It all began when 26-year-old beauty blogger Nadia Gray saw an advertisement for Maybelline’s matte foundations, featuring supermodel Jourdan Dunn.
The self-described “product junkie” immediately sought to purchase the foundation but found that, in the UK, the darkest of the 12 shades are not available. The darkest matte foundation Maybelline sells on its UK site is Sun Beige.
Gray wrote a blog post questioning why Maybelline was not catering to brown-skinned black women and dismissed the notion there isn’t a market. (According to a 2011 census there are 1.9 million black Brits in the UK.) She also questioned why Dunn was used in the ad when her foundation color isn’t even available.
“Even though I am annoyed by this I am not surprised, this is an issue that plagues any woman who is not white. Getting anything to suit your skin tone from global beauty brands is almost impossible.
I like so many other black women have to buy high end foundations and concealer because billion dollar beauty corporations simply don’t cater for us. They always make the same excuses saying there is no market for the product which is just not true. There is a huge population of black women in the United Kingdom.
Maybelline, L’oreal, Rimmel, Max Factor and any other drugstore brand do we not have skin? Don’t we also need makeup? Not everyone can afford to or have to be subjected to spending over £20 on foundation.
Maybelline has taken a Black British woman and used her in their adverts to sell products but Jourdan couldn’t walk into boots or super drug and buy the same product she is advertising.
It is sad because I buy maybelline and other drugstore brands regularly. Their mascaras are amazing but they are still not catering to a huge and hungry market and we are still having this discussion in 2016.”
In an interview with The Daily mail Gray expounded on her frustration.
“I did not start wearing foundation until I was 20 years old because I could not afford to buy MAC and other expensive brands, I was always envious of my friends in school because they could walk into a shop and experiment with make-up and I could never do that.”
Maybelline has since replied that they plan to make the darker foundations available in the UK in the coming months.
Ladies, what are your thoughts?