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Why Beauty Brand Youthforia is Facing Backlash

Find out why Youthforia is receiving internet criticism for the darkest hue of their Date Night foundation

The Drama Behind The Date Night Skin Tint

Youthforia, which began in 2021, came under fire in October 2023 after introducing 15 hues of the Date Night Skin Tint, which various beauty bloggers, namely those with darker skin tones, criticized for not being inclusive.

To address the issue, the brand increased its shade selection in March, launching ten new foundation hues. But Youthforia’s attempt to remedy their wrongs is drawing even more criticism.


Why is Youthforia under fire?

Golloria George, a beauty influencer who has a regular series on her page where she swatches the darkest shade of cosmetic products offered by various beauty brands, shared a video on Monday of a swatch test for Youthforia’s shade 600 foundation, the darkest hue in the collection. This video, however, began in a slightly different manner than George’s previous posts. It indicates that she applied foundation to one side of her face and black face paint to the other, revealing that both look identical.


the darkest shade of the youthforia date night foundation.

♬ original sound – golloria

“Which side of my face is covered in black face paint or Youthforia foundation?” Tea, you can’t tell. Do you know why? “Tar in a bottle,” she explains, holding up the foundation bottle.

The video received over 11.6 million views in less than 24 hours. In a follow-up video with over 2 million views, George tests Youthforia’s second-darkest shade, 590, which is too red for her skin tone. “I’m a little cooler than 590, guys, which means Youthforia doesn’t even make my shade,” she says before comparing shades 590 and 600.

@golloria Replying to @_sarah_herman ♬ original sound – golloria

“When we say we want you guys to make shades for us, we don’t mean [for you] to go to the lab and ask for minstrel show black,” George says in the video. “What we mean is for you to take the browns that you have made and create undertones. Do what you need to do in the lab so it’s a darker shade of brown.”

In an interview, George says she was shocked and frustrated when she swatched the foundation for the first time. “It was a really weird, surreal, out-of-this-world experience,” says. “It almost didn’t feel real.”

In October, George tried Youthforia’s darkest foundation shade at the time, 495, which did not match. She chastised the brand for making the shade look different on its website and in the bottle than it does on her complexion. George expresses frustration after attempting the newest deep shade. “Last year’s shade wasn’t black enough. “You don’t just miss the mark once; you go back and miss it again,” she explains. “That speaks volumes about the brand’s ethos. It rubbed me wrong, and I thought, ‘This is extremely hurtful.'”

The work of exposing brands’ lack of diversity “weighs a lot” on George. While her videos continue to go popular, they are “met with anti-Blackness and colorism.” According to her, it’s “easy for TikTok and the internet to police dark-skinned women’s experiences in beauty and when it comes to trying stuff that doesn’t work for us.”

Other cosmetic firms have made goods available to a diverse spectrum of skin tones; so, George finds it disappointing when businesses are exclusive. George advises that Youthforia abandon shade 600 entirely and seek to rectify course by using shade 590 as a base to alter and change the shade range.

Other Creators Joining In!

Several other beauty influencers and TikTok producers have repurposed George’s video to convey their dislike for Youthforia’s new color. In a video on the foundation, cosmetic chemist Javon Ford highlights the differences between the brand’s lighter and darkest hues. The ingredients list for one of the lighter tints has three separate colors, as indicated by the “CI” marking at the bottom. Ford explains what each signifies and claims they are “pretty much the only colors you need to create a lighter shade.”

@glowymel this is what we’re doing in 2024?! seriously?! instead of prioritizing inclusivity we are going completely backwards with this. shame on youthforia and hopefully not only this shade but the foundation as a whole is pulled from ulta because this is wild😭 #fyp #fypシ #fypdongggggggg #makeuptok #makeuptiktok #beautytok #youthforia ♬ son original – sound_effects_paradise

Ford then looks at the ingredient list for the deepest tint, which only has one “CI” number.

“This foundation only has pure black pigment,” he says. “This problem is so avoidable. This brand does not care about us.”

@javonford16 Stitch @golloria #cosmeticchemist #makeupforwoc #youthforia#greenscreen ♬ original sound – Javon Ford Beauty

Ayeyi, a TikToker who says she’s worked in the beauty industry for the past 10 years, stitched George’s video to say that beauty brands “know what they’re doing. It’s not hard to extend a shade range.”

@ayeyiathome I want to say I’m shocked but I feel like I’ve truly seen it all…the beauty industry as a whole needs to do better. @golloria #youthforiafoundation #darkskinmakeup ♬ original sound – Ayeyi at Home

“This shade that they released is actually asinine,” she says. “It is so obvious to me that this brand released this shade begrudgingly as some sort of half-baked consolation prize.”

Youthforia founder Fiona Co Chan has had to answer to criticism of the brand’s lack of inclusivity since launching their first 15 foundation shades last year. In a since-deleted video, Chan said the first drop was a “proof of concept” to see if the brand would be successful. YouTuber Jackie Aina, who is often credited for blazing the trail of online content creators trying to hold beauty brands accountable, stitched her video and said that as a business owner, she understands why Chan made this video but can see why it’s “bullsh-t.”

@youthforia Replying to @niqueywiquey ♬ original sound – Youthforia

“What you’re inadvertently saying is that anybody that isn’t dark skin is the default, and if they like it first, then the rest of y’all will get it,” Aina said.

Before unveiling the new hues in March, including shade 600, Chan posted a video on Youthforia’s TikTok page stating that she was having problems finding a model for the latest shade. “I’m super stressed because I need to find a model for our darkest shade of Youthforia foundation,” Chan is quoted as saying in the clip. She reveals that they contacted modeling agencies but were unable to identify any models for whom the shade worked. The video includes writing at the bottom of one footage that reads, “This is a serious problem! I hope model agencies hire more diversity models.” She goes on to state that the corporation conducted a casting call but still couldn’t locate anyone.

According to the message, Chan “worked super hard, calling in favors with all of her manufacturers to get this created in four months instead of the regular 18 months.” The brand says they worked with makeup artists and tested against real people. The message ends with a suggestion for the brand’s ambassadors to “comment on any TikTok post with a [heart emoji] or any positivity.”

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