I'd like to share a little story with you about one of the main reasons why I'm so passionate about bringing more inclusivity and diversity to the beauty industry...
As a kid, my mum was teased by her peers because of her dark skin and curly hair texture. She recalls running in tears to my grandma, who comforted her with these words:
"Your skin colour and hair texture is not a measure of your intelligence. What matters is what comes out of your mouth, how you behave and how you treat others."
My mum grew up to be an intelligent, gentle and courageous woman. She worked a 9-5 job, ran a successful family business, all while being a wife and a mum to three kids.
But I remember one particular occasion that really broke my heart and stuck with me as a child. It's what I see when I look at this photo.
Before her sister's wedding, Mum paid to have her makeup done by a professional because makeup products like foundation and concealer weren't (and often still aren't) accessible for her skin tone. I guess she was hoping the professional would know better and be able to help her.
All she wanted was to look glam and feel special on such a memorable occasion. Instead, the makeup artist made her look sickeningly grey.
More than two decades later, my mum still remembers how uncomfortable and self-conscious she felt wearing that casket-ready foundation, and I still remember feeling so sad with and for her.
But she didn't have a choice back then when it came to makeup. Sadly, to this date, the makeup options for the Australian Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) community are still VERY limited.
You can watch more of Val's story in her Global Shades video below...