I’ve now joined the ranks of really good looking black women (yes, I just said I’m really good looking, deal with it!) who end up looking cray cray with poorly matched makeup. My compadres include Uzo Aduba, Rihanna, pre-mogul Oprah, and our favorite sister girl Taraji P. Henson. How did I get here? I had the privilege of being invited by Au Naturale by Dark and Lovely to model in Texture on the Runway, a NYFW show to celebrate textured hair put together by Texture Media and Target. My hair was on fleek, but unfortunately, my makeup was NOT.
Here’s what happened. I happily go luckedly arrived to prep on the day of the show with a fresh face and my hair in twists, as instructed. Once my hair was done, I was excited to see that Milani was providing makeup for all the models – I love their baked blushes and eyeshadows and generally think of them as a WOC friendly makeup brand. I sat in the chair and had a pleasant encounter with my makeup artist (who I believe was of East Asian descent), who proceeded to recreate Dark and Lovely’s pink inspired makeup look on my face. To be honest, by the time I left the chair I thought my face looked ok – I was so concerned with how pink eyeshadow looked on me that I didn’t fully scrutinize the foundation match (errr, mismatch). I should have had the intuition to more closely inspect my face because I did have to request that my eyebrows be done (have you seen my brows? they always need to be done) and eyeliner be added, but I wasn’t expecting a full beat in 15 minutes.
Unfortunately, once pictures of the show came out, I became embarrassed to share them because MY MAKEUP LOOKS SO BAD. Whatever mix of cream foundations that my makeup artist chose to use on my face oxidized to a yellow/olive that starkly contrasted with my more neutral undertones.
Now the plight of a black women cursed with bad makeup isn’t new, not for celebrities or even for real models. For some reason though, I associated makeup mishaps with darker skinned women, and thought that my medium skin tone would absolve me from makeup drama. I mean, I look GOOD when my makeup is done correctly.
I blame makeup brands for not training artists on melanated skin, and for clearly not having artists demonstrate they can do makeup on people of color before getting hired – even when they themselves are people of color *rolls eyes*. If I do get invited back to an event like this, I’ll be sure to bring my own makeup bag so I can focus on not tripping down the runway, rather than stressing about whether or not my face will look crazy.