For a long time I didn’t wear makeup because I was acutely aware that to most makeup brands I was invisible. Then cushion foundations came along, and for someone who was pretty scared of makeup, they were an easy way to jump into the world of undertones, blending and contouring without feeling overwhelmed. Sure there weren’t a lot to play with, but hey there were some and more were coming, because you see 2016 is the year of cushions!
When I heard that L’Oreal had released a cushion in the USA I was so excited! Finally, a highstreet (drugstore) brand I can buy from!
Look at all these wonderful shades! Sure not everyone will find a match, but you can see an effort has been made to at least be inclusive and representative of the world we live in. Imagine my surprise when I saw the displays in my local Boots and Superdrug and the darkest colour they carried was 09 Beige.. what?
I was mad. Really mad. Not because I special snowflake was not being catered to, but because I know they could do better and they chose not to. My first guess was because as a darker skinned woman, I was considered a poor financial investment.
Normally I am okay with that explanation, (if not a little irritated) business is tricky yanno? Except this time I couldn’t just be okay with it, it’s 2016, you’ve been telling everyone how much you love darker-skin women of colour, but then you turn around and tell us we’re a financial risk. Thanks? I mean, keep telling everyone about the Women of Color lab you opened headed by chemist Balanda Atis. Yet, beige is the best you can do? Oh okay.
They do a darker shade online, but the displays weren’t set up for that shade because why would they?! Women with darker skin don’t like to test in stores, didn’t you know?
It’s even more annoying to me because their sister brand Lancôme is perfectly capable of releasing an extensive shade range in the UK too, and I was the first in line to buy, so why not L’Oreal?
I thought back to shopping for makeup with my friends when I was younger, hanging back because I knew there was nothing for me on the displays. My only option was MAC, and if I ventured out of the MAC bubble, sales assistants were quick to shoo me back. No joke, I remember browsing at a Benefit counter, and the SA told me that honestly I’d be better off with MAC. Now I’m older with more disposable income there are a bunch of brands that I can find base products in that are high end, but on the highstreet? I can think of Sleek and Kiko, that’s it. That’s all my options are. Yet, these brands want my money, to buy their mascaras and their eyeliners? LOL. Why is it that I must spend more than my friends who have a lighter pigment?
So that’s it, I’ve had enough. If I can’t find a single base product in a store (so I can swatch it) that’s at least attempted to match someone who is Type V on the Fitzpatrick scale then my money is staying in my wallet. I don’t care how dope the product is, or how cute the packaging is, if it’s not financially feasible for you to stock those shades, then it’s not financially feasible for me to shop with your brand.
If I sound bitter it’s because I am. You don’t see me? Then I don’t see you.