If you’re sick of seeing store windows lined with supermodels in sexy Santa suits every time you head to the mall to go holiday shopping, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Sephora’s new holiday campaign. Today, the beauty behemoth launched what might be their most diverse campaign to date. Following the recent batch of inclusive campaigns by the beauty industry, this one, which can be seen online and in stores, features 10 of the store’s own employees, including a hijab-wearing Moroccan employee and one who suffers from alopecia.
“Sephora’s holiday campaigns have always celebrated beauty, so this year is no different. But in addition to celebrating beauty, the ‘Reach Out and Gift’ campaign is another Sephora initiative that aims to celebrate diversity and connect with all clients and capture their own unique beauty preferences and styles,” a rep for the brand told us. It was created to show how beauty unifies people despite their differences.
Photo: c/o Sephora
If you regularly shop at Sephora, you may have noticed that aside from being incredibly knowledgeable about contouring, the staff is, for the most part, beautifully diverse. To enter the contest, employees were asked to submit a video of themselves talking about what beauty means to them. Of the thousand that applied, 10 were chosen based on their unique definition of beauty. The cast members’ personal style was then brought to life in the campaign by fashion photographers Inez and Vinoodh.
Chaimea Boulayad, who is pictured below, is a color consultant at the Sephora Powell Street store in San Francisco and was selected as a “Cast Member.” Raised in a big family, she loves the idea of bringing people together. When clients come to Sephora, she wants to make them feel special and so she strives to personalize their experience (her specialty: focusing on one strong feature when providing beauty services). Boulayad lives by the message that there is beauty in everyone, and encourages her clients and her colleagues to embrace the differences and let go of insecurities, a brand rep told us.
“Diversity is hugely important to Sephora. The 11,000 North American employees that we invited to apply for inclusion in this campaign come from all different backgrounds and cultures, and their differences are what makes us who we are as a company. That is why it is so important to us that both our employees and our clients see themselves in what we produce,” Deborah Yeh, senior vice president for marketing and brand at Sephora, said in a statement. “For the Reach Out and Gift holiday campaign, we were very deliberate in choosing talent who represent individuality in beauty, both inside and out.”
While we love the glitter and gold of the holiday season just like the rest, it’s refreshing to see a retailer as big as Sephora recognize—and more importantly, act on—their duty to bring about more inclusion in an industry that has long told us that being beautiful meant being one shade of woman.