“Do you do black skin?”

“Do you do black skin?”

As a makeup artist, one of the questions I get asked is “Do you do black skin?” This really upsets me because putting it simply, no one should have to ask, it shouldn’t be a question! It’s not like I have been asked “do you do white skin?!” In my opinion, a good makeup artist should be skilled enough to work on skin of all ages, all races, all genders. Like hairdressers working with red, black, brown or blonde hair that is curly, straight, wavy or afro etc.

I understand there hasn’t always been makeup available for darker skin colours, perhaps that that is one reason for the question. They’re maybe asking from a technical point of view. But some will ask me because I’m white and will think I will only do white skin.

Fashion Fair Cosmetics was born in 1973, the first brand to produce makeup for black skin. Now lots of brands produce makeup for all skin colours. I was proud to work for MAC who’s mantra is ‘All races, all ages, all genders’

Yes, I do makeup for black skin. I do makeup for ALL skin. I always have and I always will work with any human that sits in my makeup chair.

I wish everyone could see, we are all one race, the human race.

I wouldn’t usually speak about racism because it makes me sad. ‘Ignorance is bliss’ and also because I’ve feared saying the wrong thing or causing conflict. But after the injustice surrounding the death of George Floyd, it reminded me just how passionate I am on anti-racism and how important it is to speak up and take action. I’ve not known how I can make a difference but I will try.

I will never understand how racism truly affects people as no one has ever been racist towards me. I now understand what white privilege really means.

I believe being racist comes down to how you’re brought up. You are not born racist. Sadly, no one has a choice in that for the first few years of their life. There are many religions, beliefs, morals and values that young people will grow up practicing, believing, preaching and it’s not technically their choice but how their minds are being shaped and they are learning from example. We have more choices as adults but sadly it’s often too late and not many of those people will change their views or be knowledgeable on what’s ‘right’ and what’s ‘wrong’ behaviour, if they have never been taught about prejudice.

Something has to change.

A full education and more knowledge needs to be taught in schools as a priority for early years, and consistently right the way through. Schools should have the freedom to teach all religions, faith, cultures and traditions, not be tied into knots with what is politically correct and worry about offending someone along the way. The lessons about being open minded, accepting other people’s faith and background, start at home though, with parents/families/role models and they need to have better knowledge available so they can support and educate their young people better. Hopefully the children then have a better chance of being anti-racist.

Luckily my parents brought me up correctly (in my opinion) they taught me about other religions and said I can choose my own, they taught me about spirituality too. They taught me about sexuality and said I can choose my own. They taught me about genders and said I can choose my own. I’m very lucky to have parents and extended family that support that.

I believe, everyone is human. Despite their race, their culture, their age, their gender, their sexuality, we are all human beings. Some humans are nice and some are not but that’s reality. I come from a family of mixed heritage- British, Greek, Romanian, Jamaican, African. I couldn’t be more proud to have that mix but I’m still not black and I still won’t truly understand. But I hate the fact that some of my family, past and present will have experienced racism to the extreme.

I didn’t know what I could do to help, I’m just one person but I read “I believe that one voice can make a difference, but that many voices together can make a change”.

One person singing can be amazing but a choir is altogether different.