Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color" (cont from BOC forum)

BinkysBaby

New member
Fortunately, when I started wearing makeup five years ago, there were two Black women at the counter that I frequented. They were super helpful in providing me with the tools to find good matches. I know what tones, colors, and tools I need to make my make up work.

As far as a current challenge, I only have one. I feel very insulted and unimportant when I go to a counter/store and non Black artists don't have a clue as to how to assist me. I feel like they have no experience with Black customers and they are not trying to gain it. It is so frustrating for me because we are a part of population that uses MAC and I feel that they should make more of an effort to become acclimated with our skin and different needs associated with being Black. And what is even more frustrating is when they are able to help you, it seems like they only know a couple of things and they tell every Black person the same thing. I can not count the times I've went to MAC just looking and was told by an artist to get Chestnut lip liner, Oh Baby lipglass, Amber lights eye shadow, and Embark eyeshadow. We like color too and it's an insult to feel that you're being categorized and only having the desire to stay within that color realm.
 

MACa6325xi

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Thanks BinkysBaby for addressing that situation. I think we have come a long way since the days of only having a few makeup lines to choose from. Now, many department store and drugstore lines have colors for us. They may not be perfect, but sometimes we have to pick and choose what is best.

The challenge for us now is to not allow makeup companies to take our purchasing power for granted. I was truly disappointed when MAC did not release a "Barbie of Color" for the Barbie Loves MAC collection. I told the MA at the MAC counter how I felt. She agreed, and said that Black women make up a large percentage of sales in Maryland. I know there should have been a African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, etc Barbie doll. MAC is for all races all colors. I decided that I would call the MAC company to complain to no avail. They better make some changes if they want to keep getting my money.
 

aziajs

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BinkysBaby
....And what is even more frustrating is when they are able to help you, it seems like they only know a couple of things and they tell every Black person the same thing. I can not count the times I've went to MAC just looking and was told by an artist to get Chestnut lip liner, Oh Baby lipglass, Amber lights eye shadow, and Embark eyeshadow.

Girl!!! You are preaching to the choir!! I cannot count the times I have been recommended those same things...and don't forget Cork lip liner. I just look at them. I mean, come on. Once I asked for a brown lip liner and the girl gave me Cork and I said, for one, I already have it and, for two, that's not the color I am looking for. She debated it for like 5 mins with me. Then she said that outside of Chestnut that's all they had. I was like, "ok" as my eyes fixed on like 5 other browns in that glass beaker. I was HEATED!!!
 

TheMinx

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MACa6325xi
Thanks BinkysBaby for addressing that situation. I think we have come a long way since the days of only having a few makeup lines to choose from. Now, many department store and drugstore lines have colors for us. They may not be perfect, but sometimes we have to pick and choose what is best.

Unfortunately in other parts of the world this isn't the case (I'm in Singapore). So my biggest challenge is definitely finding a good match in foundation & concealer.

Also SA's are usually clueless about what colours to recommend to me. I guess it's hard to blame them, they don't get many NC50s around here.
 

renee604

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BinkysBaby
Fortunately, when I started wearing makeup five years ago, there were two Black women at the counter that I frequented. They were super helpful in providing me with the tools to find good matches. I know what tones, colors, and tools I need to make my make up work.

As far as a current challenge, I only have one. I feel very insulted and unimportant when I go to a counter/store and non Black artists don't have a clue as to how to assist me. I feel like they have no experience with Black customers and they are not trying to gain it. It is so frustrating for me because we are a part of population that uses MAC and I feel that they should make more of an effort to become acclimated with our skin and different needs associated with being Black. And what is even more frustrating is when they are able to help you, it seems like they only know a couple of things and they tell every Black person the same thing. I can not count the times I've went to MAC just looking and was told by an artist to get Chestnut lip liner, Oh Baby lipglass, Amber lights eye shadow, and Embark eyeshadow. We like color too and it's an insult to feel that you're being categorized and only having the desire to stay within that color realm.


