the time of launch!
This incredibly inclusive cosmetics line never once called themselves inclusive. That was part of their marketing strategy, “to show not tell.” Rather than say they were inclusive, they just included women of all shades, styles and nationalities.
This approach also allowed them to be authentic and tell authentic stories, an important approach for any marketing strategy.
Rihanna is the first black woman to head a luxury brand, but she was not the first to try and solve the problem of representation in the cosmetics industry. That has been going on since Madame CJ Walker. And Iman noticed the problem back in 1976 when she showed up to a fahion show and the makeup artist asked her if she brought her own makeup. It was then she started mixing her own foundation, something many WOC know about. In 1994 she launched IMAN Cosmetics. This gave WOC choice in foundation shades and tones and was reasonably priced. To this day, IMAN is one of the best selling brands of foundation.
Enunré is proud to follow in these women’s footsteps by providing high-quality cosmetics for women of all shades. Founded in 2020 by Tiffany Renee, Eunre is an up and coming industry-leading Beauty Care Product Shop, offering clients a wide range of quality rejuvenating and nourishing products for women. Established on the ideals of individualism, Eunre offers beauty products for everyone to enjoy.
We believe that every woman is unique, which is why we create products that are perfect for everyone's needs. Our team of beauty specialists has contributed to our speedy development and presence. Contact us and see what we’re all about today.