When NYX Cosmetics revealed they were releasing a new total coverage foundation I jumped for joy. I have been a long-time supporter of this brand. Back when most drugstore brand cosmetics companies failed to produce products that were high quality and pigmented enough to show up on dark skin, NYX came through in a clutch. The brand consistently produces high quality products at affordable rates. To say I love this brand would be an understatement.
That’s why as soon as I heard that the cosmetics retailer, Ulta Beauty, had testers of the new Total Drop Foundation, I headed straight to my local store. Unfortunately, this is what I found:
To be fair, I didn’t expect that they’d have every single shade available for testing. There are 24 shades in total, and the NYX Website has a shade-finder allowing you to see which shade might work best for you. Here’s a glimpse of the darker shades:
But here’s my thing: I have NEVER been able to shade-match based on online pictures. I have spent more money than I care to admit trying to test out foundations online. It just doesn’t work for me, and I imagine it may not work for other women as well. So then I began to ask myself: Who is to blame, here? NYX or Ulta Beauty? Who decided, that of the 6 shades available for testing, darker shades should be excluded?
So I decided to do some research. I put a call out in my makeup group of almost 4,000 black women who love makeup, and many reported seeing the same display in their Ulta stores all over the country. I then posted the video to my facebook fan page, and some of my followers reported the same. One woman stated:
So I tweeted my video to both Ulta and NYX Cosmetics. Both brands asked me to email them, and both brands provided the following responses to my inquiry about excluding most black women from being able to test their new foundation. Here are the responses I received:
I didn’t bother responding to the Ulta Rep.
To which I replied:
NYX didn’t follow up with a response, and clearly, their response was better than what I got from Ulta, but it was still disappointing. I guess I was hoping for something along the lines of, “You’r right, and we’re making every effort to make more shades available on the ground.” To simply dismiss it as being out of their control feels like a cop out.
And I know what you’re thinking: Buy black. And I do! I have a listing of black-owned cosmetics companies we can and should support HERE. I’ve also listed 30 cosmetics companies that make foundation for dark skin HERE. The issue, for me, is that we are being denied a shopping experience being granted to women with lighter skin. We continue to buy, showing that we are here. and yet when decisions are being made about who can test the product, we’re being left out.
This isn’t new, by the way. Cosmetics companies are notorious for not releasing the darker shades along with the lighter shades. Just last year, Anastasia Beverly Hills released their stick foundation with a wide array of colors for black women.
The problem? I went to about 5 different stores and not one had the darker shades available for testing. I eventually ordered a shade on their website, and as expected, the color didn’t match.
Cosmetics companies have come a long way, they have, but these kinds of decisions continue to highlight how much more work needs to be done. Here’s hoping that soon we’ll see more black-owned brands in major retailers.