Image by Mar + Vin
The beauty world is slowly waking up to what inclusivity actually means. However, it has been a slow and sometimes painful process.
We all have memories of trying to find foundation at mainstream drug and department stores, and have left attempting to negotiate the ashen cast they left on our skin. We have had our hair puzzled over (and sometimes butchered) at mainstream salons who simply didn't understand how to cut and style Afro hair. We've left these experiences feeling "less than" and jaded.
The ability to walk into any salon, spa, or store for beauty products is a quiet privilege that most people of European descent are completely unaware of. Yet this silent message has been very loudly heard by women of color for years across the world. What we learned from these moments was that beauty, it seemed, was not for us.
Palette: The Beauty Bible for Women of Color and its author, Funmi Fetto are trying to change that.
Fetto, former beauty director of British Vogue and now currently a contributing columnist and editor there, has 15 years of experience as a journalist in the fashion and beauty industries. She has both worked and written for various publications including Guardian, Elle, The Sunday Times, Harpers Bazaar, and Tatler.
Her inspiration for writing this extensive beauty bible came from friends, family, and strangers asking for her advice on suitable products for afro hair and skin. Women of color spend on average nine times more on hair and beauty products than their caucasian counterparts, yet mainstream beauty coverage acknowledging this spending power is nonexistent. Palette is positioning itself to fill this knowledge gap and inform Afro women of vetted skin, hair, body, and makeup products that actually work for them. The overall message: Generic beauty column advice isn't going to cut it in 2019; women of color deserve more.
"The beauty industry is slowly waking up to the fact that the woman of colour can no longer be ignored and Palette is an exciting opportunity for me to engage honestly with women of colour on the beauty products that work for them. My hope is that this will go some way in galvanizing the global beauty industry to become consistently and authentically inclusive in their approach to beauty”, said Fetto.
Palette: The Beauty Bible for Women of Color is published by Coronet and available for purchase beginning October 3rd, 2019 globally.
Check out Funmi Fetto's in-depth discussion of the cultural issues surrounding the book as well as her personal background and motivation for creating this much-needed resource in her article in The Guardian here.
Also, if you're reading this in London, Fetto will be discussing beauty and inclusivity in collaboration with Black Ballad at the Gower Street Waterstones on Tuesday October 15th. Get your tickets here.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. What are your personal experiences buying beauty products? Frustrations? Hopes for the future? Sound off below.