Black models in the fashion and beauty industries have long shared the realities of being forced to do their own makeup due to a lack of application knowledge and makeup products for Black skin tones.
Despite arguments that New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is more “diverse” and “inclusive” than in previous years, makeup artists still don’t seem fully prepared for Black models, according to some of the models themselves.
Travel and fashion model Megan Milan (@megan.milan) shared a TikTok showing what happened when she “let her guard down” and trusted an unnamed NYFW show’s makeup artist to do her makeup — only to allegedly end up going to Sephora and doing it herself.
“Yeah, I look like a ghost,” said Milan in the video.
Milan shared that she normally carries her own makeup kit to her bookings, including foundation, “just in case.” But in addition to letting her “guard down,” she said she simply didn’t want to carry a makeup bag around because it was her first booking of many that day.
Instead, Milan went to Sephora to do her own makeup and then came back to walk in the show. She shared a follow-up video of her trek to Sephora, along with her tearful frustrations over the fact that she is still encountering makeup artists who can’t do Black makeup, even at the professional level.
“I’m just so irritated,” Milan said in the TikTok. “It’s just frustrating that we have to deal with this all the f***ing time. Like if you didn’t know how to do Black girls’ makeup, then why would you even? You guys know what I looked like before I came. So rude. Why am I at Sephora doing my makeup?”
The same TikTok also showed the difference that a makeup artist can make when they know how to properly apply makeup. Milan shared her looks after sitting in the chair of Donni Davy (@donni.davy), makeup department head for the HBO series Euphoria.
“It’s totally unacceptable that fashion week can’t hire makeup artists who know all skin tones. So happy the second one nailed it for you! Stunning!” TikTok user @alittleoffbalance commented.
Davy responded to Milan’s video and called what the earlier makeup artist had done “deeply disturbing.” She shared a behind-the-scenes clip of how she had made Milan’s look shine after Milan had fixed her own foundation and called on all professional makeup artists to ensure they carry tools and products for all skin colors and tones.
Davy also noted that as a makeup artist, she knows that mistakes will be made but that it’s “critical” to be able to admit when something doesn’t look good, even if that means starting over completely.
“That’s OK, that’s always OK,” she said. “It’s the finished product that’s going to matter. It’s how that actor feels that’s going to matter.”
“I love that you were able to give her that experience,” commented @emilytheghostlygirl on Davy’s video. “Continued education and diversity ALWAYS!”
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