I’ve been a big fan of the Glossier brand pretty much since the beginning. The pretty images of women showing off glowy, dewy skin and the brand’s dedication to enhancing natural beauty sold me pretty early on. Not to mention, the products actually work — the skincare ones especially. But when it came to offering makeup products for a wide range of shades, well that’s where Glossier has always fallen short. Sure, I was all about their Milky Jelly Cleanser and their Balm Dotcom — so good — but for the most part, I never believed their makeup was for me. With the exception of their Cloud Paint, their signature cream blush that comes in a number of vibrant colors, Glossier’s Concealer and Perfecting Skin Tint just didn’t offer enough shades for brown skin. But it looks like the brand has finally recognized the importance of inclusivity in the beauty market and has recently announced that they’ve extended their shade range for ALL skin tones.
Before today, I remember all my brown and black friends in the industry admitting that they loved Glossier but would often refer to it as a beauty brand “for white girls” due to the lack of shade offerings. This was a valid statement to make considering their Perfecting Skin Tint, which functions like a sheer skin enhancer (a.k.a tinted moisturizer), only came in five shades at one point and the majority of them were for fair and light complexions. Their Stretch Concealer was also only offered in five shades, but now both the Perfect Skin Tint and Stretch Concealer have expanded to 12 shades, which might not seem like a lot considering Fenty Beauty now offers not 20, not 30 — but 50 foundation and concealer shades. But it’s a start especially considering that most BB creams and Tinted Moisturizers come in like 4-5 shades and half of the shade offerings Glossier has now are for brown, darker complexions. They also made a point to list the color options starting from darkest working its way to lightest, which is opposite from the traditional way we’re used to seeing makeup shades listed. It’s a progressive move changing and retraining the way we look at shade ranges. The only other brand I’ve seen do this before is Beauty Bakerie.
It’s also worth noting that because their Perfect Skin Tint functions like a sheer-ish tinted moisturizer, it actually is easier to match than you’d think.
“While the sheer coverage of our formulas makes them more flexible than traditional complexion products, we knew that there were gaps that needed to be filled,” Kym Davis, head of product development told MarieClaire.com in an exclusive interview. “After over a year and half of research, testing and development, we’re excited to offer our customers a more balanced comprehensive selection of shades designed to stretch across a wide range of skin tones.”
It’s about time Glossier made this necessary step and I’m proud of them for finally making it. But the more I talk or read about beauty diversity, the more I can’t help but wonder is it really diverse enough? While I recognize that we’ve made tremendous progress with brands like Fenty Beauty offering 50 foundation and concealer shade options for every single skin tone out there, brands like Glossier recognizing the importance of expanding their shade offerings, and seeing more spokesmodels of color than any of us have ever seen before. We’ve seen products for every skin type and color and hair brands catering to naturally curly hair popping up in every corner.
But let’s get real for a second, there are still plenty of brands who have not woken up to the importance of inclusivity at all. I can still count more brands than not that don’t offer enough foundation, tinted moisturizer, BB cream or concealer shades to women of color and if they could afford to do without our buying power, which is pretty ballsy considering Latinas and black women still spend the most on beauty products than anyone else in the country. There is still further need for improvement and I especially notice that whenever I walk into my local drugstore. I haven’t bought a foundation bottle or concealer formula in a drugstore pretty much since my high school days because I have yet to find one that matches my exact skin tone and undertones while not breaking out my oily/combination/sensitive skin.
You can walk into any Sephora and find a handful — at least — of makeup brands that offer 30 + foundation shade options but good luck finding that in a Drugstore and often times even if the brand does offer a wider selection, I rarely if ever actually see them stocked, depending on what neighborhood I’m in. And this is in NYC people, imagine shopping for drugstore foundation if you’re a brown or black woman living in an outer city neighborhood. This is a big deal considering a lot of Latinas and black women can’t necessarily afford to splurge $40 on a foundation.
Beauty diversity and inclusivity is more than just a trend. It’s here to stay so let’s make it a point to remind brands of the importance of that. Let’s call them out when they aren’t offering shades or products that address ALL skin tones and hair types. Let’s let them know that in this day and age women of color straight up refuse to give into the Euro-centric beauty standards the women before us had no choice but to adapt to. We have a choice and we have a voice and we won’t stop speaking out about this until we can finally say “Euro-centric beauty standards what?”