Viewing Race in Makeup

Source: Google Image Search (most popular images for each search term)

This composite represents the most popular images in a Google search for branding of the lightest makeup color (Ivory) to the darkest (True Ebony) in CoverGirl’s TRUBlend Liquid Makeup and Queen Collection Natural Hue Liquid Makeup. Initial research shows that CoverGirl’s branding mirrors that of other makeup companies with foundation options for both Caucasians and people of color. CoverGirl was chosen as the spectrum because it is the only top 10 bestselling drugstore cosmetic line to offer a dedicated brand for people of color.

Each row of foundation names may be read right to left:
From TRUBlend
Ivory, Classic Ivory, Natural Ivory, Creamy Natural, Buff Beige, Classic Beige
Medium Light, Natural Beige, Warm Beige, Creamy Beige, Soft Honey, Classic Tan
Tawny, Toasted Almond, Soft Sable

From the Queen Collection
Rich Sand, Amber Glow, Classic Bronze, Almond Glow, Toffee, Golden Honey
Warm Caramel, Soft Copper, Sheer Espresso, Spicy Brown, Rich Mink, True Ebony

What conclusions can we draw from these observations?

Expanding Makeup Options for People of Color

Stroll down any drugstore cosmetics isle and you’ll notice a growing trend: More makeup choices for people of color. Cosmetic companies have taken note of United States census figures that calculate by 2042 Americans who identify themselves as Hispanic, black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander will together outnumber non-Hispanic whites, according to the New York Times.

And it’s a market cosmetics companies want in on.

Of the six major cosmetic retailers found at Target, four offer foundation options for diverse people. These include Revlon, L’Oreal, CoverGirl and Maybelline, all of which rank in the top 10 world’s best selling brands according to Forbes.

Lines that do not carry foundation options are Almay and Neutrogena. The parent companies of Almay and Neutrogena offer foundation options for people of color through sister lines Revlon and CoverGirl, respectively.

CoverGirl is the only bestselling makeup brand to offer a full line of options to women of color with its Queen brand. The branding of Queen’s various color options mirrored similar trends across brands and includes: Sand, Almond Glow, Warm Caramel, Spicy Brown, Amber Glow, Toffee, Soft Copper, Rich Mink, Classic Bronze, Golden Honey, Sheer Espresso and True Ebony.

Similar to its other brands with foundations for people of color, Queen’s branding equates skin color to food and natural elements. It differs in that each color is named with an adjective and a noun, which is a trend across makeup for lighter skin colors.

A search of Google shows that naming for foundation for Caucasian women is closely associated with makeup. First page Google results for common foundation names such as Beige, Ivory and Nude Beige were closely related with foundation.5

Results for Natural Ivory

Naming for foundation for people of diversity was never related to a makeup color and yielded literal results for search terms like Amber Glow and Warm Caramel.

Results for Warm Caramel

Makeup for Caucasians was more likely to be named with adjectives like Natural, Class, True, Nude and Fresh. Its counterpart was much less likely to feature such adjectives. Across the four brands offering foundation options for people of color, only CoverGirl featured names that included similar adjectives (True Ebony and Classic Bronze).

What can consumers draw from an analysis of major cosmetic companies and their branding of foundation for people of color? The answer to that question ranges depending on who is asked. It is imperative that consumers continue to analyze branding of diverse foundation options.

What do you think of branding for foundation? Does anything pop out to you?

Blog Version of Me

A constant chronicler, my harddrive holds seven years of photographs. I had a hard time finding photos of me by me in 2004 and 2005. Ones that exist are mostly of my body and clothing, but rarely of my face. In my adolescence, I strongly identified as a photographer. I had a personal website and a livejournal for my friends, where I posted most of my photos from 2001 to 2005.

In 2006, my photography of myself changed with the acquisition of a Facebook account. These angle specific face shots dominated 2006 to 2009 at the height of my Facebook usage.

In 2010, when started this blog and deleted my Facebook account permanently, I became more interested in photos that showed my face and body including my outfits and makeup.

Onto the Questions!

Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?
Blogging in all ways, shapes and forms has affected the way I see myself. I started my first website in 2000. I’ve had LiveJournal for ten years. I started this blog about seven months ago. I can’t imagine how I would see myself without the existence of the internet.

Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?
Oh definitely! If we’re talking appearance only, there’s many traits I would alter about myself. Don’t most people feel that way?

