The beauty industry is slowing understanding the importance of inclusion by creating product for women of all hues.
So when Kerry Washington initially got the role of brand ambassador and creative consultant for Neutrogena, we knew change would come. Hired specially to model new product, create marketing initiatives and give product feedback, the resounding complaint from women of color was that there were no options for them— and furthermore, for Washington herself.
“When I first started out at Neutrogena, there was not a foundation for me, and there was actually some push back about that online,” Washington told Refinery 29. “I very purposefully did not address it [then], because I knew that I was about to engage in this labor of love.”
She noted how involved she would be back in 2013, when she initially got the job. “The position is new for me and for them. It’s a way to be authentically involved in a real partnership with the company,” Kerry told PEOPLE at the time. “I never wanted to partner with a company where I felt like I was losing myself and my sense of authenticity.”
Three years later, Washington has delivered on her promise, debuting Neutrogena’s new shades last week. As reported by Refinery 29, the brand launched three new shades for its Nourishing Long Wear Liquid Makeup range and four new additions to the SkinClearing Liquid Makeup and Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup lines.
“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,” Washington told a young lady named Ebony in a video where she surprises fans who wrote complaints to the beauty brand. “I’ve been working really hard on expanding our foundations.”
Washington adds in her interview with R29, “I think inclusivity, as I’m learning in my life, it turns out, is one of my core values. It’s what I believe in the most: that everybody has a right to a seat at the table.”
In addition to making moves at Neutrogena, Washington is set to play Anita Hill in HBO’s “Confirmation” debuting April 16.