Tarte Cosmetics finally issued an apology for excluding dark skin tones in its first Shape Tape foundation launch. 

Backlash seemed to punch the brand from all sides with Youtubers denouncing Tarte in LOADS and Tarte fans dragging it on multiple social media sites. 

Tarte initially only reacted to the controversy by defending its shade range, and assuring fans it plans to drop more shades soon.

Now it seems the brand has found it appropriate to apologize — but something still feels quite off.

Tarte took to its Instagram stories to release a pretty lengthy apology. It started with this collage of tweets from customers and influencers about the terrible shade range.

"We want to let you know we hear you," the brand wrote in a note that followed the collage. 

"You all know by now that we revealed our much anticipated shape tape foundation... & the final shade range that we launched was definitely not a full representation of all of you. It may be too little too late, but we can assure you this was not meant in any kind of malicious way." 

"We all just got caught up in #shapetapenation and seeing your tweets asking for it... " the apology continued. "We wanted to get the product out as fast as possible, and we made the decision to move forward before all the shades were ready to go."

photo: Giphy


Tarte also made sure to stress how serious it's taking the issue.

"We know there is no excuse, & we take full responsibility for launching this way," Tarte's message read.

The brand admits it didn't put inclusion first and knows it should have.

"We lost sight of what's really important in this industry, & for those who feel alienated in our community, we want to personally apologize."

This would have made for a MUCH smoother apology than the insulting and confusing defense they first offered about needing more time and caring about undertones.

And Tarte wants fans to know the darker shades ARE coming. 

"We're doing everything in our power to bring those unfinished shades to market as fast as we can, at any cost."

Tarte ended the apology with a promise to its customers.


Tarte's apology has all the right vocabulary — but there are a few parts of it that honestly don't feel right, starting with the company's decision to post it to a temporary Instagram story that goes away after 24 hours. 

photo: Giphy

This flash apology seems a tad too convenient. 

Why not post this statement permanently in an Instagram post or a Tweet — you know, as a permanent stance against colorism and exclusionary practices in makeup?

Even Kylie Jenner addressed her expensive brush fiasco with tweets anyone can still find on her Twitter page. 

Jeffree Star's apology for his racist behavior — accept it or not — is still available on his Youtube channel for anyone to dig up.

So why is Tarte's apology on a platform designed to disappear?

It's also *interesting* that this apology is buried beneath a "Namaslay" yoga trip that — like the brand's actual Instagram feed — has little to no dark skin involved. 

No one should ignore this. 

I know the darker foundations are coming — but the same brand apologizing for excluding people with darker skin tones in their makeup actually practices this exclusion in MULTIPLE areas they still do not address. 

Having a well thought out apology is nice — but not enough when it doesn't address the entire problem and is submitted in a way that seems more convenient for the brand than sincere. 

photo: Giphy

Tarte should not only work on making inclusive makeup — but also on communicating sincerity, having more inclusive social media pages, and getting inclusion right the first time so they don't have to clean up a mess later. 

Show your commitment to doing better with the Shape Tape foundation — but also in how you treat actual people of color in real life.