British Brands and Women of Colour
Britain, especially London is a melting pot of ethnicity and I love that. Born and raised in London, I grew up with friends from all over the world; Kosovo, Jamaica, Somalia, Morocco, England, Columbia, Bangladesh and even a mix of some countries. However, despite how diverse a country we are it’s unbelievable how many brands don’t take the initiative to create products that represent the diverse colour palette of the UK. I can understand from a business perspective that brands worry that darker shades will not sell, however looking at particular areas in London you’ll notice that there are more ethnic groups than others. For example, in Tower Hamlets, an East London borough, the majority of people living there are of South East Asian origin so it’d make sense for Superdrug or Boots to stock foundations matching the skintones of the particular ethnic group at the stores in this area. In fact, Superdrug just recently launched their new B. range, but the foundations were just beige, beige and beige to the annoyance of some. A lot needs to be done, but things are changing and I’m so glad to say that it’s these British brands that are at the forefront of this change:
Daniel Sandler – Daniel Sandler is a professional makeup artist who’s made up the faces of women all over the world for over 25 years. He’s worked on all kinds of skin textures and tones and it really shows in his collection of makeup. Daniel sent me a few Catwalk Compacts* with SPF25 to try and I was amazed at how dark they were. The shades are realistic and there’s no significant jump between them unlike many brands that have darker shades in their lines. The Catwalk Compacts are medium to full coverage which is great news as many women of colour suffer from hyperpigmentation and uneven skintone. Another skin concern a lot women of colour suffer from is oily skin so the matte finish is perfect.
Illamasqua – Illamasqua can do no wrong in my eyes, everything about them just makes it one of my favourite brands. From their unique collections with great messages behind them to the causes they support like S.O.P.H.I.E. Illamasqua has always had darker shades available, and it’s so easy to pick the right one for you with their comparison chart where you can compare the shades you already wear from the likes of NARS, MAC and Bobbi Brown to a similar one from Illamasqua. I wear the NARS Sheer Glow in Macao so that would make me an SB15 for the Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation* which is one of my favourite foundations, one of those if-I-lose-it-my-life-would-be-in-ruins kinda favourite.
Liz Earle – Now this is a total shock to me because I consider Liz Earle to be the epitome of English Rose beauty and I thought it’d be the last brand to reach out to women of colour, but I’ve been proven wrong as the Signature Foundation* goes pretty dark with Mocha being a warm tone for a deep dark complexion. The foundation I have is too dark for me, but the foundation is lightweight, it glides on the skin with ease and it’s quite silky in texture too. It’s enriched with Vitamin E so it does your skin some good too!
Burberry – I’m already a big lover of Burberry, I can spend hours trawling Net-A-Porter so it’s natural that I would gravitate towards their cosmetics. My favourite nude lipstick is their Lip Mist in Copper* but I’m also a huge fan of their Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation*. The foundation with its cream fluid formula has a gelled structure for optimum light diffusion to give the skin a gorgeous glow. They say that what you put inside your body shows outside on your skin, and as of late it’s been a little dull thanks to flying and eating one too many bowls of mango ice-cream and although there’s still the debate of whether a little indulgence is worth it, there’s no debate that the Sheer Luminious Fluid does make me look like I’ve swallowed a candle. I’m glowing in all the right places! With Burberry being the definition of Brit Cool it’s wonderful to see darker shades in their collection, but I’d like to see warmer tones introduced too as the shade I have is slightly on the cooler side.
And there you have it, British brands on the forefront of things, I love it! Former supermodel and founder of IMAN Cosmetics, Iman in an article she wrote for Women’s Wear Daily said “don’t just date her, marry her: If you target a multicultural group one year, you can’t simply drop that group because there’s a new trend and focus. If groups are not courted on a continuous basis, they just go find a brand that will treat them the way they deserve to be treated”. Let the church says amen! Research shows that black British women spend 6 times more than their Caucasian counterparts on beauty, so if brands really pondered and acted on that little statistic the money that these women have would be spent on their products in an instant and it would be the start of a great customer relationship.