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Across all of M&S Clothing, Home & Beauty we want to be relevant to customers’ daily lives, and for millions the foundation of their everyday beauty routine is, of course, foundation. 

When I took over leading Beauty last year, we looked again at the inclusivity of our make-up range and asked ourselves if it truly offered the breadth of colour you should expect of one of the UK’s biggest retailers – it was pretty clear it didn’t. The colour range we’ve been offering has been too narrow, for far too long, for the millions of customers we know shop with M&S.

This month we’re starting to change that by expanding our Autograph foundation range (Luminosity) to 30 colour options, with 15 concealers, and moving to the industry standard convention of letters and numbers replacing names. 

I know this is a long time coming, that we should have acted and that we’re catching up, but we’re pleased to be taking this step and there’ll definitely be more to come from M&S Beauty. Millions of women of all ethnicities shop our clothing, and we want them to give M&S Beauty a go. 

It will be a challenge. We know there’s impressive brands in this market, but as a team we’re dedicated to creating a truly credible and relevant beauty offer – across our own brands but also through branded beauty products. 

As part of extending our range we’ve engaged with our colleague Culture & Heritage network for their opinions. We’ve also worked closely with over 150 beauty reviewers who have trialled the products and we’ve listened to their feedback to ensure the offer really does give a genuine choice to people of all ethnicities. Over the coming months we’ll continue to gather feedback through conversations our colleagues have in-store with customers, our online reviews and commentary on social media.

The extension of our Autograph foundation range follows our new neutrals (nude) lingerie collection launched earlier this summer - more colours, more sizes and more choice than ever before so women can complement or contrast their skin tone with bras & knickers from M&S. 

As a brand we’re still listening, learning, and changing. We know as we make changes it will take time to build credibility with customers who have been loyal to our clothing offer but couldn’t access the relevant beauty products we should have been bringing to their High Street. 

In the end customers will always vote with their wallets, but this is also more than that to us – no one should work for M&S and not be able to buy a product that is right for them, or their family, and friends. 

When I joined M&S my message to the team was, we need to be better at just being M&S, making small changes which in the end will add up to big change for the brand. To me there’s nothing more M&S than making sure everyone can access the key components it takes to get ready for the day ahead – the comfortable lingerie, the flattering jeans, the cosy jumper and now – the perfect everyday foundation. We’re proud to be changing – becoming a more relevant M&S for everyone.

M&S Autograph foundations & concealers are available now in over 220 UK stores and on M&S.com