Burberry Beauty has released its new matte foundation, inspired by the fashion house’s iconic trench coat. But beauty fans are disappointed in the brand for its noninclusive shade range, which only includes four shades that are designated for darker skin tones.
The “Beyond Wear Perfecting” Matte Foundation line has 24 shades as of now, which means that less than a quarter of the available options are suitable for darker skin.
“After the #RihannaEffect, I won’t acknowledge brands offering less than 40 shades,” the beauty editor Stixx Matthews declared in Hypebae.
“We know white people have no problem finding complexion products that fit them and their skin concerns,” Matthews continued. “Why is it still hard for Black and Brown folks?”
It’s an estimated $2.6 billion opportunity for brands to be properly inclusive and better serve Black customers. In many areas, Black consumers are overlooked, despite the value they bring — both in terms of spending power and influence.
Burberry’s product lineup feels like a step back for the industry, especially for luxury beauty brands that have the funds, time and resources to build out a more inclusive shade range. The beauty industry as a whole needs to start conducting better research about Black consumers, increase representation and support or invest in more Black-founded brands before real permanent change can be created.
Fenty Beauty, for example, which launched in 2017, immediately had 40 shades available for shoppers. Six years later, it has a total of 59 shades, 30 of them dedicated to darker skin tones. Immediately after the success of Fenty, brands like Dior and MAC followed suit and brought out additional shades. Even luxury brands on par with Burberry, including YSL and Giorgio Armani, have adjusted their shade ranges to be more inclusive.
Having a lot of shades isn’t the answer either. TikToker Golloria George went viral in her quest to try out the darkest shade of every makeup line she could find. Many brands, despite having 30 to 40 shades, don’t do the proper research into the necessary undertones and coloring needed for darker skin tones. Many shades are too red or too gray, which makes them useless for consumers.
Burberry’s newest foundation palette feels like a major step back for the beauty industry. Hopefully, other brands will think twice before trying to put out a limited, noninclusive makeup line.
Burberry Beauty did not return a request for comment.
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