"Be patient," they said.
"They will probably release more shades soon." they said.
"Give them a chance," they said.
"Stop complaining, it's just makeup." they said.
Do any of these phrases sounds familiar?
Whether you are a beauty lover who loves getting updates on every single release and collab or you are simply someone who wants their foundation to match their neck, engaging in the makeup world can be jarring, especially if you have deeper skin. More often than not, brands release complexion products that do not cater to skintones of the brown/cocoa/coffee/bronze persuasion. They promote beauty campaigns where the darkest person resembles some shade of light tan, at best.
Let's just take a look at a couple of the complexion products released in the last few months.
YSL Just released their new All Hours Foundation that includes all of two brown shades, out of a total of 22.
The Balm released a new whipped foundation formula and thought it would be a good idea to name their only deep shade "After Dark."🙃
Even MAC, one of my all time favorite brands, created lipsticks with makeup influencers and not one was a person with a deeper skintone.🤦🏾♀️
What many need to realize is this. Just because something has been pointed out to you in the moment, doesn't mean it's the first occurrence. And, more importantly, creating darker shades is not "more difficult" and it "doesn't cost more money," -- lack of deeper shades is directly rooted in a history of anti-blackness that has allowed light skin to become the standard in beauty. In order to break barrier and create change, we first must acknowledge that there is a problem.
While I can understand that those with super light, porcelain-like skin may also have a hard time finding complexion products, its important to acknowledge our struggles are not the same, and consequently should not be lumped together.
Because, it's not just the fact that brands often don't make foundations, or concealers in shades for us. It's the fact that we aren't included in their campaigns or invited on their trips. It's the fact that lipstick named "Flesh" in their latest collection is a pale pink. It's the fact that the few deeper shades they might carry are ashy and gray. These are all common occurrences and have been happening for decades.
So asking any person of a deeper complexion to "wait," or "be patient," is unacceptable. We all have the autonomy of choosing which brands we will and will not patronize. Constantly asking us to "give brands a chance," when they are clearly not here for us, just ain't the wave. We don't have to do anything for those who have constantly left us out of the conversation.
Now I will say, many of our favorite brands that have expanded their shade ranges in the last couple of years (whether because its trendy/profitable or because its the right thing to do, we will never know), and there's nothing wrong with being excited about that. Things DO have to change somehow. Even NARS released new shades of their ever popular Radiant Creamy Concealer and we were all jumping for joy.
In the past month alone: our favorite makeup aunty, Jackie Aina has been tapped to help Too Faced to create deeper shades in their Born This Way foundation line, Maybelline's first EVER makeup collab is with our fave beauty slay-er, Makeup Shayla, and CoverGirl just announced they will be creating a collection with colour extraordinaire PrincessBellaaa. This is all AMAZING news and is indicative that the makeup industry is changing for the better. These black women are paving the way for a more inclusive makeup world and it's beautiful to see.
Consequently, it's even more of a reason to continue to speak up and be critical: if you are trying to release products in 2017 that exclude those of us with deeper complexions, we reserve the right to cancel the brand..with no apology or explanation. And we'd appreciate it if you'd stop expecting us to do so.
This is not being "negative," or "throwing shade," its just keeping it real.