Youthforia Faces Controversy Over New Foundation Shade

Woman holding Youthforia foundation
Youthforia Foundation DDimaXX/Shutterstock javonford16/TikTok

Makeup brand Youthforia sparked controversy after releasing a new foundation shade, which leading Black beauty influencers say is more akin to facepaint than an accurate shade.

In a video with 17.5 million views, creator Golloria George tried on Youthforia’s Date Night Skin Tint Serum’s darkest shade, 600. 

On one side of the face, George applied actual black face paint. On the other, she applied the serum. But both swatches ended up being very similar visually.

“When we say that we want you guys to make shades for us, we don’t mean to go to the lab and ask for minstrel show black. What we mean is to take the browns that you have made, create undertones, and do what you need to do in the lab so it’s a darker shade of brown,” she said in the clip.


the darkest shade of the youthforia date night foundation.

♬ original sound – golloria

Youthforia controversy explained

This new shade is one of ten released by the brand after numerous creators, including George, called out the brand for not being inclusive enough with their shade range back in October 2023

The brand issued an apology and promised to make more inclusive shades in the future. But in an interview with NBC News, George says this newest shade “looks like a slap in the face.” 

“I feel like the beauty industry itself has taken a step backward,” she told NBC. “We’ve seen so many complexion launches that would never work for a skin tone like mine.”

Numerous other creators also responded to the clip, with George’s video quickly amassing dozens of stitches and duets.

But one of the most viral responses is a video by Javon Ford, a cosmetic chemist. In the clip, which has been viewed 4.4 million times, he analyzed all the different pigments in other shades of the foundation. He found that shade 600 only had one black pigment. 

“Anyone who has ever taken an art class will tell you that black is a terrible pigment to mix with because it just makes things gray and muddy,” he said in the clip. 

Another popular response was by Ayeyia Thorne, a lifestyle and beauty influencer. In her video, which has amassed over 750,000 views, she said, “It is not hard to extend a shade range, it’s just not.”


I want to say I’m shocked but I feel like I’ve truly seen it all…the beauty industry as a whole needs to do better. @golloria #youthforiafoundation #darkskinmakeup

♬ original sound – Ayeyi at Home

“Being a minority doesn’t mean that we should be excluded. And the beauty industry has been so exclusionary for so long,” she added. “We’ve come a long way. But clearly we still have a very long way to go.”

Youthforia seems to be staying quiet so far on the controversy. The company didn’t respond to Passionfruit’s request for comment via email by publication time.

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