These days the internet is rife with outraged consumers pointing the finger at cosmetic companies for lack of colour diversity. Accused of not catering for women with darker complexions, many companies, such as Tarte, have been outed for mainly carrying foundation and concealer for caucasian women with only one or two darker shades.
In the aftermath brands, like Fenty by Rhianna, have come out as pioneers of variety, launching foundation ranges with a colour spectrum of up to 40 different shades.
“But what about us pale girls?!” I hear someone shout from the back of the room.
And now I’m not talking mid-pale, ‘just haven’t been on holiday in a while’, I’m talking so pale, it looks like you have never seen sunlight.
I am one of these girls.
My dad likes to call it “Scottish blue”, I just called it ginger.
I decided to test out just how accommodating different brands were for women of an even smaller minority (Less than 2% of the worlds population is ginger)
So off I went to John Lewis on Oxford Street. A reputable department store, in the capitals famous shopping street with one of the biggest beauty halls I’ve ever been to.
I was excited and confident that I would have a wide range of choice. I imagined that I would have trouble deciding which silky smooth foundation to opt for amongst all my options, and that I would be bombarded with sales girls convincing me their one was the best.
This couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Prepared with my empty bottle of Lancome foundation, (which had always been just a little too dark for me), I beelined for Channel.
I’ve tried out their foundation before, I know I like the texture, I felt sure that my search would be a short one, and I would find what I was looking for there.
No such luck.
The shockingly most helpful sales girl of the day, informed me after a sweeping glance at my bottle and the draw of different foundations that they unfortunately didn’t carry anything that pale. I asked her which brands she reckoned would, to which she was Clueless.
This was a sign of things to come. I then started a slightly insulting crusade of zigzagging from each different counter hoping that they would be of more help.
I tried : Dior, Charlotte Tilbury, Laura Mercier, Mac, Tom Ford, Urban decay, Nars and a few others that I have blocked out, each person telling me they couldn’t be of any help. Some not even taking the time to check their stock, and just literally looking at my complexion and scoffing before sending me away cap in hand.
Finally like a beacon of hope Bobbi Brown came through and saved the day.
Though the sales girl wasn’t the most charismatic person, she did managed to help me with my quest and sold me a bottle of Alabaster, which though not a perfect match, does suit my skin tone better than any other foundation I have ever tired.
Next week I will compile a list of other alternative brands, and will hopefully be one step closer to finding a fitting foundation.