Finding a foundation was always pretty stressful for me. Or rather, finding the right foundation was. It’s almost up there with the drama of trying to buy jeans that actually fit, and a bikini that doesn’t result a changing room meltdown.
When I first started wearing make-up in my early teens I’d march over to the cosmetics counters on my local high street, jacket jingling with the sound of saved pocket money (and extra change I’d found down the side of the sofa), only to find there were very few brands that catered to my dark skin tone.
Don’t get me wrong – turning up at school with a face covered in a dodgy shade of gloopy foundation is a right of passage that even the best of us go through. But we should at least have access to gloopy foundation that covers the beautifully diverse range of skin tones out there… right?
Thankfully though, over the years beauty brands have slowly but surely started to take steps to give us a more representative selection of products. Most recently L’Oreal have taken it one step further by bringing real diversity to mainstream advertising, with their new campaign for True Match foundation.
Featuring bloggers, YouTubers, tattooed models, burns survivor Katie Piper and the first man to star in a make up campaign, beauty blogger Gary Thompson, L’Oreal’s #YoursTruly True Match campaign uses a group of influential, relatable people of all shapes, sizes and complexions to showcase their new 23 shades.
The collection now caters for 98% of UK skin tones – and I have to admit, the campaign is a breath of fresh air amongst the all-too-familiar ads, which only seem to star impossibly poreless models of perhaps two or three varying complexions.
From 1.C through to 10.C, L’Oreal have used their 23 shades to tell the stories of 23 individuals who represent a diverse body of people who, y’know, exist in real, actual life.
Yep, it’s a brilliantly encouraging campaign… but before we all get too caught up in how exciting and authentic L’Oreal’s advert is, I think it’s important to remember that this level of inclusivity was a long time coming.
Like, a really long time.
Of course, slow progress is better than no progress, but I can’t say that I’m not a tad underwhelmed by how long it’s taken to for so many people not to be excluded from the mainstream beauty world that in actual fact, isn’t so mainstream.
So many of the people who feature in L’Oreal’s campaign explain how frustrating it was to feel like make-up wasn’t for them, or how much of a struggle it was to find products that truly fit their skin. And that’s just it – we all want to feel good when we’re wearing make up. And we should because (you guessed it), we’re all worth it.
So fair play to L’Oreal for making such a positive move in the right direction. But let’s hope more brands follow suit, so more of us can see ourselves in the beauty world.
Image: L’Oreal Paris