In last Sunday’s Sunday Times Style magazine, there was a brilliant article looking squarely at the issue of being a mixed race young woman in Britain today. An extremely beautiful 24 year old called Alexandra Simon, recounted her journey of realising and accepting her identity…and the challenges and triumphs that she encountered along the way.
Race and ethnicity are still hot topics in the UK and I hope that the candid, honest debate continues and that developments in the beauty industry can contribute to this debate.
I do believe that 2012 will be a significant year for the ethnic beauty here in the UK, as several of the large beauty brands – both mass and prestige – have launched foundations to target this burgeoning sector of the population.
So what’s on the agenda?
Lancôme launches its latest foundation, Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation (£27) next month, it comes in 18 Shades and you can receive a complimentary, 7 day sample at selected Lancôme counters nationwide.
The new campaign will feature Lancôme’s stunning spokes model Arlenis Sosa, who joined the brand in 2009.
There will be an impactful in-store presence – I look forward to seeing Arlenis’ beautiful face grace the pages of glossy mags and department store counters. I will also be trying the foundation out…so will let you know what I think
Last year I blogged about the latest addition to the Chanel foundation family – the Perfection Lumiere Fluide Foundation (£36), which was launched in the States last August. I was praying that the range would hit the UK…and what do you know…it has arrived!! It seems like only 16 of the 26 shades are available…but there are a good number shades that will suit a darker skin tone.
You can purchase the new range online from Selfridges, or pop into selected Boots stores to also get your hallowed Advantage Card points!
British beauty Alesha Dixon continues to expand her business empire – and was recently announced as Avon’s ‘Beauty and Empowerment’ Ambassador for the UK and Ireland and the face of the new Ideal Flawless Invisible Coverage Foundation (£12). I was eagerly anticipating the launch of this foundation as I had heard that it would be available in 16 shades!! Although Avon has an extensive range of bases suitable for dark skin tones that are currently retailed in the US – these shades have not been available in the UK for a number of years. Ideal Flawless launches in February – but alas – the darkest shade in the range is a warm honey tone called ‘Earth’ – it would be suitable for women such as the caramel toned Miss Dixon – but there are no shades suitable for a deeper chocolate skin tone such as my own.
I have long seen the adverts for L’Oréal Paris’ True Match Foundation (£9.99) featuring (new mum) Beyoncé … but to be honest, I had never really investigated the range, as I just assumed it would not have a shade that would be my true match. However recent press coverage in this month’s Marie Claire magazine stated that the range now comes in 20 shades! It looks like the deep shades Golden Cappuccino and Cocoa have been added to the range here in the UK – these shades are featured on the L’Oréal Paris UK website – but they do not seem to be available on the high street as yet – I will keep my eye out to see if changes and let you know! Again, I discovered that the True Match range that is available in the US comes in a whopping 33 shades – 10 of which would be perfect for deeper tones just like mine… (oh well!!)
Check out Mrs Carter’s latest US commercial for the make up.
So, what can I say?
As I mentioned in my previous foundation blog post – things are getting better for us dark skinned beauties here in the UK – but I still can’t help feeling that there could be so much more to choose from…
Anyway, I will be updating you soon on my foundation picks for 2012!
I was recently contacted by the fabulous Kay Montano (Creative Director of MyFace cosmetics and Chanel Make Up ambassador) via Twitter…yes little old me!
Kay wanted to know about the choice of foundations for darker skin tones here in the UK. As I reflected upon her question I really was gladdened by the fact that the choice HAS got better over the years…
….I remember my first foray into the world of make up as a young and exuberant 14 year old – I bounded to the local chemist with my pocket money in hand to purchase a concealer. Imagine my UTTER disappointment when I found not a single brand suitable for my chocolate skin tone!
I soon realised I had to save a bit more pocket money to fulfill my desires. I discovered the department store brand Fashion Fair at my local Debenhams! That marble pink compact (yes it was pink back in the day!) was my pride and joy…but the option to experience other brands were few and far between…times have REALLY changed.
