Shades Spark Controversy

Youthforia’s newest Fondation Shade
Shades Spark Controversy

On April 30, TikTok influencer Golloria George reviewed cosmetic company Youthforia’s “Date Night Skin Tint” foundation line in 25 different shades, only to find that their darkest shade, 600 Deep, closely resembled black face paint.

Youthforia is a “clean and sustainable makeup company” that sets itself apart from other companies by making makeup that users are able to sleep in. The company got its start on Shark Tank. While on the show, founder Flona Co Chan received a $400,000 investment from billionaire Mark Cuban.

The company first started receiving mass amounts of criticism when they launched the original 15 shades of their “Date Night” foundation. Many beauty influencers reviewed the product, claiming that there weren’t enough deep shades for people of color and that many of the darker shades were not accurate to the advertising photos online. Furthermore, a majority of the already limited shade range was for people with fairer complexion and skin tones.

In March of 2024, the company added 10 new shades to their “Date Night Skin Tint”, with darker complexion shades. One shade in particular, 600 Deep, caught the attention of many beauty influencers and customers.

In April, Golloria George recorded a TikTok as a part of her “The Darkest Shade” series, where George tests to see if brands practice true inclusivity. When reviewing the newest darkest shade, George applies one side of her face with black face paint, and the other with the “Date Night Skin Tint”. Many viewers, much like myself, quickly realize that there is next to no difference between the two sides. When asking her audience if anyone could tell the difference between the two shades, George said, “You can’t tell. You know why? Tar in a bottle.”

When looking at the ingredients in the lightest shade compared to the darkest shade, it is clear that there is a big difference between the quality of ingredients between the shades. Youthforia’s lightest shade, 110 fair, includes multiple different ingredients that give users the correct pigments and undertones. But for the darkest shade, one major ingredient used is called “CI 77499”, which is essentially just black pigment. This ingredient means that the foundation can not truly match anyone’s coloration and undertones, because it is identical to the paint found in face painting kits.

Immediately after receiving mass amounts of hate regarding the new release, Chan quickly came to the defense of her new product. In response, Youthforia posted a video on TikTok where Chan claimed she had trouble finding models that would match the darkest shade. Rather than taking accountability for her noninclusive product, the company continues to sell their product and use its controversy as a selling strategy.

With the continuous hate Youthforia took for their darkest foundation shade, Chan explained that her “small business” had to speed up development time or their products in Ulta would be taken from shelves.

Sophomore Liberty Peachy commented on the controversy and said, “It’s important to make sure people like them being represented as beautiful and also that everyone has access to products that they need.”

“Inclusivity is important because people of all colors exist and deserve to have makeup that accommodates them. People should have opportunities to not only see makeup on others that look similar to themselves but also wear it themselves,” sophomore Lydia Tate said, echoing Peachy’s reasons on why a wider shade range is important.

“Give everyone a voice in their company, and make sure they include minorities in the making of their products and really listen to see where they can adapt to be more inclusive of everyone,” added Peachy.

Sophomore Sam Asencio had similar opinions on the issue. “Introducing more ways to be inclusive, like with makeup. More skin tones or using different languages with your marketing so that way everyone can be included and use their brand,” Asencio said.

Whether you are or aren’t personally affected by issues regarding inclusivity within makeup companies like Youthforias foundation, it is important that all people recognize and take a stand against brands that do not provide quality products that work for everyone.

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