What Diversity Looks Like in Foundation and the Beauty Industry
Maybelline

The beauty industry hasn’t always been the most diverse setting for a Black woman. This time last year, the #PullUpOrShutUp movement called out beauty brands for their lack of representation in their board rooms, in commercial advertising and even marketing strategies. According to a 2018 Nielsen report titled “Black Dollars Matter: The Sales Impact of Black Consumers,” the Black community spends nearly nine times more than our non-Black counterparts on ethnic hair and beauty products. Moreover, we were in the 79th percentile of mass cosmetic consumers compared to white consumers, who were in the 16th percentile in 2019, as reported by Healthline.

With the numbers and statistics adding up as they do, wouldn’t it make the most sense to cater to your billion-dollar buying audience and their needs? Thankfully, brands such as Maybelline have tapped into the conversation of diversity, equity and inclusion by being one of the first to offer 40 shades of foundation before it became the standard. In a consumer study, 97 percent of women found their fit within the 40-shade range of the dermatologist-tested product. Just in time for the summer season, Maybelline is giving us the perfect allergy-tested makeup must-have that blurs pores, conceals those imperfections and gives you the all-day wear you crave.

“For so, so long Black women have struggled with finding the perfect foundation. If the shade is deep enough, then the undertones are wrong; if the undertones are correct, then the shade isn’t right—we’ve always had to compromise with foundations,” ESSENCE’s Style and Beauty Editor Blake Newby explained about the hardships of Black women finding a good foundation. “The expansion of shade diversity has made makeup feel like less of a chore. It’s comforting knowing that we can grab our one shade and not have to worry about mixing or having to use other products to adjust our skin tones.”

Celebrity makeup artist Olivia Song acknowledges that as pioneers in the beauty industry, it’s important for Black women to see themselves all throughout the industry. “Black women have produced some of the most iconic beauty styles and trends in the world. It is important for us to see someone else that is succeeding and breaking those ceilings because it gives others the confidence and assurance that it is possible for us all,” Song told ESSENCE.

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As one of the most sought-after MUAs in the game with over 11 years of professional experience—and has worked with names such as Porsha Williams and Kash Doll—Song knows that the importance of diversity amongst foundation shades is more than skin deep. “It comes down to representation and inclusiveness. It is super important that each woman’s shade is represented on the shelf,” she continued. “I think brands are realizing that and moving in the right direction. Now 40 shades is standard, when years ago a brand may only offer 15-20.”

The summer is approaching and with the mask mandates being lifted slowly but surely, that means that we have the opportunity to show off our makeup slay again! While a good amount of us may have forgotten the order of a basic contour or which shadow palettes are best in the summer, we can all agree that there’s one thing we should all avoid in the summer: shine! If you don’t want your forehead to shine bright like a diamond and achieve the flawless finish you desire, physician and AbsoluteJOI founder Dr. Anne Beal, M.D., M.P.H. suggests that matte foundations are the way to go. Black women are twice as likely to have oily skin, as reported by Dr. Beal, and the summertime season doesn’t make it any easier on our skin, so an oil-free, mattifying foundation such as Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte + Poreless is the way to go for a mattified look. When using the foundation, users notice controllable shine for up to 12 hours and a natural matte finish.

“Many people with oily skin do not pay enough attention to hydration. Taking care of skin is like taking care of natural hair—we know we need to hydrate and then seal in hydration with good oil on our hair. It is the same with skin,” Dr. Beal explained about the relationship between skincare and makeup during the summer months. To achieve hydration, she suggests water, hyaluronic acid, and locking it all in with oils, lotions, and creams. When our skin is dehydrated, it will naturally produce more oils to protect itself.

The perfect complement to your healthy skin routine is a foundation that respects your skin. Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation is oil-free and non-comedogenic formula meaning it doesn’t clog your pores. It’s ultra-lightweight and breathable, not heavy, cakey or masky when wearing it during the summer months, and it blends seamlessly onto the skin. This summer, it’s time to put your best face forward, and with Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation, you don’t have to look any further for your perfect fit!

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