By Julia Stone
British fashion model Leomie Anderson deserves a standing ovation this fashion week. The gorgeous and clever Victoria’s Secret model has gone above and beyond by releasing a vlog with tons of guidance for other black models titled Leomi Anderson’s Black Model Survival Kit. Not only is her video chockfull of usable pointers (oil not gel!) but also the mere effort of her reaching out to support her fellow models in this highly competitive industry is commendable.
Leomie made the news earlier this month when she asked the twitterverse, “[w]hy is it that the black makeup artists are busy with blonde white girls and slaying their makeup and I have to supply my own foundation”, and boy is she right. There is no excuse for an artist (especially at this level) to be able to work on one skin or hair type but not another. That’s like saying you’re only able to do a smokey eye, nothing else.
Sorry, but that just won’t cut it.
There is one piece of reason I would like to bring to the table, as it’s possibly the culprit of the specific instance that Leomie is referring to. Almost every fashion week show has a hair and makeup sponsor. Here in Toronto Maybelline and Redken sponsor every show that takes place in the tents. It is the brand’s responsibility to supply the artists with all of the tools they need to create the looks for the show. It is against the beauty sponsor’s agreement to have artists use any tools that aren’t supplied by that brand. If the artist is ill-equipped to execute a makeup look on darker skin at a beauty sponsored fashion show, blame should actually lie on the sponsoring cosmetics brand for not having supplied any/enough makeup to suit everyone. This points to a bigger problem than a few inexperienced artists.
I don’t know what went down at this particular show but I certainly know that it wasn’t an isolated experience.
Artists, it's time to step up. Make sure that your kits are always stocked with every foundation shade from ebony to ivory and if you’re unsure about something, ask. Jourdan Dunn revealed in Hello! last year that she has taken to wearing a wig because of all of the damage uninitiated artists have done to her hair. We can be better than this!
Models, take a peek at Leomie’s vlog and take all of her tips as the pearls of wisdom that they are; always bring your own nude thong and suggest using some orange correcting concealers on your darker areas.
I know I’m going to get some Edge Control for my kit and always strive to be as inclusive with my artistry for all races and faces.