Skin color comes in all tones

Companies exclude minorities.


Asha Khanna, Editor-in-Chief

Just like most teeenagers, I like to wear, buy and try new makeup. But the simple daily ritual is easily ruined everytime I walk into the drugstore or Sephora.

It has come to the point where I just laugh when I see brands that carry five or six foundations, and all of them are light — except for the singular darker toned shade.

By releasing lines of complexion products that do not cater to my darker skin tone, companies are sending me a message that they do not want me as a consumer.

I am far from alone on this feeling. When a brand posts a promotional advertisement for a new foundation that lacks diversity in shades, the internet is quick to voice an opinion of universal frustration towards the exclusion in the beauty market.

A photo recently released by the high-end cosmetic brand Yves Saint Laurent shows swatches of all six shades of their concealer on the arms of three different skin toned models. Five out of six shades are light, while the last shade is a reasonable amount darker.

The worst part — the darkest shade of the concealer, “Mocha,” is still far too light for the darkest-skinned model.

Not only is it impossible to match the entire human population to six shades, but the narrow range of colors cuts out a large demographic — including myself.

Even more recently, another well-known brand, Tarte, launched a highly anticipated line of foundations. Unsurprisingly, there were all but two fair shades out of 16, and soon followed Twitter posts joking that the shade names should be “the opposite of black” and “bleached eggshell.”

It is not impossible. Creating an all inclusive range can and has been done.

Celebrity Rihanna released a line of foundations in her brand FENTY BEAUTY late last year that comes in 40 shades, including similar colors with different undertones. Many of the darker shades sold out instantly online and still continue to be hard to find, proving the need for wider shade ranges remains a prevalent issue.

Minorities make up the majority of the population in four states, including California, in the United States as of 2014, and more states are approaching that transition. Any brand that does not create products for more than just fair skin tones is missing out on a major market.   

All beauty brands must realize that darker shades of complexion products should never be an treated as an afterthought or a last minute addition to avoid internet backlash. There is no excuse.

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