Sephora store front
photo: iStock

Earlier this year, mega beauty retailer Sephora came under serious fire after reports of discrimination in its stores spread like wildfire. However, little did any of us know that the brand was already working diligently on the inside to transform the company culture to create a more inclusive, diverse, and all-around more thoughtful brand. Well, now after a successful first rollout of its We Belong initiative, Sephora is back with part two. 

Ahead, check out the inclusive changes the brand is making and how you can be a part of it. 

Earlier this year, Sephora launched its Belong initiative.

In continuation of the "We Belong to Something Beautiful" campaign was the "Identify As We" campaign, focusing specifically on the LGBTQ community. Trans model Fatima Jamal served as the face of the empowering initiative. 

"Sephora believes in championing all beauty, living with courage, and standing fearlessly together to celebrate our differences. We will never stop building a community where diversity is expected, self-expression is honored, all are welcomed, and you are included," the retailer said on its website about the launch.

Now chapter two is here. 

Belong campaign: “Color Up Close.”
photo: Courtesy of Sephora

"It recognizes that, beyond merely offering a vast range of complexion offerings, retailers must acknowledge and embrace all shades and backgrounds while serving a diverse clientele. This chapter honors the diversity of all clients, and implements a series of actions to ignite immediate and long-term improvements," the brand said in a statement about the newest initiative. 

So what exactly is "Color Up Close"?

The elements to chapter two include, according to Sephora, "ongoing employee education that will include a leadership summit and ongoing field training, study on bias in retail, which includes a specific focus on people of color, and mass donations to national civic and human rights organizations."

Another aspect of the campaign is putting the company's values into practice, which includes the new Color iQ Experience.

Sephora Color iQ Experience
photo: Sephora

According to the brand, the new system "has proprietary technology and improved logic to find the best match for all of the criteria clients are considering when shopping for foundation and concealer. Including how they want their skin tone to look, performance and finish of the product."

In other words, it makes shopping for complexion products 10X easier than before. 

And just like last time, Sephora has enlisted the help and input of women at the frontlines.

Like Sephora Makeup Director Myiesha.

"As a makeup artist, I think sometimes people can get really intimidated. They think we're maybe judging them or we're 'fixing' them in our head, but I think we see something in you that you may not see in the moment," she said about the brand's initiative and mindset of the employees. 

They also included April Reign, activist and founder of #OscarsSoWhite, who played a huge role in the rollout. 

"#BREAKING: I am THRILLED to partner with @Sephora as an Equity Advisor for the company. I’ll be working with them to advance efforts to eliminate racial bias in retail & create spaces where  everyone belongs. Today, #Sephora is launching the next phase of their #BELONG campaign," she announced on her personal Twitter account. 

She says the brand is taking a unique approach.

"@Sephora is focused on being 'color brave' rather than 'color blind' and ensuring that we all have spaces where we truly belong. It’s an important effort and I’m really excited to join them as an Equity Advisor on this journey. #WeBelongToSomethingBeautiful," she said. 

To learn more about Sephora's growing diversity initiatives, check out its website!