Designing for makeup inclusivity 




  • Industrial design
  • Insight and strategy
  • Prototyping
  • Testing and evaluation
INC is a concept that aims to improve makeup application, not just for users with more diverse needs but for everyone. It is a digital service that produces makeup accessories, customised to meet any individual’s specific requirements.

Design for inclusivity is continuing to gain momentum. Increasingly, cosmetics brand owners are recognising that - in order to remain relevant - they need to offer products and services that cater to the needs of those who are currently underrepresented. Designers, researchers, and human factors experts, here at DCA, initiated a project to gain a better understanding of this broad topic area; considering solutions that could provoke discussion and inspire positive change within the cosmetics industry.

We first analysed existing solutions, which aim to address inclusivity and diversity, mapping them onto our ‘diversity spectrum wheel’ and ‘usability wheel’. Whilst these do a great job of keeping this important issue at the forefront of public awareness and high on the agenda of brand owners, we noted that many of these solutions are very niche, appealing only to small minorities. If they are to continue to gain brand support, inclusive solutions also need to make commercial sense. We believe that it is possible for good inclusive design to provide benefits to the mass-market.

"Because of my disability, I struggle with creating a symmetrical look"

Following our early analysis of this subject area, we initiated a qualitative research study to gain genuine insights from people who were highly engaged with makeup, but who registered as disabled in some way. Some were blind, some had the use of only one hand and some suffered from conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

The overwhelming observation made throughout this research was that many participants were struggling to apply makeup evenly and symmetrically, and all expressed a lack of confidence in trying new techniques. Although makeup templates and guides are available, they were difficult to use and did not match the very diverse needs and physical characteristics of the individual.

INC utilises an app on your smartphone to scan your face accurately. When combined with additional information about aspects of makeup application you may struggle with, it analyses your needs and generates 3D data of highly customised makeup application aids - designed to fit your face perfectly.

These unique accessories are then manufactured via a 3D printing process and sent directly to your home. Once your profile has been established, you can endlessly expand your system with new accessories, in order to experiment with the latest makeup looks.

INC enables everyone to apply makeup with confidence. Scan, Make, Deliver, Enjoy!

"I'm really excited that the fashion and cosmetic industries are taking note"