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Most foundations labeled "natural" are for lighter skin
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The bias of beauty products

Jason Norwood-Young
Jason Norwood-Young

The Pudding’s new data essay on biases baked into the beauty industry’s naming of shades, The Naked Truth, is very similar to its 2018 investigation into the diversity of makeup, but it’s hardly like the problem has gone away.

“A 2020 study investigating the connotations of foundation shade names in 20 products found that dark shades were largely named after “the least valuable substances and objects” while lighter shades were labeled after “decorative, valuable, and precious objects.” Our analysis revealed similar results, and the more you study the data, the more patterns of microaggressions specifically targeting Black and Brown consumers begin to materialize,” writes Ofunne Amaka, who penned the story and works in the makeup biz herself. (Notably the data guru Amber Thomas worked on both projects.)

Jason Norwood-Young
  • Journalist, developer, community builder, newsletter creator and international man of mystery.

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