50 Shades Of You

It is no secret how frustrating shopping for makeup can be, especially for Black women. Often, selections offered both online and in stores features shades on either end of the spectrum, with little options for those of us who fall in between. To make matters worse, finding quality products that not only make women feel and look good while addressing individual issues such as hyperpigmentation, acne, sensitive skin, and eczema can be another uphill battle.

Dianne Plummer, is all too familiar with this struggle and exemplifies using said challenge as a stepping-stone, as opposed to a stumbling block. Launched in 2014, Your True Shade (YTS), was birthed out of a personal need that started as she was studying engineering in Stockholm. As a Black woman living in Northern Europe, she found it challenging to find products catered specifically to her sensitive skin type and shade.

Determined to find some kind of resolve, Plummer used her engineering education as a benefit. She immediately went to work and created her own line of makeup and skincare products. To help, Plummer often made her products within her dorm room, selling them to friends and classmates alike around her campus.

Your True Shade offers customers an extensive line of products such as concealer, foundation, lipstick, cleansers and moisturizers. Aside from operating online, customers can find Your True Shade products in select Fontana Pharmacies in Jamaica, all at an affordable price point.

How Plummer was able to develop her business is remarkable. In fact, her continued desire fueled her daily and knowing that she was living out her dream also helped. She knew that she was very close to her ultimate goal: creating something that not only matched her skin tone specifically but also wouldn’t cause her eczema to flare up.

One thing that is important for Plummer, and has been from the start, is that diversity never gets lost. “Diversity is important in the personal care industry especially because everyone’s skin is different,” she says in an interview with BASHY. Since everyone’s skin varies, having products that not only just work but also fill a need in an oversaturated market is essential.

For example, when Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty, she really wanted to focus on creating something that  women everywhere, no matter their shade, could use. The same applies principle to Your True Shade. Plummer prides her company on her ability to cater to different skin types, addressing skin care conditions and customizing products specifically for each customer. For some women that are not in tune with makeup, Plummer provides extra support and guidance for women who have difficulty finding options on their own.

The fact that YTS also emphasizes skin care is an idea that is missing in most makeup companies. While companies like Nars, Laura Mercier, and even Bobbi Brown are quite popular, they don’t give women the proper tools to take care of their skin and simply act as a means to hide whatever is under the makeup. In the meantime, Plummer is looking to expand her business further by collaborating with other companies that serve different regional markets. “I would definitely collaborate with Nuella O, which is a brand that fuses traditional Nigerian designs with UK influences,” she said.

In July, Your True Shade celebrates its three year anniversary of being in business. Plummer  hopes that her brand will become the leading cosmetics company all over the Caribbean and within the diaspora. With all the success she’s achieved, so far, Plummer is definitely well on her way.