The beauty industry around the world has changed drastically over the past decade. But it’s biggest leap was in 2018, when Rihanna-run Fenty Beauty changed the entire game by launching 40 shades of foundations. Becoming one of the first newbie brands to address the topic of diversity and inclusivity. Everybody was happy.
But Fenty Beauty wasn’t the only brand with a diverse range. MAC and Make Up For Ever had been pretty inclusive as well- but what Fenty did was biblical. They didn’t see other shade ranges as an after thought. They included everybody from the get go, and that is why they came, they showed and they conquered.
BUT HAVE THEY REALLY CHANGED?
But, quite sadly, the concept of beauty remains partially unhinged to this day in South Asia. Where on one hand, women and men alike have started to accept their skin tones and types- a massive breakthrough, on the other, beauty brands or retailers in India continue to not cater to the deeper skinned masses- a tragedy of epic proportions.
Retailers like Nykaa, who have been very successful in their endeavor to deliver beauty at your doorstep, have launched their own brand- Nykaa Beauty. However, they fail to be inclusive- which is sad, especially when they’re based in India, where there is a full spectrum of shades.
Of course, praise the Lord for the existence of MAC Cosmetics in India, where they have a pretty diverse range of base makeup. They’re suitable for everybody. Dry, combination, oily skin, going from natural sheer coverages to pretty full, matte/dewy finish- MAC has the answer to all your woes. And of course the very popular Maybelline Fit Me range, which has broken barriers when it comes to drugstore makeup inclusivity.
MORE ON THAT
It still grinds my gears though, when major selling brands like Lakmé come out with such pathetic foundation shades- sometimes even the medium spectrum struggles. And then we’re left with mismatched colours on our faces and neck, making us look clown-like and rather sad. (Cue desi brides) And a lot of it still has to do with our obsession with being white- faces, body, underarms or pubes- whitewash them all.
It is unfortunate that we STILL believe that fair is pretty, and dark is ugly. But it isn’t really our fault is it? We learn from print or electronic media that you can only be successful if you’re deathly pale. And then we have our wonderful mohalle waali auntiyaan– who constantly make us feel inferior and worthless because “aye haye rang thoda kam hai.”
HERE’S TO THE FUTURE
Hopefully with self-acceptance, will come change. I believe in a day when lighter or deeper skin tones will find shades that match them without having to scramble from brand to brand. Progress is being made. Multiple high end and drug store brands are being inclusive, which is a beacon of a better future. Until then, we need to keep reminding ourselves that our colour does not validate our worth. We’re all worthy, and in the end, we’re all beautiful.