Blak makeup artist Kaydee Kyle-Taylor remembers being 14 when she first thought, 'maybe makeup isn't ever going to be for me'.
Earning a wage from her first high school job, the proud (Aboriginal) Wakka Wakka, Birri Gubba, (Maori) Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu woman finally had money of her own to spend on beauty products. But wandering down the makeup aisle at her local chemist, she didn't see herself on the shelves.
Sales assistants would point Kaydee in the direction of foundation bottles the colour of damp sand, labelled 'nude' or 'beige', that didn't match her skin tone, at all. At the time, they were the darkest shades available from the brand her teenage self was obsessed with.
"Back then, the darkest shades would have grey undertones, so I had to buy other items to try to warm things up. That's when I started to feel insecure about my skin," she says.
"Being a little brown girl, I experienced early racism and bullying throughout primary school. I saw myself as the problem. It wasn't ever a question of my culture, it was questioning my skin colour and what it meant to the rest of the world. And anyone else who was darker than me, I wondered, did they ever feel the same?"
Nkisu Machona did, and sometimes, still does.
"When I first started getting into makeup during my last two years of high school, I would go to the store and look at lipsticks. Anything labelled as nude just made me look crazy, while all my white friends had no problem picking out nude lipsticks!" the Perth-based Zambian beauty content creator says.