Let's Acknowledge the Hidden Cost of Beauty Black Women Pay Every Day

Laëtitia PelchLaëtitia Pelch

Being black means adding 'for black people' on the end when you type something into Google.

'Best skin needling Melbourne... for black people.'

'Best SPF50+ sunscreen... for black people.'

'Best hair salon near me... for black people.'

This is the hidden cost of beauty when you are a minority. The cost of the time it takes to find a specialist. This process is exhausting and frustrating, but we are resilient.

For example, say you want to book in laser hair removal. Or get your brows microbladed. Or try that new skin treatment everyone's raving about on Instagram.

For me, it takes so much more than a Google search or a quick social media scroll to be able to participate in the beauty industry that I love.

It means spending hours researching salons - sometimes in your local area, but more often, I'll need to travel to find a professional who might be specifically qualified to cater to my beauty needs.

It means knowing the right questions to ask, and asking them until I get clear confirmation.

Is the stylist, technician or artist fully educated on how to provide their service to anyone who pays to sit in their chair? Are they trained in or do they have experience working on clients from diverse ethnic groups?

Are professionals aware many lasers weren't made to be able to distinguish between hair follicles and melanated skin, and that their tools might burn me? Have they ever done brow microblading on a client with dark skin? Was there any feedback about keloid scarring because skin with high pigment is prone to pigmentation?

If I want to get a blow dry, will enough time be allocated for a stylist to do my 4C hair using the correct method to look after my afro texture? And will I need to pay more than the person next to me for the same service because it might take longer or require more shampoo? Will I be made to feel like a burden?

Watch this Global Shades video below to hear more about the beauty experiences of Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

It means researching and double-checking, because I can't afford to trust blindly. It's my body.

It's exhausting. Beauty and wellness services are meant to be about self-care, for taking a moment or an hour in which you don't have to think about anything else. But I can never really fully relax because even after I've done all the research, I always need to pay attention and supervise. Just in case.

This is the hidden cost of beauty when you are a minority. If only not being able to find the right foundation shade was the unique issue minority Australians were facing in the beauty industry.

So, What's My Global Shades Foundation?

Laëtitia PelchLaëtitia Pelch

What: Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup - A long-wearing foundation that combines a flawless matte finish with comfortable wear for up to 24 hours.

Why I love it:

I've always wanted to try this foundation and now I have, I get why people say it's so good. It's a long-lasting foundation with great buildable coverage. I find it covers my hyperpigmentation and gives my skin an even, flawless finish.

Double Wear also mattifies the skin, which is great if you have oily skin. That said, it's the kind of matte that's super comfortable to wear and doesn't dry out your skin. I like sheer coverage for every day, but I'll definitely be using this foundation for special occasions.

I know how overwhelming it can be to buy a foundation online. Nevertheless, I decided to trust the [Adore Beauty] Findation shade matching tool to find my shade online. The shade 6C1 Rich Cocoa suits me perfectly. It's the right undertone; not too yellow, not too red. The only small downside is this foundation doesn't come with a pump (you have to buy the pump separately).

For a seamless application, prep your skin with a hydrating primer, serum or moisturiser. A little goes a long way, so start with less product than you think you'll need and add more until you're happy with the coverage. Or if you prefer a sheer coverage finish, mix it into a pea-sized amount of your favourite moisturiser or primer.

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