Make-up gets a make-over

Over the past few years, brands have slowly begun to respond to a growing demand for marketing and products which reflect modern consumers as they truly are. In the realm of make-up this means beauty is no longer simply correlated to dress size as gender equality movements are now shaping a new perspective. People are increasingly acknowledging and celebrating their differences, and some revolutionary cosmetic brands are also breaking through the looking glass.

This year, edgy make-up brand Sleek’s ‘My face. My rules.’ advertising campaign broke down stereotypes and traditions by including an ethnically diverse cast of male and female consumers, all wearing bold, unapologetic, and personality-packed make-up. It highlighted how individuality and self-expression can boost your mood and demonstrated its positive effects on their consumers. The campaign also deals with the fact that many people are ‘shamed’ for how much make-up they wear, particularly men, who are often judged for wearing it at all. The brand’s message is simply to be yourself, however you choose, and not to conform to what the media and mainstream brands tell you is beautiful. The result is a refreshingly inclusive approach to beauty – for Sleek, make-up isn’t about hiding your insecurities or impressing those around you, but expressing yourself with confidence and attitude.

With similar poise, Asos recently launched its ‘Face + Body’ range with the tagline ‘Go play’ – transforming make-up from a day-to-day necessity to a tool for experimentation and self-discovery. Enjoyment is at the heart of the campaign, be it of the artistic and experimental opportunities made available by cosmetics, or of our individuality and uniqueness. Models used in the range are women and men of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities. With looks ranging from sequinned faces to pom-poms and gold foil, there wasn’t a serious pout to be seen. Instead of showing a stream of unrealistic models, we were presented with a light-hearted and inspirational set of people with a more playful approach to make-up.

The definition of beauty is shifting. By tuning into their consumers and uncovering truths about what really matters to them, both brands have successfully adapted their message to fit with the changing norms of today. The focus on unifying positives, like the desire to be individual or the enjoyment that make-up brings, helps to cut across the different consumer groups and provides a motivating reason to join the brand. This ability to listen, to learn and to adapt to consumers and what they want today keeps brands relevant, no matter how much the world around them changes.

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