Will 2018 Finally See Beauty Brands Release Diverse Foundation Shade Ranges?
There’s a long list of makeup issues that need to be left in the past (unblended contour, Instagram brows), but limited foundation and concealer shade ranges are absolutely at the top of the list. For women of colour, shade matching has been a long and frustrating journey because of course, foundation is not a one-size-fits-all game.
The beauty industry has an unfortunately rich history of ignoring the diversity of skin tones, a truth that can no longer be ignored. Just look at the success of Fenty Beauty, a brand with 40-shade foundation offering and lipsticks made to suit all skin tones, which is now on track to bring in unprecedented sales numbers.
Thankfully, this generation is putting in some serious work to demand change. From young YouTubers to celebrities to bloggers, more people than ever are using their platforms for good, to praise brands who are releasing wide shade ranges, and call out brands who aren’t.
And plenty of beauty brands do deliver when it comes to a wide range of shades, undertones, and products that are overall flattering on all skin tones. Sure, there’s Fenty Beauty, but also Bobbi Brown, Nars, M.A.C, Lancôme, Maybelline, Estée Lauder, CoverGirl, Kat Von D, Make Up For Ever, to name a few.
Below, you’ll find just a sampling of the brands who have been singled out lately to step up their shade ranges. Thanks to social media, beauty brands have more of an opportunity than ever before to learn from their shortcomings and consistently strive to release more inclusive, diverse shade ranges.
A new beauty industry standard is upon us, and we can’t wait to see where we end up.
is @tartecosmetics serious… pic.twitter.com/uSMl2vK3hS
— ♡ (@urbandoll) January 13, 2018
Tarte is the most recent brand to receive backlash for their limited shade range. The new Tarte Shape Tape Foundation comes in matte and hydrating formulas, but each only features three (wildly different) shades for darker skin tones.
it cosmetics new foundation…..look at those 50 shades of white in the background pic.twitter.com/H7fhK5rZGD
— MakeupPOC✨ (@MakeupPOC) January 23, 2018
It Cosmetics recently came under fire for their new Bye Bye Foundation line, which features 50 shades, only a handful of which are for darker skin tones. The brand has responded to complaints by saying: “Due to the physical-only SPF in the product, we’re not able to go darker than our deepest shade,” a representative of the brand added. “Expanding our shade range is a top priority and we are working on it!”
I want the @milkmakeup Sunshine Skin Tint so bad but the two darkest shades "Tan" and "Deep" are a little too muddy. Melanin needs warmth.
— Kierra Lanice Wray (@KierraLanice) May 13, 2017
When Milk launched its first concealer and foundation a few years ago, the brand had to respond to criticisms of their limited shade range. Dianna Ruth, COO of Milk Makeup, told Yahoo: “After watching the sales and how those shades were received, including the comments given to us by customers on those shades about what was working and wasn’t working, we used that as a guide to develop eight shades of Skin Tint. We actually increased our shade range.”