What's more annoying — a make-up company that doesn't bother to do any shades for black skin, or a make-up company that pretends it does but carries on bashing out the same old pale stuff, while banging on about how new technology has made its latest product "suitable for women of all colours"?
Despite my scepticism, every time I see an ad that promises to give me a flawless complexion, I come over all giddy and think this could be the one. I should know better. The latest trick used by the cosmetics industry is the whole "light-responsive" thing. The idea is that, due to new whizz-bang technology, so long as a foundation is the same tone and close-ish to your skin colour, then the magic of science will do the rest — smart foundation, if you will. It's pretty much a flawless concept, or so you'd think. All that even the laziest cosmetics company has to do is come up with one or two foundations that aren't too far away from black skin, and they'll work on black women no matter what shade.
Except it hasn't worked out like that. I've tried pretty much all the foundations that are supposed to be light-responsive, and guess what? Every one has been too light for my skin colour. Light Response by Prestige, new to Boots, has a couple of shades that were OK on a friend but far too light for me. L'Oréal's True Match ("a flawless finish made to measure") and Max Factor's Colour adapt ("particles adapt to your individual skintones to provide a flawless look"), meanwhile, were both complete washouts, and you can forget about the "luxury" brands altogether.
But it's not all doom and gloom: ignore the claims made about light response and head for Maybelline. I nearly dismissed it because of that ridiculous line about it being a "mousse revolution", but it might just be on to something. Its new Dream Matte mousse foundation not only comes in a pleasingly dark shade, but it also has a lovely consistency and shows up all that light-responsive business for the sham it is.