Beautyblender Just Added 8 New Shades to Fix Its Foundation Fail—But Is It Good Enough?

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We never thought we’d say this, but you know what we’d like to leave in 2018? The frantic rush to get a new foundation line to market without any real forethought or consideration. We get it. You’ve got to compete, but now that the bar has been substantially raised, if you’re not going to do it right, it’s worth putting on hold.

This was the dilemma famed beauty sponge makers Beautyblender found themselves in earlier this year when they launched the Bounce foundation—their first foray into the foundation market. The new release was designed to work perfectly with their sponges, of course. And it seemingly had it all: gorgeous, innovative packaging (with a well for the foundation!), a great texture...

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There was only one little problem: She didn’t have the range.

In fact, of the 32 shades the brand initially offered in July, barely a quarter of the range was suitable for anyone above a medium-fair skin tone. In the age of Fenty, it was an insult. A travesty. A #FoundationFAIL.

So, it was with skepticism we received the news that Beautyblender had added eight new shades to its range, rounding out their array to the now-requisite 40, and seemingly focusing exclusively on the deep end of the spectrum.

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It’s definitely an improvement—but is it enough? After all, as at least one commenter (@brittfinite) pointed out in response to the brand’s announcement that they’d expanded:“Regardless of the reasoning, darker skin tones were an AFTERTHOUGHT.”

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And truly, this is—and has always been—the problem with how the beauty industry has approached women of color and why Fenty was such a table-shaker: WE’RE TIRED OF BEING A GATDAMN AFTERTHOUGHT! And to thicken the plot, Beautyblender initially responded to the controversy by telling Allure that its founder is “not only Latina, but a professional makeup artist working primarily with women of color—so she is an expert in this color range.”

And yet, that range was nowhere to be seen in July.

But thankfully, we have options now; and if there’s one thing the industry should be afraid of, it’s women of color with options to spare. All that said, will we be giving Beautyblender’s Bounce another shot? Frankly, we wish they’d read the room better before they launched, and, if the arm swatches are any indication, still kind of find their deep end lacking (there’s still room for eight more shades there, tbh). But in an Instagram post, founder Ree Ann Silva promised there is more to come, writing:

“When we started developing Bounce our goal was to launch with 40 shades of foundation. We were able to perfect 32 of those shades in time for our launch, all while continuing to work towards our initial goal of 40. [W]e are not done—there are an infinite amount of skin tones in the world and we will continue to innovate and develop.”

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We certainly hope so. And since we’re all about encouraging—no, insisting upon—inclusive beauty, we’ll give an opera clap to this step in the right direction, and look forward to what the brand delivers in 2019.

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About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.