ColourPop Apologizes for Racially Insensitive Names for New Contour Sticks

(Photo: Colour Pop via Twitter)

ColourPop Apologizes for Racially Insensitive Names for New Contour Sticks

“Yikes” and “Typo” should never be used to describe darker skin.

Published September 27, 2016

Online cosmetics company ColourPop is doing some serious backpedaling, recently having to apologize to customers for being racially insensitive and offensive. 


Yes, the new line of contour sticks is pretty inclusive with 12 shades to accommodate a range of skin tones, but it’s the names of some of the tones that have come under fire. While the lighter shades are given fun and airy names such as “gummy bear,” “castle,” and “illuminati, the darker shades are dubbed with the sinister and offensive “yikes,” “typo” and “dume” (which according to the Urban Dictionary means “the act of being stupid.”

Yeah, they tried it. 

Clearly, once Black Twitter caught wind of our skin being called a mistake or terrifying, they weren't having any of it.

After getting dragged, ColourPop swiftly sent out a statement, apologizing for their misstep, Buzzfeed reported.

“On behalf of ColourPop, we are sorry and are extremely grateful for our customers’ feedback. We have taken immediate action to change the shade names and review our naming process to ensure this does not happen again,” they wrote. 

In addition, the names have since been changed, with “yikes” now "bloom” and “typo” now “platonic.” 

And while their apology is duly noted, for some the damage may already be done.

In a color-obsessed world where darker-skin Black women, not just in the U.S. but around the world, are not as valued as their lighter-skinned counterparts, this just illuminates that type of ignorance on a larger scale. Not to mention, it continues to expose the lack of diversity in the beauty industry. Yes, ColourPop has collaborated with women of color such as Karrueche Tran, but this incident begs one to wonder if there are any people of color in leadership roles or employed at their company? Because if there were, it’s hard to imagine how the proposed names even made it past an initial concept meeting.

But most important, this racial faux pas underscores how prevalent racism is in society. Like they ironically and cruelly just named their darkest shade “Yikes,” all while we live in an age where the very sight of our skin invokes fear in way too many people, including our own police. Literally, being frightful of Black folks equals our death. 

ColourPop, do better. Please. 

Written by Kellee Terrell

(Photos from top: Colour Pop via Twitter, Affinity Mag via Twitter)


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