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Beauty Brands Find Opportunity in Multicultural Sector

Image: Lancôme

Image: Lancôme

In what has been a difficult year for many beauty brands, one sector of the industry that looks promising is multicultural (read, nonwhite) beauty. Credited to the growth of the middle class, more people of color are spending money on beauty products and brands, seeing this moneymaking opportunity in the midst of the doldrums, are beginning to realize that POC buy beauty products if you actually try selling to them. Who knew? 

Brands are scrambling to scoop up smaller operations that cater to people of color. L’Oréal recently purchased Carol’s Daughter, a haircare company aimed at black women, which is now undergoing its own rebranding to be more inclusive across ethnicities. L’Oréal also introduced a 66-shade chart of skin tones in efforts to expand its options. Estée Lauder’s plan is to bring the brands it already has to new, multiethnic markets. Companies are working to beef up research and development teams in order to create products that will attract nonwhite customers and work well with various skin tones, hair textures and other physical features.

While it is encouraging to hear that beauty companies are trying to be more inclusive, it is a little sad that it took so long for such change. What do they think three-quarters of the world has been doing all this time? Not shampooing their hair? Not using moisturizer? Money talks and since the “multicultural” landscape is growing faster than the overall market, jumping 3.7 percent in 2014, it makes sense that larger companies would want to take advantage of a lucrative opportunity.

Despite the delayed start, if it means a mixed-race man or woman can walk into their local drugstore and find a shade of foundation that actually matches their skin tone, we guess it’s better late than never.

[via The Business of Fashion]