Accessibility in Beauty: The Innovations Moving Us Forward

Accessibility in Beauty: The Innovations Moving Us Forward featured image

Everyone deserves to have access to products and services that help them feel confident and beautiful, which is why accessibility in beauty is so important. More and more skin care and makeup brands have understood this and are including those with disabilities and mobility issues in the conversation to address unique challenges they face.

From smaller brands like Guide Beauty to huge conglomerates like L’Oréal, a larger focus has been placed on serving those who have been historically underserved in this space. Accessibility in the makeup aisle not only helps those that need it, it promotes a sense of belonging and inclusivity for all consumers.

Form and Function

The main way products can be more accessible to those with disabilities and mobility issues include intentional packaging and design. Cofounder of Meloway Makeup, Ash Kim, says the brand always had inclusivity in mind when designing the line. The Hi-Rise Matte Lipstick, for example, is designed to be used with one hand. The packaging design help people with disabilities apply lipstick more easily and smoothly. “All of our products have that kind of thought and intention behind it. Even our mascara wands are designed as bendable wands which allows for better control and precision. This allows people with upper dexterity issues to apply it more easily.”

Increased Representation

Known for its user-friendly packaging, Rare Beauty has been a leader in the accessibility department. The brand says they haven’t put their products through rigorous testing but were inspired by founder Selena Gomez’s own needs. “Each Rare Beauty product was designed to Selena’s personal preferences to emphasize ease of use. While we’re thrilled to hear that some individuals with dexterity challenges find the design helps them open and use our products more easily. We have not conducted official testing on the packaging for these claims,” said a spokesperson for the brand. “Ease of use and inclusivity are highly prioritized at Rare Beauty and it’s something we’re continuing to test and explore in the future.”


In addition to packaging, brands have also broadened the space with inclusive marketing campaigns featuring models with disabilities. Guide Beauty enlisted actress and chief creative officer Selma Blair to serve as the face of its line of tools. Founder and makeup artist Terri Bryant developed the brand from her own experiences with Parkinson’s disease. Bryant says she knows firsthand about the lack of not just resources but also representation. “I didn’t understand what was missing until my diagnosis,” she says. “Having Parkinson’s shifted my ability as a makeup artist and that opened my eyes to the exclusion that existed in our industry.”

For Joanne DiCamillo and Nikki Puzzo, the cofounders of befree, an adaptive and inclusive athliesure pant line, visibility has helped to change attitudes surrounding disabilities as well. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in the number of brands producing adaptive clothing and the resulting options available on the market,” says Puzo. “And we have seen more inclusive advertising and marketing and an emergence of talent agencies dedicated to models with disabilities. This is all great progress to promote inclusion and alleviate the stigma of living with a disability.”

Future Focus

L’Oréal debuted its HAPTA Lipstick applicator at the Consumer Electronic Show earlier this year. The device was developed using stabilizing technology originally created for utinsils for those with limited mobility. “For L’Oréal, the future of beauty is inclusive and will be made more accessible by technology,” said L’Oréal CEO Nicolas Hieronimus. Lancôme will launch the lipstick device first and follow with other functional makeup applicators.

By taking steps to be more inclusive, these brands and future ones can promote a more accepting future to ensure that everyone has access to products that help them feel beautiful and confident.

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