In times of old when customers were disgruntled with a company or service, they would write a strongly worded letter and send it off with a contemptuous lick of the envelope.
Unfortunately for big brands, (and fortunately for the customer), it is now extremely easy to air views on Twitter, and sometimes complaints spread like wildfire.
This issue in this particular case concerned make up brand Sleek which describes itself in the following terms;
“As one of the fastest growing brands on the high-street, Sleek MakeUP creates innovative, superior performance makeup, with strong pigmentation and high quality.
“Sleek MakeUP understands skin tone, catering from fair to dark and everyone in between, with products that aim to make the latest beauty trends truly accessible.”
Sounds pretty good to me. And no one is questioning the quality or diversity of Sleek’s product, in fact it’s shades for darker skin tones featured in this powerful Buzzfeed article entitled; ‘This Is What It’s Like To Shop For Make-Up For Dark Skin On The High Street.’
The problem came down to the advertising, which some are claiming used to feature women of colour heavily:
And now, not so much.
While many had noticed this shift going on, beauty and fashion blogger @ brought it up this morning:
Which sparked a wider conversation on Twitter.
Some felt betrayed.
— Ronke Lawal (@ronkelawal) August 27, 2015
Listen it's cool if you want to expand on your product but to fade out the predominant use of ethnic women that built said brand
— Married to Food (@BoujiSupreme) August 27, 2015
— Emma Scoldmen (@thekateblack) August 27, 2015
— beautypulselondon (@beautypulse_ldn) August 27, 2015
Sleek have been reached out to for comment, and this article will be updated as and when they respond. It has been confirmed that they do still sell products for all skin tones, including in their online store: http://www.sleekmakeup.com/
P.S. Natalie of ‘Beauty Pulse London’ is conducting a survey asking questions about hair and beauty for the British Woman of Colour. If you’re interested in adding your voice, you can fill it out here.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Let me know in the comments below.