Over the past few years my formula for makeup/beauty shopping has become so complicated. At one point it was just if I want it, I buy it. Now it’s a complex series of questions that have me hesitating before I hit “purchase” online or swipe my card in stores.
First, I ask myself if the brand I’m looking at is “brown girl friendly,” meaning how deep do their products go? For me this is important because, look at my profile pic, I have deep brown skin, those barely tan foundations won’t do anything for me. Being brown girl friendly for me also means a brand includes women who look like me (or my friends/family) in their marketing efforts. A couple of brands that do are ColourPop and NARS, they swatch their products on light, medium, and deep skin tones. This lets me know they’re thinking of me when trying to sell.
Second, I think about any interactions I’ve had or seen with the brands. These interactions are obviously limited to social media but that’s all I need. A certain brand posted a racially offensive video as promotion for one of their products about two years ago and I haven’t bought anything from them since. I know that every thing is a hot button or touchy subject these days but I expect to see responsibility and sensitivity from all the brands I choose to support.
Finally, I think about the brand ownership. I enjoy supporting black-owned brands because it’s phenomenal to see black businesses growing and more often than not those are the brands more willing to support our communities and collaborative initiatives. But this is also where my shopping algorithm gets complex, recently a brand I want to try and a brand I’ve loved forever have come under fire for business practices and that leaves me conflicted. black|Up Cosmetics has caught flack for alleged shady dealings involving the original founder (a black man) and investors, Shea Moisture is catching the shade for bringing on Bain Financial (which is also connected to Mitt Romney) as an investor and people are jumping ship. While I do hope both companies answer their followers’ questions about these things and I also know there are a plethora of other brands to choose from, something about “boycotting” these brands doesn’t sit well with me.
We beg and tweet and rant for companies to incorporate products for women of color and eventually they do so, as an after-thought. The two companies mentioned above are/were exclusively for women of color, they thought of us first, isn’t that what we’ve been asking for? This gets me to wondering if we dug into every brand’s history, how many brands would we “get up outta here?” Who would we still support? I’m not saying we shouldn’t be informed and questions shouldn’t be answered, but I do know that opportunities such as an indie brand like black|Up moving into Sephora and Shea Moisture getting a huge investor only makes room for more black owned businesses to move into similar spaces.
Constantly thinking of all these elements drives me crazy and almost has me not shopping at all. Notice I said almost, God ain’t through with me yet lol!
Enough of my thoughts, what factors go into your beauty shopping experience? Let’s chat in the comments!