Natasha Denona issues apology to Asian community for ‘offensive’ make-up tutorial

By Becky Bargh 20-Jun-2022

Denona’s video was slammed as ‘insulting’ by members of the AAPI community

Natasha Denona, a prevalent make-up artist of the last two decades, has issued an apology after her brand was embroiled in a social media spat.

Consumers of the Asian, American, Pacific, Islander (AAPI) community were left outraged when Denona, in a partnership tutorial with Sephora, created a video that was designed to show Asian consumers with monolids how to achieve a winged eyeliner.

Social media users, however, were quick to point out that the model did not have monolids, an eye shape where the skin of the upper eyelid covers the inner part of the eye, and brand the video as “offensive”.

The video has since been deleted from Natasha Denona Beauty’s channels.

One Reddit user said that she found the tutorial “insulting” as the look “does not enhance the beauty of Asian features”.

They added: “It instead tries to mimic what works on European eyes and is not flattering”.

But Denona did not take the criticism lying down.

In response to the post, the Croatian-born artist said: “Thanks, the whole point is to inspire you because you don’t do it.”

This comment was deemed “micro aggressive” by one Instagram user.

More than one week after the fallout began, Denona released this statement: “I would like to sincerely apologise to everyone who was hurt by my recent eyeliner tutorial and response in the video’s comment section.

“On 11 June, I posted a tutorial video about eyeliner on Instagram. It saddens and frustrates me to know that the Asian community was offended because of me and my video.

“At the very beginning, I tried to explain that this video came from an artistic point of view.

“However, over the past few days, I have learned more and more from all your feedback that it could be discriminatory towards the Asian community.”

She added: “As the founder of the Natasha Denona brand, it is of the utmost importance for me to share the true values of my brand and stay inclusive to all.

“I have become increasingly and deeply aware of how offensive and inappropriate this type of make-up content can be.

“Again, I am truly sorry.”

Denona’s apology was posted on her private and brand’s Instagram accounts.

While some accused the beauty entrepreneur of being “defensive” in her apology, others rallied with her.

One commenter on Instagram said: “As an Asian person with hooded eyes, you did nothing wrong.”

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Another said: “Asian person here, you didn’t do anything wrong. There are way too sensitive thin skinned people out there looking to start s**t or be offended at someone else’s experience.”



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