It is with a heavy heart and disappointment that I alert my readers that I will no longer be supporting or promoting Tarte Cosmetics. I know that in many of my previous posts about Tarte I have spoken so highly of them as a cruelty free brand that never sacrificed quality or their stance to remain cruelty free and animal testing free. Well, as of a few weeks ago the company announced that they were acquired by Japanese cosmetics company KOSE.
KOSE is now a 94% owner of Tarte Cosmetics. This had Tartlettes in an uproar on the company’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page. What was assumed to be an announcement that would let the world know that “hey girls we made it!” was quickly causing fans to unlike their pages and blast their feeds with hate filled comments and posts. The reason? From the beginning the creator of Tarte, Maureen, had always said she created the brand out of her one bedroom apartment to help women who wanted great cosmetics without harming animals. That is why I loved their products and was a big supporter of them. When I read the news on their Facebook page I was furious. How can you turn against the one thing you were built upon?
For those of you who don’t know, Japan requires animal testing on their products and they have the least strict regulations to prevent the inhuman testing that is done on animals. So how can Tarte make this announcement and not realize it is going to lose so many of its core customers?!
I know for me personally I have vowed to not buy their products any more. I also unfollowed all of their pages and unsubscribed from their email list. It’s sickening that a company so strongly held to the value that MADE them who they are today, a cruelty free luxury make up brand, sold out to the highest bidder – even if that meant to a company who tests on animals.
The company claims they will remain cruelty free, which they may in theory, but every penny you spend on their products now goes into the pockets of a company (KOSE) who does test on animals. Your money now supports the big company and really isn’t how I plan to spend my cruelty free makeup dollars. It’s a shame that so many cruelty free brands sell out to larger companies who DO test on animals. It’s getting harder and harder to find cosmetics companies who are 100% cruelty free and I am very disappointed in Tarte for their news. You can read their press release below, which still doesn’t even scratch the surface on so many questions they have left unanswered:
NEW YORK, March 17, 2014—tarte™, Inc., a privately held, high-performance natural™ prestige beauty company, today announced an agreement to be acquired by KOSÉ Corporation. The deal is expected to close April 2014, pending legislative clearance in the United States and other customary closing conditions.
“It’s been an amazing ride, from the little venture I started in my bedroom 15 years ago to the global powerhouse we’re privileged to now join,” said Maureen Kelly, Founder and CEO of tarte. “Our vision throughout has been to create beauty products that are ‘healthy treats for your skin,’ foster the highest level of customer service and give back to the community and the environment. By joining the KOSÉ family and adding to that rich portfolio, we can build on what we’ve already accomplished with powerful products targeted at new markets.”
The eco-chic beauty line from tarte is infused with ingredients such as superfruits, plant extracts, vitamins, minerals and other naturally derived ingredients, and all products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate and gluten. The company’s blushes, LipSurgence™ lip tints, Amazonian clay and maracuja-infused complexion products have won a broad following and industry awards.
The company has steadily increased its market presence over the years and received a boost through an investment in 2010 from Encore Consumer Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm focused specifically on consumer products companies. Since then, tarte has significantly expanded its footprint throughout North America open-sell environments and specialty distribution channels with market-leading retailers such as Sephora, Sephora Inside JCPenney, Ulta, QVC and Macy’s Impulse. tarte has also grown its international presence with Sephora South East Asia and QVC UK.
Following the closing, KOSÉ and tarte will develop a comprehensive integration plan to incorporate tarte into the KOSÉ family. The senior executive team including Ms. Kelly, Scott McDonough, General Manager, Heather Hemsley, Vice President of Finance, and Candace Craig Bulishak, Vice President of Branding will continue to lead the organization, as well as play key roles to draw strength from the parent company and ensure the continued success of tarte. The brand will keep its headquarters in the New York, New York office.