WHERE IS MY SHADE?
WHERE IS MY SHADE?
Credit: Khoudia Diop for Thecgirlinc.
It's like playing chess. It's like pulling a tooth. It's like opening a bag of M&M's to only find out one single color between several. It's us, women of color, that's how it feels like to shop for makeup.
We walk down back and forth the hallways filled with brands with every shade but ours, and when there seems to be, it's usually located at the bottom of the shelves, ignored and in poor quality. If you are a woman of color, it's totally relatable and if you are not, you're part of the problem, as bluntly surprising, it should not be.
If you are not convinced, here is a little scenario: The funny thing is I will be shopping for a new foundation, before the end of the week. I will tell you exactly what is going to happen since I know, I have been there for as long as I am breathing. I will be shopping at the Eaton Mcgill Centre to the Jean Coutu or the Pharmaprix store. I have no idea but I always hope to find a new shade or some sort of diversity, it's comical. I will be walking down the second aisle to the Maybelline section, at the very bottom is the Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation, their deepest shade: Cocoa 130 which is the darkest in the entire store.
I know right, you might think it's a lie, it's not. Because you will ask yourself why not shop at Sephora? I refuse to spend dollars for low-quality makeup that does not match my skin, I refuse to confront makeup artists; Caucasian artists but can do and know only of pale complexions, and black artists dealing with unfortunate limitations.
Why doesn't Becky need to look for my shade because she knows, already, it doesn't exist? Why does Becky get the good hair, makeup, and everything?!
Shocked, again? Don't be, It's just the way things are. The way the makeup industry and black women discords. When will it stop? When will then end the malicious brawl with tones from super white, and white to almost brown which usually label as ''cocoa'' or some stereotypical aliases like chocolate or nut-something? Where is my shade? Why do we feel the need to bleach our skin to look like Becky? Why doesn't Becky need to look for my shade because she knows, already, it doesn't exist? Why does Becky get the good hair, makeup, and everything?! Though, we came so far to be yet still fighting? Too many questions, not enough answers. I do not want to see Lupita, Beyonce nor Rihanna on ads to only get frustrated, in real life.
I started modeling since 10 years old, I stopped due to school. Some years ago, A Sudanese model, Nykhor Paul posted her disappointment on Instagram "Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don’t have to do anything but show up ... Don’t try and make me feel bad because I am blue-black, it’s 2015."
At the time, I was well aware of the struggle we were facing but not quite informed about its relation behind the modeling scenes. Only when I decided to step foot in, again, I was older and mature, I started to discern and face racism, stereotypes, in the fashion industry. I grew to bring my own kit, primarily foundation, I find it ludicrous to even meet colored women who rarely own dark shades. I remembered, the summer of 2016, I was to catwalk for a wedding fashion show and it was time for my makeup, the Latina cosmetic artist told me she'd forgot her dark shades at home. Yes, she said it, and yes, we know it's a trick. I fake-laughed and pulled up to her face my foundation, she was delighted! I didn't understand why? Right then, she began to blatantly joke on how dark skins are "this and that." A few compliments here and there, demonstrating to me the conflicts of WOC in the industry, unaware that she was part of it.
I would like to shed light on my fellow sisters too.
Another model, Leomi Anderson decided to voice her opinions "Why is it that the black makeup artists are busy with blonde white girls and slaying their makeup and I have to supply my own foundation ... had to ask her straight "do you have a foundation for my skin tone orrrr?" My girl started sweating and said I like to mix brands ... " She said.
"Of course I get given to the makeup artist who had ONE brown foundation she was trying to mix with white on a sly because she's not equipped." She continued.
I asked one of my friend who's a professional in the beauty business, it was told to me, part of the reason is that "some race are less likely to live in a certain area so they won't probably sell too many products for those people there ... " Okay? Does it work with non-vegan and vegan too? I would like to understand, how could it be reasonable for a brand to think that a color wore by a white individual would look the same by a person of color? Another question left unsettled.
There it is, the dilemmas of beauty brands, makeup artists, and the consumers. Sorry not sorry, there is no excuse. Undeniably, we made progress. Thank you to such brands like Make Up Forever and MAC. It's time, it's the era to allow varieties on the market, it's time because we matter, too.
Beauty Is Who You Are XoXo