25 Beauty Ads That Successfully Promote Diversity

Karen Garces By Karen Garces, 05/14/19

Some breeze through a fashion magazine and envisage the idea of flawless skin, fair complexion, and slender physique. Yet some also cringe at this beauty “norm” these fashion and beauty brands dictate. While these cosmetics companies see gold in featuring white models in beauty ads, model Deddeh Howard was having none of that. In an effort to show that black women are equally as capable as white women, she recreated some famous fashion ads featuring white models, asked her photographer boyfriend to shoot them, and it knocked everyone’s socks off. Cosmetics companies are now deviating from the traditional beauty ads, and products people are accustomed to. This groundbreaking shift towards a more diversified and inclusive branding opens up doors for all genders, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic status, ages, religions, and sexual orientations. Here are 25 of the most ingenious beauty ads that will blow you away.


1. Milk Makeup

milk makeup ad

Offering a fresh take on beauty, Milk Makeup designs unisex packaging for their products. They collaborated with a men’s beauty authority site, Very Good Light. Both companies featured diverse models in their “Blur the Lines” campaign.


2. Very Good Light

man lgbt

Very Good Light is one of the leading men’s beauty and grooming sites which advocates diversity and individuality. They wanted to veer from the societal idea of men’s masculinity. They created a film with Milk Makeup called “Blur the Lines” to break the barrier of the definition of beauty.

Check out the video here.


3. Becca

becca shades

Becca Cosmetics wasn’t kidding when they said they want to cater to every skin tone out there. They made sure that 50 percent of their shades are in the light to medium category. While the other 50 percent falls in the medium to dark category. This idea gives all customers with varying skin tones a chance to try their products.


4. Fenty Beauty


When Rihanna launched the video campaign for Fenty Beauty’s impressive 40 different foundation shades, it took the world by storm. They featured models with different ethnicities, including a plus-size model Paloma Elsesser. This ignited a move for a diversity beckoning in the beauty industry.


5. Mac

mac models employees

Mac’s #WhatsYourThing campaign is in line with their mantra “All Ages, All Races, All Sexes.” The ad features not only models but also MAC employees and how they go about their foundation routine. They also invited consumers to share their looks on social media which is a great movement to inspire others to be proud of their individuality.


6. Stellar

stellar ad

Stellar’s CEO, Monika Deol, believes that there is no “one size fits all” in make-up. Color is not merely light or dark. The subtleties are just as important, so she tested the shades on real people. A forward-thinking brand like Stellar is one people of color will look up to.


7. Revolution

diversity campaign

diversity ad

A powerful image can undeniably capture anyone’s attention, and that’s what Revolution did with what could be touted as the most diverse beauty ad ever. The ad features a transgender activist, a 90-year-old make-up lover, and a disabled star. This campaign will have people from all walks of life scrambling for their unisex foundation.


8. Black Opal

black woman

This brand is all about women of color. Black Opal embraced the idea of providing women with darker skin tones the shades they could ever dream of. They recently launched a campaign with the slogan “Beauty comes in ALL shades, and Black Opal is for EVERY shade of beauty.” Although there’s a powerful message that lies in this campaign, an outcry from their regular customers sparked an issue questioning them on why the company is suddenly opening their doors to lighter-skinned women.


9. Wet N’ Wild

beauty ad

The “Breaking Beauty” campaign encouraged the uniqueness in every person. Featuring an albinism model, a transgender DJ, a cancer survivor, and an amputee activist, this campaign emboldens everyone to embrace their disabilities and adversities in life.


10. L’oreal

loreal beauty ad

People sometimes want what they don’t have. So, that’s why L’oreal launched the “Your Skin, Your Story” campaign to empower everyone and be grateful for all their inherent qualities.


11. Neutrogena

kerry washington

Neutrogena broke its mold on running product-focused ads by releasing a captivating video beauty ad which starred Kerry Washington. The “See What’s Possible” campaign aims to empower women regardless of who and what they are.


