If you live under a rock, you might not know that Tarte Shape Tape Foundation launched a few days ago. There are two formulas that launched: Shape Tape Matte & Shape Tape Hydrating. Due to the extreme popularity of Shape Tape Concealer (which I love), I knew this launch would sell out quickly. I subscribed to Tarte’s emails so they could tell me the second it dropped and I could order. When I got the email, I did a once over of the shades, ordered Fair-Light Neutral and went on my merry way.
It wasn’t until the next day that I noticed the internet was abuzz with news of Tarte’s new launch. But not in a good way! Someone had swatched all the shades of Shape Tape Foundation online and of the 15 shades available, only a handful of the shades were for POC. Almost every shade was a different shade meant for lighter skin. In my haste to order, I had done a once over of the shades and noticed a variety but it wasn’t until they were swatched online that WOW, I could really tell they left out the majority of skin tones.
Whether you want to support their brand or not is up to you, but since I ordered this to use (I loved the Shape Tape concealer) and before the backlash had intended to review it, review it I will. I’ll leave you with some of my thoughts on the foundation itself, and then my view on the controversy, as well as some other options that may appeal to you more.
Of the two foundations available, I ordered Shape Tape Hydrating. The foundation comes with a wand just like the Shape Tape concealer does. I find myself needing to dip into the bottle 2-3 times in order to get enough product to dot on my face. To me that’s a bit disappointing because I just bought the thing! I feel like it should dispense more product than it does. I’m able to blend in the product with a beautyblender like I would for any other foundation. It doesn’t set right away so I have some time to work. The finish is dewy and doesn’t set completely. I find myself reaching for a setting powder so it doesn’t remain sticky on my face. In that way, it defeats the purpose a little bit because I am taking a dewy finish foundation and making it more matte. Over the span of the day, I get about 6-8 hours of wear before it starts to break down. This is pretty typical for a foundation with hydrating qualities but still disappointing for something that carries the Shape Tape name: I was expecting something that was as bulletproof as the concealer that also had radiant, dewy, hydrating qualities. Overall, I do like the way it looks and my skin feels soft and fresh when I wear it. Fair-light neutral is a perfect match for me!
In my research for writing this post, I stumbled upon information that indicated Tarte already had a foundation out with the same ingredient list as the Hydrating formula. A while back, they had launched something called Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation. It wasn’t overly successful, so they took it off the shelves and are remarketing it as the hydrating version of Shape Tape. This was confirmed to me by an Ulta employee when I asked for a sample of the foundation, and she wouldn’t give me one but said they were repackaging and reintroducing it. Both the previous and the current foundation are available for $39 for 1 oz.
A quick google search for “ethnic breakdown of the US” leads me straight to the US census bureau. These stats are as of July 2016.
|Black or African American alone||13.3%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native alone||1.3%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone||0.2%|
|Two or More Races||2.6%|
|Hispanic or Latino||17.8%|
|White alone, not Hispanic or Latino||61.3%|
I want to point out that 61.3% of the population is “white alone,” but what does that mean? Most of the population of the US has fair/light skin? Von Luschan’s chromatic scale is a way of classifying skin color. As you can see, there are two columns on the left that would be classified as fair/light. And two on the right that would be classified as medium/dark. Of these 36 shades of skin color I can see an enormous range of undertones and shades in all categories between fair/light/medium/deep.
I think it’s important that when cosmetics brands launch a new range of foundations, they think in terms of inclusion and the chromatic scale of skin colors, rather than the census. Just because medium/deep skin tones make up less of the population, doesn’t mean that they don’t want to enjoy the same makeup launch we are all anticipating. We live in a diverse, beautiful world full of different skin colors that should be celebrated. Expanding upon a makeup launch by including darker skin tones at a later launch date feels a little like using hispanic and black people as a marketing tool.
I don’t mean to use this post to call out Tarte alone: they are FAR from the only brand who has done this. I use this post to call attention to something happening in the beauty industry to POC and as a call to action. Beauty brands: it is 2018 and you can do better. There are several brands I regularly use who already are doing better. I own several foundations from brands who offer full shade ranges. These brands know to spread their shades out equally, even if they’re only offering a handful of options.
The picture below is clickable and leads directly to a post where I go into more detail!
What did you think about this launch? Are you a fan of the original Shape Tape concealer? I’d love to hear your thoughts.