Created in partnership with Ulta

A Disability Advocate Explains The *Right* Way To Increase Representation In Beauty

"Confidence is how you show up at max capacity," says Lauren "Lolo" Spencer, a disability advocate, actress, and model. "It's the ultimate form of self-expression, regardless of what society says or thinks, or what the 'rules' of the world are."
That sort of unwavering confidence is important (and impressive), especially within the beauty industry, where standards remain unrealistic and equal representation for all individuals doesn't yet exist. And it looks different for everyone.
For Spencer — who was diagnosed with ALS, a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells, at age 14 — confidence is expressed through an animal print blazer, feathery shoes, bold colors, and colorful jewelry. On the makeup front, it comes in the form of a show-stopping, "very colorful evening glam look," featuring pops of purple and green.
Advertisement
"The standards of beauty traditionally don't include people with disabilities," says Spencer, who uses a wheelchair and lacks muscle strength in her hands and fingers, which is why she looks for beauty products she can control and work with easily, like pencils. "And when they are included, it's like, 'Give me my gold star for showing this disabled person in a beautiful light.' I'd rather see storylines about the humanity of those people [instead] of their whole stories being predicated on their health."
And Spencer's doing her part by continuing to speak out and show up — and she happens to do that in creative, bold makeup looks, like the one shown here.
To achieve the look, she starts with Tarte Poreless Mattifying Vegan Face Makeup Primer to create the perfect canvas. Next, she uses Skin by Mented Foundation, applying a darker shade around the perimeter of her face and a lighter shade in the areas where she'll apply concealer. Then, she adds Clinique Even Better All-Over Concealer + Eraser for a bit of coverage and to highlight underneath her eyes, on the bridge of her nose, upper lip, chin, and in between her brows. After contouring (using NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Stick Cream Highlight & Contour Stick) and filling in her brows (with Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Brow MVP Ultra Fine Brow Pencil & Styler), she applies Urban Decay Cosmetics Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion and a swoon-worthy blend of purple pigments from Juvia's Place Culture Eyeshadow Palette. She finishes everything off with white eyeliner on top (MAC Colour Excess Gel Pencil Liner in "Incorruptible"), black pencil eyeliner on the bottom, a few swipes of mascara (Tarte Tartelette Tubing Mascara), blush (Mented Cosmetics Blush in "Clay Too Much"), setting powder, and several coats of pale pink lipstick.
If you need a little jolt of confidence, try out Spencer's look for yourself. Shop the exact Ulta Beauty products she used, below, and in the video above, you can follow her technique step-by-step — plus, learn more about why disability representation matters in beauty.
Advertisement

More from Makeup

R29 Original Series

Advertisement