A Cry For Diversity In The Cosmetics Industry

Clinique Face Forward Campaign

By Sophia Chettleburgh

Being a white female means the cosmetics industry is incredibly easy for me to navigate. There are all of the available skin tones – from porcelain to beige, from English rose to peach. I have every hair colour imaginable available for me to purchase and try. Being white and especially being pale gives me so much choice.

This got me thinking – do women from other cultures feel that they have the same options and choices? Very rarely in makeup adverts are the models dark skinned, so where do women from these cultures get their ideas and inspiration from?

Joan Smalls, Jourdan Dunn and Naomi Campbell grace the catwalks with their striking looks and lean bodies, yet I haven’t seen any of them as the face of a cosmetic company. Sure, they feature alongside Cara Delevingne in YSL campaigns and Emily DiDonato in Maybelline TV ads, but they should also be taking centre stage.

As for hair styling products and home colouring, I don’t think I have ever seen a black or Asian model swish their hair on TV. Aside from Beyonce who had a L’Oreal stint a few years back, we don’t see anything for women with afro hair or coarse Asian hair.

It’s now acceptable for women of different sizes to feature in fashion commercials, so why not other races for cosmetics? The Dove campaign which first introduced us to small, tall, curvy, slim, athletic and petite models set the standards for other companies to follow. Shortly after there was a wave of new ranges in the high street stores, readily available for women of every shape and size. Whilst I think this is an amazing step forward it does make me wonder why other industries aren’t doing the same.

Along with teaching women to love their bodies, we need to teach love and appreciation for women of other cultures.

Here are some names that are daring to take the bull by the horns and show diversity:

Clinique – Face Forward Campaign
No7 – Protect and Perfect
Lancome – Lupita Nyong’o
Estee Lauder – Idealist Skincare Range




  1. 05/02/2016 / 6:51 pm

    This is quite interesting.. I too find myself asking the same questions, mayb someday in the near future coloured woman will be given the same opportunities.
    Ese Janta

  2. 13/02/2016 / 3:49 pm

    This is an amazing blog!