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The World's Biggest Cosmetics Brands Are Finally Courting Minorities

Customers who were once ignored by the beauty industry are now being wooed at every counter.
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For decades, most cosmetics brands didn’t go after minorities. Instead, they made products catering to a narrow margin of skin tone and color, and left a handful of companies dedicated to multicultural women to deal with the rest of the shades. That’s starting to change, with both mainstream and ethnic beauty lines going after a more diverse customer. It’s a profound shift: The women who were once all but ignored by the majority of the beauty market are now being wooed at every counter.

Mainstream lines such as L'Oréal-owned Lancôme are adding more complexion colors, tweaking their products to make them more appealing to nonwhite customers, and signing up nonwhite spokeswomen or models. Meanwhile, lines that have always been dedicated to multicultural women, including Cover FX, Fashion Fair, and Iman Cosmetics, are touting that they have more shades than ever before.