Where Is My Undertone?

Anonymous - “In large beauty and cosmetics retail stores, the employees have a gadget where can scan your skin color to find the foundation that matches you, but a lot of times, I don’t feel that it’s accurate. I’m darker skinned, and sometimes the beauty advisors just randomly find a dark foundation for me, and they’re just like - “oh, yeah this perfect for you,” but they don’t have any knowledge to share. It just seems like I’m another number to make sales because they don’t take the time to advise. For me, a really big problem is not being able to find my actual complexion and undertones. One day, I went to one pharmacy because I was told that my color of foundation was available there. I took the train to go buy it, and when I got there, all they had were really light browns! I went up front to ask the clerk for darker tones, and she was like “oh, you have to order those online.” At that point, I was just thinking to myself - I’m not even the darkest shade, and they don’t even have my shade? I’m from Senegal so I know people way darker than me. I was a little emotional leaving the store that day. Companies need to have more empathy, and they need to create more accessibility. What if it were them? How would they feel if they walked into a beauty store and all they saw were deep brown shades and no light shades? Imagine seeing very few images of beauty that looked like you - how would you feel? You would just feel like - am I invisible? You would feel like an afterthought.”

“Black women give the beauty industry so much money, and now some beauty retailers are trying pledge  to 15% of shelf space to black businesses, but it feels like placation and a PR move. They need to advocate for beauty schools to educate students more on the undertones of black people and how to take care of their skin. Feeling like you’re apart of what it means to be beautiful is so important. When you put on foundation, lipstick, and you feel good, it can motivate and encourage you. When you look nice, you want to put out positive energy, and you feel more hyped up to be productive. Beauty is so empowering, and everyone deserves that.”