When it comes to makeup and clothing, the term “nude” is typically synonymous with “beige” or “peach.” As a result, for many women of color, this has made it extremely difficult to find nude makeup that matches their skin tone.
But with the help of Kerry Washington, Neutrogena redefined nude as concept rather than color in their new cosmetic collection.
The beauty brand has just added four new shades to its inclusive Healthy Skin Liquid makeup collection to better represent the diversity of women who purchase its products. The four new shades, including Honey, Caramel, Cocoa and Chestnut, are now available for purchase as part of a three-year long collaborative effort with actress Kerry Washington, the Brand Ambassador and Creative Consultant for the line.
And instead of announcing the news via the traditional print ad or commercial route, Neutrogena reached out to consumers who voiced opinions about the brand failing to provide enough options for women of color. Washington, who wears Cocoa 115, then shared the news via FaceTime with a few of Neutrogena’s customers.
“I wanted to personally deliver the message of our expansion and how proud I am of it, and it really meant a lot to me in particular when people asked about why Neutrogena would bring me on if there wasn’t foundation for women of color,” the “Scandal” actress said in a FaceTime conversation. “I’ve been working really hard on expanding our foundations.”
Washington recognized this issue when she signed on as a brand ambassador and creative consultant with the beauty brand in 2013, upon which she was encountered with immediate backlash from consumers who criticized the brand for not providing enough shades for darker women.
“When I first started out at Neutrogena, there was not a foundation for me, and there was actually some pushback about that online,” Washington said in an interview with Refinery 29. “I very purposefully did not address it [then], because I knew that I was about to engage in this labor of love.”
“Inclusivity is a value that is core to my beliefs and a passion of mine,” Kerry also told PEOPLE. “So to be able to be hands on making this technology available to everybody and also coming up with lip colors that look good on everybody … There’s no reason why women of all ethnicities should be like ‘Oh, I love this technology but there is no color for me.’”
Now, women on Twitter, aware of the narrow range of some cosmetic brand's flesh-toned products, are applauding Washington and Neutrogena for keeping diverse skin tones in mind.
One woman tweeted, “I'm glad Neutrogena decided to expand their shade range for foundation. They had black women (i.e. Kerri Washingyon [sic] ) modeling makeup wipes.”
Another tweeted, “@kerrywashington so proud of you for helping @Neutrogena expand their color pallet. Now every girl can feel beautiful using this brand.”