Preach girl! The same thing happens to me,esp. the Chestnut lipliner and Oh Baby lipglass thing.
 

BinkysBaby

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by faifai
I honestly hate the term "women of color" also. Everyone has a color! At what color do you run into unique problems because you're darker (that women who are freckled/tanned/pale/etc. don't also have)? I don't know what would be a more appropriate term.


As for issues with limited recommendations from makeup artists, I don't frequently go to dept. stores or counters so I don't have too much experience with it. However, on the occasions I have gone, they haven't been limited in their choices for me at all. I've been told I could wear most colors, and I know it's usually my reservations that prevent me from doing so.


I do not want to minimize your experiences at all but you clearly testified that you do NOT experience the same issues that darker skin women (primarily African American) experience. You can wear any color and it looks good. When you go to the counter, you do not have a problem being matched.

When you go to a department store for make up advice for a TRAINED make up artist, you expect your concerns to be able addressed as efficiently as any other customer. It is very disappointing to have REGULAR interactions with make up artists who only know a handful of colors suitable for your complexion. To make matters worst, they do not attempt to enlighten themselves about our needs as if our business is unimportant. When you have that type of experience on a regular basis at MAC, Sephora, Estee Lauder, Clinique and other counters, then you can relate to the issues we are expressing.

Oh, and forget about trying to buy foundation at a drug store. You'll look like you're being made up for you funeral. Pale, ashy, lifeless. There is no buying foundation from a drug store when you are as dark as some of the women who have made testaments here. If they even have a color that is close to your's that's shocking.

Debating the appropriateness of the term "women of color" is not the primary issue in my opinion. We can go on all day finding a more politically and socially accepted phrase but that will not change anything. And you want to know what challanges that we have that a pale, freckled person doesn't? Hyperpigmentation, issues with finding foundation that brings life to the skin, finding foundation that matches, finding lipsticks that do not make you look like a clown, being able to be assisted by trained make up artist, finding eyeshadows that aren't earth tone but compliment your skin....I could go on and on but I think that I made my point.

I respect everyone's opinion but the issues that African American women have are unique. I'm sure that other sectors of women of color such as SE Asian, Latina, South American, etc are unique and we would not be able to speak on it from an educated point of view. But since the majority of women that responded thus far have been African American, we can only speak from our experiences.
 

aziajs

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BinkysBaby
I do not want to minimize your experiences at all but you clearly testified that you do NOT experience the same issues that darker skin women (primarily African American) experience. You can wear any color and it looks good. When you go to the counter, you do not have a problem being matched.

When you go to a department store for make up advice for a TRAINED make up artist, you expect your concerns to be able addressed as efficiently as any other customer. It is very disappointing to have REGULAR interactions with make up artists who only know a handful of colors suitable for your complexion. To make matters worst, they do not attempt to enlighten themselves about our needs as if our business is unimportant. When you have that type of experience on a regular basis at MAC, Sephora, Estee Lauder, Clinique and other counters, then you can relate to the issues we are expressing.

Oh, and forget about trying to buy foundation at a drug store. You'll look like you're being made up for you funeral. Pale, ashy, lifeless. There is no buying foundation from a drug store when you are as dark as some of the women who have made testaments here. If they even have a color that is close to your's that's shocking.

Debating the appropriateness of the term "women of color" is not the primary issue in my opinion. We can go on all day finding a more politically and socially accepted phrase but that will not change anything. And you want to know what challanges that we have that a pale, freckled person doesn't? Hyperpigmentation, issues with finding foundation that brings life to the skin, finding foundation that matches, finding lipsticks that do not make you look like a clown, being able to be assisted by trained make up artist, finding eyeshadows that aren't earth tone but compliment your skin....I could go on and on but I think that I made my point.

I respect everyone's opinion but the issues that African American women have are unique. I'm sure that other sectors of women of color such as SE Asian, Latina, South American, etc are unique and we would not be able to speak on it from an educated point of view. But since the majority of women that responded thus far have been African American, we can only speak from our experiences.