On a deeper level, I do not try to hide parts of my personality on this blog. However, there are definitely times when I hold back certain political and cultural beliefs in favor of keeping friends. I do have a private blog where I express strong thoughts and opinions freely but would find it difficult to do publicly in a forum without much context to a new reader.

Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?
I encourage people to accept themselves and not care about size of what makeup they wear. Yet, I worry about those things daily. Can I lose the last 5 pounds? Do I really need new eyeshadow to feel pretty? Who cares! is how I feel sometimes. I hope my body image will eventually evolve to catch up with my self confidence. Sometimes my words have to work hard to convince my thoughts.

Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you’re having your picture taken?
I take photos of me for my blog and also use photos of myself that either I or someone else has taken in the past. There are definitely times when I feel frustrated that I don’t look a certain way or photograph how I see myself in the mirror or in my head. Then there’s times when I find myself pretty in a way I’ve never noticed before, which overpowers feelings of negativity.

What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?
The best advice I can give is to do something you’re passionate about that doesn’t encourage you to focus negative energy on yourself. Fill your life with meaningful activities that aren’t all about you. Find friends who support you and don’t bring you down. Make your life busy and filled with love so when you are feeling down, you have support.

Thanks For Reading! Please come back again and have a great weekend. Leave a comment on what your think about this post!

5 Minute Makeup for Work

The past two weeks have been filled with sleeping until 7:30 in the morning and rushing to get ready leaving little time for lip gloss and eyeshadow. Here’s a few looks I managed to pull together.

NYX Natural Look

As mentioned above, NYX Cosmetics sent me products to test out. After I’ve used each product at least five times, I’ll be providing a review as I think it’s important to always give products a fair trail time.

Naked Palette and Some Other Things

If I don’t write down what I used, I forget within a week. That’s pretty much what happened, but here’s my best guess:

Eyeshadow
Primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original
Basic light brown shadow (Urban Decay Naked Palette)
Basic dark brown shadow (Urban Decay Naked Palette)

Face
Mineral Foundation (Bare Escentuals Mineral Foundation in Medium Light)
Translucent Powder(Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil)

Lips
Light pink lipgloss (Pixi Lumi Lux Lip Palette)

New Years Eve: The Fixed Version

It’s very rare that people point out what they would’ve done differently or how they made mistakes with makeup (and with life, for that matter). This is how I would correct my New Years Eve look if I tried doing it again.

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Tomorrow I’ll be writing about how my sense of self image has changed throughout the years. I just went through seven years of photos and pulled together what I’m calling a “Selfies Retrospective.” I realized that it wasn’t blogging that changed the way I viewed myself and the photos I took–it was Facebook. The transformation was interesting to say the least. I’ve been Facebook Free for seven months and I honestly couldn’t be happier. Check back to find out more tomorrow!

Black and Pink Valentine’s Day Dress

Wrap Dress by Glam (Thrifted)
Basic Black Leather Heels by Etienne Aigner (TJ Maxx)
Whenever there’s a holiday that falls on a work day I make a point to dress on theme. Valentine’s was no different. For whatever reason, I do most of my outfit posts on holidays.

Me and my hubby-to-be cooked homemade pad thai. Originally we were planning on going out, but I thought it would be more fun to stay home and cook. And, on the plus side, I now know how to make pad thai. It was almost perfect but couldn’t locate Tamarind sauce or pickled oriental radish so maybe it would’ve tasted a bit different with those ingredients on hand.

Ironically enough, once I returned from work, I put on jeans and a sweater. Isn’t that the opposite of what you’re supposed to do?

Wearable Marilyn Monroe Look

This look came from Kevyn Aucoin’s Face Forward. A version can also be found in Aucoin’s Making Faces as well as other makeup books.

Please note: All NYX products featured were provided by NYX for consideration. No compensation was received.

Getting Back on Track

I got kicked off track when my wireless internet went buh-bye last week. Ever since, it’s been a constant game of catch up to stay on top of blogging. It’s been such a long time that I’ve even posted at night but I just needed to get this post up!

On Thursday, I’ll be resuming my 30 for 30 makeup posts as well as Friend Friday. As you may have read last week, this blog is taking a new direction to incorporate feminism, fashion and my love for both. I’ll begin to incorporate posts that I hope you find interesting!

Thanks for sticking it out with me.