It’s not something that I’ve talked about here on my blog explicitly, though I’ve mentioned in a round about way in various posts. As a woman of colour it’s so frustrating to hear that a new product as launched, get excited about it and then realize that it most likely won’t work with your skin tone. Many of the mainstream brands seem to want to cater to only a select group of people even though you have millions of consumers that don’t fit in the narrow range that they consistently gear products toward.
A few brands really come to mind, Tarte with their blush palettes, face palettes and highlighters. Lorac with most of their eyeshadow palettes. When more than half of the palette is in the cream or white shade range how many people are they expecting to really be able to use the palette?
This past year, for Tarte especially there have been a few products that I had my eye on, only to find that it wouldn’t work at all with my skin tone. I love Tarte’s the formula of their face powders so when they came out with the Park Avenue Princess Chisel palette, I was uber excited, then I saw it in store and knew that it would be waste of time for me to buy it.
I was definitely not being considered when they designed and created this palette. The same thing occurred with their blush palettes, the Blush Bazaar and Big Blush Book. In the promo shots they looked like they might be deep enough to work with my skin tone, however in swatches they all ended up looking like the same shade of light pink, which would do little for me.
Lorac for the last four years has come out with their Megapro palettes and every year they have at least 8 of the 32 shades be white or some variation of white. There’s no tonal difference really, most if not all would just end up looking ashy on me. So right of the bat there;s 25% of the palette that I can’t use.
I don’t understand why brands can’t comprehend that it’s not only one skin tone buying makeup, we in the west especially are living in a multi-cultural world that is full of people that range from the palest of pale to the deepest of deep, yet you want to seemingly exclude like 85% of the people who could use your product. Where is the sense in that?
I’m not saying don’t include the fairer skin tones when creating products, I’m simply saying create products with different skin tones in mind. Have Fair, Light, Medium, deep etc
It seems such a light thing to complain about, but when it’s something that you have to consider every time you make a purchase it’s not such a little thing. Just like many people purchase products based on whether or not it suits their undertone, I purchase products based on whether or not it suits my skin tone. What might swatch great on someone with medium skin may not show up at all on my deeper skin.
It’s time more brands started making products suitable for everyone.
So this post was written before the mess that is the Tarte Shape Foundation launch, but it just goes to show, how many brands are truly not getting the idea of being inclusive. Not sure why it’s such a hard concept for them to grasp. Throwing in a token dark shade isn’t enough anymore, better is needed and better is expected.