“Guide Beauty is my love story to an industry and an art form I love, to myself and to every person who sat in my makeup chair and said, ‘I wish I could do this for myself,’” says veteran makeup pro Terri Bryant. Using the principles of universal design, Bryant created Guide Beauty as a new approach to makeup and how it’s applied. “Universal design is inclusive thinking at its best,” says Bryant. Using it as a guiding force, “we can innovate products that are easy to use and accessible for people across a diverse range of abilities, skill sets, and needs. From concept through to exploration and development, our designs consider and account for the needs of the widest and most diverse user group possible.”
For Bryant, the idea for Guide Beauty came from need. “Years ago, after noticing some struggles of my own, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s,” she says. The degenerative disorder changed everything for her. “My personal experience and that shift in my ability has allowed me to actually feel where traditional tools and products can fall short in achieving great results,” Bryant continues. “Though it comes with challenges, my diagnosis has given me an unexpectedly beautiful gift, one that I am grateful and excited to share.”
Bryant is also keen to share her products with everyone. “Makeup artistry often requires a high level of precision and fine motor skills. Drawing a straight line of eyeliner and defining symmetrical brows are just a few examples of techniques that many makeup users find challenging and time-consuming,” says Bryant. Whether it’s lack of skill or physical limitations holding users back, Bryant is focused on empowering all. “Our goal is to democratize makeup by making even the trickiest looks accessible.”
It’s the kind of concept that appeals to many, and in Bryant’s case, that includes Selma Blair, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis back in 2018. “When Selma and I were first introduced by a mutual friend, we connected instantly,” says Bryant. “Her willingness to play and create is truly centred around what makes people happy, included, and empowered. It fits so perfectly with Guide Beauty’s mission, and I can’t wait to share our synergy with a wider audience through innovative products and authentic advocacy.”
When it came to product design, Bryant started with an eyeliner, brow product, and mascara. “Products that create definition are not only the most impactful, but also tend to be the most challenging for the everyday makeup wearer,” says Bryant. She wanted to take on the most difficult techniques to define the eye area before branching out. “From there, we will be expanding our colour range, as well as continuing to focus feature by feature to create a full Guide Beauty face.”
No matter what’s next for Bryant and her brand, inclusivity will be at the heart of it. “To design for our community, we design with our community,” explains Bryant. “We know that when you design for the greatest challenges, you create a better system, product, and outcome,” she says. And it’s exactly what we’ve come to expect from Guide Beauty.