When it comes to women of col­or, rep­re­sen­ta­tion in cos­met­ics brand mar­ket­ing typ­i­cal­ly falls flat. It can become dis­heart­en­ing for women of col­or to dis­cov­er that a pop­u­lar lip­stick pic­tured on a fair skinned mod­el looks com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent on brown skin. This frus­tra­tion is often voiced on social media.

While some brands are try­ing to incor­po­rate swatch­es that include all skin tones, the major­i­ty of the major are still behind, leav­ing women to con­tin­ue to play the guess­ing game when it comes to their beau­ty buys.

Enter Ofunne Ama­ka, the beau­ty and brains behind Cocoa Swatch­es, an app that shows how make­up swatch­es look against dark skin.

ofunne amaka

We asked Ofunne to give us an inside look behind Cocoa Swatch­es and why she decid­ed to craft the app.

How did you come up with the idea for Cocoa Swatch­es?
O: With the grow­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of hash­tags like #OscarsSoWhite, and #Pret­tyLipsPe­ri­od, it’s no secret that diver­si­ty in the media is still in issue. This unfor­tu­nate trend is espe­cial­ly per­va­sive in the beau­ty indus­try, which has his­to­ry of pro­mot­ing an idea of beau­ty cen­tered around white­ness.

In 2016, these ideals still man­i­fest in a myr­i­ad of ways. Most tra­di­tion­al beau­ty adver­tise­ments uti­lize women with lighter com­plex­ions and the same rings true for the new wave of influ­encer based mar­ket­ing that has con­quered the beau­ty mar­ket. Beau­ty influ­encers on social media sites like YouTube and Insta­gram have devel­oped rela­tion­ships with beau­ty brands that allow the influ­encers to pro­vide their fol­low­ers with the scoop on the lat­est make­up prod­ucts. Accord­ing to a study by Pix­a­bil­i­ty, “YouTube vlog­gers, haul girls, and oth­er beau­ty con­tent cre­ators con­trol 97% of con­ver­sa­tions around beau­ty and brands on YouTube.”

So what’s the real issue here?

Make­up prod­ucts are often swatched by influ­encers with lighter skin tones, cou­pled with the offi­cial adver­tise­ments and com­mer­cials that fol­low that only fea­ture white or light skinned cov­er mod­els.  This means that most sneak peeks of col­or cos­met­ics like lip­sticks, eye­shad­ows, and foun­da­tion are most like­ly to be shown from a white gaze.

Enter Cocoa Swatch­es. When I start­ed the Insta­gram page, I just want­ed to see make­up prod­ucts swatch­es on some­one who looked like me.

After a num­ber of dis­ap­point­ing pur­chas­es, where I ulti­mate­ly guessed com­plete­ly wrong about how a prod­uct would look on me, I thought to myself, I wish there was a resource that allowed me to see swatch­es of the lat­est make­up prod­ucts on dark­er com­plex­ions.

Soon enough Cocoa Swatch­es was born. It has now become much more than just your aver­age Insta­gram page.

How does Cocoa Swatch­es work?
O: Offi­cial Descrip­tion:

“DISCOVER new and old make­up prod­ucts through the CS swatch and review sys­tem.

LEARN make­up tips and tricks from make­up experts we love, who have paved the way in cre­at­ing great con­tent for under­rep­re­sent­ed com­plex­ions.

COMPARE and con­trast sim­i­lar­ly mar­ket­ed prod­ucts and find the best one for you.

SEARCH through Insta­gram posts as well as new swatch­es in app. You’ll nev­er have to end­less­ly scroll down your IG feed again!

The Cocoa Swatch­es app is the make­up bestie you can car­ry in your pock­et. It will help you make informed make­up pur­chas­es and let you in on whats real­ly good with the make­up indus­try.”

With the recent addi­tion of its web­site and the mobile app, Cocoa Swatch­es is a plat­form show­cas­ing orig­i­nal and curat­ed con­tent that serves as a source of inspi­ra­tion and infor­ma­tion for beau­ty enthu­si­asts, with a strong focus on com­plex­ions that are under­rep­re­sent­ed in from the beau­ty indus­try. Through its high qual­i­ty con­tent and care­ful cura­tion, Cocoa Swatch­es is one of the few resources ded­i­cat­ed to pro­vid­ing the lat­est make­up swatch­es on var­i­ous com­plex­ions.

The Cocoa Swatch­es app is cre­at­ed to opti­mize the make­up shop­ping expe­ri­ence and help peo­ple make more informed pur­chas­ing deci­sions through swatch pho­tos. Users can search through orig­i­nal con­tent and con­tent curat­ed through Insta­gram to look for prod­uct swatch­es and reviews. We try to cov­er make­up prod­ucts as soon as they come out so we can give our com­mu­ni­ty high qual­i­ty pho­tos and swatch­es before they decide to buy. Top­i­cal con­tent is impor­tant but so are tried and true favorites that peo­ple may not know about or be aware of.

