Why do beauty brands not market to Women Of Colour?

4th July 2019 BY Ivis Ngwenya

So I recently came across a statistic which states that “black women are the biggest spenders on makeup and beauty products of any demographic in the world, outspending caucasian women by 6 times. In the USA alone, they spend $7.5 billion on beauty annually despite being only 13.7% of the female population.”  

So my question to you is why do beauty brands not market to WOC? Why are there not more black brand ambasadors? Because it’s clear that we are the ones fueling this beauty industry yet we’re just enriching others. Did you know that until two years ago the makeup offering for black women by mainstream beauty brands was the smallest despite bkack womens spending power and wide skin variety? It is 2019 and the beauty industry is still failing us? Make this make sense!

Over the past four years, major brands including Loreal, Dior and Lancome have all expanded their foundation ranges to cater for darker skin tones and have introduced a range of undertones. This was in no doubt sparked by the rise of Fenty Beauty, which on initial release offered 40 shades in 2017, the biggest launch to ever grace the beuaty industry. But the saddest part about this is the fact that it took so long for it to happen and that it was done by a woman of colour who saw this problem and decided to fix it herself. In addition, without the release of FENTY i don’t think other brands themselves would have expanded their shade ranges, Rihanna is just what the beauty industry needed!

Apparently “a self-fulfilling prophecy” has caused beauty marketers to delay improving inclusivity. This is because darker shades haven’t been offered so brands don’t realise there’s an issue, or because the darker shades available in-store haven’t been up to standard or advertised appropriately. Consumers then don’t buy, so sales aren’t considered satisfactory and brands therefore don’t invest in better R&D and marketing as they don’t think there’s a market for it but how can you make such a statement when nothing was really done to ensure it was put in front of the intended market and was created to a satisfactory level. The statistics are there! At this point it is just point blank ignorance because this problem is so easy to solve, it’s really not rocket science. If brands employ marketers who are as diverse as the audience they are trying to reach, many of these problems could be prevented. If brands employed more black brnd ambassadors people would be able to see someone that represents them on campaigns and be tempted to buy the products because they can see that this brand is for them. It reall is that simple!


My Favourite Women of Color-Owned Makeup Brands;

  • Juvia’s Place

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  • Iman Cosmetics

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  • Beauty Bakerie

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  • Fenty beauty

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  • Pat McGrath Labs

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