When Rihanna launched her cosmetic line, Fenty Beauty last year she changed the makeup game—especially for WOC—by offering 40 foundation shades to match every skin tone. Her brand raised the bar when it came to inclusive foundation shades and proved the importance of offering shades for ALL women—regardless of complexion. After setting that kind of example, it’s astonishing that other beauty brands are still launching foundation lines with not enough dark shade options and apparently BeautyBlender is the latest. I was shocked.
Even if you aren’t a big makeup junkie, chances are you’ve heard of the best-selling makeup sponge, the BeautyBlender. Seriously, who hasn’t? It’s practically a staple in every woman’s makeup bag. When I learned that the brand was launching their first foundation I was beyond excited. Not just because I’m obsessed with the BeautyBlender sponge but because the founder Rea Ann Silva is Latina, so of course I expected a wide range of shades.
But it looks like the new Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation wasn’t as inclusive as they claimed they were going to be. Sure, it came out in 32 shades. But Latina beauty bloggers especially were quick to point out that the majority of the shades were fair and medium. There were hardly enough shades for women with darker skin tones. What a major mistake.
Dominican-American beauty blogger, MonicaStyle Muse was quick to express her disappointment with the new launch in a recent video on her YouTube channel. There was literally no shade match for her in the collection.
“This is really disappointing. I really love BeautyBlender,” she says. I feel like as a Latina-owned brand everyone uses BeautyBlender, my abuelita has a BeautyBlender. So when I look at this do I feel like I was considered here? Absolutely not. I definitely think they said ‘no, no, no, Monica we can think about her later,” she said.
It looks like the backlash made it’s way to the brand because they shortly after released a statement to Cosmopolitan. The statement reads:
“Of our 32 blends, half the shades (16) are formulated for a range of olive and brown skin tones. We truly want everyone to find their perfect match and our founder, Rea Ann Silva, is not only Latina, but a professional makeup artist working primarily with women of colour—so she is an expert in this colour range. Those with tan, deep and dark skin tones understand that finding the right colour foundation is all about matching your undertone and this is where Rea Ann saw the biggest hole in the market—for women like herself and her multicultural family. BOUNCE offers a wide variety of undertones from neutral, warm, cool, and olive and a special ultramarine blue to create a deep rich tone.”
The fact that Silva is Latina and does work primarily with women of color makes this lack of shade offerings even more unacceptable. Earlier this year, Tarte made a very similar mistake. They released two foundation formulas inspired by their cult classic Shape Tape Contour Concealer but did not offer enough dark shades. It was embarrassing and beauty bloggers and women of color were pissed—to say the least.
Makeup brands need to do better than this. Fenty Beauty already proved to us the importance of inclusivity and offering shades for women of all complexions. This is no longer excusable and the message they are sending to WOC of color—especially black women with deeper and darker skin tones—is that they don’t matter. It’s time for this to stop because brown and black women are no longer having it.