A black woman has slammed Ulta Beauty on social media, claiming that one of the retailer’s employees told her that her skin was ‘too dark for most colors in the store’ when she asked to get her makeup done before her baby shower.
Ebony Kankam London, 31, took to Instagram and Facebook on December 28 to share side-by-side images of the beauty look she wanted to achieve and what she looked like after getting her makeup done at the brand’s location in Holmdel, New Jersey.
The mom-to-be, who lives in Houston, told NBC News that she was in New Jersey to attend her baby shower when she went to Ulta to get her makeup done for the party.
Outrage: Ebony Kankam London, 31, has shared side-by-side images of the look she wanted to achieve (left) and what she looked like after getting her makeup done at Ulta Beauty (right)
Terrible: In her social media post, she said she brought in a picture for reference but was told her ‘skin tone was too dark for most colors in the store’
‘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 explained in her post.
London’s ‘after’ photo looks nothing like the image she brought in for reference as her makeup is far too light for her skin tone.
She said that things only got worse when the makeup artist asked her if she had ever gotten her makeup done professionally.
‘I felt like I was in 1990 when makeup was made for one type of skin,’ she recalled. ‘In a store full of people who didn’t look like me I felt sad and upset. Like my skin tone was a problem.’
Horrible experience: London said she was made to feel like her ‘skin tone was a problem’
After: The expectant mom, who lives in Houston, was in New Jersey to attend her baby shower (pictured) when she went to the location to get her makeup done for the party
She went on to praise Lancôme and Rihanna’s cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty, for being ‘so progressive.’
‘I honestly think #ultabeauty should give their makeup artist some diversity training and teach them how to glamorize all skin types,’ she wrote at the end of her post.
Hundreds of people took to the comments to show their support for her, with many sharing similar experiences they’ve had at Ulta as well as other makeup counters.
London told NBC News that after she shared her displeasure with her makeup, the store’s employee ‘got really upset and said she had done makeup for 20 years and never had anyone be unhappy.’
In a statement shared with the outlet, Ulta said it has been in contact with London about her experience.
Response: Ulta said in a statement that it was in touch with London. ‘Guest satisfaction with our services is a top priority,’ a company spokeswoman said
Stories: Hundreds of people took to the comments of London’s post to show their support, with many sharing similar experiences they’ve had at Ulta as well as other makeup counters
Follow-up: London shared an update on Thursday, saying the manager of the store is ‘apparently biracial and witnessed the entire situation’
‘Guest satisfaction with our services is a top priority,’ a company spokeswoman said. ‘We never want to hear that a guest has had anything less than a great in-store experience. This is our responsibility and we take it seriously.’
The spokeswoman added that Ulta provides ‘ongoing artistry education, and diversity and inclusion trainings across the organization, which is an important commitment that we recognize requires daily action and accountability.
‘We remain committed to provide a welcoming, inclusive environment where our guests can feel their best.’
In a follow-up post shared on Facebook on Thursday, London said she was contacted by a manger at the Holmdel store ‘who is apparently biracial and witnessed the entire situation.’
The woman was in the store with a corporate manager, according to London, who said they didn’t intervene because they ‘didn’t want to make a big scene.’
Excuse: London said she was told the managers didn’t intervene because they ‘didn’t want to make a big scene’
Advice: The expectant mom said thinks Ulta ‘should give their makeup artist some diversity training and teach them how to glamorize all skin types’
‘This is now bigger than me’: London tweeted on Thursday that people have been reaching out to her to share their own negative experiences with the brand
The expectant mom went on to say that the store manager told her she felt ‘comfortable doing black makeup’ and wanted to do her makeover over.
London told NBC News she turned down the offer because she was returning to her home in Houston and didn’t need her makeup professionally done.
‘What I would like to see happen is for there to be more training on working with women of color so that we don’t feel like we don’t belong,’ she said. ‘Especially when we spend so much money in those stores.’
She tweeted on Thursday that people have been reaching out to her to share their own negative experiences with the brand.
‘After my @ultabeauty situation so many women have emailed/dm me with their own story of racism/discrimination at #ulta. This is now bigger than me,’ she wrote.
Last summer, multiple Ulta employees accused the beauty giant of encouraging its staff to racially profile customers.
‘These accounts are disappointing and contrary to our training and policies. We stand for equality, inclusivity and acceptance and strive to create a space that is welcoming to all,’ the retailer responded at the time.