I was excited for my 16 year old cousin’s first makeup shopping trip. Mainly because, as a woman of colour, I was particularly interested to see how much had changed since I was 16 years old.
We went to a few drugstores and various high end stores and got her shade matched with a few brands. If anything, this shows the struggle POC go through when shopping for base products at the drugstore.
I’ve written about the problem with drugstore foundations before, here.
I was disappointed and if I’m honest, not that surprised to find that much hasn’t changed. It frustrates me so much that it’s 2019 and we still can’t find base products for our skin tone easily!
Sure there are a few brands that ‘try’ to be inclusive. I use inverted commas because they have a foundation range that goes a bit deeper than 50 shades of ivory. They throw in a few token darker shades with a red undertone to cater for black skin. However, there seems to be a distinct trend of always missing out the people in the middle.
As a south Asian, olive toned, woman of colour, I don’t want a pink or a red undertone foundation. What about all the olives shades with a yellow undertone? I don’t see them in drugstores. The token dark shades for black skin weren’t available when I was 16 (or at least, I don’t remember seeing them) so in a way, you could argue that some improvements have been made.
Not enough though, if you ask me.
My 16 year old cousin’s first makeup shopping trip may appear to have been a success, but.. What about my fellow south Asians that can’t afford to shop at the likes of MAC, Bobbi Brown, Nars etc? Do we just forget they exist? Or should they continue buying drugstore foundation shades with the name ‘caramel’ or ‘honey’ and try to make them work even though they have a pink undertone?
Click here or watch the video below to see how we got on.
As you might be able to tell, I feel very passionate about this subject. I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below!