Earlier this month, influencer-driven makeup brand Morphe announced its release of a whopping 60-shade foundation line. On the surface, this seemed like one of the most active efforts at racial inclusion the beauty industry had ever seen, on par with the launch of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty.
But upon further inspection, black influencers noticed that several things about the launch were off. For one, the brand had historically failed to feature black influencers and customers on its Instagram page. Second, few black influencers, if any, received the PR package for the product.
Enter Nyma Tang, the YouTuber whose claim to fame is testing the darkest shade of makeup products to showcase how people with deep skin tones have such few options when it comes to makeup. She finally got her hands on Morphe's controversial foundation, and now we have a much better sense of what this brand's all about.
Nyma Tang finally reviewed Morphe's "inclusive" Fluidity Foundation.
Tang, for those of you who aren't aware, is the YouTuber who started "The Darkest Shade" video series, in which she puts beauty brand's deepest makeup shades to the test to see just how inclusive they really are of deep skin tones.
She swatched the collection's three deepest shades — F5100, F5110, and F5120 — across her jaw and chest before deciding F5120 would be the only semi-suitable option.
You could immediately tell that even the deepest shade in Mophe's artillery was not going to be anywhere near dark enough for Tang, who has a similar skin tone to some of the women in Morphe's campaign materials.
"I don't know why I thought his would be darker," she said, as she started applying shade F5120 to her face.
There's actually a very good reason she believed she'd be getting a darker foundation than what she got in reality, but I'll get into that in a few minutes.
By the time she finished blending it out, she couldn't help but snicker at just how much lighter she looked.
She didn't hate the foundation itself, however. She said she liked the finish and how full coverage it is, but she felt like she was wearing a mask due to how different it was from her skin tone.
Once she put on concealer and set with powder, Tang had to contour her face just to get back to her actual skin tone.
Tang warns that this foundation is extremely full coverage and even more matte — if neither of those things are your bag, you might want to reconsider buying this foundation.
All good things about this foundation's formula aside, Tang couldn't shake the fact that the darkest shade still should have been ... well, darker.
"The shade, I do think it could have been a little bit deeper," she said. "I feel disappointed in this foundation — only because I do feel like it did make my face look quite a few shades lighter."
Her review proves that, at best, there's a major discrepancy between Morphe's public efforts at diversity and how much it actually serves deep-skinned people of color.
It's one thing to claim to love and accept black women and men, but it's another entirely to actually serve them with products that work. It seems that Morphe is doing the former and not the latter right now.