Last year, L'Oréal broke beauty boundaries when it crowned Lupita Nyong'o as Lâncome's first black spokesperson.
But someone behind the scenes is making just as big of an impact. Her name is Balanda Atis, and she's the L'Oreal chemist who heads up L'Oréal's Women of Color Lab in Clark, New Jersey. The lab opened in 2014 and makes foundation, lipstick and eye makeup for multicultural women, according to Fast Company.
As she was growing up, Balanda always struggled to find the right foundation for her skin, often blending together products in hopes that she could create a better match. "It's important women have the best makeup so their inner beauty shines through," Balanda says.
Since she began her project, Balanda has created more than 30 new shades for brands like Maybelline and Láncome for women across the world, and is currently working on makeup for ladies in South Africa, Middle East, Brazil and the US. Her next mission is to make sure that women in every country where L'Oréal products are sold (there are 140 of them!) can find makeup that matches the tone and texture of their skin.
"We're constantly evaluating our product lines and expanding our offerings. Our work is transformative - it's not only bringing more diversity to products - it's helping to change attitudes about makeup. There can be and should be options for everyone," she says.
Now that's what we call a beauty queen.