In light of the recent high profile public shaming of L’Oreal; after the sacking of black trans model Muroe Bergdorf from their diversity campaign; there’s absolutely no excuses not to accept that there is a problem with representation when it comes to the fashion and beauty industries. Whilst we’re all shouting at the big players for not trying hard enough with their billions of dollars, there are plenty of smaller brands beyond the mainstream that are kicking ass for representing the diversity of our international melting pot of cultures.
Here’s a chance to highlight some of those kick-ass smaller brands that are already miles ahead of the game in terms of inclusivity and are much more likely to do some good with your hard earned cash than some of those problematic big corporations that continue to gobble up the majority of the marketplace with their millionaire marketing budgets.
I first fell in love with 3INA because of their immaculately curated Instagram account and slick edits of colours and slick packaging. Yes, they still go for the fresh faced model look, but they’re representing all skin tones and hair types in a natural and beautiful way that wouldn’t look out of place in the pages of Vogue. Even their brand message states “democratic beauty with an inclusive spirit”. They get a big high five from me and extra brownie points for being cruelty free, they should be one for us all to watch.
MILK MAKE UP
This award-winning American brand (which is soon to land in Europe I hear) is championing individuality and self-expression with its open minded, low-fi and inclusive vibe. They make multi-use products that are easy to use, so you can spend more time having fun and less time perfecting your make-up, sounds good to me. Based around their New York and LA communities, Milk Make Up use models from all walks of life whilst drawing inspiration from the runway, subcultures and art so that everyone is catered to. Another Instagram account to fall in love with FYI and I absolutely can’t wait to see this brand in real life.
Introducing #ShadesofFemininity, our latest MMU DNA project, made in collaboration with @ELLEusa. Whether you’re full face or bare face (or wherever in between), the choice is yours. Meet six individuals who help us explore — and celebrate — the spectrum of femininity. #womenforwomen #liveyourlook Talent: @chloe_pultar @milkizm @mynamesdiana @nataliacastellarcalvani @pey_0die @sophia_roe Crew: Creative Director: @gg_georgie_greville Producer: @r_carither DP: @joshua_mckie Makeup: @crazypretty Hair: @nikoweddle Stylist: @anyaziourova
Created by black Cosmetic Scientist Florence at age 22, this vibrant and colourful lipstick orientated beauty brand knows how to catch your eye with their shiny gold packaging and bold colour choices. Inspired by 90s hip hop style and the desire to create a high quality product, MDM Flow deserves a place in your make up bag. They celebrate all kinds of beautiful on their social media, taking great care to ensure all skin tones and personalities are represented consistently, not just for an expensive campaign.
This black owned business has been in the family since 1912 and remains in the family to this day, originally aimed at creating products for afro hair the brand has since diversified and expanded internationally to feature hair, body, skin and make up products to cater for all hair textures and skin tones. To make things even better the brand is cruelty free, uses organic ingredients, doesn’t use many known irritants (a.k.a. “nasties”) and contributes to community commerce projects in Africa and beyond. I’ve been a dedicated user of their hair products for over 2 years now and my hair has never been better.
It seems the more alternative side of beauty has a lot less problems being diverse than the mainstream because brands like Sugarpill have been accepting and celebrating difference since the days of MySpace. This super bright, cruelty free (and mostly vegan) brand makes super awesome highly pigmented eyeshadows, lipsticks and outrageous finishing touches and are easily available worldwide. They celebrate fans of all skin tones and personalities, being particularly popular with the drag queen community, actually. In case you need another reason to support, founder, Amy (a.ka. Shrinkle) is cute as hell and has the most fun, candy coated kawaii style that I’ve loved for a very, very long time.
We love color! @shrinkle is wearing… ? #sugarpill Flamepoint, Buttercupcake, Heart-Shaped Cookie, Kim Chi, Mochi, and Bulletproof eyeshadows, @jeffreestarcosmetics Deep Freeze Skin Frost, @ardencyinn True Blue pencil liner ? Lashes: @rubymaycosmetics No. 27 ? Blush: @natashadenona Electric Pink ? Lips: Trinket lined with @caked.co Jelly ? Brows: Kim Chi liquid lipstick, #natashadenona Cream Liner
Did I miss someone equally awesome? Let me know, sharing is caring. Let’s support more small business and encourage brands that are doing their best at representing everyone.
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