The Major Issue With Foundation Shades

FW_008_SaraKerens-0586_SaraKerensPhotographed by Sara Kerens.
Buying foundation — no matter who you are — can seriously suck. It's hard to find a shade that will match your skin tone perfectly, and there are way too many formulas to try on. Now, xoJane writer Taryn Charles is making the case that those of us with more pigment in our skins have a different, tougher set of challenges to deal with — and that the lack of choices for people of color speaks to a bigger issue in the beauty industry.
While Charles empathizes with the pale guys and girls of the world, she also stresses the fact that there's a major difference between their struggles and hers as a non-white woman. "Not being able to find your shade in foundation is a one-off problem for a white person," she writes. "For a person of color, it's just another way we are reminded that the world is not designed for us. It's another piece in the puzzle of systematic racism."
She makes a valid and important point. Take a stroll down any makeup aisle, and you'll see that the darkest most picks will go is "tan." And, while the small minority of ultra-pale girls have a hard time matching their mugs to makeup, too, the exclusion of deeper hues cuts out a wider swath of the population.
Click over to xoJane to read Charles' essay. Then, come back and tell us: Do you think the makeup shelves are unfairly stacked against dark-skinned people? (xoJane)

Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page!

More from Makeup


R29 Original Series