Up until recently, the beauty industry has been plagued with complaints concerning its lack of diversity.

As Sharon Thiruchelvam writes,

“For too long, the beauty industry has sided with tradition and commercial expedience, serving up a narrow and restrictive vision of beauty that was youthful, feminine, Eurocentric and light skinned”.

Come 2018 though and a lot has changed.

The rise of the digital era and increased global awareness have highlighted the issue of diversity – or rather the lack of it – especially in the fashion and beauty industries.

The Change

Not long ago, it was near impossible to find a foundation shade for darker skin.

As a result, 61% of UK women struggled to find the right shade.

The few darker tones that did exist were on the pricier side, with ethnic minorities paying up to 70% more..

Nowadays, the situation is rather different and multiple makeup colours line the shelves. Shade descriptions now vary from the likes of porcelain to chocolate, serving a wider, inclusive audience.

In the midst of the recent positivity in the fashion industry, there is one brand that truly shines.

There’s one brand in particular that stands out as bringing this level of diversity into their strategy – L’Oreal makeup.

L’oreal makeup – Showcasing Diversity Through Influencer Marketing

It’s not only the makeup colours where L’Oréal’s support for diversity in marketing shines; it’s how they market the brand and appeal to everyone.

The big breakthrough came in 2016 with the launch of the True Match foundation. Initially, the foundation promised to match 98% of skin tones with 23 shades, now growing to 28.

In addition, the #YoursTruly campaign changed the long-term slogan to “Because we are all worth it” – highlighting the inclusivity of the brand.

Paying attention to current trends also raised the profile of this campaign and L’Oréal’s work since. There’s diversity in every sense of the word – Age, gender, colour, disability, body image and so on.

L’Oréal’s influencer-led campaigns have struck a chord with consumers and raised the brand.

Now, the faces used in their marketing and advertising are those of people who inspire others and have a strong following.

Whether it’s

– famous faces like Helen Mirren, to

– YouTubers such as Emily Canham and Patricia Bright, or 

– Gary Thompson, the first man featured in a cosmetics campaign;

L’Oréal really does know how to do promote what it stands for.

On top, since then, men using makeup has become far more common too, expanding the market for the brand.

Some of the most popular makeup artists were already the likes of James Charles and Jeffree Star, where we should now see more names popping up, killing the female-only orientation of the fashion world.

L’oreal makeup – Going That Extra Mile

L’Oréal’s marketing strategies to promote diversity goes even further.

In 2017, they partnered with the Prince’s Trust, supporting vulnerable young people and promoting self-worth.

Brand favourites such as Cheryl, who announced her much-speculated pregnancy in the campaign – a clever move from L’Oréal – made an appearance.

Influencers such as Katie Piper and Jordan Bone represented that disabilities do not define you.

Today, L’Oréal continues to make waves and encourage diversity.

The floating catwalk on the River Seine, the first of its kind, at Paris Fashion Week was all-inclusive and made a statement in both the fashion and beauty industries.

Stars such as Winnie Harlow and Eva Longoria, who had just given birth, owned the catwalk.

All this happened alongside actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Elle Fanning as the more expected faces.

(Some people seem to think inclusivity means getting rid of the previously considered norm. L’Oreal knows how to find a balance).

The stereotypical image of a catwalk with light-skinned, size 0 models is definitely destroyed. And, L’Oréal is in charge of the movement.

It’s fair to say that L’Oréal has mastered diversity from the point of view of society. Ethnic origin, gender, age, body image. L’Oréal has broken boundaries and set an example for others.

But, What About the Business Side

You may ask at this point: so what does this all mean for business in the first place?

To top off, the story of L’oreal and its acceptance for diversity continues behind the scenes too at a business level.

Logically, it’s not just about selling products these days.

It’s more about the services, which are “are becoming key to reaching and engaging with consumers,” says Stephane Bérubé, L’oreal makeup chief marketing officer in Western Europe.

Moreover, with the digital world booming, L’Oréal’s changed from beauty to beauty-tech.

On this front, recent additions to the company’s marketing approach include the purchase of Modiface – developer of augmented reality technology in the beauty world.

Steps like such give customers the power to test beauty products online and create different looks, expanding L’Oréal’s digital influence, consolidating the brand.

L’oreal makeup – In Review

Let’s bring it all together.

  1. Using the latest trends to appeal to a wide audience. Check.
  2. Respecting and celebrating the need for variety in the beauty industry. Check.
  3. Recognising the power of digital and business diversity. Check.

We do not mean to imply that the job of brands in promoting diversity is done. But, at least a consciousness towards the topic has been established.

There are still issues in the cosmetic industry where inclusivity and diversity could be improved.

For example, how society defines beauty is subject to our exposure upon years of beauty standards set by the industry. Such standards are honestly dangerous and bring materialism to a living human body – something more than just the physical.

L’Oréal, however, is working hard to address these issues. This leader of the beauty world is providing hope for many.

A Message from Axies Digital

Did you like the read?

It is quite different from our usual publications surrounding pure Digital Marketing topics or an extension of them.

But, as an influencing platform in the marketing world, we believe in representing differences and raising awareness towards social issues.

Naturally, we needed help to achieve this goal, made possible through a sweet partnership.

We would like to thank Megan Harrison of Megan Elizabeth – A Lifestyle Blog for her contribution to the platform. (We are trying to bring her onto the Axies Digital team too. So, hopefully you will be hearing more from her in the future).

To find out how we can help your business, in terms of digital marketing and branding, please feel free to get in touch using one of the following methods. We look forward to hearing from you.