On Foul Formula, Fulfilling Faith and Fenty Fabulous

A year ago today, my first children’s book Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess dropped into the world and it is my favorite book of all that I’ve written. What was wild was as I was publishing the book, I was firing my whole team. This is what I’ve dedicated my newest season of the Professional Troublemaker podcast to. THIS tea. And it is cathartic to talk about because as I was going through it, I was ready to cuss everyone out.Cover of Luvvie Ajayi Jones' first children's book: Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess (a NYT-Bestseller)

Anywho, if you haven’t listened to the first episode, check it out.

Let’s get into what is on my mind this week.


Youthforia is selling black face paint in a makeup bottle. It’s atrocious.

When you thought the beauty industry had started to learn a thing or two about diversity and inclusion, boom, we’re back to square one. And by square one, I mean a makeup move so trifling, that my mind is boggled at the daftness.

Youthforia, a makeup brand, recently faced the heat for their not-so-diverse foundation range they released in 2023. The outcry was loud and clear: “Where is the representation?” Instead of meeting this valid demand with thoughtful consideration, their solution was to add a new foundation shade that isn’t just wrong; it’s an offensive caricature. Yes, folks, they’ve launched a shade that can only be described as literal blackface paint. Cue collective facepalm. 🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️

Beauty influencer and South Sudanese queen Gloria George (@golloria on Instagram and TikTok), has a regular feature where she swatches the darkest shade of foundation products offered by different beauty brands. She highlights the companies that are doing things right and calls attention to those who are not. On Monday, she posted a video of a swatch test for Youthforia’s newly released shade 600 foundation, the darkest color in the line. On one side of her face, she put on the foundation, and on the other, she applied actual black face paint to show that they basically look the same.Golloria and Youthforia

People were in the comments saying “well there are people darker than you.” No one is the ACTUAL color BLACK. Even the darkest person on Earth is not the color of VantaBlack. TF?!?! 🤬

Creating a shade that mimics blackface doesn’t just border on cultural insensitivity; it bulldozes right through it. It’s a glaring example of what happens when brands substitute performative activism for genuine understanding. It’s not enough to paint diversity in broad strokes (or in this case, literal strokes). It requires a palette that understands and respects the very people it claims to represent.

They literally could have consulted with someone who is DARK DARK and developed a shade that would actually work but instead they were like “Y’all said you want diversity? HERE. TAKE THIS BLACK PAINT.” The unmitigated gall. Embarrassing. A chemist even checked the ingredients and CONFIRMED that there is no other color in the mix but pure black.

Let’s hope this serves as a wake-up call (or a slap with a wet beauty blender) to all the beauty brands out there. Get it together. We want shades for all, not shades that appall. 🙅🏾‍♀️ And to Youthforia and their founder (an Asian woman), do TF better.


What do we have to prove and when will it be enough?

I’ve been thinking of the idea that we’re constantly chasing validation from everyone else. It’s the reason why we stretch ourselves past our limits, and have wishy-washy boundaries, and bend ourselves to folks’ whims.

Whether we’re overworking, over-sacrificing or overgiving. As we navigate life and all that comes with it, I think we need to ask ourselves: What do we have to prove and when will it be enough? And to WHOM are we trying to prove this?

Let’s face it, we’re often caught in this relentless hamster wheel of proving our worth. Whether it’s to our parents, who have always had a blueprint for our lives sketched out since birth, or to our peers, or on social media, where everyone’s life looks like a perpetual vacation. And let’s not forget the mirror – yes, that reflective piece of glass can be an unforgiving audience, demanding one achievement after another.

But for real. When will enough actually be enough? Will there come a day when we look in the mirror and say, “You know what? You did good. Let’s just enjoy the ride now?” Or will we continue to chase after the next big thing, the next job, the next accolade, until we are worn out with nothing to show for it. 😩

Sure, we might have the accomplishments, but did it give us the satisfaction we were chasing? It’s almost as if we’re trying to fill a bottomless bucket of validation. But here’s the kicker – the bucket has a hole called ‘self-doubt’ and no matter how much water we pour in, it’s never going to fill up. So, what if we just throw the bucket away? Revolutionary, right? 💡

Imagine living a life where our choices aren’t dictated by a need for external applause but are driven by what makes our soul sing. Imagine if we leaned into the idea that our job on this planet, as we take these breaths, is to honor ourselves, and honor God.

The question I want to ask myself, on my last day, is “Did I make God proud?” If I can say yes, I’ve lived a good life. 🙏🏾

It’s not about “did I make my 500K followers “like” my posts. It’s not about “Did I fulfill someone else’s expectations for me?” 🙅🏾‍♀️

Am I, NAME, able to look in the mirror, and smile, knowing that I have honored my purpose, my calling, and my God?

THAT is the criteria I want to use. Nothing more. If I’ve done that, I’ve done enough.


Buy foundation from a company that actually cares about inclusivity – Fenty Beauty.

When corporations are a constant disappointment, I look for the companies that are doing things right. And in light of this Youthforia debacle, I would recommend you support Fenty Beauty.

Fenty, created by Rihanna, REVOLUTIONIZED the beauty industry because when it launched, they came out the GATE with 50 shades of foundation, something that we have been begging others to do for years. Where they’d have 20 shades of beige and 5 shades that were brown. Rihanna said AHT AHT AHT. I’m not having it. And once she launched Fenty, other brands followed suit. THAT is a leadership. 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾

I’ve been using Fenty since it launched and their products are INCREDIBLE. Their foundation and concealer is one of 3 that I even use at all, because it matches me perfectly. I’m color 420 across their line. 😍

And their deepest shade is 498, which is 12 shades darker than me. INCLUSIVITY. RANGE. I am choiceless but to STANNNN!!! 🤩

So yeah, give them your money. 💸


So tell me: Who are you looking to make proud with your work and your actions? Comment below and lemme know.

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