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How beauty brands failed women of color

But the industry is changing — and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty isn’t the only brand laying the foundation for a more inclusive beauty industry.

In 2016, Rihanna signed an estimated $10 million deal with the multinational conglomerate brand LVMH to start a makeup line. Then, in September of this year, Rihanna debuted Fenty Beauty at New York Fashion Week.

The line boasts 91 products, including shimmer skinsticks, lip gloss, blotting powder, and more. The item that has been receiving the most press is her range of Pro Filt’r Matte foundation shades. However, few other mainstream companies have such a diverse line of foundations.

There are several factors to consider when matching foundations — like undertone, shade, and skin texture. All of these can vary person to person, and in particular, identifying the correct undertone is essential to choosing products that complement the skin.

But while luxury brands have been able to make that leap, more accessible brands available at drugstore and discount department stores have fallen behind. Drugstore brands typically aren’t made for professional use, and don’t always have a large selection to begin with. But over the past few decades, mainstream beauty companies have been making strides in developing wider ranges of foundations that match darker people.

So, why has it taken the beauty industry so long to invest in a diverse range of colors for cosmetic products?

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