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Do Brown Beauty Bloggers Face Discrimination?

Are Cosmetic Companies Biased Against Brown Beauty Bloggers?

Last week, MAC Cosmetics dropped its latest installment of Riri Hearts MAC, Rihanna’s limited edition collection with the popular global cosmetic brand. Offerings in the Fall 2013 collection, which include the cult favorite Riri Woo and the ever-elusive perfect Nude shade were of special interest to women of color, who sometimes find it a bit more challenging to nail down the perfect picks to compliment their complexions. Riri Hearts MAC Fall 2013 also includes eyeshadows, liners, blushes and brushes.

Before the 1970s, there were few makeup lines who offered shades for Black women; complexion products, such a concealer or foundation, were often made for paler skin tones. Other cosmetics were designed to compliment fairer skin as well. In response, brands like Fashion Fair, which launched in 1973, were started in response to strong customer interest of an overlooked market. Fast forward twenty years, and additional niche brands like Black Opal, or IMAN Cosmetics, Skincare, and Fragrance, the eponymous company owned by the legendary model, have also emerged and provide Black consumers with a wider range of options.

Still, there are some who wonder if Black women are getting the brush off from the cosmetic industry. Black women spend $7.5 billion annually on beauty products, spend 80 percent more money on cosmetics, and twice as much on skin care products than the general market.

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