Brand Blunder

This makeup brand did something so disrespectful that everyone’s talking about it

If you’ve been on TikTok for the past few days, you’ve probably noticed people talking about a specific makeup brand more than usual. And not just any product in the brand’s lineup: the brand’s cornerstone product, its foundation line.

Recently, the buzzy makeup brand Youthforia released a new, expanded shade range for their popular Date Night foundation after facing criticism regarding a lack of inclusivity. This, sadly, isn’t uncommon: when Rihanna’s beauty brand Fenty Beauty first came on the scene in 2017, it was one of the first major makeup brands to release a truly wearable range of foundation shades for Black and brown women with deeper skin tones. Before that point, beauty influencers like Jackie Aina and Nyma Tang were constantly calling out brands to do better, and Fenty’s 40-shade collection became the instant favorite and the standard for all brands to follow going foward.

You’d think that in the year of our lord 2024, post-Fenty Beauty and post the Tarte Shape Tape fiasco, Black beauty influencers wouldn’t have to waste their time trying to get makeup brands to create inclusive shade ranges for complexion products. But here we are.

When Youthforia released their (still very limited) new, expanded shade range for the Date Night line, Black influencers instantly noticed something. The darkest shade in the collection wasn’t just a poor attempt at inclusion: it was a downright insult.

“Which side of my face is black facepaint or the Youthforia foundation,” beauty influencer Golloria said in a recent TikTok. “Tea, you can’t tell.” She went on to call the jet black foundation “tar in a bottle.”


the darkest shade of the youthforia date night foundation.

♬ original sound – golloria

She wasn’t alone: other beauty influencers weighed in on the shade, describing the foundation as “a crime” and being close to minstrelsy. Despite the brand claiming that they tried out the shade on models beforehand, influencers instantly called them out on it.


@Youthforia are yall okay?!? @golloria I would LOVE to see you try this shade !❤️ #youthforia #makeup #blackgirlmakeup

♬ original sound – Wumi.Afuye

“This is what we get when we ask to be included in the beauty community,” said beauty TikToker Awuoi Matiop. “There’s no way in 2024 we are getting this. They’re just laughing in our face saying ‘here you go, here’s some black paint for your face.'”


Don’t they understand that we have undertones?? #youthforia #darkskinmakeup

♬ original sound – Awuoi Matiop

After influencers started calling out the fact that the new shades didn’t even really match Youthforia’s models and that there were no undertones and no warmth to the darkest shade in the range, the brand released a half-hearted apology claiming that they worked hard to create a shade that would match folks on the deeper end of the spectrum.

But the Black beauty community is not having it. Instead of being included and celebrated in the expanded range of foundation shades, users got an unusable shade of black and only a few other shades for deeper complexions. Contrasted to the many offerings available for the lighter side of the shade range, Youthforia’s intention felt clear. One TikToker defined it as “malicious compliance.” Others felt the brand was trying to create controversy on purpose.

Basically, this is a f*ckup of epic proportions. As other influencers have pointed out, it’s not that no one has skin that deep. Of course they do. But no one can use a flat tone that—as beauty influencer Javon Ford pointed out—is made up of pure black pigment with no seemingly no attempt to mix in other colorants that would lend the foundation the natural undertones and highlights of actual skin. “Look I’m south Sudanese,” one commenter wrote, “and we get dark as hell but I have yet to seen a mf jet black there is no reason for it to jump from brown to that shade.”

As many Black creators have pointed out, it’s nothing short of disgraceful that people with darker skin tones are still an afterthought when it comes to big beauty brands. Thanks to the gold standard set by Fenty Beauty, there’s truly no excuse. So what’s Youthforia’s deal?

Whether the brand was trying to directly insult people or formulated this shade knowing that the controversy would lead to buzz, beauty influencers are pretty much all on the same page about how offensive Youthforia’s darkest shade is. The backlash has been so bad that even certain ambassadors for the brand have decided to cut ties moving forward, for good reason.

Whether or not Youthforia can come back from this blunder is unclear, but one thing’s certain: the brand owes the Black and brown beauty community an immediate apology.

Don't forget to share:

Tags: Makeup
Read More in Culture
The Latest on INTO