Recently the beauty industry went into complete uproar at the announcement of Rihanna’s newest endeavour: Fenty Beauty. The major message underlining the campaign was one of inclusivity, meaning people of all skin shades and tones could have the same experience, “so that women everywhere would be included.”
It may seem obvious that a makeup line should appeal to as many people as possible. After all, leaving out a huge demographic by not including light or dark shades immediately limits the number of people it appeals to and, ultimately, the number of people willing to buy it. However, the fact that Rihanna has been massively praised for catering to all skin tones, shows just how uncommon this is in the beauty industry.
Brands think they’re being ground-breaking in creating one or two very light and dark shades…
As a pale girl, nothing fills me with dread more than the thought of spending hours in Boots trying to find the right foundation shade. In some ways you might think the task is easy, as you can automatically pick up the lightest shade on offer. But this mistake often ends up in getting your new foundation home, only to discover that ‘fair’ isn’t quite your shade of pastiness after all. Plus, you’ll now have to spend an hour blending it in to your neck, while trying to convince yourself no one will notice the awful colour match.
It may seem that many brands have a ‘token’ light and dark shade at either end of their line, with far more variety in the medium shades in between. However, many of these brands forget that there are also different undertones in paler and darker skin tones. So, even though brands think they’re being ground-breaking in creating one or two very light and dark shades, there is still much further to go before all skin tones are equally represented.
Whether you were born ghostly white, bang in the middle, or a deep brown, everyone should have the same number of options…
Some people might argue that ultimately, it is only make-up. So what if they don’t have your exact shade of foundation in the shop? But this isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a fact of life that we should accept and live with. Whether you were born ghostly white, bang in the middle, or a deep brown, everyone should have the same number of options, in make-up as well as anything else.
Fenty Beauty, unlike many other drugstore or high-end brands, has 10 shades each for light, medium, tan and deep skin tones, already way ahead of the usual 6-15 shades on offer. It also caters for different undertones, offering neutral, cool and warm options. Meanwhile, some foundations by Maybelline and Rimmel only come in 5 shades, meaning “finding your perfect fit” might be a bit harder than they make out.
Fenty Beauty has truly encompassed all shades of beauty…
The fact that this level of inclusivity in makeup is long overdue is clear from the reviews Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Foundation has received. Krystal Robertson, a young woman with albinism, went viral with her review of shade #110, where she expressed her joy at finally managing to find a foundation to suit her very pale skin . On the other end of the spectrum, Youtuber Nyma Tang, who is popular for her The Darkest Shade reviews of different foundation lines, was also able to find a colour match in Fenty Beauty.
All in all, it is fantastic that Fenty Beauty has truly encompassed all shades of beauty in its line and it really is something to be celebrated. However, the fact that providing 40 shades was met with such shock, and the applause the line has received, clearly shows just how far the rest of the beauty industry still has to go.