Your Source for Feminist Discourse

The Struggle is Real: Buying Makeup as a Biracial Woman

When I signed up for classes for my first semester of senior year, I decided to sign up for a stage makeup class. I was excited to make myself look like a monster or an old person, but I never thought that I would face those difficulties that have been presented to me within the first few weeks. I would first like to say, that my professor is great and this class has already taught me a lot, but I have a few problems. Okay so as you all know I am biracial and I didn’t think my race would have any kind of influence in this makeup class, but unfortunately it has made an impact. For our class we need a makeup kit and I instantly stood out of my class as the professor told most of the students needed fair medium make up kits or fair light, two students would have to receive olive, but I would have to have dark light. Now, I am not ashamed of my caramel skin, it’s just awkward to be reminded of your minority status once again in a make-up class.

This moment took me back to when I was hanging out with my friends in high school and they were putting make up on each other; I couldn’t use any of it because of my skin. Now I hope you all don’t think that I’m claiming that this is the biggest problem I face when it comes to being biracial, but the thing about privilege is when you don’t have to think about something as simple as make up difficulties.

Another problem that arises is not only is it hard for me to find certain makeup because I’m not white, but because I am also not as dark as other black women, it becomes even harder to shop for foundation. I have basically given up on foundation, because I may find a right color but it’s too expensive or makes up skin break out, or it tests on animals. It just saddens me to see all of these options for white woman, but then there’s a lack when it comes to other skin colors. This lack was even presented when I received my make-up kit. When I went to pick up the kit, the cashier told me that the store didn’t have “dark light” and only “dark medium.” I was infuriated, because I had to by this 55 dollar make up and knew that I would have complications with the base and the foundation. Luckily my professor had other make up that fit more with my skin; but if she didn’t have that solution, I would have walked back to store and try to make some kind of arrangement.

I wish there was more make up selections for biracial people, so I wouldn’t have to use my teacher’s make up, or so I don’t have to give up on buying foundation.  I also want there to be other black women on make-up ads, I’m tired of just looking to Halle Berry as my inspiration, I mean she’s beautiful, but really Revlon? I do want to highlight that we are seeing other women such as Lupita Nyong’o but her lovely skin is way darker than mine. It seems that we are going to two extremes when it comes to black women and it’s time to find some new perspective.

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