Do Beauty Brands Really Have to Cater to Every Woman?

Glossier has a few running ads for their Perfecting Skin Tint moisturizer and also has a few chic videos of models applying their Stretch Concealer and Boy Brow filler. Their skin tint and concealer are two products that honestly work best for women who don’t really have problem skin. The skin tint coverage is extremely sheer while the concealer is only a tad more buildable.

To be honest, the skin tint works pretty well on my face. It hasn’t caused me any breakouts, and serves its no-makeup, makeup purpose that I covet it for. But I will be honest and say that I don’t have a blemish nor any scarring or acne on my face. So, Glossier’s skin tint works for my skin.

But Glossier’s skin tint is not for everyone. And some of the women who have watched and viewed some of their ads, in which the models featured seem to have “perfect” skin, are pissed.

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But do they have a right to be?

Everything isn’t for everyone

The truth is that there is no brand that we can pinpoint that actually caters to us all. For the most part they can’t. There is no skin care brand that caters to every skin type. There is no foundation line that caters to each and every complexion and undertone. Generally speaking, there is no mega-brand that compliments each and every woman’s individual makeup “personality”.

There is just no way possible for every brand to work for every single woman.

Now, this doesn’t serve as an excuse for brands to deliberately choose to exclude a group of women from being able to benefit from their products because they may think they’re beneath them or not good enough. That’s a completely different story.

However, the idea of a brand being able to create the perfect foundation line or skin care collection and so on for every woman in the world is actually unheard of.

This takes us back to the Glossier ad referenced above. The comments under the glossier ad stood out as many women voiced their disgust with Glossier’s skin tint not being appropriate for women with skin “issues”. Women with acne really get nothing out of a skin tint as non-buildable and sheer as Glossier’s. But, is that a cause to complain about, or to understand that, while we’re sure Glossier would like your money and patronage, this time around the product just isn’t for you?

I use Glossier as an example not to shame them, at all. I love and benefit from their products. My bestfriend, who has a few blemishes and oily skin, not so much.

Inclusivity is a hard battle within the beauty business. Hell, in every business. The harsh reality is that not every brand will be for every person and technically they don’t have to be.

But, the big question that comes out of all of this is: Should every beauty brand have to cater to every single woman and our individual beauty issues?

Well, the short answer is no.

Where is the line drawn for beauty brands to be able decide who they want to cater to? And who even draws that line?

And, when a brand does try to cater to everyone, will we not find them “fake”, or deem them merely “hopping on the bandwagon” for profit or popularity?

Sticking to those who cater to us

I like Tarte cosmetics, but they don’t have a foundation in my shade, and I’m not upset at that. CoverFX, NARS, Bobbi Brown and many others do, though. Mixed Chicks’ hair products do nothing for my hair type. But, Mizani leaves my hair feeling soft and fluffy and Living Proof is my favorite shampoo and conditioner. Ironically, Living Proof has never featured a black or brown model on any of their ads.

The point: maybe we should invest our money into the brands that do cater to us. Whether based on our skin care needs, our hair types, our foundation colors or our financial capabilities.

Beauty may be one of the most intriguing industries that battles and tackles and ignores inclusivity all at the same time. But there has to be a point where we understand that not every brand will cater to everyone. We have to figure out a way to decipher which brands are completely ignoring our needs on purpose (i.e., darker foundations), and which are doing their best to represent their brand and mission honestly (i.e., Marc Jacobs and his high price points).

In the example of Glossier, it’s clear that their no-makeup, makeup mission is catered to women who love the option of a chill, easy going face that looks dewy and kissed with minimal application. As my beauty colleague Janell Hickman puts it, Glossier is the anti-contour aiming for that simple beauty routine. But, it’s also clear that not every woman, unfortunately, can pull that look off with just a skin tint or thin layer of their Stretch concealer.

Is this unfair? Well, maybe. But, can we honestly pressure every company to cater to every woman and her needs? No, we actually can’t.