The new beauty campaigns truly celebrating ageing

Far from a fleeting trend, diverse representation in the beauty industry has only just begun. It was Fenty Beauty – Rihanna’s mega make-up launch – that successfully disrupted the norm last year, cementing inclusive conversations by casting a range of ethnicities to represent the brand with ample product shades to match them. Big and small brands followed suit, either developing more diverse messaging or reminding the world that they’ve always been there for that. But, race aside, over 40s have been lacking from many line-ups.

Of course, there are brands doing it, and L’Oreal has long been the leader with a consistently diverse age range of ambassadors including Helen Mirren, Jane Fonda, Andie MacDowell and Julianne Moore not only fronting skincare launches targeting the over 50s, but in displays of diversity for wider brand activities. It’s seeing age inclusion in brands’ DNA (not only when it suits them to push a product) where change feels afoot. Because it’s not just about using an older model to talk about ‘anti-ageing’, but to represent products designed to be ageless.

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Arguably the most innovative make-up brand of our times, MAC, which despite competition from millennial brands like Kylie Cosmetics still retains the crown of being Instagram’s most followed beauty brand (with 19.3 million followers), has always had the credo ‘All Ages, All Races, All Genders’. However, it’s only now with a new campaign that the age element feels really visible once more.

Courtesy of Neal’s Yard Remedies

MAC’s ‘#WhatsYourThing’ campaign is a celebration of self-expression featuring a diverse cast which embody the brand’s strap line. From actual MAC employees to internationally renowned models, it demonstrates that modern beauty is as individual as we all are – and it’s really well done. It doesn’t specifically focus on age, it just doesn’t ignore it, either.

Neal’s Yard Remedies, a pioneer in ethical beauty, is not only demonstrating age-inclusion, but prioritising positive ageing. Its mission this year is to revolutionise the way in which ageing is portrayed beyond the beauty industry, and in society as a whole.

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The brand’s ‘Age Well Revolution’ campaign features customers chosen by a judging panel to share their inspiring stories relating to ageing.

“Ageing well means loving yourself, accepting the changes your body is going through and accepting this rite of passage as a gift,” says Theresa Fowler, 53, one of the winners who made the line-up. Neal’s Yard Remedies want others to share their story and together push for further change in attitudes.

Revolution, the ‘fast beauty’ brand that outperforms the likes of L’Oreal, Rimmel and Maybelline at Superdrug with its hard working, affordable cosmetics, also uses its consumers to promote its products. The completely un-retouched campaign for its latest launch (the Conceal & Define Full Coverage Foundation) features 24 people aged 20-90 years old.

Courtesy of Revolution Beauty

“It was critical that we didn’t go down the route of pantone-matching people to fit in with a shade range above all else,” says Carrie Tyler, the brand’s global head of content. “We wanted to celebrate personalities and draw the brand to the attention of those who have never tried us.”

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One of the stars, ‘Alternative Ageing’ blogger Suzi Grant, 68, tells Bazaar: “You cannot ignore the size of the demographic and the money that can be made from that demographic.”

“I was proud to take part in this campaign representing women over 50 and stand side by side with young, old, black, white, male, female, disabled, able bodied, thin, and not thin! At long last, many brands are not solely using models who are 22, blonde, white and skinny. But we still have a way to go.”

Indeed, topical as it is, age-inclusive messaging needs to swerve tokenism and trends. The beauty industry may be more diverse than ever, but while that notion is still deemed newsworthy, there’s clearly more to be done.

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK