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Diversity, or Lack Thereof, in the Beauty Industry

Morgan Williams, Staff Writer

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Brands like FENTY Beauty and Shea Moisture took America by the horns and screamed: “beauty doesn’t just come in the shade pale” in 2017. The lack of diversity in the beauty industry has become a pressing issue as their customers of color are having trouble finding products to fit their needs. Whether it be moisturizing products for thick curls or complexion products for melanin-enriched skin, finding products to meet the needs of men and women of color is not an easy task.

As a woman of color, who is an absolute makeup junkie, I can attest to the under-representation of color in makeup and hair. Until 2017, it was hard to find brands that showed women who looked like me in their ads. Mac Cosmetics, and NARS, were among the first brands that offered wide shade ranges for women of color, specifically black women. The lack of complexion products offered to darker skin tones sent the message that makeup was not made for us and that we were not allowed to enjoy a perfectly beautiful face. That is, until companies like Kat Von D, FENTY Beauty, Juvias Place, Anastasia Beverley Hills, and NYX created products that catered to every skin tone and type in the world.

South Sudanese beauty blogger, Nyma Tang created a series on her Youtube channel titled “The Darkest Shade” to test out the darkest complexion products from different brands. ” ‘The Darkest Shade’ series was inspired by going to different makeup counters and not being able to readily find makeup in my shade,” Tang explains to Allure. Beauty influencers like Nyma have inspired brands, without shades to fit skin types on the darker end of the spectrum, to broaden their color scheme and get with the program. Yet brands like Estee Lauder, and Tarte have newly released products that do not include many shades past the color of a brown paper bag. So my question to them is – am I not a part of what your standard of beauty is?

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Diversity, or Lack Thereof, in the Beauty Industry