12. Cover FX

white black women

Cover FX wanted to break the notion that “nude” only pertains to white skin through their “Nude is Not Beige” campaign. In addition, they also launched an online shade matcher so everyone can check which foundation works best with their skin tone. This will encourage customers with varying colors to give their products a shot.


13. Lancome

woman uk

Lancome is a household name in the beauty industry. With business acumen like no other, another campaign called “My Shade. My Power.” is gaining a lot of accolades from new and existing customers. Lancome featured 40 different women from the UK to showcase 40 different foundation shades. A brilliant move from a brilliant company.


14. Glossier

pregnant olympian

A monumental campaign which encouraged women in all shapes and sizes proved successful for Glossier’s Body Hero products. It featured a pregnant Olympian and a plus-size model which indicates their products don’t care about anyone’s shape and size.


15. Clinique

indian women

A chauvinistic society is still prevalent in this day and age. Clinique’s “Even Better” campaign was aimed to empower bright, independent Indian women, and all women for that matter, to be proud of their strengths.


16. Orly

muslim woman

People sometimes have this preconceived notion towards Muslim people in general. Orly wanted to put this issue to bed and collaborated with Muslim Girl so they can put their Muslim customers in a beauty pedestal. They launched a halal-certified, and water-permeable nail polish line, so Muslim women can enjoy the beautiful colors while still paying respects to their culture.


17. Shiseido

people laughing

Shiseido believes that beauty knows no race, gender, and age. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world or how much wealth you’re sitting on, their campaign slogan “Beauty lies within, and every time we bring it to light, we make the world a little brighter” will brighten up everyone’s day.


18. Bobbi Brown

mixed races

Bobbi Brown celebrated its 25th anniversary by releasing the “Be Who You Are” campaign. It is a reminder that should women use cosmetics, it must be to enliven their unique identities and not to cover their existing flaws.


19. Nyx

luv out loud contest

Nyx is a brand which stays true to their corporate social responsibility. Their “Luv Out Loud” campaign was a contest which invited people to choose a charity, upload a video, and explain why they chose that charity. Nyx picked one winner a chance to give $10,000 to their chosen charity. They’ve previously donated $6,000 to an organization which supports the LGBT youth.


20. Revlon

plus size skinny models

Revlon’s “Live Boldly” campaign, which highlights women of different colors, ethnicities, and size, is intended to push women to love themselves and live unapologetically.


21. Covergirl

amy deanna

Covergirl had a total makeover with the company’s slogan. From “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful” to “I Am What I Make Up.” A quintessential campaign for their TruBlend foundations accompanied the rebranding which featured a model with a skin disease called vitiligo. Campaigns like this enable other women suffering from different skin conditions to look up to these brands and be more confident of their skin. Here’s a video of Amy Deanna in her beautiful self.


22. Urban Decay

skin makeup

Urban Decay has started to push for unedited make-up photos to remind people what “real” skin looks like. Instead of drooling over those atrociously edited photos of skin with invisible pores, wrinkles, blemishes, and moles, Urban Decay’s beauty ads will encourage consumers to accept their skin imperfections.


23. Babor

skin imperfections

There’s no such thing as untarnished beauty. Everyone has flaws, and Babor wanted women to hold their heads up high and be proud of their imperfections by launching unedited, unretouched photos of women with varying colors, ages, and sizes.


24. CVS

woman unedited ad

woman unedited ad

CVS Pharmacy’s goal in 2020 is to encourage advertising transparency, especially in the beauty industry. A lot of women try to impersonate models in fashion magazines and beauty ads. More often than not, it makes them feel disheartened knowing they can never be as close to what those women look like. So CVS is now putting a CVS Beauty Mark called “Beauty Unaltered” on photo ads moving forward, trashing heavily edited photo ads.


25. Marc Jacobs

foundation shades

Marc Jacobs is also spearheading the diverse and inclusive branding. As a result, the company launched its 29-shade foundation line which has every color from white, fair, yellow, beige, medium, deep, dark, and more. This video spreads a clear and compelling message: Everyone is beautiful no matter what color they’re in.