Ulta beauty and cosmetics store...

Source: John Greim / Getty

Thanks to the Fenty Effect, more and more makeup brands have expanded their foundation lines to embody nearly everyone’s shade. This means that women of color, specifically dark-skinned Black women, can walk into nearly every department and makeup store around the country and find their perfect shade.

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Sadly, not enough makeup artists have gotten that memo.

Case in point: An Ulta employee has been accused of telling a sista she was “too dark” for her to color match.

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According to NBC News, Ebony Kankam London, who lives in Houston, was visiting New Jersey to attend her baby shower and went to Ulta to get her makeup done for the occasion. That’s when the deeply and beautiful melanated woman said everything went downhill.

“I brought in a picture for reference and was told that my skin tone was too dark for most colors in the store,” she said in a series of social media posts.

“In a store full of people who didn’t look like me I felt sad and upset,” London said. “Like my skin tone was a problem.”After London told the makeup artist she wasn’t happy with how it turned out, “she got really upset and said she had done makeup for 20 years and never had anyone be unhappy.”

On the left, here’s what she wanted to look like and as you can see on the right, she looks ashy AF.

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So today at @ultabeauty in holmdel I went in to get my make up done for my baby shower. I brought in a picture for reference and was told that my skin tone was too dark for most colors in the store. So this was the best she could do. She then asked if I had ever gotten my make up done professionally. It was sad af. Like I felt like I was in 1990 when make up was made for one type of skin. In a store full of people who didn’t look like me I felt sad and upset. Like my skin tone was a problem. Thank god for make up like @fentybeauty and @lancomeofficial for being so progressive . But I honestly think #ultabeauty should give their make up artist some diversity training and teach them how to glamorize all skin types. . . #njmakeupartist #makeupartist #makeupnj #darkskinmakeup #ebonyskin #darkskingirls #darkskinmakeup #racism #ebony #essence #whatiaskedforvswhatigot #makeuptutorial #beauty #fenty #beautybloggers #fentybeauty #lancome #lipbar

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Obviously, she wasn’t happy with her results and when she expressed as much, “The lady had the nerve to argue [with] me and say she’s done makeup for 20 years and knows what she’s doing,” London explained in a Facebook post.

Apparently, the store manager called London, telling her she saw the incident, but didn’t want to step in because she didn’t want to cause “a scene.” Oh, and the manager shared that she was biracial, felt comfortable doing “Black makeup” and wanted to give

Not surprisingly, London declined, telling NBC that the store also offered her a bag of lotions to try to make up for the disappointing makeup session.

In addition, Ulta’s corporate office issued an apology:

London told Heavy that she didn’t expect her story to go viral and gain so much media attention.

“Initially, I was surprised by the amount of attention my experience has received. However, after speaking with so many women across the country I have learned that this is a common issue for many women of color.”

But she realizes that her experience isn’t just her own.

“For so many, Ulta is their local one-stop-shop for product, tips, and service. I am hoping that Ulta takes the time to train and educate their service line members to better and more efficiently serve women of all ethnic groups, skin tones, and textures. I am in contact with Ulta and hope to have positive news to share soon.”



This isn’t the first time that Ulta has an issue with diversity.

According to, last summer current and former employees accused Ulta Beauty leaders of encouraging racial profiling of customers. One employee claims that she was told by management to follow Black and Latino shoppers to make sure they weren’t stealing.

Whatever is going on at Ulta, it’s clear that they have some work to do because given how much money Black women spend on hair and beauty products we definitely deserve a lot more respect than this.

With All These Foundation Shades, An Ulta Makeup Artist Still Told A Black Woman Her Skin Was ‘Too Dark’ To Color Match  was originally published on

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