The latest brand to create a non-inclusive makeup line is Burberry, which launched a new matte foundation this week with 24 shades, only four of which are equipped for darker complexions. Yes, four — not even a quarter of them. There is one warm, cool, and neutral shade for medium-deep complexions and one warm, cool, and neutral shade for deep complexions. That’s simply not how deeper skin tones work. Creating a foundation for darker skin takes work and lots of knowledge about Black skin, and when brands don’t do the work, it feels like we are moving backward.
The creamy-matte foundation is inspired by Burberry’s signature trench coat, and it promises a flawless finish with a lightweight formula infused with bamboo powder for instant-matte properties — for some.
For comparison: When Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in 2017, the brand had 40 shades. Now it has 59 shades with 30 of them being for darker complexions ranging from medium to deep. The beauty industry was shook, calling it the “Fenty effect.” Brands like Dior and MAC followed suit and launched additional shade ranges within that year. TikTok’s favorite foundation, Makeup by Mario’s SurrealSkin, launched with 30 inclusive shades, and luxury brands like YSL Beauty and Giorgio Armani have a host of shades, including ones for deeper complexions. Milk Makeup’s newest sculpting contour sticks recently went viral for creating one of the darkest shades ever. It seemed as if it had become an industry standard to include all skin tones and undertones for launches moving forward. Unfortunately, some brands, including Burberry, still don’t get it. If you’re tired of hearing about the lack of shades in 2023, so are we, and imagine how Black women who approach the foundation counter and don’t see themselves feel.
Everyone loves Burberry’s cult-favorite Burberry Her perfume. Why can’t the same audience be introduced to a new complexion product?