Let’s Talk About: Fifty Shades of white

Let’s get one thing straight: if your cosmetic company releases non-inclusive foundations, your cosmetic company is probably trash.

I’m not talking about new companies that barely have the start-up cash to afford more than three shades of foundation (though this doesn’t entirely excuse that company from growing their collections when they have the cash to do so). I’m talking about big name brands, more specifically, Tarte Cosmetics.

If you haven’t been keeping up, Tarte Cosmetics released its much anticipated Shape Tape foundation to go along with its highly popular Shape Tape concealer that was so popular during 2017. While many fans of the product were amped up for the release due to the quality of the concealer, many (myself included) were incredibly disappointed when the swatches were released.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, there was more colour diversity in a box of powdered donuts then there was in Tarte’s entire collection. It was like picking up a Sears catalogue from the 90s. It was like the 2016 Oscars in the form of make-up.tarte swatches

Those swatches were entirely alienating, made more frustrating by the fact that this wasn’t a drugstore brand. Tarte sells their product at over $50 a bottle, and is considered high-end, irrefutable, cosmetic excellence. Yet, somehow this company doesn’t have the foresight to release more shades than beige, beige but yellower, and beige but with beige-ey undertones.

This is a company that has spent a significant amount of time making itself out to be trustworthy and yet appeared not to bother trying to release a foundation for people of colour.

Now, while the company has released an apology (on an Instagram story, no less), they placed a lot of blame on the fact that they wanted to release the product as soon as possible and simply did not have the time to create a more diverse product. They did, however, promise to be conscientious of this in the future. But why not now?

When you’ve got Rihanna dropping an entire line of diverse, beauty shades of foundation in one fell swoop with her brand new Fenty Beauty, there is literally no excuse. I would be just as amped to purchase that foundation in 2019 as I would have been to purchase it now. The only difference is you can bet your a** I’m not going to be dropping my hard-earned money on any Tarte product now.

The fact is, when you disregard diversity in your foundations, you are disregarding people of colour. We are no longer in the 90s and with brands like Fenty Beauty literally changing the game, there are no excuses anymore.

And frankly, when you disregard diversity in your foundations no matter how good your intentions may be, you’re only further emphasizing antiquated concepts of what makes a woman beautiful — whiteness – and that is so far from okay.

Consumers deserve better. People of colour deserve better. Tarte Cosmetics had the means to be better and yet they didn’t.

It’s time for cosmetic companies to wake up and realize that not only is it time for them to be better, but that we aren’t going to accept anything less. Welcome to 2018.


‘Let’s Talk About’ is a weekly column about major social issues affecting Brock students and the community at large. We seek to hear from everyone in the community about the issues that affect them personally.  If you have an issue that you’d like to write about, including feminist issues, LGBTQ+ issues, racism, sexism, ableism, etc., please send us your opinions. For submissions and guidelines for publication, please inquire at opinion@brockpress.com.

Pin It

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>