In a post-Fenty Beauty world, makeup lovers aren’t hesitating to call out brands with non-inclusive products. Kim Kardashian-West‘s KKW Beauty is no exception. This week, the media mogul announced that her namesake line would add a set of contour single sticks that carry more of the formula. This came about after consumers requested a new version of the previous double-ended version.
While the brand tweeted that it had been listening to customer critiques and loved the feedback, one thing they seemed to gloss over is the need for a wider shade range. And as expected, KKW shoppers flocked to the ever-popular TrendMood1 Instagram page to voice their concerns.
“There’s a couple of new shades. Its not great, she definitely could have some more shades,” wrote user @carter_cat_. “The first launch had only like 6 shades.”
“There are people way darker than the darkest shade. this is a great shade range but it still doesn’t cover everyone,” added user @aundreyagrace.
Another unhappy Instagrammer, @jessicasfairytale, also noticed that the range isn’t inclusive of those with pale skin, either. “I don’t understand how she could’ve worked with Nikkie (a while back) who commented you need fair options…. and KKW Beauty still doesn’t have a fair option. Super pale girls can’t highlight with a light.”
Before more people could chime in, Kardashian’s devoted makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, jumped into the mix to defend the new range, citing years of experience behind his reasoning.
“How many contour shades could you possible need or use?,” he said to one of the commenters. “In my 18 years of working as a makeup artist on set with every skin tone imaginable I’ve always only used a few shades to contour. Contour doesn’t need to match your skin you just need a deeper shade to blend in.”
Besides the fact that his words come off as extremely dismissive, it seems Dedivanovic failed to realize that fans weren’t asking how to contour. They were only saying that the shade range doesn’t account for darker skin tones that require even deeper shades for the contour to be visible on the skin.
“You realize that there are darker people in the world right?,” wrote @hutchjessica. “And they want to wear makeup too right? I get that this is your friend but there are people who exist who the deepest shade wouldn’t be a suitable contour shade bc it’s too light.”
@lolita.ai also added, “Black/African/POC YouTubers and customers have stated that they wish there was more darker shades to contour with! Have you even bothered to listen to the concerns of others?? She was praising the shade range and you have to bitch about it? ‘You just need a deeper shade to blend in’ EXACTLY and there are very few complexions out there and very few contour products for those deep complexions.”
So, in reference to Dedivanovic’s question, “How many contour shades could you possible need or use?,” the answer would be, “more than what’s being offered in this limited range.”
As emphasized by another well-informed Instagrammer, @alliebug_80, “contouring products of all makeup items serve the purpose to be darker than the skin tone like you said but it does not do that for all people. We can’t just keep acting like the skin tone chart ends after ‘deep dark’.”
It is worth noting that Dedivanovic attempted to clean up this mess of an exchange by claiming to have made his comment based on @carter_cat_’s complexion. But again, that only proves just how misinformed and dismissive brands can be while developing products.
We can only hope he and other brands with an inclusivity problem step their game up. The excuses are lame.