The Problem with Tarte's New Foundation

This is the foundation so many have been waiting for. Tarte Shape Tape concealer is arguably the most popular concealer out there right now, so there has been a big call for them to expand the line to include foundation. People were thrilled earlier this month to find out that there was not one, but two formulations of the foundation coming out: matte and hydrating.

Then, Tarte released their swatches. People were shocked and immediately took to social media in outrage. How could tarte only release 15 shades, most of which seem targeted towards light to medium light skin tones?

The photo (above) released of models wearing the foundation seemed… okay. Definitely not good, considering the light to deep ratio, but compared to the photos of arm swatches released, it seemed to be a slight improvement. But then, the beauty gurus started releasing their reviews, and the truth about just how bad it is came out. Jackie Aina, one of the most popular women of colour in the makeup community, posted her review with another admired WOC beauty guru, Alissa Ashley, and you’re able to see just how ridiculous the shade range is. The swatches showed that the majority of people of colour had been left out. Many YouTubers are pushing back against this by either not doing reviews, or calling for Tarte to expand their shade ranges and to do better in the future.

In a makeup world following Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, which has one of the most inclusive shade ranges, we have to wonder how Tarte could possibly think that their actions are justified. A more inclusive shade range has been something women of colour have been fighting for for years, and with brands like Fenty, Nars, and Maybelline, it finally seemed like inclusion would be the new standard.

So what is with Tarte taking this huge step backwards?

They apologized on their Instagram story by saying that they were caught up in people asking them to make the foundation, so they decided to release it even though they weren’t finished all the shades yet. They also released a statement saying that they intend to include more shades seasonally, but since it is winter people tend to be paler… um?

Excuse us, Tarte?!

Firstly, by releasing the first launch with only light shades you are blatantly showing that people with lighter skin tones have taken priority. Second, since when did people of colour turn Caucasian in the winter?!

Tarte has also been under fire because of the foundations formula. Makeup enthusiasts were quick to compare past foundations to the new one and found out that the ingredients were the exact same for the Shape Tape hydrating formula as an older, less popular product, the Empowered Hyrbid Gel Foundation. When people starting calling them out for it on Twitter, the company responded by admitting that the ingredients are the same because they used the same hydrating base, but that they “filled and cured it through the proprietary manufacturing method we created for Shape Tape Concealer. This process gives it a different texture, application and finish.” I’m no chemist, but if it’s all the same ingredients, in the exact same order, and people are saying that both foundations feel the exact same… it seems like Tarte is just repackaging an old formula and trying to pass it off as new. Since this information came out, Tarte has since taken the older foundation off of their site. Shady AF.

Tarte’s new foundation and crappy apologies show that there is still much to be done within the makeup community. This is extremely disappointing since Tarte is such a big and beloved brand. People of colour should not struggle as much as they do to find their foundation or concealer shades. With the recent releases of amazing shade ranges by brands such as Fenty, there’s really no excuse for big brands like Tarte to exclude so many skin tones, and even worse for them to make excuses about it. Basically, what I’m saying is, it’s 2018. This shouldn’t even be a discussion anymore; everyone should be able to find their foundation shade.

Tarte, get your shit together.