L’Oréal-owned 3CE called out for using black makeup for nail polish promo

South Korean beauty brand 3CE has apologised following backlash over an image promoting one of its nail polish colours. This was with a hand that seems to have been painted over with black makeup. The brand has since issued an apology on its Instagram, but did not specify what exactly it was apologising for.

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The L'Oreal-owned brand was first called out by YouTube beauty vlogger Darcei Amanda on Twitter. Her tweet garnered around 2,386 retweets 5,693 likes, prompting netizens to comment on Stylenanda 3CE’s Instagram page. Netizens were also quick to point out that a typical black person’s hand was not the same colour all around, but is lighter when it came to the palm, with the dorsal side being the side which is darker.

A quick check by Marketing also found the image of the black hand to be present on the packaging of the nail polish itself.  At the time of writing, the product listing on 3CE's website and all mentions of the product on social media has been pulled.

This is also not the first time a brand has copped flak for the use of black makeup which darkens the appearance of a model or face or a person. In Malaysia last year, Watsons Malaysia’s “Legenda Cun Raya” campaign sparked an intense debate online after an ad nearly 15 minutes long portrayed a “blackface” lady as unattractive. This came shortly after Astro’s MeleTOP  apologised for a parody video of Yuna and Usher’s song collaboration called “Crush”, which featured an actor with “blackface” makeup posing as American singer Usher.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, Toggle, Mediacorp’s OTT service provider, also copped flak for the use of blackface makeup on a Chinese actor to portray an individual of African American descent.