Friday, January 19, 2018

What I'm Not Buying: Too Faced White Peach Palette


Too Faced has released their newest palette and latest in the never-ending line of peach-themed products: White Peach. 

And I won't be buying. 

I'm going to take a moment here and talk about what has been happening in the beauty community in the past week. Ever since the Tarte Shape Tape Foundation shade range was revealed (you can read my anti-haul post on this product here), the beauty community has been erupting demanding better. And I find that incredibly exciting. Tarte has again botched their apology and offered multiple offensive excuses for their actions (including stating that they came out with light shades first because it is the winter and people are lighter at this time—completely excluding, again, people who have dark skin year round) and are digging themselves deeper and deeper into this hole. 

Thing is, Tarte isn't the only brand with this problem—not by a long shot. They just happened to get the brunt of all of the frustrations and anger, likely because Fenty Beauty debuted last year with an inclusive shade range and now people are fed up with all other brands not doing the same. 

Too Faced is also a problematic brand, but last year, they partnered with YouTube influencer Jackie Aina to expand their Born This Way foundation shade range. Partnering with a prominent woman of color influencer was a very smart move, and it made a lot of people (myself included) respect Too Faced for recognizing where their brand lacked inclusively and asking a woman of color to help rectify the situation. 

Unfortunately, I still find several of Too Faced's product launches to lack inclusivity, and the White Peach palette is no different. 

In the past year, Too Faced has released three eyeshadow palettes with "White" in the title.

White Chocolate Chip:


White Chocolate Bar:


And White Peach:


Each one of these palettes, unquestionably, is geared toward light skin tones. And, yes, I see that they have two big food-based branding campaigns at the moment—chocolate and peaches—and yes, I know that there is white chocolate and there are white peaches. But the naming of these products as well as the corresponding shades also indicate to me that these palettes are made for people with white skin. 

And before anyone contests this, I would like to point out that as of present day, Too Faced has not released anything called "Dark Chocolate." There's no Dark Chocolate Bar, no Dark Chocolate Chip, no Dark Chocolate Peaches or Dark Chocolate Dipped Peaches. Yet there are THREE palettes centered on the word "white."

I can see the argument that it may be a stretch to think that Too Faced named these palettes "white" because they were announcing that they are for white people. At the same time, I do believe that using "white" and not having a subsequent "dark" palette can be seen as a microaggression or othering. 

And, no, I don't believe that "Chocolate" in their branding is enough since the majority of the chocolate-themed products are still largely geared toward people with light skin. 

Let's look at swatches of White Peach:


I always mention this when I show swatches provided by a brand, but these swatches are incredibly manipulative. We have no idea how these swatches were applied, or even if they were at all. I've heard accounts of brands slathering primer onto the models' arms and then heavily applying layer after later of product. I've heard accounts of brands digitally placing swatches onto a model's arm. And I've heard accounts of brands applying swatches onto only one model's arm and then digitally replicating the swatches onto images of multiple skin tones. I don't claim to know what Too Faced's method is here, but I think it is pretty obvious when looking at this photo that the swatches applied onto the model with the darkest skin are heavier than the swatches on the other two models. 

And, frankly, for myself, as someone with a light to medium skin tone with warm olive undertones, I would be worried about how well these colors would show up on my skin tone. That tells me that this palette is geared toward people with the lightest skin tones. 

Too Faced, however, wants to look inclusive and has promoted this palette as something that works on ALL skin tones:


To be blunt, I just don't buy that. I think that Too Faced doesn't want to get a ton of backlash for creating a product solely for light skin so soon after launching the White Chocolate Bar, which was also meant for light skin. 

And the thing is, we don't need this kind of an eyeshadow palette. No one does. Because there are multiples of these available. 

There's Lorac Unzipped:


Lorac Pro 3:


Urban Decay Naked 3:


Urban Decay Naked Smoky:


And Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani:


Just to name a few. 

