‘Who Is That Color?’: A Makeup Brand Is Said to Miss the Mark by Several Shades

Beauty influencers have criticized Youthforia, saying the brand didn’t adequately test the darkest shade of its Date Night Skin Tint Serum Foundation.

When Youthforia, a young makeup line that once received a nearly half-a-million-dollar investment from one of the celebrity investors on “Shark Tank,” released its darkest foundation yet, a collective sigh among Black women could be heard across social media. In the past, beauty brands, including many industry heavy-hitters, have fumbled products for darker skin tones, and the quality of new complexion-matching cosmetics remains inconsistent.

Golloria George, a dark-skinned beauty influencer who lives in Texas, was tipped off about the release by her followers, who tagged her on other reviews of the new shade, and she decided to buy the foundation. But when she tried on the shade, she immediately got angry. She drove to her nearest Target and bought a small jar of black acrylic paint.

In a video she posted to TikTok last week, Ms. George applies the jet black paint to one cheek with a brush, then does the same on the other side with Youthforia’s Shade 600 foundation. Stone-faced, she looks directly into the camera and asks, “Enough: Who is that color?” The video, in which Ms. George calls the shade “tar in a bottle,” has been seen over 34 million times, and others have posted similar videos.

After she posted the video, Ms. George said, her anger turned to sadness.

“The beauty industry really does not care about dark-skinned women,” Ms. George said in a phone interview. “We’re not seen as humans, and it’s really freaking sad.”

“Black beauty is already so rough as is,” she added. “The only thing we asked for was to be included. If anybody of a lighter complexion can go into a Sephora and Ulta and get their shade with no problem — foundations, bronzer, contours — why shouldn’t I be able to? Why do I have to then become a cosmetic chemist in my room and start mixing stuff to create my shades instead of just being included on the first time?”

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