CEO of Orcé Cosmetics questions if the inclusivity movement in beauty all just for show?

CEO of Orcé Cosmetics questions if the inclusivity movement in beauty all just for show?

Orcé Cosmetics CEO Shih Yu-Chen was inspired by her experiences as an Asian woman who was unable to find a foundation that matched her Malay-Chinese complexion.

“The message I got at the time was that I should probably whiten my skin so I can find products that would actually work for me. And on the flip side of that I should whiten my skin so I can be considered as beautiful. The signal I got was that there’s this parameter – which skin tones are beautiful – and if you’re outside of it, then you’re not.”

speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia ​for our latest Indie Pioneers Podcast, Shih said she set out to solve a problem she saw within the Asian community, which was often misunderstood by beauty companies.

“There’s really a blank space when it comes to shades, especially for Asian skin tones because there’s a common misconception that we are fair enough to just use shades created for Caucasians. A lot of us are fair, but our undertones may not necessarily be the same and that’s something that a lot of brands forget.”

While it is now typical for beauty brands to champion inclusivity today with a wide range of shades, Shih worries that this is all “performing”.

“The problem with that is the industry rewards those very big brands with a lot of financial backing, who are able to launch out of the gate with 40,50 shades. And it kind of penalises the smaller brands who maybe don’t have the budget to launch out of the gate with so many shades.

“But you know, at the end of the day, are you actually creating shades that are working for the people you are trying to target? I see a lot of brands now launching dozens and dozens of shades and I read the reviews from consumers complaining that none of them really, actually work.”

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