There’s no denying that the year 2020 has brought on a shift for the world we used to know. We learned as a whole what a neighbor, friend, citizen, and community resembles. Throughout our time physically apart, we never stopped educating ourselves on social issues and on how to stand up for what is right. For the first time in years, we are united. The world wasn’t going silent, and big-named companies started realizing adapting to change was no longer a question. 2020 was a year where brands stepped up to the plate or collapsed under pressure.
Consequently, customers from now on are refusing to buy products from companies who don’t have beliefs that align with the values that are becoming accepted widely in today’s society. Consumers want to represent brands that are fully committed to solving social problems and benefiting the world, not just themselves. Due to rising societal standards, top beauty brands started conforming to the concept of social responsibility for the first time.
Large companies including Morphe, ASOS, and Rare Beauty have announced inclusive products for consumer groups that are overlooked in the beauty industry and are on the rise. In these rapidly changing times, the beauty industry is moving forward and is receiving more and more attention from social media. As a result of recent promotional activities, brands have publicly expressed support for what they believe is morally honest.
International Pride month may have looked different last year, but that didn’t stop the capital cosmetic brand Morphe from celebrating. On May 28, Morphe commenced its limited-edition Pride 2020 “Free to Be” collection. The line is dedicated to GLSEN (a non-profit organization that helps LGBTQ+ students) and aims to inspire everyone to shine their light and help create a better future for LGBTQ+ students worldwide. The brand strives to create a safe, judgment-free platform where you don’t need to be afraid to speak out loud and use your voice. This collection allows everybody to feel understood, loved, and accepted no matter the background you come from; where only you decide what to create because originality has no rules. The collection includes an eyeshadow palette, brush set, setting mist, and lip gloss. Prices for the products range anywhere from $9 to $26, making it affordable for everyone. 100% of the net proceeds — a minimum of $50,000 — are going to GLSEN from the collection’s sales. The face of the campaign is seven GLSEN student ambassadors who are empowering others with their activism. When the collection launched, the brand used the hashtag “free to be you” incorporating all the makeup looks created with its products.
2. ASOS Face + Body
ASOS is one of the most influential retailers in the world and is known for its fashionable innovative clothing. At the end of 2017, the brand relaunched ASOS Face + Body as a gender-neutral cosmetic and skincare line. The line was created without any use of the word “beauty”, deciding it’s a loaded term and needed more inclusivity. ASOS granted a line that’s intentionally non-judgmental and is displayed by male, female and non-binary models of all races and backgrounds. Since the launch, the line has grown steadily over the past few years. The selection already includes popular well-known brands such as The Ordinary, Charlotte Tilbury, and UOMA. On July 27, the retailer enhanced its product line by adding MAC to its list. MAC is bringing its best-selling cosmetics and skincare products to the launch dedicated to ASOS. The initial product release includes 474 products, and new product releases are planned every month. Each campaign includes street-cast models across the United States regardless of race, age, or gender in order to illustrate we are all unique and have different perceptions of beauty. The brand is committed to showing no matter what the product is, all genders should feel free to use them. There are no rules or restrictions on using makeup, just endless ways to express yourself.
3. Rare Beauty
On September 3rd, Selena Gomez launched her makeup line called Rare Beauty. The brand is all about self-expression and embracing inner beauty. Rare Beauty focuses on shutting down unrealistic standards society has on perfection. Selena shares “I think Rare Beauty can be more than a beauty brand-it can make an impact. I want us all to stop comparing ourselves to each other and just start embracing our own uniqueness.” The makeup line includes 48 shades of foundation and concealer, mascara, highlighter, blush, etc. The products are designed to increase confidence, without hiding what makes you different — because it’s about being who you are, not someone else. Their mission is to celebrate individuality by redefining the meaning of beauty. Rare Beauty is also about inclusivity, Selena is diagnosed with Lupus and struggles with the strength in her hands. She wanted to create easier packaging for others just like her. The ball at the top is designed for beauty lovers who suffer from arthritis and can easily open the products without a struggle. With the launch, The Rare Impact Fund emerged, which aims to raise money for those with poor mental health. The goal of the fund is to raise $100M in the next 10 years to enable people to access mental health services.
Last year, our time apart did not prevent brands in the beauty industry from gathering and celebrating all our achievements. The year 2020 taught us more about ourselves than any other year has before. As a society, we are learning to embrace all our differences and no longer judge others based on what makes them unique. We said enough to division and are bringing together inclusivity. We will work together to eliminate impossible beauty standards, which continue to remain on social media. The change started with us; this issue is just the beginning.