This week, BeautyBlender, the brains behind the bestselling makeup sponge, took to Instagram to lift the lid on their debut foundation, Bounce.
It's a launch that made complete sense and one that beauty-obsessives all over the globe, from editors to influencers, have been anticipating for years. With a clever inbuilt tray for the BeautyBlender sponge, a cruelty-free and vegan formula, plus 24-hour coverage, it sounded promising.
But when the brand unveiled their shade range on social media, people were quick to call them out on their lack of shades for women of colour. Out of 32 shades, only four shades would suit some dark skin tones, and it wasn't long before some of their Instagram followers shared their thoughts on the collection, branding it "pathetic" and "disappointing".
"Bounce back to the lab and create more shades for darker skin tones. How come there’s 2 rows of the same shade?" wrote one Instagram user, while another asked: "WHERE ARE THE DARK SHADES? You’ve got so many shades for light skin toned people, what about the darker skin toned beauties that love makeup too? Makeup should be for everyone to love and use, and when brands still have 50 shades of beige, especially now days when brands are coming out with 40+ shades for ALL skin tones, it just looks like you guys don’t care for darker skin coloured people as much as you do for light skinned people."
Many also criticised the shades for being unrealistic: "I was hoping to try this foundation, but the colour setup for women of colour is horrible - I’m not orange or burgundy," wrote one. Another user said: "Big companies should know how humans look like. I never knew that humans were naturally the colour of cherries and oranges."
Having received hundreds of similar comments, the team behind BeautyBlender took the time to respond to their followers in a bid to defend the new launch. "Of our 32 blends, half the shades are formulated for a range of brown skin tones," they wrote. "We truly want everyone to find the perfect match! Our model grid is our actual shade range."
BeautyBlender then went on to address a picture of the foundations that had been posted to Instagram by beauty news hub Trendmood, suggesting the filter used may have skewed the look of shades: "We hear you but the image on Trendmood's post has a wacky filter and doesn't give a true representation of our shade range."
In response to a follower who criticised them for using orange dye, they alluded to US President Donald Trump before going on to explain the importance of undertone: "We never want to look orange like a certain someone but we added enough warmth for those who have yellow or red undertones. Undertones matter!"
But it seems their responses failed to convince some followers, who said they would be giving the product a miss when the waiting list opens on Sephora today.
Many BeautyBlender fans shared their hopes that the brand would realise their mistake and release many more deep shades to cater to a wider range of skin tones, while others argued that they should have made the collection as diverse as possible from the start.
Refinery29 contacted BeautyBlender for comment and this is what they had to say:
"Of our 32 blends, half the shades (16) are formulated for a range of olive and brown skin tones. We truly want everyone to find their perfect match and our founder, Rea Ann Silva, is not only Latina, but a professional makeup artist working primarily with women of colour, so she is an expert in this colour range. Those with tan, deep and dark skin tones understand that finding the right colour foundation is all about matching your undertone and this is where Rea Ann saw the biggest hole in the market - for women like herself and her multicultural family. BOUNCE offers a wide variety of undertones from neutral, warm, cool, and olive and a special ultramarine blue to create a deep rich tone."