If the year of 2017 and the launch of Fenty Beauty itself has taught us anything, it’s that Black women run the makeup industry. The presence of Black woman-owned beauty businesses has definitely risen this year and the immediate success of Fenty Beauty’s release and sales speaks volumes for itself. But what does it say when all the dark shades of the Fenty Beauty Foundation are immediately sold out for months? What does it mean when it’s been established that Black women spend an estimated $7.5 billion annually on beauty products? What does it mean when so many popular beauty brands continue to exclude Black women with the range of their products and representation on their social media?
You put two and two together and you’ll quickly come to the same conclusion that I did; Black women have enough power to make a change in the beauty industry and fight back with our money. The reason you’ll see me constantly bringing up Fenty Beauty is because of how inclusive they were from the start and always catered to dark skin, never leaving us to feel excluded or like an afterthought. That’s what separates Rihanna’s brand from the rest of the popular makeup brands we know like NARS, Too Faced, Benefit, Maybelline, etc. You can check the Instagram pages of these beauty brands and can literally count on one hand (maybe two if we’re lucky) the amount of Black women they’ve posted in comparison to white and non Black women. In addition to the lack of representation, it’s not uncommon for brands to be limited with their darker shades of foundation/concealer/powder in stores. These brands tend to have the shades we need, but they never advertise them and make them widely known to the public the same way they do with their lighter shades. So what’s the point in having them, really?