In addi­tion, the app also aims to give respect and cred­it to the numer­ous con­tent cre­ators of col­or that are con­stant­ly cre­at­ing tuto­ri­als and make­up inspi­ra­tion for their audi­ences.

Any upcom­ing plans/collabs for Cocoa Swatch­es?
O: With the addi­tion of the Cocoa Pick fea­ture with­in the app, we have col­lab­o­rat­ed with a num­ber of beau­ty influ­encers in order to share their favorite beau­ty prod­ucts (in the form of a swatch) with our com­mu­ni­ty. In the future, we hope to part­ner with more brands to add more prod­uct swatches/reviews to the Cocoa Swatch­es direc­to­ry.

I’m so hap­py to FINALLY release this news!! #CocoaSwatch­es is offi­cial­ly avail­able in mobile app form with many added perks!!! DISCOVER new and old make­up prod­ucts through the CS swatch and review sys­tem. LEARN make­up tips and tricks from make­up experts we love, who have paved the way in cre­at­ing great con­tent for under­rep­re­sent­ed com­plex­ions. COMPARE and con­trast sim­i­lar­ly mar­ket­ed prod­ucts and find the best one for you. SEARCH through Insta­gram posts as well as new swatch­es in app. You’ll nev­er have to end­less­ly scroll down your IG feed again! The Cocoa Swatch­es app is the make­up bestie you can car­ry in your pock­et. It will help you make informed make­up pur­chas­es and let you in on whats real­ly good with the make­up indus­try. The best part is , the app is free and avail­able on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices! (Edit, there’s some issues with Android; will be fixed soon! ) Hope you guys love it! ❤️❤️ Just search for Cocoa Swatch­es in the App Store!! #CocoaSwatch­es #wake­u­pand­make­up #make­up #Make­upIn­spo #make­u­plover #dark­skin­make­up #make­up­for­dark­skin #beau­ty #beau­ty­blog­ger #make­up­porn #make­up­tuto­ri­als #trend­mood #make­upin­spi­ra­tion #melanin

A post shared by Cocoa Swatch­es (@cocoaswatches) on

Down­load the Cocoa Swatch­es app on IOS  (Android com­ing very soon!) and Fol­low Cocoa Swatch­es on Insta­gram and Twit­ter.

Rinny

Tex­an by birth, Los Ange­leno by sit­u­a­tion. Lover of Tame Impala and Shoegaze music. Come­di­an by trade. Mac­a­roni and Cheese con­nois­seur by appetite.

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12 Comments on "Black Beauty Blogger Creates App that Spotlights Makeup Swatches on Dark Skin"

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Dionne

Unfor­tu­nate­ly the app is down

christinanolanXD

Down­loaded it a while ago! Glad BGLH fea­tured an arti­cle about it!! :)

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[…] jeune femme explique à black­girl­with­long­hair que l’idée lui est venue suite à de nom­breux achats déce­vants où elle avait très mal […]

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[…] You can read the full arti­cle here. […]

Nova Nocturne

i down­loaded the app but didn’t realise that the ‘dark skin’ cat­e­go­ry lit­er­al­ly ment just that haha… i’m to light to ben­e­fit from it, but will keep it just to sup­port ^_^

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[…] In an inter­view with Black Girl Long Hair, Ama­ka said that “after a num­ber of dis­ap­point­ing pur­chas­es, where I ulti­mate­ly guessed com­plete­ly wrong about how a prod­uct would look on me, I thought to myself, ‘I wish there was a resource that allowed me to see swatch­es of the lat­est make­up prod­ucts on dark­er com­plex­ions.’” So she did what every entre­pre­neur­ial woman who demands change does: she cre­at­ed that resource. […]

ss (short & sweet)

You are fab­u­lous! Thank you for post­ing this arti­cle!

Lolalao

Awe­some idea!!!!

mds29

This is a great idea! I am going to down­load it myself.

Bluejeansbaby1980

Down­loaded it! Such a great idea and a use­ful app.

Hadiza
I appre­ci­ate the posts that you guys have been post­ing, but now this web­site has become a site for black cul­ture and not black hair. I bare­ly see any posts about hair any­more in fact. I don’t go to this site for black cul­ture posts and info because there is easy access to it on near­ly every social media site. and sure its cool when its some­thing super shock­ing or con­tro­ver­sial, but not when its every sin­gle post. Hon­est­ly, you guys should just change your domain name if that’s all your going to post. Its actu­al­ly get­ting real­ly annoy­ing. And… Read more »
Redseouls

Just down­loaded it!

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