Breaking Down Beauty Barriers

Images from Pexel

Diversity in beauty has become an increasingly hot topic for conversation, but one that has not been explored enough. For decades, the media has flaunted the false perception that beauty comes in every shade of pale. Leaving a large proportion of the population- women of colour, feeling alienated by the lack of representation.   

Having previously worked within the industry, I have seen first-hand how easy it is for brands to feature the ‘token’ black woman, just to tick a box. Knowing full well they will be nowhere to be seen in the next big marketing campaign.  

From a young age, my eyes were opened to the notion that images of black women didn’t make the cut when it came to front covers of magazines, or sometimes not even within a single page spread. I can remember my Mum excitably shopping for suitable lipstick shades and haircare products whenever we visited the states. Simply because she was unable to find her perfect match within the small selection stocked at the end of the beauty aisle, in-stores.  

Thankfully, times seem to be changing (way overdue but-yas!) I mean there’s nothing like a global pandemic to pave the way for transformation. Beauty giants are being forced to become ‘woke’. With diversity and inclusivity previously put on their back burners, both topics are now being streamlined into their strategy plans.  

In a world where imagery is everything, social media continues to be the perfect place for championing change, it doesn’t get much more diverse than here. Our go-to for anything inspirational and empowering, whether you’re a fan of the gram, prefer to pin or both.    

Pinterest: A Pioneering Platform

With most of us now spending more time at home, scrolling through our phones for beauty regimes has only increased. This in mind, Pinterest recently rolled out their new inclusive beauty feature in the UK. This ground-breaking function means pinners can search for beauty looks according to their skin tone! 

Image: Pinterest, Newsroom

Wanting to learn more, last week I joined the Glamour x Pinterest online event: Diversity in Beauty, hosted by GLAMOUR’s Beauty Director Camilla Kay. Alongside her on the panel were Pinterest’s Creator Marketing Lead, Reena Rai, influencer Diipa Büller-Khosl, and MUA Mahina. Talking all things colour-matching, tool features, and of course a live demo.  

So, How Does It Work and What are the Benefits?  

Simply type ‘beauty’ in the search bar, hit enter and pick a skin tone from the top of the results page. You’ll see not just one, but four different palettes to choose from-perfect for darker skin ladies like me. Bye, bye to porcelain concealer, rosy cheeks and nude lipstick not matching my melanin. 

Image: Pinterest, Newsroom

The game-changing update to the tool, means related terms like foundation, eye make up, red lip. Along with more specific searches such as ‘red lips black women’ can be more customised. You will only see content based around your chosen skin tone.  

Wait, there’s more…If like myself you use the Pinterest mobile app, the updated tool uses Augmented Reality technology that allows you to ‘try on’ before adding to your basket. Just open the camera in search click ‘try on’ and search for your shade. The platform believes in celebrating authenticity and shopping with confidence, so the AR tool shows the real you without the fancy filters. Plans to extend the functionality further next year, may see more categories added such as-haircare, skincare and even tattoos. The aim is to ensure that no one is left out. One thing’s for sure, Pinterest is listening to their audience’s needs and readily reacting.

Talk about timely! With lockdown restrictions nowhere near easing, who knows when we will get a full in-store make up counter experience. Could this be the beginning of the ‘new normal’ for diversity in beauty?

By Alisha – Fashion & Beauty Writer

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