Meet Marie Claire’s Changemakers 2022: The Women Changing the Beauty Industry

Beauty standards have existed since humans began documenting words and making art. They tend to shift within every era and generation, sometimes dramatically so. Still, America has been in a kind of aesthetic stalemate for far too long: For boomers and even Gen X, the paragon was decidedly femme, and “she” looked like Marilyn Monroe or, later, Christie Brinkley, then, say, Britney Spears—all blue-eyed, blonde, and “perfectly” proportioned. Few could personally relate. From a business standpoint, the modern-day concepts of sustainability and giving back were inconvenient to the bottom line and definitely not a thing.

Today’s target consumers—millennials and Gen Z—are demanding more from the brands they add to their beauty bag—more inclusivity, diversity, eco-consciousness, and philanthropy, which has radically altered the landscape. Direct-to-consumer and smaller-chain retailers have rejected traditional ideas and unearthed democracy; old-school monoliths are also hearing the collective roar and implementing practices that challenge the status quo.