Oct 12, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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Jan 06, 2017
In this week’s beauty column, I wanted to do something a little different from my usual product round up.
Against the sea of #newyear #newme content (and what nail polish is hot for 2017), I wanted to showcase a cool, more altruistic project that got kickstarted at the tail end of last year, and represents huge tech innovation in the beauty industry, in the name of equality.
If you’ve ever been caught up for hours getting mind-numbingly obsessed with Zoella’s make up videos on YouTube, you’ll understand just how fun it can be to master a smokey eye or an autumnal berry lip without having to go to a store. However, while the rise of online beauty tutorials are great, they are lacking in one thing: they fail to be very inclusive for those who are visually impaired, which is why L’Oreal Brazil’s latest project is so very exciting.
Developed for the beauty giant’s Maybelline brand, in partnership with Brazilian NGO Adeva and digital agency Ampfy, Audio MakeUp provides a series of makeup courses in narrative form, with instructions on how to apply foundation, eye makeup and even skincare created by the brand’s official makeup artist and a group of experts who specialize in makeup for the blind.
According to the World Health Agency, over two thirds of the visually impaired are women, and this project is being pioneered as a new tool of empowerment, allowing these women to act independently and individually.
“Creating a campaign for the visually impaired demanded a deep understanding of the audience, their habits and how they browse the web. On the website, for example, the structure and layout were designed for people with different levels of visual impairment and included special programming,” said Ampfy executive creative director, Fred Siqueira.
Launched in line with a social media campaign that encourages women to do their makeup in the dark, then post the results online with the hashtag #TheDarkChallenge, the brand aims to raise awareness for the everyday challenges faced by the blind, and demonstrate just how difficult it is to apply makeup without seeing.
“When a woman wears makeup, she feels beautiful and confident. In that perspective, make up is extremely important also for those who can’t see. Audio MakeUp is an empowering tool for women,” adds Débora Maciqueira, L’Óreal marketing group manager.
As retail brands continue to celebrate diversity, it’s great to see the beauty industry as a front runner when it comes to adapting technologies and changing stereotypes for an inclusive quality.
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