Womens Accessories

Brands That Are Putting Inclusivity At The Forefront Of Their Skin-Tone Products 

In the beauty industry, the term “nude” often only refers to a minimal range of light skin tones that would only actually be “nude” for individuals with white skin. Some brands around the world are attempting to combat this inclusivity issue by creating lines of “nude” products that actually range in shades to be accessible for anyone. 

Shades Of Shades is a new sunglasses brand that specializes in making luxury nude eye-wear for all skin tones. They have a wide variety of standard eyeglasses and sunglasses as well. Marsha Douglas-Sydnor is the founder of the brand who also helped create the online shade finder tool on their website that can help people from home match which eye-wear products will match their specific skin tone the best. 

Rebecca Allen founded her own shoe brand, named after herself, after growing frustrated with the “variety” of nude heels that women of color are forced to choose from for their business attire. Her website has a standard 5 nude shades that range in lightness and darkness to be more inclusive. Allen sells heels, flats and sandals. 

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Salone Monet is another new nude shoe brand that runs their business on the motto “nude is not a color.” The brand has a total of six shades that fit a large range of skin tones. The shoes themselves are made in Italy and have grown to be very popular online within the past few months. 

Kahumune also sells nude shoes but is mainly known for their “Find Your Nude” shade matching guide which is said to be extremely accurate. The brand has a total of ten different shades of shoe, and with every purchase the website provides you with a list of different makeup foundation shades from popular brands like Fenty Beauty and Bobbi Brown that match the nude you chose. 

Nubian Skin is one of the most well-known brands on this list, as it’s one of the first women’s undergarment brands to specifically cater to darker skinned consumers. The company was founded on the principle of providing nude lingerie and beyond for women of color who were tired of exclusively buying light nude undergarments. The brand now offers intimates for men as well. 

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Nude Barre is another undergarment company advertised for women of color. The brand was founded 11 years ago and at the time was one of the most inclusive lingerie brands for women of color on the market. Erin Carpenter founded the company back in 2009. Carpenter is a professional dancer so wearing tights and nude undergarments was always a necessity depending on the costume she had to wear. After years of struggling to find a solid brand for her skin tone, she took matters into her own hand and just created one herself. 

Fenty Beauty is one of the biggest beauty brands on the market today and with good reason. Rihanna broke barriers when she launched the brand in 2017 with a foundation line that included 50 different shades to help consumers really find their perfect skin match. The basis of all of Rihanna’s brands has always been inclusivity. As a woman of color herself, Rihanna has discussed multiple times how frustrating it was to always have to have make up on, but never the right shades that actually matched her. 

Now, Fenty Beauty has created a new standard for beauty brands everywhere, especially make up brands. Companies that continue to release “nude” lines with little to no dark tones are receiving major backlash and losing tons of revenue due to the existence of brands like Fenty or Nubian Skin, while brands that have embraced inclusivity as the basis of their products are rising in popularity. 


Rihanna And Lady Gaga Are Changing How The World Defines Beauty

The beauty industry has truly evolved tremendously within the past few years. What was once an industry that only used celebrities as an image to sell their products has become a large community in which anyone can grow a business one way or the other, and celebrities go about endorsements by simply making their own brand. The biggest name in the beauty industry in the past few years has been Rihanna. The platinum album singer started Fenty beauty in 2017 and it has rocked the beauty world. 

A major issue that has been very prominent in the beauty industry is a lack of access to make up for people of color. Time and time again brands would release foundation, concealer, and powders all geared to fair and light skin tones, with a couple of darker shades just thrown in. That same concept goes for the beauty industry in its entirety. Advertisements mainly including white cis-gendered female models who are skinny and blonde and appeal to the classic “girl next door” vision that companies for whatever reason don’t think is a tired concept. 

So when Rihanna announced the creation of her brand Fenty Beauty, which would begin with the release of 40 different foundation shades, the beauty world was flipped on its head. Rihanna also exclusively cast woman of color for the campaigns and opened her business as one discussing the importance of diversity and inclusivity in all realms of life. The brand made $570 million in revenue its first year. 

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After the iconic launch of Fenty Beauty the entire industry scrambled to try to right the wrongs of stocking non-inclusive makeup products that mainly appealed to white audiences. However, makeup users everywhere knew that older brands switching up their marketing were doing it as a means of viewing inclusivity as a “trend” and “smart business choice” over genuine desire to appeal to a broader audience of individuals. 

“Women are smart enough to see an eye shadow and not have to see it on a blond person for them to want to buy it, but we’ve been fed that marketing analysis. Fenty proved it was complete bullshit” said makeup artist James Kaliardos, who helped launch Fenty as a resident artist, in an interview with Billboard Magazine

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Lady Gaga more recently also made major headlines in the same way Rihanna did with the announcement of her own make-up brand “Haus Labs”. Gaga launched her brand with less product but just as much of an impact. The initial launch included eye liners, lip glosses/liners, and the Haus Labs exclusive ‘face lace’. These products may differ greatly compared to Fenty’s initial launch, however, both brands launched with a similar mentality behind what the brands were really about. Haus Labs made headlines with its advertisements including multiple members of the LGBT+ community. Gaga has always been known for her advocacy for the community and she didn’t disappoint this time either. Her launch party included a bunch of queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and LGBT+ models/performers both professional and social media based. 

“We are celebrating everyone. At the forefront [of the brand], as much as the products, were questions of how we were going to spread messages of bravery and kindness and inclusivity” said Sarah Tanno, Haus Labs Co-Owner and Gaga’s longtime make up artist. 

Both Gaga and Rihanna are amazing figures to be leading the beauty revolution of pop stars starting their own brands, as opposed to being used as just an image behind someone else’s vision, as a means of creating a larger global impact. This way, they can play by their own rules and who’s gonna tell them no? 

“Everything we put out there tells people to accept or not accept people, and we have to be aware of how we do that. There are pop stars who just do a look — and then pop stars who really take you on a journey,” said Kaliardos

It’s not about how large of a platform they have but more so how they choose to use it, and Rihanna and Gaga are showing the rest of the individuals in the industry exactly what they should be doing. Having creative control over your own brand is so important if part of the mission of that brand is to spread awareness and emphasize diversity and inclusivity.