YouTuber Jackie Aina will fearlessly point out diversity flaws when no one else is willing to. That's why she's a hero for many women of color who love makeup but don't always feel included.
So it wasn't surprising that she did NOT hold back when she tried Huda Beauty's beloved Faux Filter foundation. The brand is constantly praised for its diverse foundation range, but Aina suspects that dedication to inclusion isn't so genuine.
Now, after doing our own research, we kind of agree with her.
Aina was already hesitant to feature Huda Beauty products on her channel, simply because she questioned Huda Kattan's attitude toward deep-complected people.
"The Huda Beauty Faux Filter foundation just launched a couple weeks ago, and everyone’s raving about it," she said in her review. "I have no doubts that this is probably a really phenomenal product. I like Huda. I think she’s really nice and I think [her sister] Mona’s nice, too."
However, Aina also said she has "a hard time distinguishing when someone really truly does celebrate diversity and when they are pandering."
Aina immediately had some issues when the brand announced its 30-shade foundation range.
"That’s amazing — but are you going to put THESE women on your Instagram page, though?" she asked as she pointed to the deepest-complected women on the foundation's packaging. "The women that are darker than tan? The women that are darker than Beyonce?”
But as a Black woman myself, I know what it's like to speak and not feel heard — so I scrolled through Kattan's Instagram and looked for dark-skinned people through the last five months of posts. The results were... interesting.
Just because you don't notice or feel something happening doesn't mean it's not true. This is a case in point.
After counting up the receipts, I now find myself having the same hesitations as Aina.
"I wanna know if you just want the coin or if you really genuinely are trying to be a part of this movement, ” Aina said in her video — and now I'm asking myself the same question. Racism and exclusion aside, there's one thing I know for sure: If people are confused about a brand's practices, it's because the brand purposely left things blurry enough to be confused.
Care to clear this up, Kattan? Your products are cute, but what's really good?
Black women are watching you, and we only spend coin where we're genuinely wanted and celebrated. We're not going to be grateful for 30 shades alone; you've got to show us more than that.
Diversity is about more than mere inclusion.
The quality and motivation behind that inclusion counts, too. This critique is not "complaining," for which Jackie Aina's constantly accused. If you want darker women's money, then we deserve to ask about how we're being represented by *your* brand.
A brand pushing darker people aside *until* there's financial opportunity says a lot about how much we are valued. Do better, Kattan. We know you can, and if you think we're going to be your customers, then that's exactly what we deserve.