Issa Rae is a key player in Hollywood's fight for diversity — bringing Black culture to network giant HBO with her show Insecure and proudly rooting "for everybody Black." So when the execs at CoverGirl were searching for a celebrity ambassador for a campaign centered on inclusivity, it's no surprise that they chose Rae as their leading lady. "I don't [associate myself] with anything that doesn't prioritize inclusivity and diversity," Rae says. "That's been my own personal mission."
As a drugstore shopper herself, Rae says she felt misrepresented in the aisles as a woman of color and she's thrilled to see beauty brands like CoverGirl that are taking the steps to make the mass market more diverse. "I've definitely gone to drugstores and not seen my shade," Rae says. "I feel like that's an experience so many of us have had. It can be discouraging and now I feel like there's a priority in terms of making sure that all shades are represented."
But CoverGirl isn't taking all the credit for Trublend Matte Made, its new line of 40 foundations that launched in May. In the new campaign video, which includes Rae, model Maye Muske, and motorcycle racer Shelina Moreda, the brand lists thousands of names in the closing credits, which runs for nearly 13 minutes. The names are of real women and customers who weighed in on the formulation and shades of the product, including those who posted consumer reviews on a range of retailer websites.
In addition to a few celeb cameos, the ad shows hundreds of women across skin tones, ages, styles, and careers. "Seeing the women that were included in this campaign... that wasn't the standard beauty — the unachievable, unattainable women," says Rae, who called out Massy Arias as someone who most inspired her most on set. "I've been following [her] for years. [She's] just badass. I want her body, her family, and her beautiful daughter."
The campaign comes at a perfect time in Rae's life, who recently came to realize just how much influence she has. "I didn't put myself in the show [Insecure] to be like, 'Now, they're going to recognize,' but you do see the effect that that has," she says. "We're just doing our part in showing that there are different types of women, and they're beautiful in their own, individual ways."
As for Rae's own beauty routine, she attributes her knowledge to the other women in her life. "So many Black women in this industry look so ageless and I'm like, 'How do I make sure that when I'm 40 or 50, I look like you?' Many of them have been generous in sharing some of their secret products," she says, adding that she likes to keep things minimal with a solid skin-care routine. She also credits her makeup artist and hairstylist for her standout beauty looks, including her recent appearance in Drake's star-studded 'Nice For What' music video. "First, that's a 'Drake is around' glow. My glam team did their thing there," she laughs. Never change, Issa. Never change.