Where are the shades, Max Factor?

As a darker skinned woman of colour, I learned the hard way that the majority of the brands selling affordable foundation (under £15) just didn’t see me. My only options were higher end brands which meant makeup was not an everyday product for me. Frustrated by the lack of options, I’ve just stopped looking, but it’s been so long since I’ve tried to shop for products and the market has moved on somewhat, I decided to go through all the brands who carry sub £15 foundations and see who is trying and who is failing.

Brand Promise
Click to read full article.

Because I am a Consumer  Psychologist and Marketer, I will be looking at this from a business standpoint too.  The new trend in beauty is universalisation, globalisation and bringing beauty to all markets, so I am interested to see if they spinning pretty businessy yarns or actually delivering on their brand’s value proposition. I strongly suggest you read my post on Brand Promises to understand what it means for a brand to have a brand promise and how they make sure their customers know what it is. 


Each post will feature a different brand, and today we’re focusing on Max Factor.

Max Factor

Max Factor believe that glamour should be within the reach of all women, so let’s see how their range reflects that!

Max Factor

Of the eight foundation products on their website, they list only one product (All Day Flawless 3-in-1 Foundation) as being suitable for those with darker skin. What is the shade called? Suntan. The third lightest shade is called Natural, I mean. Max Factor. Wow.

Boots.com: Nine shades, including Suntan.

Superdrug.com: Nine shades, including Suntan.

Rochelle (the lovely lady on the left) a face of Max Factor, with an exclusive range in an important retailer on the high street doesn’t appear once on their website. But you know what does appear on their website? The Star Wars range that is a repackage and isn’t available for purchase anywhere. 

Max Factor Latin America Skin Luminiser

The Latin American market has the most darker skin foundations available, with two foundation base product. But, the All Day Flawless 3-in-1 Foundation in 100 Suntan is still the darkest shade available and the other product the Skin Luminizer only goes up to 85 Tawny. 

As Max Factor was discontinued in the US we can’t directly compare.

Covergirl Queen

However! Max Factor’s parent company P&G also own Covergirl, has a collection strictly for darker shades called Covergirl Queen and my envy knows no limits. 


Simply put Max Factor is failing on their brand promise of making glamour available to all women. One deep shade in eight foundations is not acceptable, calling that shade suntan and a lighter shade natural is pretty gross. So for that, I’m out.

Verdict: Will not shop with this brand

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