The beauty industry is estimated to be worth a whopping $511 billion worldwide as of 2021. With new products launching on the market everyday this number is only sure to rise over the coming years.
But when it comes to inclusive and accessible beauty products, the market is still surprisingly lacking in this area. However, over the past few years I have seem more attention focused towards the universal and accessible design market where it comes to beauty products.
With more brands working to make their products inclusive and more indie start-up brands popping us with a focus on making their products accessible.
Being a disabled beauty blogger I’m passionate about seeing more accessible and inclusive beauty products hit the market. I’ve struggled all my life trying to apply things like eyeliner or being able to read the print on a bottle of cleanser. So, discovering brands that offer solutions to people like myself is always a thrill for me.
So, with that in mind here are a few notable beauty brands of all sizes that are doing great work to make their products inclusive and accessible for disabled people.
VictoriaLand Beauty is an indie skincare brand launched by Victoria Watts in 2018. When her youngest son Cyrus was born with severe sight loss, she completely reformatted her brand to accommodate people living with visual impairments like her son.
The product packaging features raised QR codes which users can scan to take them to an audio file which gives them detailed information on the product such as the name, ingredients, and directions of use. VictoriaLand skincare products all feature a unique raised symbol to help customers differentiate each product by touch. These symbols are part of a new initiative Victoria has patented called the Cy.R.U.S. system. Which is being developed to create a universal symbol system that all consumer-packaged goods can use.
VictoriaLand also donates 2% of their total sales towards the Boston Children’s Hospitals Ophthalmology Department.
Kohl Kreatives is an independent makeup brush brand founded by Trishna Daswaney. After a time running free workshops to empower people to learn how to use makeup Trish started Kohl Kreatives.
Their famous Flex Collections includes 5 different brushes that can be used by everyone including those with motor disabilities. These brushes feature easy grip handles and bendable heads to allow the brushes to be adapted to someone’s needs. The brand has also produced additional tutorials to accompany these brushes for their disabled customers.
Additionally, Kohl Kreatives continues to offer free makeup workshops to empower people living with cancer and the transgender community.
L’Occitane is a very well-known beauty brand selling everything from skincare, body care and cosmetics. But they are also one of few brands that incorporate braille on their packaging and bottles for their braille reading customers. Even their flagship store in Regent Street features braille in buttons in the lift!
L’Occitane also supports charitable initiatives with UNICEF to help combat avoidable causes of sight loss in developing counties.
Guide Beauty is a makeup brand with universal design at the forefront of its focus. It was created by leading makeup artist Terri Bryant who previously did makeup for some of the top industry models. After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease she began to realise the extent of how difficult applying makeup could be. She was then inspired to create a brand that would makeup applying makeup easy for everyone.
The brand features beauty tools to make applying eyeliner, mascara, and brow product easier. They have been designed to guide the user’s hand to achieving a straight and symmetrical look when doing the more precise aspects of a makeup look.
The Vamp Stamp is a range of accessible eyeliner products for disabled people. The range was first launched in 2017 by makeup artist Veronica Lorenz after she underwent surgery n for a spinal tumour in her neck which left her with limited sensation and strength in her hands and arms.
She then created The Vamp Stamp to invent an easier way for people to be able to easily create a winged eyeliner. The famous Vavavoom Stamp allows you to stamp on your winged eyeliner in one motion. So there’s no need to negotiate using fiddly brushes or pen liner tips. It comes in 3 sizes depending on your preference and how big you like your wing to be.
Link: Please note the website for Vamp Stamp is currently being updated - link will be added once updated.
There’s still an incredibly long way to go before the beauty industry is anywhere near inclusive and accessible to all disabled consumers.
But these brands and their exemplarily work is testament that it can be done by any brand of any size. Whether they are just starting out or are long time runners in the beauty game.
Only time will tell if this list will continue to grow.
by Emily Davison – Academy for Disabled Journalists Student