Sad but true, of the many brands that have launched BB creams – short for Beauty Balm, only a few companies have gotten the shade selection right. Translation: those companies have included shades that extend beyond the fairest of them all. Thank goodness, because for a while there I was starting to question my own existence since recent and past product presentations that I had attended only included Shade 1, Shade 2 and Shade 3, none of which came close to my Hershey’s Kiss complexion.

Photo Credit:

Annoyed at the prospect that only part of the population’s skin tones would ever be represented, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect when a beautiful surprise arrived via my doorman a short while ago – a surprise that had me grinning from ear to ear – Hydroxatone Anti-Aging BB Cream ($59.95, in Dark nonetheless. I immediately popped open the cap and applied a dollop onto the back of my hand and onto my chin and to my wonderment, I said, “Finally, someone gets it!”

Photo Credit: AJ Crimson

While there are BB brands with a huge fan base that focus on the skin tones of women of color like celebrity makeup artist AJ Crimson BB + D Cream ($34, who has just introduced 4 new lighter shades – 11 altogether and makeup/model/entrepreneur IMAN BB Crème ($20, – 6 in all, I was curious to see if brands whose marketing materials don’t speak to “us,” would actually start to include shades that at least look like us and Hydroxatone did.

Made as an all-in-one multi-tasking perfecting cream, Hydroxatone Anti-Aging BB Cream which comes in 5 shades, hydrates, conceals, protects, reduces the look of aging and brightens skin in one step as it protects with Broad Spectrum SPF 40 Sunscreen.

Although the shade selection isn’t as dense or even concentrated in the darker spectrum of hues, I appreciated Hydroxatone’s  first attempt that proved not to be in vain, because the ‘Anti-Aging’ melted right into my skin with no-ash-at-all while it disguised my cheek blemishes beautifully.

SIDE BAR: A marketing executive at a large beauty company told me that only the lightest of shades, in this case BB creams are offered at an initial product launch, is because “we need to see how they sell first before we expand the shade range.” Just a few words of wisdom to all beauty marketing executives…

Dear Beauty Company Marketing Executive,

Black women love makeup too, and if you make them feel included, you [Beauty Company] will have their undying support. When you don’t make a good faith effort to include a group of women who spend billions of dollars on head-to-toe beauty everything, you make it harder to earn their trust and you’ve lost those spending dollars. Your marketing strategies aren’t working. Try again.


Beleaguered and confused.


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