Although it's 2018, a large amount of foundations are still available primarily in three shades; Light, medium, and dark. The light shade is targeted toward white consumers, while medium is tan, and the dark shade typically is a light cocoa brown.
The question remains, where is the shade for people of deeper complexions? Many black women and men are left without adequate makeup options because their shade isn’t represented by many brands.
As an African American woman, it is a challenge to find a makeup brand that caters toward my complexion. People with darker skin tones are always having to look harder and spend more when it comes to makeup.
“The lack of products for darker skin tones in the beauty industry is shameful. As a black woman today, there are times when I struggle to find makeup products to match my skin tone. I’m often met with a wall filled with every variation of ‘white’ on Earth.” stated Rielle Driskell, a junior healthcare management student.
Recently, cosmetics consumers have vocally called out brands for lack of diversity.
The latest Kim Kardashian West Beauty launch touched heavily on the issue. With the release of 16 concealer shades, only three were made for individuals of deeper tones.
“It’s discouraging and disappointing when companies release a new foundation or concealer with 20 shades of pale and two shades for darker skinned people, and we’re met with ‘there will be darker shades in our next release’ as if we’re an afterthought.” said Sierra Eklund, a sophomore psychology student.
Many people compared KKW launch to Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. On September 8th, Fenty Beauty launched 40 different foundation shades. The brand’s inclusivity caught the attention of many cosmetic consumers. From advertisement to the actual product, it was made clear that Fenty Beauty was a brand that catered to individuals of all shades and undertones.
According to Tribe Dynamics, Fenty Beauty recorded $72 million in earned media value during the month of September.
The wide success of Fenty Beauty caused other companies to expand their shade range, such as Maybelline, Too Faced, Estee Lauder, and more. It is clear they could care less about the inclusivity of women of color and only about the money they can get from our wallets.
In order to see change, some would say boycott the entire makeup industry, but I’m not sure that would have much of an effect. Seek out the make-up companies that meet your needs and support it. When other brands see the demand, maybe one day they will make products for us too.