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Sephora Offers Makeup Classes for Trans and Non-Binary Community

By |2018-06-13T12:57:42-04:00June 13th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Sephora announced it will expand its diversity and inclusion efforts with new in-store makeup classes tailored for transgender and non-binary individuals beginning June 1.
The free class, titled “Bold Beauty for the Transgender Community,” is another installment in Sephora’s Classes for Confidence program, which features beauty workshops geared toward inspiring confidence and fearlessness in individuals facing major life transitions. Examples of other classes in the program include ones tailored for people re-entering the workforce as well as those undergoing cancer treatment.
“This 90-minute interactive class will enable clients of all gender expressions to discover techniques and skincare or makeup products that aid in the discovery of their own personal beauty style,” said event organizers. “Taught by Sephora store instructors, some of whom have their own personal gender journey, each class is designed to help participants feel beautiful and confident through a specialized class curriculum.”
So far, the Eastwood Towne Center Sephora in Lansing offered a class on Saturday, June 9, with another scheduled at the Somerset Collection in Troy for June 24 at 10 a.m.
Deanna Rodriguez, a spokesperson for Sephora, said it’s the company’s goal to continue offering the beauty classes past Pride Month.
“If there’s strong interest, which we anticipate, they’ll continue,” Rodriguez said. “So this is not a flash in the pan situation, it’s an ongoing program.”
For those unable to attend the classes, Sephora announced it will also offer several how-to video tutorials led by transgender Sephora beauty advisors on the company’s YouTube Channel, Sephora Stands. Video tutorials are expected to be uploaded during the week of June 4, according to Rodriguez.
Lilianna Reyes, interim director of Affirmations in Ferndale, says she hopes to attend one of the beauty classes in June.
“We are in support of it,” Reyes told BTL. “There are trans people who do gender traditionally … many trans women want to be feminine, and it’s important everyone has different ways and avenues to do gender the way they want to. As a trans woman, I know what that’s like to enter the world and want to be ultra feminine. You feel alone, and in navigating that space it’s hard to ask people how to put on makeup.”
While responses to the class have been generally favorable, not everyone is excited about the new program. Jeynce Poindexter, Transgender Victim’s Advocate for Equality Michigan, told BTL she refuses to support the initiative unless a trans woman is heading the launch.
“Oftentimes our community is targeted by companies and people who just want to exploit the fact of claiming to love and support the trans community, but really are only using us as leverage,” Poindexter said. “I wouldn’t understand, nor appreciate a campaign launch geared toward the trans population that does not have a trans woman in creative control.”
BTL reached out to Sephora representatives inquiring if the company placed any trans women in creative control of the program. This was their response.
“Sephora Stands has partnered with a number of national and local organizations that serve the transgender and non-binary community. We conducted interviews with these group leaders and engaged their members in focus groups to determine what they wanted in the class content,” the response read. “Plus, asked both our employees and community partners what we need to include in terms of sensitivity training to best serve this audience.”
For a visual of what the class will look like, check out the “Bold Beauty for the Transgender Community” on the Sephora Stands YouTube channel.

About the Author:

Drew Howard graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2017 with a B.S. in multimedia journalism. His work has been featured in Gazette Media, Forbes, LearnVest and NPR station WDET 101.9.
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