Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Hate Shopping for Makeup

I want to get something off my chest and it's the auduous task of shopping for makeup. Granted, I started the act of makeup wearing much later in life than many of my peers but that's not the main reason I hate shopping for cosmetics. It all has to do with being a person of color and choosing makeup that enhance my natural skin tone rather than mask it.

What is wrong with the cosmetics industry when it comes to marketing to women of color. Hey, we are not all four or six shades. Some of us have backgrounds of various ethnicities. Even my sisters and I don't wear the same shade. So why does the makeup counter lady feel I would be just perfect with a shade another person wore only to get home and see I have been duped.

For example, the best makeup experience I've had was with a certain makeup company which catered to my belief about makeup - IT SHOULDN'T FEEL OR LOOK AS IF I'M WEARING ANY. So for about two years I was in skin heaven. Once, I went for a facial and the facialist was surprised when she started washing my face that I had makeup on. She said it matched my face to a "T" and better, it was great for my skin.

I even smiled to myself when one of the guys I worked with said to another guy convincingly "Mo- doesn't wear makeup." It amazes me what guys fill their time with talking about women. Why let them in on my little secret that I do, my shade for this company was "true honey."

But then I went back to makeup purgatory when the company decided to discontinue the line. WHAT! Yeah that's what I said to the makeup counter lady when I heard the devastating news. She said there was not much request for that shade. HE-LLO, you're looking at the one who requests it. And she told me she doubts if they are bringing the line back since it's been in the works (for discontinuation) in a while. Just my luck but she told me to move to "true amber" which is close. It wasn't. I could see the difference. On to another makeup line. . .

My search still continues for that match. I've wasted money or just gave the makeup to friends who liked the shade. I'll give most of these makeup product ladies some props; they agree that I have yellow undertones to my skin; thus I have a warm skin tone. So why in God's green earth would you sell me a makeup that is geared towards "Neutral skin tone?" IT DOESN'T MATCH!

So I want to say something the multi-billion industry we call the cosmetics industry. Do a better job with creating and marketing to women of color and PLEASE don't stick with Tan, Caramel, Dark, and Deep. We are way more than those four categories. Also, do your research! America is changing so fast to a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country and I (and others like me) don't have the patience till 2042 when we become the majority.

Recently, I went to a bookstore to find a solution to this nagging problem. One book that kind of made me understand my plight was one by Bobby Brown (the famed makeup artist, who perfected the natural look). She had a chapter for "global beauty" - those of us mixed with parents from other parts of the world. Finally! She said this is the section (of our society) the beauty industry is still having a problem to perfect. Bummer! I decided to look at the back of the page to see the copyright notes - it was in 1997. OMG, that's over a decade and I'm still seeing the problem in makeup counters.

So beauty industry get to work. I don't want to mix two or three shades as one makeup person suggested last week; I've got work to do. And do you know the kind of person I am? It takes me five minutes to do hair and makeup and I'm out the door. I hate all the primping but I still want to look quite polished. Think "effortlessly chic." Ok, I'm begging you to look at this opportunity. It could be a very rewarding and profitable venture.

Tag: Makeup