Women of color have often felt ignored by cosmetics companies. Many ethnic women have had trouble finding foundation and makeup colors that are flattering . DARK SKIN WOMEN usually have sensitive, oily skin that scars easily. Products that are powdery can look ashy and chalky on darker complexions, and pink pigmented products are unflattering to ethnic skintones.
In the beginning, there was Fashion Fair. Founded in 1973 and aimed at African-American and Carribean women, it offered darker colors, not available at the time. It is still around, and can be purchased at a handful of stores across the country. The line seems a bit old-fashioned to me. There is a skincare line that includes bleaching cream and oil reduction products. Color choices are conservative, and I could not find a product with a sunscreen (we should all wear sunscreen) . Still, it is a no-frills line for dark- skinned women. http://www.fashionfair.com/.
In 1994, fashion model Iman, tired of mixing her own colors and formulas, started her own cosmetics line. I-man is geared to all women of color, and it really succeeds in its goal. It is a line with multi-cultural appeal, and no unnecessary products. She has pared it down to a wonderful range of essentials.
The products are creamy, and blend well. I like the pressed powder, which leaves a dewy finish. The skincare line is excellent. I recommend Hydrator SPF 15, and Drench, a rich but light moisturizer
Iman has two websites. http://www.i-man.com/ is her personal site with info about the products, and her makeup philosophy. It projects the image of a funky urban drama queen, fitting for the wife of David Bowie.
Her line can be purchased at http://www.imanbeauty.com/, a very user-friendly site with descriptions of all the items, and easy checkout.
For women who want a large line with many flattering color options, I suggest Nars, and MAC. Nars has dark lipsticks in lovely shades of brown and burgundy available at http://www.neimanmarcus.com/ and at major department stores.
Women of color now have more options, as companies realize the potential of a powerful consumer base. Ideally, cosmetics companies should consider the ethnic market. Most women are willing to pay for quality products and good service, especially if the products are tailored to her needs.
A woman of color wants to feel welcome at the cosmetics counter. Consultants should be aware of her needs, and the company should feature ethnic faces in their advertising.