This app wants to make buying makeup easier for people of colour

Makeup with everyone in mind

It’s no secret that, like many industries, the beauty industry has a serious diversity problem. For people of colour, buying makeup can be a frustrating experience as so often retailers and brands fail to cater to their needs both in the product development of the makeup and its advertising. So often a new line of lipsticks or an eyeshadow pallet will be released and the colours will only be shown on one woman; more often than not the woman is white, which is hardly useful for the millions of people who aren’t that specific skin tone looking to see what shade will suit them best.

Tired of this poor representation, beauty blogger Ofunne Amaka decided to do something about it with her app Cocoa Swatches. Cocoa Swatches initially began as an Instagram page where Ofunne would post pictures of makeup on herself and other beauty bloggers to show what products looked like on a variety of skin tones. The Instagram page gained over 20,000 followers in just a year so Ofunne has decided to showcase the content in its own app, creating “a platform that showcases original and curated makeup related content with a strong focus on complexions that are underrepresented in the beauty industry.”

A photo posted by @cocoaswatches on

The app is extremely easy to navigate and like the Instagram page it features content from Ofunne herself as well as from other beauty bloggers. Users of the app also have the ability to search for swatches of specific products and brands, or opt for more general searches like “purple lipstick swatches”.

The app really feels like a community, too, showcasing makeup artists and videos of the week. The Cocoa Pick section of the app is where beauty bloggers of different skin tones talk about their favourite products, why they love them so much, and share swatches.

Everyone who’s ever worn makeup knows it’s important to be able to see how a product will look on you before you spend your money on it. With a wide variety of products from more and less expensive brands, Cocoa Swatches makes this possible for many more people. Hopefully the app and its popularity will make the industry see that makeup should be made with everyone in mind and one shade does not fit all.

If you’d like to try Cocoa Swatches for yourself, the app is free to download for iOS and Android devices.


Image © Instagram/cocoaswatches