As a woman of colour base products can be a tricky road to manoeuvre whether as a consumer or more recently as blogger. Not every base product is made for every skin tone. Brand representatives have regaled me with a cornucopia of buzz words, marketing babble and utter tomfoolery in order for me to buy, or buy into their brand.
Some of the codswallop makeup companies have told me about complexion products includes:-
The issue is with the retailer. OK, that’s your story – you stick to it.
Brands who product deeper shades for other territories often say this. The UK retailer won’t order ‘those’ shades. Or the retailer only gives us space for six shades. OK, so instead of choosing to have four light and two medium shades, why don’t you choose 1 light, 2 medium 1 deep and 1 dark shade? Don’t pass the buck – work with the retailer to provide a more inclusive offering.
It’s in development. Pull the other one, its got bells on!
Brands often tell me over Twitter / Instagram and in person that they are ‘extending their shades range’. When I ask when the product will be coming to stores, they are vague. I follow up with them six months later (cos you know – I’m reasonable like that) the shades are still being ‘developed’. Eighteen months later a different formula base product that still does not cater for me has been released.
It’s a universal shade / It covers a range of skin tones. Are you freaking kidding me?
Generally applies to products where the product is assigned a shade intensity eg light, medium or deep eg alphabet creams (bb/cc/dd etc) If a brand thinks that JLo has a ‘deep’ skin tone the product won’t work for me. Don’t try to convince me that a complexion product will cover the fifteen shades. It won’t.
Concealer should be four shades lighter than your skin tone. Groan!!!
I asked for a concealer to cover my spots and scars. Not for one to highlight my face. And no, it shouldn’t.
Its colour correcting. Errr…not on me it’s not!
There is no point approaching me with pastel green, lavender and peach tones. MY SKIN IS DARK. Those pastel tones won’t cover my hyperpigmentation. It will just highlight them and leave me looking ashy. Formulate a deep brick/orange shade please.
There’s no market for deeper shades. Codswallop!
What are you talking about? The demographic is grow and getting richer. I am standing in front of you with £100 in my pocket to spend on makeup right now. Do some market research and then decide whether your bottom line can afford to ignore women of colour.
It’s really hard to make foundation for dark skin. Side eye.
It is only hard for you because you don’t do it regularly. Caucasian skins have lots of undertones too! If you can develop a product that covers rosacea and purple dark circles, you can create a product that covers my hyper pigmentation. Not all women of colour have oily skin. Not all Caucasian women have dry skin. All women want foundation that does not make them look weird and isn’t cakey on the skin.
If you don’t have the expertise in house outsource it. Lots of private label companies have shades for women of colour. If you need a lab that can help you in this area, please send me an email and I will give you some details. Reverse engineer a product that is already on the market. If your brand is part of Lauder group, speak to the formulators from Bobbi Brown and MAC. Part of L’Oreal, speak to Lancome’s team. If your brand sits under LVMH talk to Make up Forever. It is 2016. Sort it out.
I just want brands to tell the truth!
If you don’t make a shade for me fine, tell me so I can move along. There are other brands I can spend my coins with. If discussions are being held but no decision has been made yet – fine. Tell me and I will follow up with you in six months’ time. If it had not occurred to your brand but now I have raised it you think it is a valid point, take my details. Let’s have a coffee in a week or two to thrash out the issues in detail.
When I ask questions I am not be difficult or ‘aggressive’. I am asking because I am genuinely interested in beauty products. If you promote a brand you should be able to answer these questions. I might have some ideas that can help you. I have been buying makeup in the UK market for nearly 30 years. I have bought and tested A LOT of products. As a consumer and a blogger, my thoughts and opinions are a valuable resource for you. Brands need to do better.
I’d love to hear what codswallop brands have told you about complexion products.