Has L’Oreal True Match brought diversity to the UK High Street? Sounds like the title of a thesis, but is actually the continuation of a regular theme on this blog. Diversity in beauty. Fair play to L’Oreal, they have taken ‘a’ step towards rectifying this issue. However, if you are expecting me to lie prostrate on the ground in gratitude, this is not the review for you as there is still a huge way to go.
Last year the world and their brother went crazy for the L’Oreal True Match advertisement. Catering for 97% of UK skin tones was the claim with an advertisement that featured lots of beauty influencers and drumroll a man. Cudos to Plasticboy, who has set a path that other men in makeup will walk on. Nothing can take away from that. I hope this is the first of many campaigns that we will see him in. There are also women over the age of 30 in the advertisement which again I appreciate. However, I believe that L’Oreal should have gone further.
The advert was clearly
copied heavily inspired by the Humanae project. Whilst Humanae was led by the skintone of the participant, L’Oreal True Match shades were pre-determined and the influencers were required to fit the shade. In my opinion, the gradient from light to dark is off kilter in the deeper shades. Ginny Pettit (8W) does not have a deeper skin tone then Jenny Jenkins (8N) in any universe – not even a parallel one. That is not what the advertisement shows. Gracie Francesca’s gorgeous caramel complexion is deepened to ‘fit’ the gradient. I’ve met these lovelies in real life so am not basing this assessment on the YouTube video lighting. I just think the advertisement is a bit messy.
You are probably thinking… why can’t you just be ‘grateful’? Welp, L’Oreal is a huge cosmetics company who pay hundreds of personnel globally thousands of pounds to get it right in the lab. They also pay hundreds of personnel globally thousands more pounds to get the marketing right. The resource is right there. Secondly, L’Oreal is already doing lots of shades in the states. They did not have to ‘start from scratch’. L’Oreal is the mother ship for a large number of brands. Armani, Lancôme and YSL are in their portfolio. Research from other brands cross pollinates. Thirdly and most importantly, L’Oreal sells products on five continents, in over 100 countries. They have a global customer base of men and women who have a diverse range of skin tones.
If you are going to have a global presence that makes you market leader, you really need to cater for your global consumer base. If Cover FX can create FORTY complexion shades in more than six textures, why can’t L’Oreal? Cover FX is a much smaller brand with a much smaller proportion of the global market share. L’Oreal have made 23 shades across one of their ranges available in the UK. When L’Oreal produce forty complexion shades across all their ranges (Lumi Magique, Nude Magique, Infallible etc etc, I’ll do cartwheels, until then, they have work to do. When those shades are available in the majority of high street stores, I’ll do backflips.
Superdrug, as part of their #shadesofbeauty campaign have really promoted L’Oreal True Match liquid foundation. In the stores I have visited they consistently have a greater number of the 23 shades available than Boots. The True Match Powder on the other hand is a different story. Generally it is easier to get hold of the powder foundation in Boots than Superdrug. On to the review…
The liquid is a very glowy and dewy. You can see the gold reflex that is running through the product. No need to mix an illuminator into the product. The coverage is light to medium but buildable. If you don’t have textured skin and or like a glowy, no-makeup makeup look this is great for you. To create my usual ‘cake face’ I need to deal scars and hyperpigmentation before I apply it. The alternative and my preferred option is to use it with a full coverage foundation or a drop of Custom Cover Drops. The sheer coverage also means that I can wear more than one shade in the range. After a couple of hours the glow from the foundation turns to glow from my sebaceous glands, which is why I picked up the powder.
The powder claims to be a foundation. Hmm, If you apply it with the supplied puff over an emollient face moisturiser or primer, you can get coverage. Forget a powder brush unless you want sheer coverage or the powder to be a setting product rather than a colour product. There is a mirror in the poof but unlike the liquid foundation which comes in a glass bottle and look and feels more high end than drugstore, the powder has plastic packaging components and no purse value. They feel like they are part of two different ranges. The colours also do not relate to each other. Both the items in the pictures are 10W and yet the powder shade is much much lighter and more neutral in tone.
If you can get hold of the powder and are looking for a setting product for your foundation, True Match can work. In my opinion the liquid foundation is a better product. Both are worth the money but you really do need to go to store and play with the colours.