Inspiration Journal 1

Throughout the duration of this course, I’ll be studying AJ Crimson Beauty, which is a makeup line started in 2012 by celebrity makeup artist, AJ Crimson. The company specializes in creating undetectable makeup for women of color. The line was created to provide products for these women that match their skin without having to be mixed with black or other products. The target market for the brand is a sophisticated, beauty-savvy woman in her mid-twenties to fifty. In this blog post, I’ll explore a few competitor companies and evaluate the design principles used in their cosmetics ads.

  1. Iman Cosmetics


This ad establishes a great use of positive and negative space, which allows the models to be the focus of the ad. The neutral colored clothing, as well as the sleek hairstyles and radiant makeup, place a strong emphasis on the skin of the models, thus emphasizing the product. Unity and movement are created by the way the models are positioned at various heights, and the direction/angles their bodies are facing. AJ Crimson Beauty should note the minimalism of these ads, as they have similar target markets and both focus on enhancing the skin of their customers.

  1. Iman Cosmetics


Iman Cosmetics took a tasteful approach to showcase its “trendier” lipstick shades. The ad still has a beautiful use of positive and negative space, as well as unity. This time, it uses black garments to establish a bolder tone. AJC Beauty has a current ad that features its louder lipsticks, but the ad used younger models and trendy hairstyles, so it did not successfully reach its target market. This ad is a great example for the brand to refer to when marketing its statement colors.


  1. Black Up


This ad uses contrast to direct viewers to the makeup products. Repetition is used through the analogous colors (pink & purple) chosen. Purple is repeated on the lips, eyes, and turban of the model. When the color is followed to the model’s lips, the eye is directed to the white text in the corner. Once again, AJC Beauty should make note of this ad as an idea of how to reach its target market while still showcasing its more playful color options.


  1. Black Up


This ad also uses movement to its advantage, driving the viewer’s eye down the page. The alignment of the products creates repetition and the use of negative space places a strong focus on the product. AJC Beauty does not currently have ads solely focused on the product, so this ad can serve as fresh inspiration on how to do so tastefully.


  1. MAC

rMac uses the rule of thirds in this ad to make it dynamic. The placement of the letters in “Viva Glam” also add movement to the ad, and the white letters on the color-filled background add a great contrast that allows the message to be read. With the launch of the “It Girl” campaign, AJC should focus on highlighting the personality of each girl he selects and completing their makeup to match it.



Graham, L. (2002). Basics of design. Albany, NY: Thompson Delmar Learning.

Iman Cosmetics. (2016). Retrieved from

Stewart, D. (2014). Rihanna Rocks Slime Green Hair in New Mac Ad. Retrieved from

Stream Africa. (2015). Black Up Cosmetics: Taking the World by Storm. Retrieved from


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