BEAUTY Flawless foundation
There's been a flood of brands extending their foundation ranges. Gone are the days when “diversity” meant having only a dozen shades to choose from
When Rihanna debuted Fenty Beauty, her inclusive line of make-up for women of all colours and skin tones, in September 2017, her Pro Filt’r range offered 40 shades of foundation and became something of a benchmark for brands. Although the pop superstar (pictured) wasn’t the first to offer such an extensive range of shades, the fanfare and success of its launch means it’s often singled out as the brand that raised the bar. Most launch with much more limited ranges.
Fenty Beauty also deserves credit for the fact that Pro Filt’r is truly inclusive: instead of an assortment of mostly beige, its shades are evenly distributed across the spectrum, catering for everything from albino skin
(shade 100), through Rihanna’s go-to 340, right up to the much darker 490.
“The world is changing and it’s an exciting time,” says Ateh Jewel, a beauty journalist who writes about celebrating beauty for all skin tones. “Fenty Beauty laid down the gauntlet to other brands – the brand is said to have made US$72million [AED265m] in media value in just one month and is set to make more than US$100million [AED367m] in revenue in its first year of business.”
This year, beauty brands at both ends of the price spectrum have expanded their shade ranges – Dior, MAC and Maybelline have recently added extensions to their lines, while No7 has launched a range of foundation pigment “drops” designed to customise your coverage precisely.
But while things are moving in the right direction, the beauty industry still has a long way to go. “I struggle to find darker shades of foundation in some stores and especially the airport,” says Ateh. “Having dark skin can mean you are penalised when it comes to availability and convenience.”
While Instagram is a forum where brands are often called out by consumers for a lack of diversity, Ateh points out that it’s also a great place to find others with a similar tone and see how products work on them. Here, hello! is shining a light on some of the champions of inclusivity.
Clinique BIY Blend It Yourself Pigment Drops number 155, AED103/US$28, from selfridges.com.These drops can be mixed into your moisturiser or primer for a customised colour and coverage Maybelline Fit Me Matte+Poreless Foundation in Soft Sand, AED20/US$5, from lookfantastic.ae. The high street giant extended its range to 35 shades earlier this year
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft MatteLongwear Foundation in 340, AED170/US$46, from sephora.ae. It took two years for Rihanna’s highly anticipated make-up brand Fenty Beauty to hit the market; most of the time was spent developing the 40 foundation shades
Dior Backstage Face & BodyFoundation in 1N, AED116/US$32.Dior has a “Find your perfect shade” tool on its website which makes it easy to match yourself to one of the 40 Backstage buildable shades
L’Oréal Paris True Match Super- Blendable Foundation in Honey, AED59/US$16, from wojooh.com.When it launched in 2016, the campaign featured women discussing how they struggled to find a suitable foundation when growing up
Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation in Cool Golden, AED189/US$51, from ounass.ae. You can see the 31 shades of this full-coverage foundation swatched on 31 different models online
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Rich Java, AED184/US$50, from ounass.ae. Anok Yai, an Egyptian-born American model of Sudanese descent, is the new face of this 61-shade range
MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC46; AED170/US$46, visit maccosmetics.ae. MAC Studio Fix foundation was already available in 42 shades; this year that increased to an impressive 64