Uoma Beauty Launches 51 Shades Formulated For All Complexions

As a result of Fenty Beauty setting a new standard for diversity in the cosmetics industry, new brands are very conscious that if they want to succeed in the already crowded beauty market, they need to appeal to women of all skin types and colors.

Studies show that in the US, African-American women spend the most per capita on beauty products, and yet the availability of products suited to their skin tones remains limited. In addition, many products intended for darker complexions often include dangerous chemicals and toxins.

For Sharon Chuter, a Nigerian-born, London-based former LVMH executive, the choice was clear. The beauty veteran, who launched Uoma Beauty this week, strived to embrace what she calls Afropolitan cosmetics with an impressive selection of 51 foundation shades. The collection features beautifully-packaged bold lipsticks, highly-pigmented glosses, liners, concealers, and much more.

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“I was very excited when Fenty launched because it came in and really made a statement within the industry,” Chuter told Glamour. “But it infuriated me when I saw other brands just waking up. It was like, is this it? Is this the best we can do? It was really reminiscent of when this happened in the nineties. Iman Cosmetics had this whole inclusive revolution and it lasted for a few years, but then it died down, and things went back to the way it was.”

Uoma, which means “beautiful” in the Nigerian language Igbo, hopes to not just be a flash in the pan. Chuter would like to focus on true inclusivity and representation. She has launched her campaign with a strikingly diverse cast of models and has named her products after cultural icons, like Angela Davis and Nina Simone.

While many brands have extended the selection of shades in their current foundation collections, Uoma has developed unique formulations for a variety of skin tones. The 51 shades are divided into six distinct “skin kins,” which include active ingredients that focus on the specific needs of each group. The line is as much about makeup as it is about skin care. The deeper shades feature ingredients that aid hyperpigmentation, while lighter shades include ingredients to reduce hypersensitivity and redness.

As an example, the Uoma Say What?! Foundation, which retails for $39, is lightweight and breathable, providing full coverage while minimizing pores and softening fine lines. The formula, which is thick and creamy, can be dispensed in deliberate doses by using its pump packaging. Also, the fast-drying formula stays on throughout the day without staining clothing.

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Reviewers, like writer Tanisha Pina, have noted that the brand provides a “seamless skin kin system and weightless wear,” which is refreshing in the cosmetics industry. “For me it's about creating a world where everybody could feel included,” Chuter said. “Where everybody could find their home. Because at the end of the day, beauty is our birthright, and it's nobody's to give to us.”

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