What the makeup industry has in store for us in 2019

About inclusive makeup and the most exciting launches of the new year

Heading into the new year, we can expect a number of new releases from makeup brands with brand new products. Concealers, Foundations, Eyeshadow palettes… the list goes on and on. Some brands announced or launched their products in late 2018, to start of the new year. Here’s a list of the products and brands that are actually worth talking about. 

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Makeup brushes and products

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A look back to 2018

What were the biggest makeup releases of 2018? Last year, a number of new products were released, by old or new brands. Some were surprising, some rather not. And most importantly, some sparked a lot of controversy.

Let’s start with a predictable one: Urban Decay launched a new eyeshadow palette. Again. The Naked Cherry Palette, another addition to the Naked collection, features red and pink tones. And, while it may be a good palette (I haven’t tested it so I can’t give a review, though there are plenty on Youtube), the colours are quite standard. It is part of the Cherry Collection that features a setting spray, a highlighter palette, eye pencils and various lipsticks.

Not only high-end makeup was launching products in 2018. Makeup Revolution, a drugstore brand, launched its Conceal & Define Foundation in 18 shades.

Other releases of popular brands in the past year include:

  • TooFaced Gingerbread Spice Eyeshadow Palette & Dew You Full Fresh Coverage and Glow Foundation in 20 shades
  • Nars Climax Mascara
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Sultry Eye Shadow Palette 
  • Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer in 16 shades
  • Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation in 40 shades

There are a lot of foundations and concealers that were launched in 2018. But we need to talk about an issue that’s been around for a long, long time now. Because some brands still don’t seem to get the memo.


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Inclusive Makeup

When you look at the shade ranges of makeup, foundations and concealers in particular, and find you shade in an instant – then you’re probably not a person of colour. A lot of makeup brands have been launching and relaunching their foundations and concealer with great formulas for years now, and while they are featuring a lot of lighter shades, they are lacking more shades for darker skin tones.


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People with darker skin tend to not find a foundation or concealer to match their skin tones, especially in drugstores. Some high-end makeup brands, such as MakeUp Forever and MAC have launched inclusive makeup ranges before, but the industry still has a long way to go.

Ever since makeup was first invented (let’s disregard the toxic venetian variation for a second), for example one of the first foundations by Hollywood makeup artist Max Factor in the 1930s, the colour range has been rather focussed on white tones.

Lately though, the industry seems to have made an effort in redefining the colour “nude”. In September 2017, Rihanna launched the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’R Foundation in 40 different shades for a lot of different skin tones. This launch was praised all over social media for being so inclusive.

And quite frankly, it is about time that makeup brands recognize that 20 shades is not enough to cover everyones skin tones. Although, it as to be added that some brands have been featuring inclusive shades for a while now.

This is not what people meant by saying ‘more shades, please’

Next to brands already mentioned, there are other makeup brands that feature quite a lot of shades within their new foundation or concealer launches. However, more shades does not necessarily mean more inclusivity.

In July 2018, a quite surprising launch took place. The brand Beauty Blender, who developed the iconic

makeup sponges

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makeup sponge to blend out anything from foundation to contour and eyeshadow, released their first foundation range! This sounds rather surprising, after the success of the beauty tool the brand tries their luck with actual makeup. A lot of people awaited the release with excitement, only to be disappointed massively.

The brand promised 32 shades, if you think this is an exciting moment for inclusive makeup… you’re wrong. The critique doesn’t actually apply to the quality of the foundation itself. While looking at the shade range, you might notice that there are a ton of shades ranging from very light to medium… and about six tones that you could consider for a person of colour.

Sadly, Beauty Blender is not the only one to make this mistake in 2018. Tarte’s Shape Tape Foundation got a lot of backlash for being non-inclusive, as well as Benefit’s Hello Happy Foundation. Mistakes like this are simply not tolerated anymore.

Is everything going to be better in 2019?

2019 comes along with a promising start: right before the new year rolled around, Fenty Beauty announced a new release. The ProFilt’R Concealer, in 50 plus shades. After the huge success of the foundation, can we expect anything less from the concealer?

But Rihanna’s brand seems to not be the only one who understands that not everyone who wears makeup has a light skin tone. Morphe Cosmetics announced the launch on 17 January of the new Fluidity Full-Coverage Foundation in 60 shades. Yes, you heard that right. Alongside with 31 shades of concealers and 15 setting powders.

beauty products

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Sounds good so far. But the reviews by beauty youtubers don’t all agree. There are some reviews that criticize the foundation because it dries too fast and stains, especially in the darker complexions. On top of that, people are saying that about the concealers as well, plus some have observed grey undertones in the foundation as well as the other products. Overall, they seem to be very inconsistent products.

So, the Morphe launch seems to be rather controversial, but what the majority is saying will only be determined after more people have tried it.

Other than that, there are a lot more products to be excited for in 2019, some will be good, some probably not so much. However, it is time for makeup brands to understand that inclusive shade ranges are a must for 2019.