NF venture Makeup for Melanin Girls isn't just making products for women of color. It's listening to them

Aug 27, 2018

While Instagram accounts for makeup are endless, it still often feels like a rare find to stumble across a platform for women of color that isn't a personal blogger or influencer. Which is why Makeup for Melanin Girls (or MFMG) has become a destination for more than 171,000 women looking to discuss everything from the best nude lipsticks for dark skin tones to colorism in the beauty industry. The passion project began for founder Tomi Gbeleyi in 2016 when she was in college, and has since grown from a hashtag to multiple social media platforms to an indie beauty line that now sells eyeshadows and lipsticks.

Gbeleyi used to model on the side, but says she would always do her own makeup before going to set. "What would happen to me a lot of the time is that I would just be 'casket ready' at shoots because they didn't know how to match my face," Gbeleyi, now 27, tells Glamour. As frustrating as it can be to have your makeup done by a professional artist who didn’t come prepared with your foundation shade (something nearly every black girl—model or not—has likely encountered at some point), Gbeleyi refused to let it stand in her way. "At that time, my strategy was to figure out how to do my own makeup, so if the makeup artist [messed it up], I could go change it later." She started seeking out tutorials for women of color on YouTube and it quickly became her favorite pastime.

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