From my local council website, I’ve managed to pull out a chart indicating ethnicity within this pocket of London that I live in. I’m using their descriptions and not my own, but we have 14% Black African, 12% Black Caribbean, 6% Black Other, 2% Indian, 1% Pakistani, 1% Chinese, 1% Bangladeshi, 3% Other Asian and 3% other when it comes to diversity in population. Apart from the fact that my local high street market is amazing for food, it’s an absolute joy to be there… I love that where I live houses a multitude of cultures and it’s one of the special things about living here.
However, the only make up counter I can bring to mind that caters to darker tones is Fashion Fair which only serves to drive home that on a local level, as well as national, ethnicity is not being catered to at all well in cosmetics. We do have a lot of shops for curly and textured hair, but so little else.
The Superdrug Shades of Beauty Campaign could not be more welcome and their research has identified what we beauty bloggers could have told them long ago! Superdrug’s survey reveals that women from black and asian ethnic background spend more on foundation (more than £25) because there simply isn’t enough choice in the affordable, high street market. It’s the most important product to them, closely followed by body moisturiser, then lipstick.
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When it comes to their beauty look, almost three quarters of women surveyed claimed they would like to be described as ‘natural’ which is explains the importance of foundation, and finding their true shade, according to Superdrug. While we’re on that point, getting shot of ‘natural’ as a foundation name still needs a little work!
Superdrug is taking on the inequality in beauty products (about time) by encouraging the brands that sit within their stores to offer full shade line ups for all skin tones. This sounds easier than it actually is – logistically, it means a change in stand size, more space in store to accommodate more product and deciding what to reduce in order to accommodate better choice in the make up category. I bet there are some store managers scratching their heads and wishing for expandable walls!
Already, you’ll see a difference in choice – Maybelline, Revlon and L’Oreal are launching an additional 23 shades for darker tones by the end of this month, with more coming in September. Good, good and extra good. This all adds up nicely in the general bigger picture of beauty becoming more diverse in ethnicity, age and outreach and realising that what happens in glossies doesn’t happen on the high street – we’re all just trying to muddle along and make the most of enjoying affordable make up .. not being able to find a foundation to match your tone is just.. well… ridiculous, as is having to pay far more to eventually get it than light toned contemporaries, but hopefully it’s becoming a thing of the past now that a major high street retailer has grabbed it with both hands.
When I designed the Fortune Favours The Brave palette with Makeup Revolution (HERE), the top priority was to make it an ‘every woman’ palette – every tone, every age, every budget so I know it’s possible to be inclusive with beauty products but you have to begin with the desire to be so. After that, it’s not so difficult and it’s turned out to be one of their best selling palettes ever. So.
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