In an era of makeup collections with 40 foundation colors and more spokesmodels of color than ever before, diversity at the beauty counter would seem to be accepted, even celebrated.
Yet if you ask influential makeup artists, hairstylists and photographers about it, the answer is more likely: It’s a start.
Compared with fashion, beauty has been quicker to act on matters of inclusivity. Driven by social media, beauty has, in the last five years, moved to welcome, and to represent, customers all along the spectrum of skin shades and gender identities.
Consider the smashing success of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line, which has been credited for the new 40-foundation standard and which proved just how myopic many beauty brands had been.
Clearly women of color make up a market that is far from niche. The days when Iman, a supermodel of the 1970s and ’80s, had to blend her own foundation on photo shoots seem archaic. (She later started her own cosmetics line, ages before Rihanna, to address those very issues.)
“You don’t have the excuse anymore that the product isn’t available,” said Nick Barose, a makeup artist whose clients include Lupita Nyong’o, Priyanka Chopra and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. “Younger, older, darker, lighter, different undertones — you should be able to look at the face in front of you and match.”
Similarly, change is taking place in hair care. Led by influential stars like Yara Shahidi, Sasha Lane and Tracee Ellis Ross, who wear their hair unprocessed, “wild, kinky, frizzy texture” is redefining Hollywood glamour, said the hairstylist Nai’vasha Johnson, who styles Ms. Shahidi and Ms. Lane.