Makeup brand faces criticism over their darkest foundation shade appearing nearly black

The makeup brand Youthforia is facing criticism online over the darkest shade of its Date Night foundation.

Youthforia, launched in 2021, after releasing 15 shades of the Date Night Skin Tint that several beauty influencers, mainly those with darker skin tones, called out for not being inclusive.

The brand expanded their shade range in March, releasing 10 new foundation shades, in response to the criticism. But Youthforia’s attempt to right their wrongs is facing even more backlash.

Replying to @_sarah_herman

Beauty influencer Golloria George, who has a regular series on her page where she swatches the darkest shade of makeup products offered by different beauty brands, posted a video on Monday of a swatch test for Youthforia’s shade 600 foundation, the darkest color in the line. This video, however, began a little differently than George’s usual posts. It shows that on one side of her face, she applied the foundation; on the other, she applied black face paint to reveal that both look the same.

the darkest shade of the youthforia date night foundation.

“Which side of my face is the black face paint or the Youthforia foundation? Tea, you can’t tell. You know why? Tar in a bottle,” she says, holding up the foundation bottle.

The video gained over 11.6 million views in less than 24 hours. In a follow-up video that now has more than 2 million views, George tests out Youthforia’s second-darkest shade, 590, which leans too red for her skin tone. “I’m a little bit cooler than 590, guys, which means Youthforia does not even make my shade,” she says before comparing shade 590 to shade 600.

Replying to @ratnips7

The work of for their lack of inclusivity “weighs a lot” on George. While her videos constantly go viral, they are “met with anti-blackness and colorism.” She says that it’s “easy for TikTok and the internet to police dark-skinned women’s experiences in beauty and when it comes to trying stuff that doesn’t work for us.”

Other beauty brands have made products accessible to a wide range of skin tones; therefore, George says it is disheartening when brands are exclusive. George suggests that Youthforia scrap shade 600 altogether and work to correct course by using shade 590 as a place to tweak and make changes to the shade range.

Several other have stitched George’s video to express their distaste for Youthforia’s new shade. In a video about the foundation, cosmetic chemist Javon Ford notes the differences between the brand’s lighter shades and the darkest shade. The ingredients list for one of the lighter shades includes three different colors, shown by the “CI” marker at the bottom. Ford explains what each represents and says those are “pretty much the only colors you need to create a lighter shade.”

Ford then examines the ingredients list for the darkest shade, which only includes one “CI” number.

“This foundation only has pure black pigment,” he says. “This problem is so avoidable. This brand does not care about us.”

Stitch @golloria

Ayeyi, a TikToker who says she’s worked in the beauty industry for the past 10 years, stitched George’s video to say that beauty brands “know what they’re doing. It’s not hard to extend a shade range.”

I want to say I’m shocked but I feel like I’ve truly seen it all…the beauty industry as a whole needs to do better. @golloria

“This shade that they released is actually asinine,” she says. “It is so obvious to me that this brand released this shade begrudgingly as some sort of half-baked consolation prize.”

Youthforia founder Fiona Co Chan has had to answer to criticism of the brand’s since launching their first 15 foundation shades last year. In a since-deleted video, Chan said the first drop was a “proof of concept” to see if the brand would be successful. YouTuber Jackie Aina, who is often credited for blazing the trail of online content creators trying to hold beauty brands accountable, stitched her video and said that as a business owner, she understands why Chan made this video but can see why it’s “bullsh-t.”

with @Youthforia so patronizing to be like “wait your turn guys like I said” 🫵🏾 as if this is not the very rollout strategy we have pushed back on for years lol