I have a confession for you and I hope that the Beyhive won’t come for me: During the era of Destiny’s Child, Kelly Rowland was my favorite. This week, my adoration for her has only grown after the announcement that her and her makeup artist, Sheika Daley, are launching a makeup line aimed at customers who are blessed with a lot of melanin. It’s about time.
During an interview with People magazine, Kelly reminisced about all the mishaps that happened with makeup and makeup artists across the world while she was on tour with Destiny’s Child.
“I remember going to Europe and there was this one makeup artist — I’m a chocolate girl, and she made me look pink…And then when she tried again, I looked green. And then when she tried again, I looked way fairer than what I really am.”
I along with many other of my melanated companions are tired of going outside in makeup that is three shades too light. It’s both comforting and infuriating that Kelly also has had personal experiences wearing makeup that is only serving ghostly realness. The lack of diverse makeup creators is one of the reasons why it’s hard to find cosmetics that will fit darker skinned customers. Even though Kelly’s new line is a leap in the right direction, why is there still a struggle to find makeup for people who have a darker complexion? There are a few clear reasons.
In terms of makeup, there are already few options for dark skinned men and women, and even when makeup brands do offer “dark” shades, the darkest ones are Beyoncé’s complexion. Some brands are dedicated to creating make up for those who are dark skinned. In 1994, Iman started IMAN Cosmetics after years of being forced to create her own mixture of foundations after dealing with incompetent makeup artists. Also in 1994, Black Opal Cosmetics started making makeup for dark-skinned women; but, recently, Black Opal explained that it would rather not be viewed as a cosmetic brand that is solely for Black women— I know, it’s like Carol’s Daughter all over again.
However, Kelly and her forthcoming makeup brand is all for celebrating the chocolate girls out there. In an interview with Essence , Kelly discussed how this struggle to find adequate makeup is one of the main motivations for launching a new makeup line. On her own, Kelly is adding another makeup option for chocolate folks who also want to dibble and dabble in makeup wearing.
Some cosmetic companies believe that Black customers aren’t worth their marketing effort. In their eyes, we don’t have money to spend on their brands and we’re still in the minority for what is seen as beautiful. So, why include darker shades when people of color are not going to buy them?
This reasoning is both false and racist, and instead of trying to prove to companies that Black customers have money to spend, we need more Black cosmetic businesses.We don’t need to wait on the white-centric brands to include different shades, Kelly is proof that we can create are own. Kelly has not yet announced when her new makeup line while be available to purchase. The moment that she does, then I will know where I will be spending my next paycheck. Until then, I’ll just tune in to watch Chasing Destiny, Kelly’s new reality show that airs on April 5th in anticipation of her melanin positive makeup line.