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This year, for Women’s Health Week, we are shining a light on the health issues we need to talk about more. So, the next time you’re after a fresh topic for the brunch table or *deep breath* another Zoom catch-up, might we suggest taking inspiration from these articles?

It’s hard not to feel fired up by the thought provoking words of these voices – from the period poverty fighter and inclusive healthcare advocate to the friends who are championing a more diverse beauty space. Empowering and enlightening perspectives, this way…

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Tali Mason (left), 28, and Shaanti Wallbridge, 32

Tali and Shaanti founded All Shades Matter Cosmetics to close the gap in make-up shade variety and offer more to people of colour. They’replanning to launch their inclusive range of foundations by the end of the year Tali: “When we were younger, we’d just buy whatever [foundation] was darkest, because that was the only option. A lot of products had a white powdery finish, or my mum would tell me I looked orange, but I thought, ‘Oh well, it’s the only choice I have, so I guess it’ll have to do’, which isn’t a nice feeling at all.”

Shaanti: “Even though I couldn’t find my shade, I didn’t want to feel left out, like I couldn’t do what my girlfriends were doing. I knew walking out of the house that a shade wasn’t a match and didn’t suit me. My self-esteem took a hit, but I just had to deal with what was there, which wasn’t much. It’s not just foundation; what’s classified as a ‘nude’ lipstick is totally off on a person of colour. This country is so diverse and multicultural. Why aren’t we catering for that?”

“We are flipping the beauty game on its head by starting with darker shades”

Shaanti: “Our aim is to fill the gap in shade variety, specifically for people of colour. When you look at some [foundation] brands, there can be anywhere between 10 and 15 [options] for more Caucasian shades, whereas there might be only two or three for darker shades. We don’t all fit into one box. So instead of waiting for someone else to make the change, we decided to go ahead and do it ourselves.”

Tali: “We want to provide people with better opportunities to feel included, with a range that’s accessible and affordable. We’ve had so many messages saying, ‘I can’t wait for this launch. It’s finally something that I can get my hands on in Australia – a make-up brand for people of colour and for my colour’. It’s such a powerful message and really sums up what we’re doing, because all shades do matter.”

Shaanti: “And regardless of your shade, we’re here for you. We’re flipping the beauty game on its head by starting with darker shades and then expanding to lighter ones. We want people to feel validated, empowered and that they’ve been thought of. The foundation itself is a beautiful external look, but how you feel on the inside? That’s what really matters.”

Tali: “It’s important that everyone’s make-up experience is a positive one.”

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