Let me first say, as an avid fan of ColourPop, if this is true (and it seems like it is), I am extremely disappointed. I let it go when folks got upset that they named their dark brown sculpting stix ‘Yikes’ and ‘Typo’ — because everything comes from a random name generator these days. And I’ve tried my best not to judge them on their melanin-deficient collaboration selections. But it recently came to light that ColourPop photoshopped an arm to appear darker for the sake of a swatch. Cocoaswatches, a popular Instagram page and mobile app that features makeup swatches on brown-skinned women, shared a photo from a follower who thought that a ColourPop swatch for their peach shades looked a bit…off. Exhibit A:
I have questions. In addition to the weird dark mark that clearly isn’t a shadow, why is the palm so dark? If I recall correctly, brown-skinned people don’t have brown palms? Is that even a real swatch? These swatches are from some of their peach shades, and when I swatch peachy shades I ALWAYS tell people that the color will most likely be lighter on brown skin. This doesn’t look right at all.
After backlash mounted ColourPop deleted the swatch photo in question without addressing the concern. This is so lame to me because it would have probably taken them five minutes to find a black model to do the swatch. They’re based in LA, not Russia. So what’s good?
Furthermore, I swatch and promote black-owned indie brands (@dupeblack), and a criticism I often see is that these brands don’t have enough diverse swatches, when a lot of the time, small indies don’t have the money to hire 3–4 different swatch models. And who is often brought up as the standard? ColourPop, still considered an indie even though they have 4M followers on IG and you can hop on YouTube and find thousands of ColourPop reviews. Comparing them to an indie with 5K followers is ludicrous, but that’s a post for another day. To be honest, I can’t believe how legitimately annoyed I am. Perhaps if their employees spent less time on Snapchat goofing off and showing lip and arm swatches on the same women again and again, they would have had more time to find a brown-skinned model.
I hope they come out with a statement addressing this fiasco, because I need some answers.