Flesh and Bone Cosmetics: A Business Model & Marketing Strategy Addressing the Lack of Diversity in the Makeup Industry
Within the beauty industry, a common issue that exists is the lack of diversity in product colors that suit consumers of darker-skinned ethnicities. Ethnic diversity in makeup products is often difficult to find, particularly in regard to more affordable brands. Over the years, the makeup and beauty industry has focused their attention on Caucasian females, thus excluding many other races, ethnicities, skin colors, and even genders. Although the lack of diversity in the cosmetics world is often related to people with darker complexions, this issue can affect any individual of any ethnicity or skin tone. This lack of diversity causes a negative psychological impact on individuals and causes people to experience feelings of frustration, anxiety, and exclusion. The purpose and significance of this research is further outlined in Chapter I. To address this issue, I developed an overarching research question: How might I create a custom makeup product that provides value to my audience? In order to answer this overarching question, I conducted research to answer the following areas: (1) Who is my audience? (2) What are my audience's perceptions and attitudes about makeup? (3) What challenges does my audience face when searching for or purchasing makeup? (4) Why does my audience value my product? and (5) What does my audience believe about my product? These questions allowed me to gather an in-depth understanding of the customer, including their tastes, preferences, needs, values, and demographic characteristics. Chapter II is comprised of the literature search which explores four themes: (1) the changing perception of the makeup industry, (2) diversity in makeup, (3) makeup's psychological impact on individuals, and (4) custom makeup & the market. Chapter III describes the research design and process while Chapter IV presents and analyzes the data and findings. The compiled research informed the business plan and influenced the conception and creation of the brand. Based on my qualitative and quantitative research -- which included a literature search, multiple depth interviews, and a survey -- I created Flesh and Bone Cosmetics. Flesh and Bone Cosmetics is an inclusive custom cosmetics brand that addresses the lack of diversity in the makeup industry by offering Liquid Foundation Drops. This product is a highly pigmented range of tints that recolors and adjusts any existing liquid foundation -- this allows individuals to discover their perfect color match at an affordable price range. Chapter V provides recommendations on forming a business model and marketing strategy for Flesh and Bone Cosmetics.