Girl, you get more than a "Thanks". That was very well said!
 

MACaholic76

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BinkysBaby
I do not want to minimize your experiences at all but you clearly testified that you do NOT experience the same issues that darker skin women (primarily African American) experience. You can wear any color and it looks good. When you go to the counter, you do not have a problem being matched.

When you go to a department store for make up advice for a TRAINED make up artist, you expect your concerns to be able addressed as efficiently as any other customer. It is very disappointing to have REGULAR interactions with make up artists who only know a handful of colors suitable for your complexion. To make matters worst, they do not attempt to enlighten themselves about our needs as if our business is unimportant. When you have that type of experience on a regular basis at MAC, Sephora, Estee Lauder, Clinique and other counters, then you can relate to the issues we are expressing.

Oh, and forget about trying to buy foundation at a drug store. You'll look like you're being made up for you funeral. Pale, ashy, lifeless. There is no buying foundation from a drug store when you are as dark as some of the women who have made testaments here. If they even have a color that is close to your's that's shocking.

Debating the appropriateness of the term "women of color" is not the primary issue in my opinion. We can go on all day finding a more politically and socially accepted phrase but that will not change anything. And you want to know what challanges that we have that a pale, freckled person doesn't? Hyperpigmentation, issues with finding foundation that brings life to the skin, finding foundation that matches, finding lipsticks that do not make you look like a clown, being able to be assisted by trained make up artist, finding eyeshadows that aren't earth tone but compliment your skin....I could go on and on but I think that I made my point.

I respect everyone's opinion but the issues that African American women have are unique. I'm sure that other sectors of women of color such as SE Asian, Latina, South American, etc are unique and we would not be able to speak on it from an educated point of view. But since the majority of women that responded thus far have been African American, we can only speak from our experiences.


Girl I want to hug you right now. I was tempted to get into the whole "women of color" term but as a social justice educator who does tons of racism workshops, I decided to let it go on this makeup board.
I totally agree with you in every single aspect you pointed out. Very well said.
I am also an NC45, a Black/Latina, and believe me...it is HARD finding a foundation. And I do struggle with the same issues you pointed out. Now, the thing that bugs me the most is that as far as skincare appropriate for people of color, it seems like at this day and age we just haven't advanced that much. I know that I can't even get hair removed by laser cuz there isn't one available for people of color in my area. Nor is there a laser that can be safely used for any type of treatments that is available to most...only because my skin is considered too dark.
Back to the makeup issue, I have yet to find a drugstore foundation that wont make me look ashy, pink or straight up red. Even some of the high end brands that we love start getting funky when the colors get darker (they go too orangy or too red)

On a good note, I have to say that being dark and oily has had its blessings in disguise. My dermatologist is never concerned with premature aging, wrinkles, etc. because of this. See, it aint all that bad.
 

Beauty Mark

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
I do not want to minimize your experiences at all but you clearly testified that you do NOT experience the same issues that darker skin women (primarily African American) experience. You can wear any color and it looks good. When you go to the counter, you do not have a problem being matched.

I don't think that this was your point at all, but your tone is a little hostile. I think the black/darker skin community faces more issues generally than that of a lot of other communities, in terms of makeup, but I think we all face very unique problems that are all pretty important.

I also think that the foundation assumption issue comes up frequently for most PoC (I'm not a fan of the phrase and think that, since there are a handful of men on this board, the thread should've been "people of color"). I can match my own foundation and luckily, many companies make a shade that works for me. However, I've had several experiences where the MA tries to match me to whatever most East Asians wear and it's looked horrific.
 

MACa6325xi

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Preach, Preach BinkeysBaby! I agree with you, but I believe that if we are not being treated properly by some of these so called "trained" MA's we should call the store, call the company etc. We should not spend our money and be mistreated. Money is green and until we start to demand to be treated like we should, those MA's will always try to sell Chestnut, Cork, Oh Baby, Amber Lights, etc.

