Tarte's Response to the Shape Tape Foundation Backlash Was... Not Great

Hey Tarte, your lack of diversity is showing

The internet is not happy with Tarte Cosmetics—and for good reason.

After botching the release of their much-anticipated Shape Tape Foundation—which is only available in 14 mostly light shades—the brand gave an exclusive interview to PopSugar… and it only made things worse.

Apparently, “a rep from Tarte explained to POPSUGAR that even when Shape Tape Foundation was revealed, the new colors were already in the works. Additional shades are usually added seasonally, which makes sense because your complexion tends to be paler in the Winter and darker in the Summer months (but please wear sunscreen, kids!). And our friends at Tarte were honest: they explained that it can take time to get the full range finished and flawless — they need to get those warm and cool undertones to be exact! ‘We’re always pushing ourselves and suppliers to work as quickly as possible,’ our contact confirmed.”

Hang on, hang on. “Additional shades are usually added seasonally, which makes sense because your complexion tends to be paler in the Winter and darker in the Summer months.” What? Are there any people of colour on Tarte’s board of directors? Because POC don’t just… become white in the wintertime, guys.

PopSugar’s post has been edited to remove any references to seasonal skin colour, instead shifting focus to the ten additional shades that Tarte says are on their way. But several other pubs, including the Revelist and Bustle, have the receipts—and PopSugar UK’s story still includes the original wording.

But how did we even get here?? Earlier this month, the beauty brand teased a caption on its Instagram and Twitter pages reading, “Are you ready to shape what your momma gave ya in 2018?” Superfans predicted this spelled the release of a Shape Tape Foundation to complement the brand’s beloved Shape Tape Concealer. (One sells every 20 seconds.)

On January 12, Tarte confirmed the hunch, showing a new foundation range in 14 shades. That’s when the excitement turned to rage.

Swatches of the shades show an almost laughable lack of diversity: most of the foundations are tailored to lighter complexions, including porcelain, fair beige and light sand shades—many of which seem indiscernible from each other—and a grand total of only three, janky AF darker shades.

As one Twitter user pointed out: “Not even the model used [in the photo] has a matching shade!”

In a post-Fenty world, it’s utterly inexcusable for a huge beauty brand to release a product to their consumers that demonstrates such a blatant lack of inclusivity. And the Twitter community was quick to call them out.

While others took to Instagram to share their total disappointment, using the hashtag #dobetter

Before this blunder, Tarte was a well-loved brand for many reasons, including their cruely-free ethos and vegan-friendly formulas that also happened to be high performing.

As for us, we’ll be taking our hard-earned beauty bucks where WOC are represented and celebrated.

Related:
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