I remember when I first started getting into makeup at the age of 18. The first product that stirred my interest was lipstick but then I ventured out into foundation. Being a brown-skin black girl, it was hard. I remember brands coming out with various foundations and there was the token girl black girl colour. For example at Mac, every brown skin black girl was NW45. (rolls eyes) It was so annoying seeing as at that time, 2014, Mac was considered a pretty inclusive brand.
Throughout the years, darker women of colour have been able to express to brands the need to increase shade ranges thanks to social media. The major platform I saw this happening was Instagram. I’ve heard so many excuses from brands on why they couldn’t extend shade ranges. From it’s not in the budget and black women don’t buy our products. I don’t care what excuse is given, they are all very insultive. Especially when black women have the highest buying power of all races.
Fast forward to 2017. Rhianna releases her brand called Fenty beauty with 40 shades of foundation. And it was like a piñata popped.Everybody was trying to get their hands on the foundation and it was always sold out! Brands started to see that inclusivity sells. Brands like Makeup forever reminded their customers about they’re 40 shade foundation. Huda beauty came out with a foundation that had 40 shades. Eventually Estee Lauder who was popular for their Double wear foundation extended their range to 56 shades too.
Seeing these brands extended their shade ranges was exciting to me because now I got to try brands that everyone raved about. For example, Maybelline had a concealer called the age rewind. A lot of people on Youtube raved about this concealer because it was amazing and from the drugstore. I remember going to Walmart to find the concealer and was astounded to see about 5 shades. I couldn’t even try to use one of the shades for highlighting.
I got to try the Maybelline concealer at the beginning of this year when they decided to add about 5 more shades to their concealer line! I too realized that I love the product and would call it my favourite drugstore concealer!
But that being said, I’m happy that brands are now selling products that are more inclusive to WOC but do these brands really fuck with us? I remember Jackie Aina saying this about Huda Beauty. Yes, she has an impressive foundation range (actually I don’t even know if I can say this being as I haven’t tried the foundation and looked too much into the shades) but she rarely posted Black women wearing her products on her Instagram page.
Or brands would only extend a very popular line of foundation they had. For example Giorgio Armani Extending their Luminous Silk line but not the power matte or worse yet their power fabric. And even if the shades were being extended it was only in certain locations. So it’s not accessible to all.
Another honorable mention would be Jefferey Star. He was called out for making racist statements in the past about black women and is known for being a bully in the beauty community. But recently he will be launching a lipstick line. And in his ad he has posted multiple black women.Yes I understand that he apologized for his statements he made in the past. But would he had even said anything had he been called out? And even if he had, it likely would have been damage control.
I don’t know what to think about this. I’m a makeup lover and I love to try new products and brands but it makes me feel guilty to try brands who weren’t really willing to open a market to black women before Fenty Beauty.
Leave your opinion in the comments. Do you use makeup brands you don’t always cater to black women?