There is nothing innovative about the White Peach palette and nothing that we haven't seen done over and again. So it really begs the question: Why? Why release this kind of a palette? Especially knowing that it's not inclusive and that you've already released two other non-inclusive palettes. Why do this at all?

In my opinion, it's because they know that their target demographic will buy it. Too Faced has moved into a gimmick-based brand, and that largely appeals to teenagers and those in their early twenties. 

I don't know of many adult women who are thrilled to have a mascara called "Better Than Sex" or a glitter face mask (in general) called Glow Job. (NARS also has this issue.) Similarly, I don't know many adult women who want to have scented makeup. Or who go nuts for a blush because it has a picture of a smiling peach on the front. 

Based on their prices and the shades offered, it seems pretty clear that Too Faced is targeting white teenagers and young women. And when I look at the White Peach palette, I think it would most suit a white high school student or a white woman just starting out with makeup. It's a beginner palette for white people. And if there is one thing that the makeup industry doesn't need, it's that.   

I have wondered for years why there are not two of everything released. Because there are people who will love the shades offered in White Peach, and they will work well for them. But those people also already have endless options. So if you're going to release a product like this, then you should absolutely simultaneously release the same kind of palette for people with deeper skin tones. 

Overall, while I am thrilled to see so many people in the beauty community stand up right now and demand inclusivity, I am perpetually disappointed by the brands who just blatantly disregard the need for it. I'm also disappointed by consumers who have the privilege of choice who are ignorant of the need for inclusivity.

I decided a while ago that I wasn't going to buy any more products from Too Faced. The one product of theirs that truly tempted me was the White Peach's predecessor, Just Peachy Mattes. And if you've read my blog at all in the past few months, you'll know that I'm crazy about the duped version I made of it from colors in my own collection:


And guess what? White Peach will be even easier to dupe. In fact, I'm betting that most people already have the colors in that palette, or they have similar shades with more depth that will perform better on multiple skin tones. 

Or you could just look into palettes with more inclusive color schemes altogether (that I personally think are prettier than White Peach), like Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts:


Or Juvia's Place Festival:


It's not lost on me that the brands that have some of the most inclusive products and shade ranges are created and owned by people of color. And it is absolutely time that every other brand catches up. 

It's ironic that I say this in a post about Too Faced, but I think that brands need to also take Too Faced's lead and hire, collaborate, or consult with people of color to expand current products and shade ranges and create new ones. Too Faced should frankly follow their own example with foundation and implement it across the board. 

On a final note, I would like to add that the main reason I started this blog originally was because I personally had a shopping/makeup addiction that I wanted to curb. Talking about new releases within the context of what I already owned really helped me to see that I was perpetually buying the same things because I was so sucked into hype and wanting to buy the "it" product of the moment. But the world is different now than when I first started this blog, and makeup is just one of many industries that needs to be reformed. When looking at products that we are or are not going to buy, we are sending a message about what is acceptable and what is not. And I don't find releases like the White Peach palette acceptable. Consumers can bury their heads in the sand, relish in their privilege of choice, and be selfish about that privilege. Or they can demand better. 

I think the White Peach palette is basic and boring and something I have seen so many times that it's laughable. More than that, I don't feel it is inclusive. And I won't be buying. 

5 comments:

  1. This is why... this is why...this is why you are my favorite. This is right on. Just thank you.

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  2. Great post. Too Faced palettes have always had this problem. Pretty much all of their 9 pan palettes have three large, pale base shades, that probably wouldn't be usable beyond a NW/C 30 skin tone. That's a third of the palette that's unusable for a lot of people.

    I'm glad to see people are taking a stand and Tarte fully deserved the backlash.

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  3. Love this post. I've unsubbed from so many beauty blogs/YouTubers (who are old enough to know better!) who feed into the hype of decidedly unspecial palettes like this one. I'm just over it. There's still so much apathy towards issues that affect people of color in every aspect. I am glad that there are some like you in the beauty community who are willing to call companies out for crap like this.

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  4. I swear I could have written this blog post. You’re my absolute favorite! You see what’s lost on so many today.

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