Shade Collective was a small idea meant to solve a much larger issue. As makeup database for people of color, the app is meant to be a tool with which anyone who feels marginalized in the beauty community can find answers.
We have all had that moment where we wonder whether a shade of lipstick will complement our skin tone or whether a shade of foundation will be the perfect match. Unless you shop at a place where free samples are available, you can’t know until you pay for the product. A lot of the time, the product isn’t right for you and you’ve paid money for a product you can’t use. It’s time to stop being robbed.
The database serves to
- Help buys make educated decisions
- Save money and time by avoiding buying the wrong thing
- Provide a community to share recommendations and ideas
- Be a place to find brands run by people of color
The brand was founded by Allie Nimmons, a proud yet sometimes confused mixed chick. Her skin falls in that confusing in between spectrum – not as light as the women in the posters, but often not dark enough for the “black” brands to cater to. While she recognizes the huge problem of dark and deep shades being missing from the shelves, she also realizes from personal experience that “medium” isn’t a good way to classify skin tones.
Our goal is not to change the world or turn the industry up side down. We do hope that we can point out to big brands how big of an impact POC makeup wearers can make. We are building as makeup database for people of color so that people can be more informed before they buy, save money and become loyal to the brands that cater to their needs.
The data speaks for itself
128 individuals (all of whom identify as black women) were surveyed in 2017.
The majority of them purchased makeup 1-3 times per month. More than half say that they mainly wear makeup to feel good about themselves. If they had to rate how hard it is to find their shade on a scale of one to ten, ten being impossible, 43% said 8 or higher. Most women shop for makeup at stores like MAC and Sephora, who purely specialize in makeup. These stores also typically have higher prices.
From this data, we realize that the average POC makeup lover is emotionally, as well as financially, invested in her makeup. She wears it out of love, yet struggles to find her shade. She typically spends more at expensive stores in order to be able to use testers and samples and find a better variety of makeup.
Shade Collective hopes to make it easier for makeup wearers to find their shade before they buy so they can save money and continue to fund their love of makeup.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
COCOA SWATCHES, SEPHORA AND BARE MINERALS ALL HAVE A MAKEUP DATABASE FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR, SO WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT?
First of all, we love Cocoa Swatches, Sephora and all the other resources that help POC find makeup.
The main difference between us and similar apps and programs is that we are 100% crowd sourced, meaning our photos come from users, not companies, and no one is paid to endorse a particular brand.
- Tons of different brands are visible. Your options aren’t limited to the brand who is running the app.
- Brands don’t pay us to put their makeup on the site. While using the database, you won’t be prompted to or encouraged to buy one brand of makeup over another.
- We use our technology as well as human eyes to make sure that photos are not edited or retouched to make a brand look better than it does.
- We welcome bad photos! If a shade won’t look right on you, we want YOU to see that and make the choice for yourself.
- There might be multiple photos of the same brand on the same skin tone. There will always be slight variations. The more information you have to make a decision, the better.
- YOU can contribute, knowing that your photos are helping others just like you.
EVERYONE’S LIGHTING AND CAMERAS ARE DIFFERENT SO HOW DO I KNOW THE SHADES IN THE PHOTOS I’M LOOKING AT ARE TRUE TO REALITY?
We’ve thought about this a lot. Our software is designed to color-correct and white balance all the photos that are submitted. A professional makeup artist will be looking over each photo to search for signs of editing or tampering.
Even if an edited photo slips through, the idea is that multiple people of the same skin tone can upload the same product. If one stands out, it will be obvious.
Are white people allowed to upload photos? What about men?
We ask that you understand and respect that this tool was designed due to a problem in the POC makeup community.
However, when it comes to uploading photos and being a part of the community, we don’t care where you’re from or what your gender identity is. If you have skin, your submissions will be welcome.
CAN I BUY OR SELL MAKEUP THROUGH THE SITE?
The point of the site is not to sell makeup to the users. In the future we may have sections of the site, away from the database, for shouting out POC owned makeup companies. We also intend to buy directly from companies at wholesale for rewards and have ads on certain sections of the site. If you’re a POC owned makeup company who would like to sell makeup to be used as rewards or would like to advertise with us, please get in touch with us directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN CAN I SIGN UP AND START UPLOADING PHOTOS?
We need to reach 1,000 Instagram followers and 1,000 e-mail sign ups before we can begin our crowd-funding campaign. Once we reach our crowd-funding goal, we will prepare to launch the site/app in full.
We will be looking for initial contributors to build the preliminary database prior to launch. We will be looking for POC with large makeup collections to submit photos to the database in exchange for points and free membership for a specified time. If you’d like to be notified of this opportunity when it becomes available, please sign up via the form below.
Sign up to make this makeup database for people of color a reality
We need 1,000 signups before we can start crowd-funding for this project. By signing up and encouraging others to do so, you are helping this project get onto it’s feet.
We will be in touch with you about things like our crowd-funding campaign, invitations to start earning free makeup, makeup tips and tricks, etc.