The (Colour) Problem With Makeup

The (Colour) Problem With Makeup

I got into makeup pretty late… I don’t know I had pretty clear skin as a kid (to be honest I still do) so makeup really seemed needed.  However, at 18 I started noticing the tiny imperfections like uneven colour on my face and dark circles under my eyes and I figured it was time to give this whole makeup thing a try.
In the last year I’ve got a lot more into exploring different brands of makeup – from cheaper drugstore stuff to some more expensive brand names and whilst there is so much variety in terms of products and consistencies and finishes, there’s not as much variety when it comes to colour…
My mum’s of St Lucian origin and my dad’s of Jamaican origin, so I have a medium-ish skin tone; I’m not that dark, and yet finding drug store foundations and concealers is near impossible.  I have foundations that suit my skin tone, but these can generally only be found in high-end brands (the two I have at the moment are from MAC and Nars).  Yes, these are both amazing foundations, but I’m a student, I don’t have money to spend on fancy foundations all the time.  This problem is even worse when it comes to concealer, because I go through concealer very quickly, and cannot justifying paying around £20 for a high end concealer that’s only gonna last me a month at best.  I feel like I should at least have the choice of whether I want to buy more expensive high end ones or cheaper drugstore ones, and at the moment there is no choice.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t me trying to attack the cosmetics industry – progress is being made: Maybelline recently expanded the range of shades in their Fit Me Foundations, and Sleek recently brought out a contour palette that is actually dark enough for me to effectively contour with.  However, there is still a long way to go: even with the Maybelline shades, the darker shades are rarely available in stores and I can’t order foundations on line without swatching them first.  The scary thing is, my skin isn’t even towards the end of the darker spectrum of skin-tones, so it must be even more difficult for others.  Yes, makeup is readily available nowadays at all price ranges, but the colours still need to be improved.
That being said, my favourite products for my skin tone (although some are applicable to anyone) at the moment are:

Hope this was helpful/insightful.
Lots of love,
Jas xx 



  1. February 20, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    I feel like this is more of an issue when you’re looking into getting into makeup, like me. I have dark skin since both of my parents have African origin and I’m finding it so hard to find cheap concealers and foundation for my skin! Not only that, I have no idea what colours and stuff suit my skin since most makeup tutorials are made for people like light skin. Ugh it’s so annoying!😒

    • February 20, 2017 / 7:22 pm

      Yeah, it can be a real struggle, especially at the early when there isn’t as much help around for people for darker skin! Hopefully it’s a problem that will be solved at some point.
      Jas xx

  2. February 21, 2017 / 11:50 am

    Really interesting post Jasmine! I was reading an article about this that someone shared on Twitter the other day and it’s shocking to see the limited range of colours available on the market at the moment, although it is great to see that Maybelline and Sleek are expanding their range now, and I do hope the high street catch up soon as they’re missing out on a big market and of course everyone should be catered for, especially as you say, some items you want to swatch first and I’m like you, I hesitate to buy make-up online as I want to see the look on my own skin first, so I hope this is something they resolve soon! – Tasha

    • February 21, 2017 / 12:46 pm

      Thank you Tasha! Yeah it’s good that nowadays there are more articles recognising the problem and more brands are starting to catch up, but there’s still a long way to go, let’s hope we get there soon!
      Jas xx

      • February 21, 2017 / 1:34 pm

        Definitely, hopefully it’s the start of other brands changing it up! 🙂

  3. February 21, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    Drugstore ranges, to me, seem to focus more on expanding their ranges with different products to one up the other brands instead of focusing on things like this. Colour ranges are so small, it’s crazy that any of them think with the amount of people in the world 5 shades would ever be suitable.
    When you put being cruelty free into the mix, it limits you even more. I am, of course, lucky that I am able to get the palest shade but when it comes to darker ones (in my town at least) there seems to only ever be one or two.
    As you said, progress does seem to be being made but long before 2017 surely companies should know it isn’t just medium white people who wear make up.

    • February 21, 2017 / 12:49 pm

      Yeah, I have noticed that brands tend to expand their range of products before colours which is quite unfair to most darker skinned people! A lot of the time there will be 4 medium-white shades and one shade that actually accommodates darker skinned people, which makes no sense as dark-skinned people, just like lighter skinned people, do not all come in one shade!
      Let’s just hope that the progress continues!
      Jas xx

  4. February 21, 2017 / 11:28 pm

    I totally agree! There’s a serious gap in the market for those of us with either dark skin or very pale skin. The majority of shades are for in between skin tones! Glad they’re starting to expand ranges though!
    PaleGirlRambling xo

    • February 21, 2017 / 11:33 pm

      Yeah, it’s definitely an issue but it’s slowly being resolved, let’s hope we get there soon!
      Jas xx

  5. February 26, 2017 / 5:57 pm

    Being half Anglo and half Korean, I’ve got a weird combo going, but between Korean and American cosmetics I am able to find what I need. What’s tougher is good eye makeup tutorials for Asian eyes… we have a different fold tot he eyelid, and I find that most of the tutorials I find in English don’t look the same on my eyes.

    • February 26, 2017 / 6:01 pm

      Hmm I’ve never thought about makeup tutorials and problems with those, but I do quite understand that. As a black girl it’s also hard to find tutorials done by women of colour, however when it comes to eye makeup this isn’t as big a deal. My problem lies more with skin-coloured products. Hopefully with the amount of youtubers nowadays there will be a growth in diverse makeup tutorials!
      Jas xx

  6. February 26, 2017 / 10:08 pm

    This might sound strange, but my daughter has Vitiligo and therefore has two toned skin in places, depending on where her (in her case) white’r’ patches are. I got a sample kit of Dermablend foundation/cover-up just to see how it worked and they were actually pretty nice and smooth and come in several different colors and shades that you can choose from. She’s only 12 years old and since she is fair skinned anyways she really isn’t concerned at this point in time with makeup at all but I was just thinking of her for her future when it might matter. 🙂 Or when it’s summer and she tans in some places and may not in others. Anyways, here is a link in case you are interested in checking them out.

    • February 26, 2017 / 10:10 pm

      Thank you for the recommendation! Will definitely check them out!
      Jas xx

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