Last year I went to the MAC counter in Nordstrom at The Grove in Los Angeles. The MA at the counter saw me and ignored me. I got right on the phone to speak with the store manager. I "demand" to be treated with respect at any store that I go to and I tell my daughters the same thing. Don't spend your money at any place you are not happy with.
 

faifai

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BinkysBaby
I do not want to minimize your experiences at all but you clearly testified that you do NOT experience the same issues that darker skin women (primarily African American) experience...

When you have that type of experience on a regular basis at MAC, Sephora, Estee Lauder, Clinique and other counters, then you can relate to the issues we are expressing.


Any obstacles I run into are no less valid than what you run into, this isn't the "what makeup obstacles do African American women face?" thread. My experiences could be different because I got lucky with the MUAs I've gotten help from, as I did say I don't frequent the counters. However, I can relate just as much as you can; none of us are more "of color" than anyone else.

Quote:
You can wear any color and it looks good. When you go to the counter, you do not have a problem being matched.

I never said I can wear any color and that it looks good, only that, in my experience, most of my MUAs haven't been limiting in their recommendations. Obviously there are colors that simply don't work well with my coloring...anything too pale and matte looks chalky, some neutrals "disappear" into my skin, foundations with silvery shimmer look bizarre, etc.

What looks "good", therefore, is very subjective. If an MA offers advice or I ask a broad open-ended question like "what colors do you think would look good on me?" I don't get upset when they state their opinion - I've been told many times that I could really rock Clear Sky Blue, glossy nude lipglass or hot pink blush, but I will never buy or wear them, and it's not the MA's fault for not knowing my preferences (in another thread, you'll see that MAC artists are obligated to make recommendations to all customers, new or not). I certainly don't allow myself to be limited by what they say; regardless of whether we agree on something, in the end it is my money to spend on what I want.

Quote:
"And you want to know what challanges that we have that a pale, freckled person doesn't? Hyperpigmentation, issues with finding foundation that brings life to the skin, finding foundation that matches, finding lipsticks that do not make you look like a clown, being able to be assisted by trained make up artist, finding eyeshadows that aren't earth tone but compliment your skin...

Who is "we" here? These aren't issues unique to African American people or even "people of color." I as an NC45 East Indian person have had problems with hyperpigmentation from acne scarring, finding a drugstore foundation that matches (I walked around looking ashy for several years with my mother proclaiming it made me look more "fair"), finding a good mineral foundation (the Bare Escentuals girls at Sephora were surprised to see that they didn't even carry a color dark enough for me!), finding lipsticks that work on 2-toned lips, etc. Pale freckled people can have just as many problems as you or I do with finding stuff that works for them, haven't you noticed that there's been requests for a "beauty of porcelain" section on the site to complement this section?
 

Beauty Mark

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

General question. Since MAC tries to provide product for all women, has anyone ever brought it up to the manager that the SAs aren't capable of working different looks for darker skin tones?

I'm all for not buying things if they don't work for you, because it's foolish to wear something like foundation if it's not right. However, I think a few words may make somewhat of a difference if a lot of people say something.

And back on topic... I notice a lot of East Asians have incredibly spare eyebrows, including myself. Filling them in is an option, of course, but it's going to be really humid soon so runny makeup is always a concern.
 

saj20052006

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BinkysBaby
Fortunately, when I started wearing makeup five years ago, there were two Black women at the counter that I frequented. They were super helpful in providing me with the tools to find good matches. I know what tones, colors, and tools I need to make my make up work.

As far as a current challenge, I only have one. I feel very insulted and unimportant when I go to a counter/store and non Black artists don't have a clue as to how to assist me. I feel like they have no experience with Black customers and they are not trying to gain it. It is so frustrating for me because we are a part of population that uses MAC and I feel that they should make more of an effort to become acclimated with our skin and different needs associated with being Black. And what is even more frustrating is when they are able to help you, it seems like they only know a couple of things and they tell every Black person the same thing. I can not count the times I've went to MAC just looking and was told by an artist to get Chestnut lip liner, Oh Baby lipglass, Amber lights eye shadow, and Embark eyeshadow. We like color too and it's an insult to feel that you're being categorized and only having the desire to stay within that color realm.


