Diversity In Makeup

At a family Christmas party the other day, I had a lovely conversation with an extended family member about makeup. She noticed that I was wearing makeup for the first time in her memory and gave me some great compliments. That made my mood a bit better than it was when we got there. Stupid baked beans.

Our conversation got to the fact that I’m now blogging about makeup. She is a fairly logical and an OCD type like me so I knew she’d appreciate my Score Card. When I told her that 12% of the score relates only to the range of shades, she wondered why.

For some products, this is almost a gimme section. Mascaras, eyeshadows, and eyeliners don’t really have much that takes away from this category so they always get a 3 there. Sure, some eyeshadows might not show up on some skin tones but for the most part, all of them work for someone. Blush and contour and highlighter look different on different skins. The biggest issue in makeup, in my opinion, is foundation and concealer shade ranges.

This shade range deal is a sticking point for me. My family is very diverse. Uh… this is probably a good time to point out that I am adopted. So is my twin brother and both of my little sisters.

Mom has easy-to-tan medium skin with yellow undertones. She likes to fake bake so she gets a lot darker at times despite the negative effects of tanning. She has oily skin and being a mature adult she is showing some signs of aging. She doesn’t take her makeup off at night. Instead, she takes it off the next morning with a washcloth. :/

My skin is fickle. When I was a kid, I tanned to this beautiful golden brown because I constantly played outside. My birth mother was incredibly fair with dirty blonde hair and blue eyes and my birth father looked like a cross between First Nations and some kind of Hispanic Islander. Everyone thought I’d take after my birth father’s side of the family with reddish brown skin and dark hair, despite my platinum blonde hair and blue eyes at the time. Nope. Puberty hit, I found books, and I abandoned the outdoors. Now I burn like a lobster within 20 minutes. I don’t go out in the sun anymore if I can help it without sunscreen. My eyes didn’t change but my hair went from platinum blonde as a child to dishwater blonde during puberty to light brown as an adult. I have light/medium cross skin with neutral undertones. I have sensitive skin and rosacea too so I’m constantly red. 😡

By comparison, my twin brother has dishwater blonde hair, hazel eyes, light skin with yellow undertones, and burns to a crisp despite years of being out in the sun playing sports and working construction.

Kid 1 is biracial. Her birth mother was very fair and her birth father was very dark from what we understand. Kid 1 is dark skinned with pink/orangish undertones. When she spends time in the sun, her skin generally gets darker but she develops noticeable freckles (that piss her off beyond reason) and she gets an odd reddish hue on the lighter parts of her body. If she had her way, she would never go in the sun again. But she is active in color guard and most of their practices and competitions are outdoors. Sorry about your luck kid. You are going to have to get used to those freckles or, ya know, listen to me for once and start wearing sunscreen. She has a lot of issues with acne, mostly because she doesn’t take her makeup off at night or wash her face regularly. The blackheads on her nose are noticeable and her skin has a rough quality to it. She shouldn’t have that at 14. I have tried to help. I buy salicylic acid face wash. I gave her witch hazel toner. I showed her how to exfoliate. But right now, she is in that stage where she knows everything and no one else knows anything. Eh. She’ll figure it out at some point. I’ve told her under no circumstances is she allowed to bleach her skin until she is 18 and old enough to make her own choices. That is going to be difficult once she starts cosmetology school in 11th grade. I hope she never gets into that stuff though. Her skin is beautiful. She just needs to take care of it better. At least, once she starts cosmetology school, she might start caring for her skin better.

Kid 2 shares the same birth mother with Kid 1. Kid 2’s birth father was very fair like the mother though. She is almost paper white with pink undertones. She has adorable freckles and long blonde hair that Kid 1 would kill her for if there was a chance of getting away with it. As Kid 2 is going through puberty, her hair is darkening a slight bit. It is no longer platinum blonde, growing closer to a dishwater blonde at the roots now. Not that it matters because she hates her blonde hair and constantly wants to put dark brown hair dye on it. Brown! Oy. She has yet to develop much hormone-induced acne but it is starting. She flipped out when she got her first pimple. I would have laughed if she wasn’t so upset. She constantly asks for nose strips because she thinks she has blackheads since her sister has them. Despite that, I can’t get her to wash her face regularly either. Gah. Like me, she burns like a lobster in the sun. She is also very intolerant to the heat so she doesn’t spend much time outdoors either.

I need diversity in makeup brands. How else can I recommend products to my dearly loved family? I want to use makeup that everyone else can use too, not just 1 or 2 of us. Kid 1 shouldn’t have to go on a month-long scavenger hunt to find 1 workable shade while Kid 2 can walk into any drugstore and walk out 2 minutes later with something that works in 4 different brands. That is not fair. Diversity matters in my family, even with makeup.

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