Have you ever felt underrepresented when walking into the beauty aisle of the store? There's something about drugstore foundation shade ranges that scream "I am only meant for light-skinned people!" Whether it's a lack of attention to detail, the need to be predominately white-oriented, or simply, not knowing how to create shades for melanin-rich skin tones, high- and low-end beauty brands have been doing a poor job of representing people of all races and skin tones equally.
Now, some of you might be saying, "Palak, there are some brands that are trying to change that." And my only answer to that is: "Fenty Beauty."
Fenty Beauty, a makeup line created by singer and songwriter Rihanna, has done an incredible job of representing people of color. From the foundation shades to the highlighters, and the lipstick shades to the body lava, Rihanna noticed a lack of representation in the beauty community and filled that emptiness with awesomeness. Not only that, Fenty has hired multiple models of all shapes, sizes, and color to represent their beauty brand. The models themselves feel accurately represented and seen in this community because there was such a need for more foundation shades and makeup that fits darker skin tones.
Marissa Muller of W Magazine summed it up quite well; "…One of the models for the line, Nneoma Anosike, expressed her thanks to Rihanna and eloquently summed up why Fenty Beauty is so important…'The beauty world for people of color has welcomed yet another brand that goes into understanding that we melanins have different undertones and shades- not just 3 but multiple!'"
While Fenty has been thriving with the success of creating an inclusive line of makeup products, Tarte Cosmetics, on the other hand, has been facing backlash and extreme scrutiny for releasing a new line of foundation shades (AFTER Fenty released their foundation line) that have only three dark shades. Beauty bloggers and the public have brought up the fact that they feel like it's a crime to only make shades for lighter skin tones.
"Essentially what [Tarte is] doing is prioritizing a lighter skin tone and you're making people with a deeper skin tone feel inadequate," Shayla said. "It's 2018. Every brand is able to come out with 30+ shades of foundation" said Louis Baragona of Beauty Insider.
Regardless of whatever excuses beauty brands want to make for not having an adequate foundation shade range or why they don't have people of color as models, it is unacceptable to NOT be inclusive in the beauty industry. Societal attitudes towards makeup has changed but the beauty community still has ways to go till it becomes fully represented by all members of our society.