Rihanna’s Fenty Makeup Lures Luxury Brands to the Table

  • The beauty industry is a $445B market
  • Black women spend an estimated $7.5B annually on beauty products

Imitation is often the sincerest form of flattery, so the house of Dior is copying a page out of Rihanna’s masterful beauty playbook. The luxury makeup brand announced it’s “Dior Backstage” face and body foundation with 40 different shades. How much money have these high end makeup brands been missing out on by not including melanin rich skin tones?

Why This Matters: The $445 billion beauty industry is a gold mine with companies constantly mining new ways to get a larger share of the market. Right now the industry is expanding at 3% a year. Dior which is owned by the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH +0.86%) luxury empire has now decided to cater its high end makeup to a broader audience.

Peter Philips, creative and image director for Dior Makeup told British Vogue “It shouldn’t be a problem for a woman to find her shade… And for darker-skinned girls, it can be hard to find those shades.”

African-Americans spend nine times more on ethnic-targeted beauty and grooming products than the general market. Black women in particular spend an estimated $7.5 billion annually on beauty products. They shell out 80% more on cosmetics and twice as much on skin care as their non-Black counterparts, according to Nielsen. They've been grossly underserved by the cosmetics industry throughout history and now the tides seem to be turning.

Situational Awareness: While Fenty Beauty Pro wasn’t the first line to have a 40 shade offering, Rihanna’s makeup was the first to offer it right out of the gate. M.A.C which is owned by Estée Lauder (EL +0.51%) had 43 existing shades of its Pro Longwear Foundation when Fenty launched. On the drugstore end of the spectrum, CoverGirl announced a new liquid foundation TrueBlend Matte Made, with 40 shades.

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