Does makeup have diversity?

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EAST LANSING, Michigan — For years, men and women have struggled with the idea of finding the right shade of beauty for their skin and having it fit to their complexion and skin type.  

There has always been a debate between drugstore makeup companies like Maybelline and Covergirl compared to high-brand cosmetic companies like Urban Decay and Rihanna’s new line “Fenty Beauty.”

Christopher George, who works at Sephora in Lansing and is responsible for matching customers to the right type of makeup for their skin type, said, “Many people have said that the difference between drugstore and Sephora is the quality. Though that may be true, it’s probably just based on their skin type.”

Skin type is different for every person. One can be oily and one can be dry. No one has the same skin type — just like no one has the same skin color.

Many women have had issues with the diversity of makeup throughout the entire world.  Some brands, like Maybelline’s FitMe Campaign, focuses on a wide range of different skin tones and making it cheap and affordable.  For the more expensive brands, the range of skin tones has been the same.

Katie McCoy

 Fenty Beauty has broken diversity stereotypes by debuting 40 shades of skin tones –more than the average for drug store makeup.

Fenty beauty has released 40 different shades of foundation. According to USAToday, this is the largest range of shades in a makeup brand ever.  

“The exciting thing about this Fenty,” said George, “is that everyone can feel included.”

Emmen Ahmed, a frequent cosmetic user, tried Fenty Beauty and compared it to her other makeup brands.  

“The [bad] quality of this makeup is not what I expected,” she said. “However, the fact that I found my perfect shade is wonderful.”

Ahmed said she has never found a shade that has been so perfect until Fenty Beauty.

“I have tried so many different foundations but there’s always something off about the color,” she said.

The lack of diversity in the cosmetic world has changed over the last couple years.  Some companies have not included darker shades.  Maybelline’s BB Cream discontinued their darkest shade.  

“It’s important to include more colors and shades I think,” George said.  “Growing up in a very diverse community, I had friends that struggled with feeling included because the fair skin people could find makeup easier and the darker skinned people would not be so lucky.”

The beauty industry has struggled with including individuals with darker skin tones.  The release of Fenty Beauty is inclusive enough for everyone of any skin tone to buy and fit, even albino skin tone. However, each bottle is 32 dollars.  The size of a Fenty Beauty bottle is the same ounces as a bottle from a company like Urban Decay, L’Oreal and Too Faced.  

Cierra Banks, a junior political science student at Michigan State, complains about inclusive makeup being so expensive.

“Being poor for a college girl is a struggle,” she said, “because you are going through beauty changes as you transition to an adult and you can’t always get and afford the expensive makeup.  I think I make decent money and I balance my time. I deserve to look pretty once in awhile.”

She struggles with the right beauty product because the price is always the definitive factor.

Katie McCoy

Many hope that more makeup companies will start selling more makeup shades for the various skin types and colors.

“The one time I find a makeup that’s not cheap, it really fits my skin tone and works with my oily skin is super expensive and I can’t afford it,” she said.

Banks and Ahmed agree that drug store makeup needs to be more inclusive for more people to be able to purchase.

“Not everyone can afford Sephora,” said Ahmed. “But everyone deserves to feel included.”

“It’s such a problem,” said George. “Yes, I love a good makeup line, but making it affordable is a struggle.”

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