For Black women, finding makeup that works well with our various skin tones has been more of a hassle than it should be. And for dark skin women, in particular, the search for their true foundation match has been met with everything from ridiculously orange undertones to being downright unavailable because brands continuously drop the ball when it’s time to cater to our needs. In recent years, the fight for inclusivity has resulted in expanded shade ranges from brands such as MAC, Covergirl, and Fenty Beauty–but it doesn’t stop there.
Beauty influencer and entrepreneur Jackie Aina has teamed up with Too Faced to add 9 more shades to their best-selling foundation collection, Born This Way. Contrary to what some critics believed, the collaboration was not just an effort to compete with Rihanna’s highly touted brand Fenty Beauty; it is a genuine attempt at making women of color feel like their voices are being heard within the beauty industry. Co-creator and longtime friend of Jackie Aina, Jerrod Blandino, felt it was necessary to not only diversify shade ranges but to bring in someone who understood, and was dedicated to solving, the issues black women faced when shopping for makeup. In an interview with Glamour, he stated:
“I was blown away at how dedicated Jackie was to making sure she got this all right. She interviewed dozens of people and reached out to hundreds of people online, and took note of what they needed and what they weren’t happy with. She really did her research to ensure the nuances of every shade were perfect.”
While the new shades offer three deep tones (Sable, Truffle, and Ganache) that are darker than Cocoa, the deepest foundation Too Faced originally offered, their goal wasn’t to only go darker–but better. The medium and medium-deep shades have various undertones and subtle differences that really work for women who have to mix two foundations because their options are either too light or too dark.
On top of that, the fact that Born This Way is an oil-free formula with a soft finish makes it a great choice for women of all complexions and skin types. It’s definitely a great start, but certainly not the end of Black women’s make-up woes:
“It’s not just about foundations. Can I use your lipsticks? Are your eyeshadows pigmented enough to show up on my skin tone? Do you have blushes that work for me? For so many brands, I still can’t use anything; it’s literally only for light skin.”
The exclusion of darker black women from accessible beauty brands is unfortunate, but an issue that may just fade into obscurity over the next decade or two. Blandino gives us his word that Too Faced will continue to be both a helper and supporter during the shift in beauty representation:
“We’re working extra hard to make sure all of our products look great on every skin tone. All products from eyeshadows, lips, everything! We’re trying our products on every girl in the office–from very pale skin to very dark.”