- Faith & Family
If you are among those Black women that use popular cosmetic brands such as Lancôme, L’Oreal or Clinique, you may have had frustrating experiences finding products that match your color and skin type. What do black products offer that mainstream cosmetic lines don’t and how do they account for the different textures and tones of our skin? According to Donna Italiano, a beauty consultant at Black Opal, their products are specifically designed for Black women.
“The Black Opal cosmetics line is an extension of our skincare line, which focuses on treating skin with problems such as oil, hyper-pigmentation, dryness and acne,” she said. “The Black Opal foundations include treatment benefits, such as oil-blocking mattifiers, oil diffusers; they also contain copious pigmentation for color matching. Other popular Black cosmetic lines include Iman, Fashion Fair and Black Up.”
According to Dr. Susan Taylor, founder of Rx for Brown Skin, “By far, the most common problem that I see is pigmentation disorders, which includes discoloration, dark marks and uneven skin tone.”
Perhaps this is why Black women spend 80 percent more on cosmetics and twice as much on skincare than the general market. Celebrity Black makeup artist, Sam Fine, attributes this annual $7.5 billion expenditure to “the hope that the product will do what it’s supposed to do.”
However, some mainstream cosmetic lines have migrated towards creating collections to address the wide spectrum of skin tones in women of color. The Cover Girl Queen Collection is one of the most popular extensions of color options. The line was designed in collaboration with Queen Latifah in 2006 and offers 12 different shades of brown foundations, which include colors such as rich sand, true ebony and toffee. It’s a stark difference from their other collections that may have only offered one or two shades of brown.
With a growing number of specialized products tailored to the Black female consumer, women can enjoy a wide variety of cosmetic options. Mainstream lines such as Cover Girl are setting the stage for other brands to follow and acknowledge Black women as the biggest spenders of cosmetics.
By Adrienne Jordan
Miami Times writer