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Beauty

Iman Fandi On Race, Skin Colour And Diversity

Come April, Chanel will expand the range of its Ultra Le Teint foundation here to a good 30 shades. Ahead of that, FEMALE got aspiring pop star Iman Fandi to tell us why the importance of finding the perfect shade of foundation is not just skin deep.

What sort of beauty woes could a teen influencer/aspiring pop star like Iman Fandi possibly have? Anyone who’s seen her cover story for the February 2020 Music Edition of FEMALE Singapore would know that her complexion is as good as poreless. (A most honest disclosure: She largely wore close to nothing on her face for the shoot, save for some strategically placed gloss on her eyelids, chin and cheekbones – for a subtler, more everyday kind of sheen, try Chanel’s recently launched Le Blanc Rosy Light Drops.)

Besides a typically Gen Z affinity for experimenting with cosmetics to create different looks (just check out her Instagram account), the soon-to-be 20-year-old (Taurus, if you’re wondering) appreciates how a dash of the right makeup essentials is an instant complexion pick-me-up – the operative word here being “right”. “I have always had to mix different shades of foundation to get the right tone for my skin,” she tells us in between shows when we brought her to Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2020 earlier this month – her first PFW experience.

Sounds like a #firstworldproblem? Not quite. With her exotic Malay-South African heritage, Iman’s baby-soft skin sits somewhere between a beige and a brown with a slightly yellow undertone. Inconvenience aside, the extra mile that she has to go to make sure that her foundation shade is spot-on points at the lack of diversity that still often afflicts the beauty industry.

Come April 3, this shouldn’t be a problem over at Chanel’s beauty boutiques. The French maison will be releasing the full 30-shade range ($88 each) of its flagship Ultra Le Teint fluid foundation in Singapore – eight months after it debuted here with 12 shades. Among the new releases: the likes of BR122, suited for those with a darker tan and reddish undertones, and B60, a light tan with more neutral undertones.

Lightweight and rich in natural, moisture-trapping glycerin to guarantee all-day comfort, this liquid base makeup has been gaining a following with its long-wearing luminous-matte finish and ability to effortlessly blur imperfections. (A film-forming complex helps it hug one’s facial contours while resisting the effects of heat and sebum and the brand’s “Luminous Perfecting Complex” offers that radiant yet natural-looking “filter-on” effect).

The addition of 18 more shades (flip the gallery above to see each one of them) here means that even more women would be able to enjoy its benefits. According to the brand, the expansion would allow Ultra Le Teint to cater to the needs of 99 per cent of women, what with it covering three skin undertones: neutral beige, yellow beige and pink beige.

To paraphrase Iman during our conversation: In this day and age, such diversity should be the norm. (If you’re also wondering, she falls into the middle category: It turns out that BD41 – or Beige Dore, French for Golden Beige, 41 – matched her skin tone and she packed a bottle along for our trip. Yup, just one shade.)

 

Editor Noelle Loh Videographer Phyllicia Wang