The Cracks in the Foundation

The cracks in the foundation of the beauty industry may no longer be in shade range, but rather in how companies market the shade diversity. With foundation being a staple in the makeup bag of most makeup enthusiasts, the right shade could make the difference between a good makeup day or a bad one. 

However, how would consumers know to find the right shade if companies are not marketing their products to all skin tones? 

This is the reason Toronto YouTuber and beauty guru Janielle Wright, 28, says Fenty Beauty is ahead of the beauty game right now, grossing over $72 million in media value alone from its first launch. 

The campaigns featured famous black models like Duckie Thot, Paloma Eslesser and Slick Woods, Leomie Anderson; Halima Aden wearing her hijab, as the primary faces of Fenty Beauty. 

As a dark-skinned black woman, Wright was finally happy to see women who looked like her represented in a beauty campaign. 

“We were able to see in pictures that there is a dark-skinned woman that has Fenty foundation on. Rihanna also had us— dark-skinned women of colour— there in her campaign,” Wright said. 

Natasha Suntewari, former Public Relations and social media manager for VIVA Luxury & Travel magazine, says that Fenty Beauty’s success could also be attributed to Rihanna’s brand, as an influential celebrity who has a major impact on people the world over.  

“Throughout the years she spent creating this brand, she made sure to release sneak peeks and updates to the public through her Instagram and Twitter, building up the excitement for the launch- a clever marketing tactic indeed,” Suntewari says. 

However, Suntewari says it is not fair to only credit Fenty Beauty’s success to Rihanna’s brand, but because the company was creating products for all skin tones. 

“Her products also needed to be somewhat special and different for Fenty Beauty to have made as much money as it did,” she says. “The diverse range of products and the way they were expressed in their marketing did exactly that.”

Read the full article in the "Naturally Radiant" issue here.