After 20 years of "easy, breezy" beauty, CoverGirl ushered in a new era with an updated slogan: "I Am What I Make Up." The philosophy — brought to life by new ambassadors like actress Issa Rae, fitness guru Massy Arias, athlete Shelina Moreda, singer Katy Perry, chef Ayesha Curry, and model and entrepreneur Maye Musk — seeks to embrace individualism and strength.
Arias put it best when she told Refinery29: "Finding the power within looks is different for different people, and ‘I Am What I Make Up’ says you can proudly, unapologetically tap into it and show it off to the world." Hear all six of the barrier-breaking CoverGirl ambassadors explain their own interpretation of the new tagline, here.
In a year that called for more inclusion across the board, Milk Makeup and Very Good Light joined forces to make sure everyone — regardless of gender identity — felt welcome in the beauty space. The brand's Blur The Lines campaign calls for brands to stop gendering makeup products and excluding people from their marketing campaigns. Watch the full video yourself to be reminded that the desire to look and feel beautiful is universal.
2017 was a big year for natural hair, with actresses, singers, and beauty queens showing off their glorious strands — and Pantene heard the cry loud and clear. In its Strong Hair Is Beautiful Hair campaign, created by a director behind Beyoncé’s "Lemonade," the brand honored a range of textures while promoting its Gold Series haircare line, which was made specifically for natural hair.
The brand's celebrity stylist Chuck Amos explains: "Pantene is recognizing the importance of African-American women to feel confident wearing their hair in any style they choose and [it's] celebrating the heritage, diversity and beauty of African American women." More of that in 2018, please.
This year, Glossier expanded its cult skin-care range below the neck with its new Body Hero line. The ads, which ran on giant billboards in Manhattan and across Instagram feeds globally, showcases the product on a range of strong, beautiful (and, of course, glowy) women — all 100% naked and 100% un-retouched.
Mikayla Holmgren said she was so shocked she cried when she won two awards at Miss Minnesota yesterday. She also made history as the first woman with Down Syndrome to compete in a @MissUSA state pageant 👑https://t.co/dBqh8BP2FE pic.twitter.com/rdxXHmTzgF— Brianna Sacks (@bri_sacks) November 27, 2017
A month after Fenty Beauty launched foundations for people with albinism, Diandra Forrest became the first model with albinism to front a major beauty campaign. Her one goal: "To normalize what albinism was being depicted as," she told Refinery29. "I wanted to do it for myself and young girls growing up." Read the full interview with Forrest, the new face of Wet n Wild, here.
Patrick Starr has long been challenging the representation of boys in beauty, and this year he made it big with a huge collaboration with MAC Cosmetics — made even sweeter by the fact that the YouTuber worked at a MAC counter at the beginning of his career. Learn more about the products, and Starr's inspiration for the line, here.
This year, more and more beauty brands started to speak out about the causes they care about — and indie breakthrough brand Lipslut led the pack. The brand's "F*ck Trump" lipstick line, which was created as an act of protest to the Trump presidency, donated the proceeds of its sales to organizations like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the National Organization For Women. Then, following the events of Charlottesville, the brand turned its attention specifically to helping victims, and in the process raised $40K for medical funds, as well as the Albemarle-Charlottesville chapter of the NAACP and BLM Charlottesville. Let's hope more beauty brands use their positions of influence for creating positive change.
Why should retinol only be available to the 1 percent? Deciem, the brand behind The Ordinary, brought the skin-care super ingredient to almost anyone who wants it — for less than $10.
When 2016 Miss USA Deshauna Barber crowned 2017 winner Kára McCullough, both proudly wearing their beautiful curls on stage, it was a huge moment in the pageant world. "I wanted to take baby steps," Barber told Refinery29. "If I take a small one by showing my natural 4c hair, the next girl will take one, and then we'll ease our natural hairstyles into the pageant community."
People have acne, and wrinkles, and laugh lines — but for some reason the signs of going through puberty or getting older are airbrushed on the big screen. Now, we're seeing a change, with actresses showing up in movies and on TV without heavy coverage makeup, making the plights of the characters and stories they're portraying a hell of a lot more relatable.
Saoirse Ronan explained her excitement about showing her real skin in Lady Bird. "I just felt like it was a great opportunity to show someone as they really are at that age," the actress told Racked. Because most young people do get bad skin! And I don’t think that’s something you get to see much. Growing up, a lot of of the teenage girls I saw in movies and TV shows were played by these fully formed 30-year-olds with great skin. I hope it helps young people — and anyone who struggles with their skin — to connect with the character."