In 2013, rapper ASAP Rocky, in an interview with The Coveteur, said, “I feel like with the red lipstick thing, it all depends on the pair of complexion. You have to be fair skinned to get away with that.”
This comment, although made as far back as 2013, remains potent in the enduring discourse surrounding dark-skinned Black women in fashion and beauty.
Portrayals of Black women with vibrant makeup in books and mainstream media portray them as "ratchet", "razz", and distastefully unstylish, shoving dark-skinned women farther into the restrictive box already built by long-standing colorist standards.
However, many black women today are shunning this narrative and using makeup to express themselves in the most daring ways. I spoke to three Black women who share what it is like being dark-skinned makeup artists in a digital community, their love for vibrant colours, and how their journeys have fostered their growth.