Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)



First Advisor

Dr. Brent Clark


The release of Shape Tape foundation, a facial cosmetics line by Tarte Cosmetics, sparked disappointment and outrage in consumers for the lack of racial inclusivity in the range of shades offered. This came as a surprise to Tarte who, from their beginning has been a very socially aware and ecologically thoughtful company. Was this outrage justified? Did Tarte owe their customers an apology? And, if so, how should they go about making amends?

When Tarte released an apology, they further angered consumers who took to social media to express their dissatisfaction. The Shape Tape foundation release sparked a debate on inclusivity in cosmetics that was further heightened by the release of Fenty Beauty, a cosmetics line centering around racial diversity, who have done tremendously in sales after only two years.

A look into the beauty industry reveals a history of racial exclusion that is still seen today. As brands release new products, must they be as inclusive as possible, or are they welcome to have a specific target audience? Market research indicates that as the United States population diversifies, for brands to be successful within the U.S., they must create a space for consumers to see themselves in their products through numerous shades and formulas.

Following the controversy of the Shape Tape foundation release, Tarte announced Face Tape, a redesigned line of foundation that included 50 shades and 5 undertones. Will consumers accept Tarte’s newest move? Moving forward, how can Tarte win back the trust of its customers, if possible?