Tarte’s 50 Shades of Beige

Ew, how Tarte.

 Photo Courtesy of PopSugar

Photo Courtesy of PopSugar

Yesterday, PopSugar released an exclusive sneak peak of cosmetic brand Tarte’s newest foundation line(s) Shape Tape. The foundations launches tomorrow on tarte.com and will also launch the following week on ulta.com as well as in Ulta stores come February. The brand is providing consumers with two formulas: matte and hydrating finishes. Known for the infamous Shape Tape Concealer, the Shape Tape Matte Foundation is considered the big brother to this product; it’s a vegan and waterproof foundation guaranteeing full-coverage (including beauty marks and blemishes). The second option is hydrating for the skin – a foundation where the texture is more creamy and the look is more radiating. Both sound like amazing products that would be great additions to any girl’s makeup collection. The maddening part about the foundations are the swatches PopSugar Beauty released:

 Photo Courtesy of PopSugar, edited by Luxy

Photo Courtesy of PopSugar, edited by Luxy


In an era where promoting equality, inclusivity and universal beauty is prominent, you would think your favorite cosmetics brand would be considerate of these qualities when choosing the swatches. Each of the two Tarte foundations have identical palettes with shades of fifteen (15); only four (4) of them being shades for women of color. Four? Not sure what is more baffling in this instance: the idea the brand only caters to 4 types of brown women or the idea the brand had a colorist audacious enough to create a version of beige in twelve (12) swatches? Shade names such as porcelain and fair neutral – shades practically identical to the human eye. While the non women of color receives the luxury of choosing between “beige” and “beige with a fair tan,” women with darker skin hues are limited to choosing between Tan Honey, Deep Honey, Rich Sand and MahoganyFor a brand promoting eco-consciousness and non cruelty to animals, why wasn’t social responsibility on their radar during the development phase? Not as important?

 Photo Courtesy of PopSugar

Photo Courtesy of PopSugar


From Kylie Jenner’s ashy Send More Nudes lip collection (currently sold out) to Tarte’s 50 Shades of Beige, one is left to assume majority of beauty brands will never see women of color as priority. Luckily, we have innovative brands like Iman CosmeticsFashion Fair and Fenty Beauty minding the gap in the beauty market. Tarte has a status quo for its concealer and it comes out with a foundation version to replicate it; why wouldn’t they think everywomen would love to give it a go? Black girls have blemishes too! 

So what does Tarte expect from us non beige women? Will we go back to the Stone Age where Black women were blendologists and had to pick two foundations to mix in order to get their perfect shade? Or maybe coming to the conclusion that their new foundation isn’t necessarily for us?

 Photo Courtesy of Pop Sugar

Photo Courtesy of Pop Sugar

Going with the latter.