I agree. I have been a loyal MAC customer at my local counter and personnel changes have really hindered me from shopping as often. I must say that not all MUAs give of the negative vibe or look at you like what are you doing here, but it happens all too often. I have had MUAs tell me certain items are not sold by MAC just because they don't want to take the time out to help me and then when I return and a MUA who knows me well helps and I spend a ton of money, there mouth drops.
 

MiCHiE

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauty Mark
General question. Since MAC tries to provide product for all women, has anyone ever brought it up to the manager that the SAs aren't capable of working different looks for darker skin tones?

But, doesn't this run deeper than MUAs who don't know/care? This is a reason why this guy has beef with MAC. And, I don't mean to step on toes, but MAC counters consist mostly of people who do and sell makeup but are not so much of an "artist". Yes, there are very knowledgeable artists at MAC, but it seems to be the exception, not the rule.

I used to work at a salon and all of us would stand back and shake our heads at the "Lead Stylist", who couldn't style "coarser" hair. And, it wasn't that the place didn't want an all-around stylist. All-around stylists just didn't want $11 an hour or 45% commission.
 

BinkysBaby

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Fai Fai, I never said that your obstacles were less valid than the one's that African American women experience. I said that you do not have the same issues that we do generally. We all expressed being offered limited color selections and encoutering artists that have not experience with our skin. You said that you have been lucky to not have those types of issues.

When you posted, you talked about finding a good sunblock and mascara and the thread is obstacles that you experience because you are a woman of color. Several of us posted our experiences and I feel that you spoke from your experiences and attempted to disregard what we have gone through. There is a huge difference in your color, NC45 and my color NW45. That is not bad but you do not know what we go through.

You being able to go to a cosmetic counter and the artist says that you have a complexion that works well with a wide range of color would never happen to me. I can only speak from my own experiences and those of my peers that have similar complexions.

And in your original post, you did not speak about the issues that you encountered about hyperpigmentation and problems with finding mineral make up. Those are issues but you have not experiences being looked over and not helped efficiently because you are "too" dark.

And no, the thread is not "what make up obstacles do African American women face" but the majority of people who responded prior to your post were African American so we spoke from what we know.

In your original post, you really did not state any obstacle other than having a tough time finding a good lip color. We all have unique experiences and you are entitled to your opinion and thoughts but I am as well.
 

BinkysBaby

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauty Mark
I don't think that this was your point at all, but your tone is a little hostile. I think the black/darker skin community faces more issues generally than that of a lot of other communities, in terms of makeup, but I think we all face very unique problems that are all pretty important.

My goal was not to be hostile, I was merely trying to share my experiences and frustrations. My attempt is not to offend anyone. I think that it is obvious that I was not being hostile because many other people who posted here were able to relate to what I said.
 

Beauty Mark

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
But, doesn't this run deeper than MUAs who don't know/care? This is a reason why this guy has beef with MAC. And, I don't mean to step on toes, but MAC counters consist mostly of people who do and sell makeup but are not so much of an "artist". Yes, there are very knowledgeable artists at MAC, but it seems to be the exception, not the rule.

I agree with that, actually, but I thought when people were describing being recommended the same stuff, it was more a matter of ignorance/apathy on behalf of the SAs.

I think letting your money speak is a great idea, but I also think that letting MAC and other companies know why you aren't purchasing from their lines is also effective. There are so many lines I don't purchase from for many reasons.
 

aziajs

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BinkysBaby
My goal was not to be hostile, I was merely trying to share my experiences and frustrations. My attempt is not to offend anyone. I think that it is obvious that I was not being hostile because many other people who posted here were able to relate to what I said.

I have to agree with you. I, personally, didn't feel that your tone was hostile at all. I felt as though you were very clear and exact in your explanation. I was actually impressed because I feel that you expressed my thoughts, and I'm sure the thoughts of other women of color, very well and better than I would have myself.

