Let me first say, as an avid fan of Colour­Pop, if this is true (and it seems like it is), I am extreme­ly dis­ap­point­ed. I let it go when folks got upset that they named their dark brown sculpt­ing stix ‘Yikes’ and ‘Typo’ — because every­thing comes from a ran­dom name gen­er­a­tor these days. And I’ve tried my best not to judge them on their melanin-defi­cient col­lab­o­ra­tion selec­tions. But it recent­ly came to light that Colour­Pop pho­to­shopped an arm to appear dark­er for the sake of a swatch. Cocoaswatch­es, a pop­u­lar Insta­gram page and mobile app that fea­tures make­up swatch­es on brown-skinned women, shared a pho­to from a fol­low­er who thought that a Colour­Pop swatch for their peach shades looked a bit…off. Exhib­it A:

via CocoaSwatch­es

I have ques­tions. In addi­tion to the weird dark mark that clear­ly isn’t a shad­ow, why is the palm so dark? If I recall cor­rect­ly, brown-skinned peo­ple don’t have brown palms? Is that even a real swatch? These swatch­es are from some of their peach shades, and when I swatch peachy shades I ALWAYS tell peo­ple that the col­or will most like­ly be lighter on brown skin. This doesn’t look right at all. 

After back­lash mount­ed Colour­Pop delet­ed the swatch pho­to in ques­tion with­out address­ing the con­cern. This is so lame to me because it would have prob­a­bly tak­en them five min­utes to find a black mod­el to do the swatch. They’re based in LA, not Rus­sia. So what’s good? 

Fur­ther­more, I swatch and pro­mote black-owned indie brands (@dupeblack), and a crit­i­cism I often see is that these brands don’t have enough diverse swatch­es, when a lot of the time, small indies don’t have the mon­ey to hire 3–4 dif­fer­ent swatch mod­els. And who is often brought up as the stan­dard? Colour­Pop, still con­sid­ered an indie even though they have 4M fol­low­ers on IG and you can hop on YouTube and find thou­sands of Colour­Pop reviews. Com­par­ing them to an indie with 5K fol­low­ers is ludi­crous, but that’s a post for anoth­er day. To be hon­est, I can’t believe how legit­i­mate­ly annoyed I am. Per­haps if their employ­ees spent less time on Snapchat goof­ing off and show­ing lip and arm swatch­es on the same women again and again, they would have had more time to find a brown-skinned mod­el.

I hope they come out with a state­ment address­ing this fias­co, because I need some answers.


Elle is the edi­tor and cre­ative direc­tor of the YouTube chan­nel and blog, Quest for the Per­fect Curl at www.questfortheperfectcurl.com. Her chan­nel focus­es on nat­ur­al hair, beau­ty, and fit­ness. She loves prod­ucts that smell like dessert, yoga, and glit­ter. Fol­low her @qftpc.

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8 Comments on "ColourPop: Please Hire Black Models Instead of Creepily Photoshopping White Arms Brown"

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Colorpop enthusiast

What’s weird is that I’ve browsed the major­i­ty of their col­lec­tions and make­up but I’ve nev­er seen any­thing like this… Major­i­ty of the time the swatch looks as it should and the mod­el is clear­ly black. :?


I’m actu­al­ly so dis­ap­point­ed in Colour­pop, con­sid­er­ing half of my make­up col­lec­tion is from there. Whether if this is true or not, I hope they’ll be tak­ing notes for the next time they decide to plan a shoot.

- Lisette


This isnt true. I know the per­son that arm is attached to. She is a real per­son. That mark is either poor light­ing or bad removal of a pre­vi­ous swatch. We have actu­al­ly been intro­duced to POC on Colour­pops snapchat so we know that they do hire them. I can’t speak to the dele­tion of the pho­to but I can say its not a pho­to­shop job.


Isn’t it sad when black women are reduced to acronyms


I feel a drag com­ing. When ya’ll ready! Also if you look at the left hand side of the back­ground near the women’s arm, it’s a been dark­ened acci­dent­ly when they were dark­en­ing the woman. LMFAO, what a bunch of lames.


Answers aren’t real­ly need­ed. Spend your mon­ey with com­pa­nies that sup­port and embrace your com­mu­ni­ty. It’s real­ly that sim­ple. Let’s stop beg­ging for accep­tance.


That’s the issue! There are very few that meets needs for women of col­or. And that don’t charge an arm and a leg for prod­ucts!


That’s sad and piss poor if true.