This video, if nothing else, shows how difficult it is for chocolate-complexioned women to walk into a cosmetics store and trust any ol' body to beat their face.
However well-intentioned and highly trained makeup artists may be, some of them don't know what they're doing when it comes to dark-brown complexions. Fashion model Nykhor Paul recently shed light on that problem and complained that she often needs to bring her own makeup to photo shoots and high-end gigs because makeup artists are rarely prepared (in terms of both skill level and having the right products) to work wth her skin tone.
BuzzFeed posted a clip Wednesday, as part of its Story of My Life video series, showing makeup artist BellaDeLune clown contouring three people's faces. Clown contouring is an emerging technique in which a makeup artist puts a bunch of makeup on a person's face all at once—which makes the person resemble a clown, hence the name—and the artist then blends everything in at the end. The person is supposed to emerge looking beat for the gawds.
Women Try Clown Contouring
"I'm going to be doing highlighting and contouring on different skin tones, and we're going to have fun with it," BellaDeLune says in the clip, indicating that she consciously chose to work with different complexions. Kudos to BellaDeLune for taking that initiative, because volunteers used in these types of tutorials are often white.
But it's how the black female volunteer ended up looking when BellaDeLune was done that's, well, unfortunate. Cardinal rule No. 1 was broken with regard to her foundation: It didn't match her skin tone, so there was a clear difference in color between her face and her neck. Her eye shadow was unflattering, and overall she looked ghastly. The volunteer seemed to like it, but if you check out the comments underneath the Facebook post, there is a consensus that she was done a disservice.
It's a prime example of how even professional makeup artists have to be extra conscious about working under the right light, and need to take the time to find the right products to match skin tones that they may not work with as frequently: black people's.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.