When it comes to buying new makeup, the deciding factor in our purchase is usually dependent on how flattering the shade appears against our skin tone. Luckily, plenty of beauty bloggers have helped make this decision easier for us by testing out the pigments of the latest cosmetics in the form of swatches on their arms, but what do you do if your skin simply doesn’t match those who are modeling the shades you’re considering buying? The pretty tones you see set against fair skin might look completely different on any skin tone that’s different from the one being shown, making these seemingly helpful visuals entirely irrelevant for many.

Beauty blogger, Ofunne Amaka, experienced this difficulty after she had bought multiple beauty products that weren’t quite a good match for her. “After a number of disappointing purchases, where I ultimately guessed completely wrong about how a product would look on me, I thought to myself, “I wish there was a resource that allowed me to see swatches of the latest makeup products on darker complexions,” she explained to us. This realization inspired Amaka to find a way to work around the issue, and help others along the way.

A photo posted by @cocoaswatches on Mar 3, 2016 at 5:00pm PST

First, she began by creating @cocoaswatches, an Instagram account where she crowdsourced images of makeup swatches from herself and other beauty bloggers, displaying how the colors would look on each different skin tone. The page was an instant success, causing Ofunne to look for a way to expand on the idea. She then opted to create the Cocoa Swatches app as an extension of her Instagram page, which now includes both original and user generated content to help users discover new makeup products and be able to accurately visualize how the product would appear when applied to a similar complexion to their own.

This new app comes at the perfect time for the industry, especially since it’s been under fire for its prominent lack of diversity in terms of product availability and the representation of different races by brands. Although there’s been some signs of improvement, like brands adding more color options within their cosmetics lines (thanks Kat Von D!), there’s still a lot of room for growth which makes the launch of this app that much more important.

Check out the app, and then download it here:

A video posted by @cocoaswatches on Feb 29, 2016 at 10:18am PST

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