Before you read my article, I just want to apologise for disappearing and going MIA. I have been applying to university and caught up with the stress of it all. However, I have finished so I should get back into the swing of things with regular posts again!
In honour of Black History Month, I am dedicating all my posts to black related issues hence they will all contain an abbreviation ‘BHM‘. To read the first post in the series, please read my Black History Month post! It is an overview of some of the black figures I love and respect!I hope you look forward to this little series because it is very personal as it relates to my experiences as a black woman.
Whether it is hair or beauty us black girls are not good enough for producers! Walking into a drug store such as Boots or Superdrug is honestly a dreadful experience for many women of colour (WOC) because there are no beauty brands that cater for darker shades. It is impossible!
Therefore, I was quite surprised to learn that in September 2015 the racontuer posted an article stating that “the beauty industry is worth £17 billion to the UK economy, and consumers are expected to spend an average of £342.90 on beauty and skincare this year.” Within in this market, the beauty resource further added that it “employs around one million workers nationwide.”
Regardless of these numbers, I still don’t understand why it is difficult to find a foundation or concealer in my shade. In addition, when most of the advocates for beauty products from platforms such as YouTube are women of colour (WOC), I don’t understand why we still face this problem in 2016.
These brands constantly partner with such individuals, thus, at some point these brands should think about targeting their large audiences (which are presumably WOC). Consequently, it should be more than obvious to increase the supply of black beauty products by making them! To further aid this case, if you see the competition for drug store black beauty products in the UK, there is hardly any! Therefore, it only benefits the companies as they can capitalise upon the demand.
Some of the most frustrating things about this is how I can’t run into a local stop and pick up a foundation if I am running low. That isn’t to say that I use makeup so much that I need to run in and buy it whenever, but, having that privilege would be nice. Knowing that, I as a consumer and a minority, have some kind of importance in the market is empowering – it means I have a voice.
Now trust me I don’t want to target the makeup and beauty industry as a topic of political discussion but until the issue is revolved I have to complain!
My main problem is trying to digest the fact that this industry has enough resources to make a product, enough demand to sell the product and enough representatives to show the product. Having said that, why don’t they make products for darker complexions?
Why do I have to buy high end makeup products from Mac or Fashion Fair just to find my right shade? Why do I have to spend over £50 for a full face of makeup when people of lighter complexions could do the same in less than £25? What is the problem with dark skin? Is it not marketable enough?
Having said that, I have to commend L’Oreal for taking the first step forward. Their most recent make up campaign has introduced a range of complexions that suit a multitude of skin tones! By no means am I saying that this it, but I am very happy to see that they are taking the first step in the right direction. I also hope that this initiative will be the first of many and trigger other companies to realise this huge gap in the market, especially as retail giants such as Sephora could be moving here soon to consume all this demand.
Feature Image Source: The Society Pages (please also read the article attached)