Full Spectrum by CoverGirl: wait… what?

The post you were supposed to be reading today is about Rimmel and their anti-cyberbullying campaign, but once again the British brand is being overshadowed by their upstart Yankee cousin, CoverGirl.

CoverGirl, in a move that’s perplexing basically everyone, is launching (or has launched? It’s a little bit unclear as some of the products aren’t yet available) their Full Spectrum line, which aims to “address the personal color needs of people with skin tones on the darker and deeper complexion range.”

Ok, cool, I’m on board with this idea. Diversity and inclusivity are awesome.

But wait… doesn’t CoverGirl already have a line devoted to our darker skinned brothers and sisters?

Why yes, it’s the Queen Collection. The collection includes a deep range of base products like two different liquid foundation formulas, a powder foundation, pressed powder, a dark bronzer and some lip and eye products. It’s not many products, and it doesn’t look like there’s been a new release in a while, but it still exists. The most important part of this collection, to me, is that it’s almost entirely for people with darker skin tones. Sure, someone with my skin tone can wear the lipsticks and liners, but the entire range of base products only includes darker tones. I can’t buy a foundation from the Queen Collection unless I want to use it as a contour or something, and I’m ok with that. Not everything has to be for me.

So my question is: why do we need the Full Spectrum collection?

Answer: we don’t.

I think it’s great that the collection was developed by a team of multi-cultural women with women of color in mind, but I think it falls a bit short.

So let’s take a look at these products:

There’s a liquid foundation, a powder foundation, a concealer, and a primer. They also released a cream contour and correct palette, two types of eye palettes, each in several different color combinations, a cheek palette and some random lip and eye products.

This would be a pretty good initial launch for a new brand or something that’s a complete departure from what CoverGirl has been doing for the last year, but it’s not. This is (likely) the same formula matte foundation that they released over the summer, and the palettes are for sure things they’ve already done or are in their current collection. Why make a separate collection for some tiny tweaks to existing products rather than just including them in the normal range? The whole point of inclusivity is to not make minorities feel… “othered”. Not only that, but there are still light shades included in the range for PoC. Not that there aren’t people of color with skin as light as mine, but those skin tones are already covered by basically every other release ever.

The real kicker: a lot of these products are more expensive than their counterparts in CoverGirl’s regular collection. For example, the Matte Made foundation at Ulta is $11.49. The matte foundation in this collection is $11.99. Sure, it’s only 50 cents, but some stuff is a few dollars more. The eye palettes in the new collection are $13.49, but the same neutral palettes in the regular collection are $11.99. The scented and newer releases are more expensive, but there are still neutrals in the Full Spectrum collection. I’m so not on board with this.

Would it really be so difficult to just include PoC in the collections that everyone else uses? We are in the post-Fenty era, where having a foundation collection means having more than 10 shades that range from fair/light to light/medium. People of all races and all genders have money, and they may want to spend it on makeup if only the people making the products would understand that NOT EVERYONE IS WHITE (I’m looking at you Beauty Blender, and your laughable “shade range expansion“).

Women of color make up a substantial percentage of cosmetics consumers (though the exact statistics are eluding me at the moment), so why are beauty brands still largely catering to the needs and wants of women with less melanin?

White privilege is being able to walk into any drug store or cosmetics store right now and find a foundation shade from every available brand that will work for me, and it’s shitty. Do better beauty industry.

Refinery29 had some of their beauty editors (of color) try the products and the reviews were good, so I guess it’s not all bad news.

What do you think of this launch?

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