Welcome to another episode of "What Were They Thinking?" featuring none other than Youthforia, the makeup brand that decided to give us a masterclass in how not to do inclusivity. Yes, we’re talking about that foundation shade—so dark, so devoid of undertones, it might as well be blackface makeup from 100 years ago. Buckle up, beauty enthusiasts, because this is one ride you won’t want to miss.

The Problem with Youthforia's Shade Range

You see, the thing about human skin is that it has undertones. Shocking, right? Apparently, Euforia missed that memo and gave us the “600” shade—an unblended mess without any subtones. Imagine putting on black paint for a Halloween costume. Now imagine that’s your daily foundation. Yeah, it’s that bad.

But let’s break it down: creating a foundation shade involves more than just darkening existing pigments. It requires a deep understanding of the different hues and undertones that make up diverse skin tones.

Instead of taking this nuanced approach, Euforia decided to slap on a coat of ebony and call it a day. The result? A product that no human could realistically use, unless you’re aiming for that chic asphalt look.

Youthforia Controversy - Unbelievable Youthforia Controversy: When Makeup Turns into Blackface Nightmare

Industry Reaction and Public Backlash

Naturally, the beauty community was up in arms. Influencers, makeup artists, and everyday users all chimed in to say, “What were you thinking, Youthforia?” Some tried to defend the brand, claiming a model of theirs rocked the shade.

Spoiler alert: that model was using a lighter, more reasonable tone. The social media frenzy was real, with #EuforiaFail trending faster than you can say “foundation fiasco.”

The backlash wasn’t just limited to angry tweets and scathing reviews. Beauty gurus posted side-by-side comparisons, makeup artists offered critiques, and consumers called for boycotts. Euforia’s PR team must have been working overtime, attempting to spin the narrative that they were “trying their best” to be inclusive.

Unfortunately, “trying” doesn’t cut it when the result is this hilariously off the mark.

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Contexto Polémica

Youthforia, a make-up brand founded in 2021, is facing controversy over the darkest shade (600) of its Date Night Skin Tint Serum Foundation. The controversy began when beauty influencers, particularly those with darker skin tones, criticised the brand’s initial range of 15 shades for not being inclusive enough.

In March 2024, Youthforia expanded the foundation to 25 shades, adding 10 darker options. However, shade 600, the darkest shade, has been widely criticised for looking more like a ‘minstrel show black’ or ‘tar in a bottle’ than a wearable foundation for deep skin tones.

Influential personalities such as Golloria George have posted viral videos comparing the shade 600 to black face paint, as the foundation looks jet black and lacks brown undertones. Many have accused Youthforia of insensitivity and failing to properly formulate a dark foundation.

As a result, several major retailers have dropped Youthforia, including Credo, Revolve and Thirteen Lune. Ulta Beauty, which carried the expanded range of 25 shades, has not confirmed whether it will continue to sell the brand. Influencers are also distancing themselves from Youthforia, with some calling for their removal from the brand’s PR list.

As of May 2024, Youthforia had not issued a public apology or statement on the controversy. The brand’s founder, Fiona Co Chan, previously defended the limited range of shades in a video that has since been removed, claiming it was ‘proof’ of the brand’s commitment to inclusivity.

Experts say Youthforia’s missteps highlight the importance of proper product development, extensive shade testing and listening to customer feedback, especially for brands targeting a diverse Generation Z audience. The scandal has reignited conversations about the beauty industry’s current challenges around inclusivity and representation.


[1] https://www.beautyindependent.com/retailers-influencers-drop-youthforia-amid-foundation-shade-controversy/
[2] https://edition.cnn.com/2024/05/02/style/youthforia-black-foundation-shade/index.html
[3] https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/youthforia-foundation-darkest-shade-scandal/
[4] https://time.com/6972800/youthforia-dark-skin-foundation-backlash/
[5] https://www.today.com/style/beauty/youthforia-foundation-shade-controversy-rcna150216