The beauty industry has a notorious diversity problem that often leaves darker-complexioned Black women with gray, ashy faces and few alternatives. Black women are often left scrambling for makeup products that enhance our beauty instead of stripping us of our melanin.

Even models of color are highlighting this troubling issue.

South Sudanese model Nykhor Paul blasted makeup artists and the beauty industry this past July for excluding Black women time and time again.

"Dear white people in the fashion world!" she began in her now viral Instagram post. "Please don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s time you people get your shit right when it comes to our complexion! Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don’t have to do anything but show up, wtf!"

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Ofunne Amaka, a 26-year-old style blogger and entrepreneur, also noticed this rampant issue.

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A photo posted by @ofunneamaka on

"After a number of disappointing purchases, where I ultimately guessed completely wrong about how a product would look on me, I thought to myself, 'I wish there was a resource that allowed me to see swatches of the latest makeup products on darker complexions," she told Revelist via email.

"It's no secret that diversity in the media is still an issue," she continued. "This unfortunate trend is especially pervasive in the beauty industry, which has a history of promoting an idea of beauty centered around whiteness."

So, Amaka decided to do something about it.

"It was hard for me to accurately determine how a makeup product looked on me before I decided to purchase and I knew others had the same issue," she said. "I wanted to create a resource that would help alleviate this problem."

Amaka created Cocoa Swatches, a revolutionary app that allows women of color to see swatches of various products, including red lipstick.

Cocoa Swatches began as an Instagram account (which now has over 25,000 followers). After Umaka earned a graduate degree in Communications from Columbia University, she decided to evolve to a "full-fledged brand," according to her website. That brand includes the app, available on both the Apple app store and on Google Play.

"I started the app because I knew I had a goal of helping women make better purchasing decisions, and I knew that process had to be seamless and smooth," she explained to Revelist.

"I have a tech background and have done extensive research on the beauty industry, so I felt like an app was a best way to accomplish this goal. People use their phones and tablets more than they use their computers these days, so it only made sense that the solution would somehow be optimized for mobile platforms."

And Cocoa Swatches is getting MAJOR love, which doesn't surprise Amaka at all.

"There has been an overwhelmingly positive response from women of color; it has been really amazing to see," Amaka explained. "I knew there were people who felt the same way I did, but I really had no idea so many people would latch onto the app idea so fast. So in that way, I was surprised. But, nonetheless, I knew I was addressing a very valid issue."

She's right. The beauty industry's diversity problem doesn't appear to be getting any better. Just ask MAC Cosmetics.

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A photo posted by M∙A∙C Cosmetics (@maccosmetics) on

Racism reared its hideous head when MAC posted a photo of model Aamito Lagum's lips on Instagram. As Revelist's senior beauty editor, Alle Connell, pointed out, the comments were full of "Black women will never be as attractive as white women'-type nonsense."

Amaka knows the industry's issues, and hopes Cocoa Swatches is a "step in the right direction."

When asked how Cocoa Swatches is helping to fix the beauty industry's exclusionary issues, Amaka said, "I think just by creating this app, it is making a statement and putting this issue on a large platform and actually providing some type of solution, a solution that hasn’t really been tried yet."

She also said "the sky is the limit" in terms how far Cocoa Swatches can go.

So, what's next for Ofunne Amaka's powerful brand?

Is there a makeup line in the works? Probably not.

"I think there are already a lot of great makeup brands out there, new and old," she said. "There are also many black owned beauty brands waiting for their next big break."

She may not create makeup, but Amaka knows what her purpose is:

"I believe my role is to help amplify these brands and products that support underrepresented skin tones. I also want to support the great number of content creators with these underrepresented skin tones who are creating amazing videos, and tutorials and photographs. I hope to work with more brands to expand the Cocoa Swatches directory and create more original content showcasing a variety of complexions."

You go, girl!

A video posted by @cocoaswatches on