Hello Beauty Babes!
I want to give a warm and fierce hello, howdy, and hey girl to ALL my Women of Color out there rocking makeup. Especially when finding makeup for our skintone can result in a full on search.
Diversity in makeup has been something we’ve fought for for so long, it’s baffling to me that still, somehow, there are issues with all the gorgeous skin tones out there not being able to rock the makeup they want. It’s something I’m very passionate about. It’s better to be an advocate on behalf of what will benefit everyone, not just you.
I will admit that the progress of more diversity in makeup is amazing. Now all different brands in all different price ranges offer shades from pale to light to deep to dark. I mean hello? Fenty Beauty?
I know some people are like “Oh shut up with the Fenty Beauty!” but Rihanna and Fenty Beauty managed to do on their first try what some makeup brands that have been around for decades still fail to do. and that’s fairly represent a variety of skin tones. This is a brand that is readily available to it’s consumers, no hassle, no wait, and it’s a good quality product. that deserves some kudos in my opinion.
One of the big issues is that when we ask for diversity in shade range and colors that compliment our skin, we’re given 2 or 3 and told to be appreciative. When in all actuality, there is no reason we shouldn’t have as many options as lighter skin tones. We are living in a time when there are more people of diverse skin tones than ever before. Don’t we all deserve to have access to makeup that is satisfactory?
The BIG kahuna here, is that although in response to demand, brands have added deeper shades and extended color selection, why are we STILL not able to find it? The website SAYS 25 shades, but where are the last 9?
It’s like asking for ice cream and when you finally get it, it’s melted! These shade ranges are out there, but we can’t seem to have regular access to them, like it is for lighter toned makeup.
And that my friends, is simply unfair.
Target, which is one of my favorite places to shop, sometimes irks my nerves. Just last month I was on the look out for the new L’oreal concealers and powders. I was excited that they had my shade and was on the look out on my trip to Target. I spent so long looking for 06, when I realized they stopped at 04!
Defeated by my trip to Target, I gave up on the concealers. Later on in the week while I was buying Ice at Walgreens, I spotted the new concealers and powders. They even had my shade! However, unlike at Target where one concealer cost $7.99, the prices hopped up to $10.99! And don’t even get me started on the price of the powder!
I’m all about fairness. I was the kid on the playground who shouted “NO CUTSIES” when we were in line for tetherball. So I really think it’s whack to have to go to a whole other location, then pay $3 more. And why? because my skin is darker than the color beige?
Now don’t get me wrong, this is not L’oreal’s fault. in fact, L’oreal as a company has really made an effort to be diverse. They even have an entire section of the company devoted to developing deeper skintones. The issue lies in access and availability.
It really irks my nerves when I realize that in the large spectrum of skintones, I’m really only medium. So if I’m having to deal with this, what are the ladies/fellas of darker complexions going through? How many drugstores do they have to travel to to find their shade?
I mean when you truly consider EVERY skintone that is out there and all the gorgeous deeper skintones, or skintones with unique undertones, or extremely pale skintones, you realize how jaded and unequipped many makeup brands are. they haven’t even attempted to reach beyond beige to access the wide rainbow of skin colors they should be catering to. Of course you can’t possibly create makeup for every shade in the world, but you can at least reach beyond light beige, medium beige, and deep beige. right?
From the point of view of the drugstore, why only carry the lightest shades? Lets say you can only carry 5 shades when their are 8. Instead of just offering the lightest, why not try and offer light, medium, dark, so that at least people of all shades will have access to makeup? I mean is it really that hard to carry a majority of the shades makeup brands offer so that the majority of people will be able to enjoy the convenience of shopping in store for makeup?
I began to think of the question. If a tree falls in a forest when no one is around does it make a sound?
if a brand offers deeper shades of foundation, but no store is around to carry it, does it really exist?
Scientifically, no, because you need to have access to it for it to exist. otherwise, it’s mainly there for show. “Look how diverse we are! We have shades for women of color.”
You know the fine print in commercials that tell you important things that they don’t want you to know? Maybe we missed the fine print at the bottom that says “only available at random locations that usually mark up products and even then, you may still be out of luck so you should go online”
Does it not seem like we’re LITERALLY PAYING for our skintone? Instead of being able to simply go to Target down the street and pick up foundation like everyone else, we have to invest time trying to find the place that carries the shade, money on gas to get there, not to mention the extra money from the markup, and then, if even that doesn’t work, we have to go online, order, pay money for shipping, then invest more time waiting for it to arrive. It’s madness! And don’t even get me started on brands that don’t know how to make foundations for women of color, so they oxidize, look chalky, etc.
you guys, ACCESS IS EVERYTHING. If we don’t have access to it, or if companies aren’t concerned with making deeper shades accessible , then we’re literally right back where we started. In a place where our needs aren’t met or cared about, and a place where we come in second. We need to have just a much quality products out there for all shades.
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to my makeup, I don’t want to be put second.
So what do we do?
We use our voice to raise awareness. Sure, deeper foundation shades may not be the most pressing issue in the world, but it speaks volumes. Having heard about women or girls who feel left out of our makeup community which is supposed to be inclusive isn’t right. especially if it’s making them feel that they aren’t important.
And for women who do have a lighter complexion, don’t be afraid to be an ally. we tend to only empathize concerns that directly benefit us, which is normal and expected. however change comes when those who are not directly affected come forward and speak up.
And for ALL women, there are multiple ways to make a mark. one is simply doing what we love. buying makeup! what you buy sends a message. when you purchase from a brand that doesn’t include a diverse range, you’re sending a message that they don’t need to change. Buy from brands that really celebrate diversity. and send the message that in order to compete, companies need to make changes and become more inclusive.
The bottom line is, equality. It isn’t fair to have brands overlook us. It isn’t fair to go to stores for makeup and not finding what we need. It isn’t fair to pay extra for shipping or for high end products just to find a shade match. All this difficulty is sending the message “you aren’t wanted” and it isn’t right. Because sending the message we aren’t wanted in the beauty industry, also sends the message “you aren’t beautiful” or “you don’t deserve to feel beautiful”. and that is a flat out lie. every person deserves to be included and feel beautiful. the mission is to make sure the makeup industry understands this makes moves to make every woman of every race, ethnicity, background, and skin color that she is beautiful. And that message is not being delivered when women of color have to do twice as much to have access to quality products.
Do we have a wide shade range everywhere? No. And that is something we continue to try and change. But after all that went into making sure we had a wide array of products for our skin color, we should at LEAST be able to use it. Because that’s fair. plain and simple.
Isn’t that just common sense?