“I know that for us dark girls it can be an issue finding colors or brands that will match our shade and our skin tone.”
As I’ve become older over the years, my interest in cosmetics and beauty products has grown. About three to four years ago I discovered the then very small beauty community on YouTube where I would watch make-up tutorials, beauty hauls, and favorite product videos. Not to mention that beauty and confidence was always prominent in my household as my mother allowed all three of her daughters to always express themselves. My oldest sister took cosmetology in high school and worked at a hair salon, while my second oldest sister has worked for companies such as MAC Cosmetics and Sephora and would often give me products to use. It is clear where my love for make-up and hair has come from but as I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to realize a minor issue:
-I can’t always find a shade that matches my skin tone at the drug store.
-Recreating the look my beauty gurus do wont look the same because I am darker than them.
-Finding products for my rather coarse textured hair can become pretty expensive.
-Plus, if I want to learn a new make-up technique, such as contouring, it is really hard for me to find a contour palate that isn’t a cream based product and will actually show up on my skin.
I know that I cannot be the only person in the world who deals with these daily issues which is why I am writing about the inequality within the beauty world. Something that is important to consider is the historical evolution of the beauty world as well the many cultural influences. Since the Victorian Era and so on, having a lighter complexion was a symbolization of wealth. If you were tan or darker at the time this indicated that you worked outside, beneath the sun for a living and were not of higher class. This element of history has transformed over the years and influenced what is now our current cosmetic society. Today, women strive and go to extremes to have that tan look by using fake tanners, tanning beds or traveling in order to appear darker than their natural skin tone.
Women who are lighter appear to have no issues becoming darker and darker yet Middle-Eastern, African-American and even some Hispanic women can’t even purchase a foundation shade to match their natural skin tone that doesn’t cost twenty-five dollars or more. Make-up is pretty expensive in both high-end and low-end brands and the high-end brands have made these advances I am advocating for but at the price of being expensive. This isn’t fair and it’s time that the drug store starts creating more products, not just for the face, that all men and women can use.
L’Oreal is one of the leading drug store brands of makeup, skin-care, hair products, and nail polishes in the world. I found that on their website they have a page dedicated to how their products but also beauty products in general cater to women all over the world. This is a step in the right direction. More over, this provides different accounts of how ones culture uses beauty products and how beauty is used in their culture. Being that I’m Hispanic, a rather darker-skinned Hispanic, I know that girls are not allowed to wear make-up until the age of 15, which was a rule held in my household. Typically, when a Hispanic girl turns 15 she has a celebration to welcome her into woman-hood known as a Quinceñera. Now could this be one of the reasons some companies don’t find it necessary to widen their brand as well as color ranges because those products aren’t in high demand? Even if this were the case, it isn’t right for a company to have limited options due to sale results and product demand. When creating a new line of any particular product, there should be something that everyone can use just on the simple rules of equality.
Lastly, I want to touch upon where the beauty world has grown and developed into today. As I mentioned earlier, YouTube has a large beauty community that is growing more and more everyday. When I first started watching videos, all of gurus that I would watch were of a lighter skin complexion, typically with naturally straight or wavy hair. I can’t always use the products they recommend because it doesn’t fit my hair and skin type, but when I started to look for gurus who could fit my needs, there weren’t that many. Even in ever evolving society there still remains a lack in diversity within this beauty world. I still watch all types of videos as I’ve learned how to use certain products and so on but still it’s interesting that as the Caucasian race has become the minority, they are the ones who typically rule the beauty world.
It’s important to keep in mind how this is not about race or racism but just about equality. I hope that one day, all brands of both drug-store and high end will have products that will included the many hair and skin types of our growing world and society.