Now there are a plethora of brands to chose from. The beauty landscape has changed beyond recognition. It may be still a challenge to get your hands on some of these brands ..especially if you live outside of London – however most are only a click away.
The usual suspects – MAC and Bobbi Brown have a loyal – almost cult like following – but there are other brands that one can consider when choosing a foundation to suit your beautiful black skin.
Now I just had to commence my list with a British brand! Illamasqua is the brainchild of the founder of the ubiquitous GHDs and boasts an abundance of shades and textures of foundations.
The latest range to join the line up is the Skin Base foundation which is inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams (also called BB creams for short!).
The BB phenomenon has traversed from the East and has exploded in the West! A number of brands have recently launched BB creams – including Garnier and Clinique – yet Illamasqua is the only brand to have launched a ‘BB-esque’ product suitable for darker skins. Skin Base comes in 18 skin loving shades – 6 of which are suitable for Black and Asian skin tones.
Try before you buy at the flagship Illamasqua store, Beak Street, London, Selfridges Oxford Street, London, The Manchester Trafford Centre, The Birmingham Bullring, Fenwick Newcastle, Debenhams Glasgow, Belfast and Cardiff or shop online at www.illamasqua.com
Australian brand BECCA is like a treasure waiting to be unearthed. With 34 concealer colours and 34 (yes 34!) foundation shades there is sure to be a colour to match your skin tone perfectly.
The brande is loved by stars such as yummy mummy Beyoncè , supermodel Alex Wek and the ever so lovely Kelly Rowland (are you loving the X-Factor as much as I am??).
I became acquainted with the brand when it was retailed in Space NK (alas, this is no longer the case.), and I love the philosophy behind the brand – to enable ‘ ALL women, regardless of age or ethnicity, to achieve a natural looking, flawless complexion’.
Visit the sumptuous Becca Boudoir at 91A Pelham Road London or shop online at www.beccacosmetics.com
I first came across this Parisian brand in 2006 but unfortunately I was put off by the name – it reminded too much of the infamous Minstrel shows of 19th century America!
However I have recently grown to love the brand, mostly due to the exquisite, aspirational imagery.
Available at Debenhams, the range consists of highly pigmented colour cosmetics, as well as a comprehensive foundation collection.
I am totally besotted with the brand! The sexy packaging, potent colours and evocative product names (the best selling item in the range is called..err…Orgasm!) make it a pleasure to use. Created by make up maestro, François Nars in 1997, the line up included a shade of foundation called Jamaica. The story goes that this product was conceived for the supermodel Naomi Campbell, who is a close friend and muse for the artisan. The family of shades suitable for darker skin tones has grown to include globally inspired colours such as Benares, Khartoum and Trinidad, to name a few.
Also, the NARS Concealer used to be available in only four shades but the line has recently been expanded to included 10 different shades to accommodate a variety of skin tones.
I have heard the one of the chicest makeup brand of all – Chanel – will be launching Perfection Lumiere, its newest line of foundation, this September – and it’s something to talk about! The line, will offer the widest range of shades for Chanel yet – a whopping 23 shades to suit all ethnicities. Ooh la la!
The face of the campaign is the beautiful Trinidadian born model Alyssah Ali, who is of Indian and Spanish origin
Christine Dagousset, executive vice president of fragrance and beauty for Chanel in the U.S. told Women’s Wear Daily, “This foundation was designed to be universal. Chanel’s creative director for makeup, Peter Philips, counts perfect skin among the most important features a woman can have and, since joining the brand in January 2008, had made it his goal to create a ‘perfect’ foundation: one that adjusts to the skin needs of every ethnicity and stays in place with a flawless finish.” The company’s current leading foundation line Pro Lumiere offers only 6 shades. The new launch will premier in the U.S …hopefully Chanel will bring the range to the UK and Europe too!!
This is SO exciting, as for too long many of the leading designer makeup brands have been inaccessible to women of colour. In my eyes this launch will mark a sea change in the beauty industry. I will certainly do a review on this product!
Until then, a bientôt!