A little more than a year ago, makeup lovers were wallowing in the disappointment of the underwhelming Tarte Shape Tape foundation. Its highly anticipated release was overshadowed by the minimal shade range and clear disregard for women of color. Well, now, after a year of backlash, Shape Tape is being relaunched as Face Tape, with a massive shade expansion and change in formula. 

Turning up the heat with 50 different options, Tarte is working to right the wrongs of the initial unveiling. Will it live up to the hype?

When Tarte announced last year that it would be launching a Shape Tape Foundation, the excitement was overwhelming. 

tarte face tape foundation
photo: Courtesy of Tarte

Its beloved Shape Tape Concealer, which is sold once every 12 seconds, is the full-coverage concealer that's been a favorite of makeup lovers for years. So of course the assumption was that the foundation would live up to its predecessor. 

But that excitement quickly turned to disappointment when the shade range was revealed. 

tarte shape tape original shade range
photo: Ulta

There were a total of 14 shades, the vast majority of which were for very light skin. It was essentially a slap in the face to black women.

Seeing as the release came post-Fenty, many wondered how the brand could be so careless.

To add insult to injury, the darker shades were criticized for not having the appropriate undertones. The colors were described as "gray" and "ashy" by black influencers.

Black beauty YouTubers hopped on the release almost immediately.

Jackie Aina and Alissa Ashley began their review video with the iconic clip of Kanye West saying "George Bush doesn't care about black people." It was really that bad. 

Makeup Shayla had a lot to say as well. 

She couldn't even find her perfect shade out of the bunch, and jokingly stated that if viewers were "her shade," they might be able to find their color "five shades lighter or five shades darker."

The shade range was so bad that Alissa Ashley scolded the foundation not just once, but twice. 

"The fact that there are such limited options for people of color, people with melanin, is just so disappointing. And honestly, I'm shocked that Tarte would do this given the fact that they knew that people were extremely excited about this."

The overall shade range was repeatedly described as "laughable."

If you had darker skin, you really only had the option to mix colors or find another foundation completely.

After the backlash, the brand insisted darker shades were already in the works. 

In an exclusive with POPSUGAR, "A rep from Tarte explained 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."

Now, in a surprise turn of events, Tarte is working to right its wrongs by expanding the shade range and relaunching the foundation as Face Tape.

"You asked, we listened. Introducing Face Tape foundation: Inspired by our iconic shape tape concealer to give you a flawless, natural matte finish. Actions speak louder than words, so we’ve been working around-the-clock behind the scenes over the past year to bring you the full-coverage foundation of your dreams! This foundation comes in 50 shades with 5 undertones, plus we pumped it up with a brand-new pump applicator (our first ever!)"

The foundations are sorted not only by shade but by undertone, too. 

"With 50 shades across 5 undertones, we’re making it easy for you to find your perfect match in our NEW face tape foundation! We’ve upgraded our shade numbering system to be even more tailored to your complexion. The letters after the number stand for undertones: N = neutral, S = sand/yellow, H = honey/peach, B = beige/pink, G = golden/olive."

Tarte is encouraging people to use their Instagram reference photo to find their shade (though we suggest being professionally matched IRL). 

"Our new shade numbering system makes it easier than ever to find your perfect match! SAVE this image to your IG to reference so you can easily find your shade when face tape foundation launches… SOON!"

Along with the brand-new shade range, the foundation is also being revamped with a new formula. 

"Waterproof, sweat-proof & transfer-proof. Formulated with skin-loving ingredients: snow mushroom extract, hyaluronic acid, & apple fruit extract to brighten, hydrate, & protect skin against environmental aggressors."

So will this new launch be a better success than the last one?

We're sure hoping so. All current Shape Tape foundations will be pulled from shelves to make room for the newest formula and expanded shades.

Be one of the first to get yours on February 17.

Tarte Face Tape Foundation ($39, Tarte Cosmetics). Here's hoping those undertones pull through this time.


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