To go off topic slightly I agree with the above poster regarding the issue of styling coarser hair. It's TRULY amazing to me that at this day and age there are so many stylists who cannot style "coarser" hair.
 

aziajs

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauty Mark
I agree with that, actually, but I thought when people were describing being recommended the same stuff, it was more a matter of ignorance/apathy on behalf of the SAs.

I think there is such apathy and ignorance because many of them aren't "artists" and MAC does seem to put more of a focus on sales and figures.

I WILL SAY, to be VERY clear, that I have met and been assisted by some TRULY amazing MAC makeup artists - black, white and otherwise.

It's just so odd to me sometimes because I feel that if the art of makeup was more so the focus that you would have many more talented artists who know skin and tone and texture and understand what works for a greater variety of skin tones. It's a little frustrating and honestly dissapointing because if I were to work as a MAC MA I would be expected to know how to work on lighter complexions but I just don't seem to see that the reverse is true.

God, I hope that made sense. It was a bit of rambling there.
 

faifai

New member
Re: Makeup obstacles, challenges, and concerns of "women of color"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BinkysBaby
Fai Fai, I never said that your obstacles were less valid than the one's that African American women experience.

"When you have that type of experience on a regular basis at MAC, Sephora, Estee Lauder, Clinique and other counters, then you can relate to the issues we are expressing" sounds a lot like it.

Quote:
When you posted, you talked about finding a good sunblock and mascara and the thread is obstacles that you experience because you are a woman of color.

Not being able to find a good sunblock or mascara that holds a curl are directly related to my being a "woman of color." Sunscreen shows up gray on me, it doesn't show up gray on Jane Doe NC15 because I am darker. Mascara doesn't hold a curl because my lashes are typically southeast Asian and very long but completely straight. Did you read what I wrote?

Quote:
Several of us posted our experiences and I feel that you spoke from your experiences and attempted to disregard what we have gone through.

My writing about my own experiences does not equal disregarding other people's or invalidating what they have said. I never implied or stated outright that "I've had a few good experiences, so this must be how easy it is for everyone! Why are these other people saying they've had trouble? I didn't have any." I was careful to note that I DO have a fairly common shade and also access to a dept. store though I don't go there frequently, so it may be easier for me than for others to find a good match (even though I've mentioned that I still can't find anything at most other counters or in the drugstore). This isn't stuff I edited in today, it's been there since I made the post.

Quote:
There is a huge difference in your color, NC45 and my color NW45. That is not bad but you do not know what we go through.

I'm here to share what I've personally gone through, not to make assumptions about what you have and haven't experienced. This thread isn't soliciting the experiences of only those people who are your shade or darker. The point is to find out what all the various WoC on the board go through, probably to illustrate shortcomings in the industry itself. We don't all share the same makeup obstacles, but this doesn't mean that they're more "your" problem than mine.

Quote:
And in your original post, you did not speak about the issues that you encountered about hyperpigmentation and problems with finding mineral make up. Those are issues but you have not experiences being looked over and not helped efficiently because you are "too" dark.

From my original post: "Like Mac_Pixie04 I'm also wary of getting mineral makeup because it tends to go gray like sunscreen." That's a pretty big problem in finding mineral makeup! In a later post I added that a specific, pretty accesible line doesn't even carry a shade dark enough for me.

In the past I've had a lot of trouble at other counters not having things that showed up on my skin, but instead of wondering why they have nothing for me, I just let my money do the talking and buy from places that DO work for me. I don't write about my past makeup issues because this thread is focusing on the present. That doesn't mean I didn't, at one point, experience first-hand exactly what you're talking about. That's why it's a big assumption to say I have no idea what you go through.

As for hyperpigmentation, I've given up on finding a concealer-type product that can adequately cover my old acne scars while looking natural, which is why I didn't mention it previously. I don't even wear my MAC Select Tint if I can help it.
 

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