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‘We’re not gonna have two different prices based on the color of one’s skin’: Customer says Walmart charges more for darker L’Oreal foundation shades

'No one who comes in with a darker complexion should ever have to pay more than a person that's lacking melanin.'


Jack Alban


Posted on May 16, 2023   Updated on May 16, 2023, 10:18 am CDT

There have been a number of people who’ve expressed outrage over the fact that some cosmetics companies seem to charge more money for darker shades of popular items as opposed to their lighter-hued counterparts.

One Walmart shopper says she encountered a glaring price discrepancy between L’Oreal foundation shades. The TikTok user, Batista (@seekeroftruth777), claims the price variances were arranged by the retailer, not set by the cosmetics manufacturer itself.

She posted an in-depth video of her experience. In the clip, she says that the darker shade of foundation retailed for $11.97 in-store, while the lighter shade costs $6.97.

When she brought the issue up with an employee, they offered to give her the darker shade at the lower price point, however, Batista says she demanded all of the prices be changed, which the Walmart employee said they would get to work on doing immediately.

@seekeroftruth777 Replying to @sickly69 #greenscreen #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Batista

Batista’s video begins with a response to a TikTok comment that reads: “U know I don’t got time for tiktok so good luck. Maybe you should have asked an employee why they were cheaper cause they have the same MSRP.”

Batista’s video is in response to a comment someone left on a video she shared about the issue on April 28.

“So I did a video a couple days ago about this product at Walmart. It’s the L’Oreal makeup,” she says, pointing at the foundation on the shelf in an image behind her. “I took a picture of it while I was in the store. I was in a hurry so I didn’t have a lot of time but I…took this picture because I was very disturbed by the fact that this same product has two different prices depending on the complexion of your skin.”

She then explains that the darker shades of foundation are priced at $5 higher than lighter ones.

“If you are my complexion or darker, darker hues, need to pay $11.97 for the same exact product,” she notes.

She then addresses the comment on her earlier video, in which the viewer questions why Batista didn’t speak to an employee about the issue. Batista says she returned to the store the next day to speak to the Walmart employees.

“[I] found someone and said, ‘Hey, you need to come look at this because there’s a problem.’ Showed them the issue and it was funny because her face was like [Batista opens her mouth to pantomime astonishment] really caught off guard,” the TikToker recalls. “I didn’t say anything about race, I didn’t say anything about color, I didn’t say anything about the darker tones or charge more. I didn’t say anything. I just said clearly there’s something wrong here.”

Batista says the employee then stepped away for a moment with the product, before returning and offering her whatever shade she wanted for $6.97.

“As if that was the solution,” Batista says. “So I said, ‘Thank you. I appreciate that, however, I’m not gonna be satisfied with just that, because no one who comes in with a darker complexion should ever have to pay more than a person that’s lacking melanin. So I’m gonna need all of these to be changed either everybody’s paying $6.97 or everybody’s paying $11.97, but, we’re not gonna have two different prices based on the color of one’s skin.'”

She says that the employee’s demeanor became conciliatory almost immediately. “Oh, OK, I’m gonna take care of it right away. I’m gonna do it. I will take care of this right away,'” Batista recalls the employee telling her.

The TikToker says she will return to the Walmart location to ensure that the prices have been changed.

“In the meantime, when you’re shopping keep a watchful eye, stay woke,” she concludes. “These people are trippin’ and it was Walmart. Not L’Oreal, it was Walmart. Sad.”

A visit to Walmart’s website reveals slight price differentials between a number of different shades for L’Oreal’s Infallible Pro-Matte foundation line. The majority of the 28 available shades retail for $10.97 each tube. Sand sells for $11.46, with Light Beige and Rose retailing for $11.97. The darkest shade, Rich Chocolate, sells for $10.97, while the lightest shade, True Porcelain, also sells for the same amount online.

According to Galore Mag, there may be a reason why some cosmetics brands may charge more for darker hues: it boils down to the cost of production.

The outlet writes, “Basically, darker shades may be more expensive to make but mostly because makeup companies are already buying large quantities of ingredients for their products in lighter shades. Companies have centered on lighter-skinned women for so long, they just haven’t built that same demand for darker shades. So part of the work is buying the ingredients, but most of the work is in converting customers who have never seen their shades represented by mainstream brands.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to L’Oreal via Instagram direct message, Walmart via email, and Batista via TikTok comment for further information.

In the comments section of Batista’s video, one user said that they found a workaround in purchasing darker shades for a fair price. “I get both hues scan the cheaper one and throw the darker one in my bag I don’t give a damn about their numbers,” they suggested.

Someone else said that Batista misplaced her consumer rage, stating that this seems like a corporate issue as workers do not set prices. “That sounds like a corporate call… not a ask an employee… im definitely gonna share,” they argued.

However, another commenter said that they believe this is an issue particular to Walmart as they shared a video of a store associate putting darker-shaded cosmetics under lock and key. “It’s not @L’Oréal Paris , it’s @Walmart , just like i have a video of them putting a lock on dark concealer & not on the light ones,” they claimed.

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*First Published: May 16, 2023, 10:17 am CDT