Within fashion and beauty retail, the idea that ‘skin-coloured’ means ‘somewhere between white and peach’ is slowly coming undone, with designers such as Christian Louboutin expanding nude ranges to go “from porcelain to deep chocolate” and lingerie brands recognising that one shade doesn’t fit all.
While these launches made headlines, there are plenty of everyday items many still struggle to find easily and for an affordable price – something newly launched website FleshTone.net is aimed squarely at combating.
Described as “part blog, part fashion and lifestyle directory, part online community” and intended to be something of an Amazon for nude products, the website hosts a curated collection of brands catering for different skin tones, from fashion and beauty, such as tights and cosmetics, to children’s products and plasters in all shades.
The woman behind it, Australia-based Tayo Ade, was frustrated with the products on offer and as a dancer, had in the past pulled out of a performance when a teacher insisted the beige tights she was meant to wear were “skin-coloured”, despite Ade’s skin being nowhere near the shade.
As she explains on the website, “Having danced from a young age, it was always disconcerting when asked to produce or buy costumes, tights and other apparel in ‘skin colour’. Skin colour in that context was a micro-aggression. It was a colour made to approximate all variation of beige, and did not include others. I had to go without or skip the performance.”
The website team “searched high and low for the best options for all of those dance-related, everyday and special items that you need in your FleshTone. You do not need to explain anything to us about your skin colour and your needs. We get it.”
The resource includes links to plasters, sports tape and books for children showing positive role models for all – something close to her heart after, as she tells elle.com, her nursery-age daughter once asked if it would be “better” to have long, straight hair instead of her natural Afro hair.
She tells the website: “I always wanted a resource for the full spectrum of products that relate to darker flesh tones and there wasn't one – so I made one.”
Currently, the site profiles different brands and designers and directs customers to where they can purchase them, though Ade hopes it’ll also become a community where people can share recommendations and discuss their experiences with retailers.
“What has inspired the creation of FleshTone.net is the amazing work that brands are doing to diversify and expand their definition of ‘flesh tone’. By collating these brands in one place, FleshTone.net has made the search for these products and what real women and men are saying about these products, so much easier.”
Visit the website here.