Tar in a bottle: Youthforia slammed by beauty influencers for dark foundation shade

By Abby Amoakuh

Updated May 3, 2024 at 01:57 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

When Black women go to the drugstore nowadays, they will be able to find a foundation that works for their skin tone because the beauty industry has come a long way in the last two decades. Inclusive shade ranges are now a standard, rather than an exception for cosmetic brands and the few that refuse or miss the mark, can expect to meet the vitriol of netizens.

One of these unfortunate brands is Youthforia. The beauty company, which markets itself as being clean, sustainable, and inclusive, recently released a foundation shade labelled “tar in a bottle” by beauty influencers.


Don’t they understand that we have undertones?? #youthforia #darkskinmakeup

♬ original sound - Awuoi Matiop

The controversy started when Youthforia launched its ‘Date Night Skin Tint Serum Foundation’ in August 2023. The brand described the liquid foundation, which came in a clean glass bottle as a “first of its kind skin tint serum foundation you can sleep in,” which immediately piqued the interest of many makeup lovers. It retails at $48 and was launched with 15 shades.

However, netizens quickly started to critique the lack of shades for deeper skin tones and urged the company to create a wider range for the product.

Fast forward to March 2024, when Youthforia announced that “your perfect match [had] arrived,” which is much-awaited drop of ten more skin shades for darker complexions.


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A post shared by YOUTHFORIA | Skincare Makeup (@youthforia)

However, beauty influencer Golloria George posted a viral video about the foundation’s darkest tone, 600 deep, on her TikTok, in which she called the product “jet-black face paint” and “tar in a bottle.”


the darkest shade of the youthforia date night foundation.

♬ original sound - golloria

The beauty creator shared footage of herself testing the serum on her dark complexion next to actual black face paint, highlighting how the shades looked quite similar.

Following George’s video, other netizens also started to chime in and express their dissatisfaction at the company that failed to produce a darker shade resembling a skin tone.


Now they turned their comments off but it was appalling seeing such comments with reasoning that made no sense. The brand has literally made a video saying they can’t find no one that matches shade 600. If shade 600 was black and for mixing purposes, wouldn’t they know all along they can’t find a match of it?

♬ original sound - aesthetically.___.yours

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

Los Angeles-based cosmetic chemist Javon Ford provided more insight into the brand’s product formulations in a stitch of George’s video. Ford compared the ingredients of Youthforia’s light shade foundation to its darkest shade, showcasing that the darkest one lacked other colourants. “This foundation literally only has pure black pigment,” the expert deduced.

The chemist continued: “Skin tones typically have some combination of eumelanin and pheomelanin. The pheomelanin is where we get the red and yellow undertones. And this problem is so avoidable.” As an example, Ford cited Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, which launched in September 2017 with an impressive 40-shade foundation range.“This brand does not care about us,” Ford concluded.

Youthforia has not responded to the backlash so far.

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