5 unique new faces fronting cosmetic campaigns

Transgender TV personality Caitlyn Jenner was appointed as a MAC brand ambassador in February 2016.
Transgender TV personality Caitlyn Jenner was appointed as a MAC brand ambassador in February 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Forget the stereotypical blonde, blue-eyed cover girl.

Cosmetics companies are now reaching out to transgender, androgynous, and even male faces to front their advertising campaigns.

The latest to join the line-up is transgender personality Caitlyn Jenner, who has just launched a new line of make-up with MAC.

In a crowded market, it is all about differentiation and such unusual brand ambassadors also polish a company's reputation for inclusivity and representation.

Here are five unique new faces of cosmetic brands.

1. Transgender TV personality Caitlyn Jenner for MAC

New York-based MAC Cosmetics on Wednesday (Jan 4) unveiled a new make-up collection inspired by Caitlyn Jenner.

The 15-piece line features items like deep red lipsticks, a dirty rose lip pencil and a two-toned powder blush.

Jenner was appointed the company's brand ambassador last February.

The 67-year-old Olympic gold-medal-winning decathlete caused an international stir when she came out as a transgender woman in April 2015. She was previously the husband of Kris Jenner, matriarch of the Kardashian household.

2. Gender-fluid actress Ruby Rose for Urban Decay


Best known as the outspoken Stella Carlin in the prison drama hit Orange Is The New Black, Australian actress Ruby Rose is known for her heavy tattoos and her identification with gender-fluidity. Although she acknowledges she is born female, she says her identity as male, female or "other" varies with time and is not fixed.

She was appointed as spokesman for Californian-based cosmetics company Urban Decay in March 2016.

The 30-year-old, who also deejays, told music magazine Billboard in an interview last month that "it's really cool to have somebody like myself who is, you know, gender fluid with short hair and tattoos representing something beautiful".

Urban Decay on Wednesday released a new line of liquid lipsticks fronted by Rose, with 30 shades in matte and metallic finishes.

3. Muslim beauty blogger Nura Afia for CoverGirl

American cosmetics company CoverGirl caused a media stir last November when it named Denver-based Nura Afia as its new face.

The beauty vlogger or video blogger, who has more than 200,000 followers on her YouTube account, is the first hijab-wearing woman to front a CoverGirl campaign, and is the ambassador for the brand's So Lashy! BlastPro Mascara.

The 24-year-old, who was raised in a traditional Muslim household, told The Denver Post that she thought it was "so important that all different types of religions and races out there are represented".

4. First male CoverGirl James Charles

CoverGirl announced its first male CoverGirl brand ambassador James Charles last October.

The 17-year-old, a high school senior based in New York, boasts 1.2 million followers for his Instagram account where he posts videos in which he experiments with make-up, creating often-dramatic looks with eyeshadow, lipstick and brow pencils.

Like Nura, Charles fronts campaigns for CoverGirl's So Lashy mascara.

The brand said in a press release that Charles was "no exception" to CoverGirls, who are "role models and boundary-breakers, fearlessly expressing themselves, standing up for what they believe, and redefining what it means to be beautiful".

5. First Asian face for Maybelline's global campaigns, Taiwanese model I-Hua Wu

New York-based Maybelline signed Taiwanese model I-Hua Wu last May as its first Asian model representing the brand worldwide.

The 22-year-old told The Cut magazine in an interview that it was "so special that I can represent Taiwanese models and bring them some attention".

She also talked about Asian beauty ideals and said she previously favoured the typical fair-skinned, large-eyed look. But she started to appreciate different standards of beauty when she received some negative comments after getting a little tanned while working in America.

She told The Cut: "If there was just one standard of beauty, then what does it mean - there are no beautiful people with dark skin? That is just not true."

Since Maybelline's announcement, Wu has modelled smoky eye looks and a bold matte lipstick for the brand.

SOURCES: Allure.com, Bandt.com.au, Billboard, Cosmopolitan, Maccosmetics.com, New York Times, Popsugar.com, The Cut, The Denver Post, The Huffington Post, Urbandecay.com