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Saturday, July 13, 2024

The ‘Tar in a Bottle’ Controversy: The Challenges of Creating Inclusive Makeup Products

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In the world of makeup, brands are constantly striving to create products that cater to a diverse range of skin tones. However, sometimes even the most well-intentioned efforts can backfire. This is exactly what happened recently when a popular makeup brand released a new foundation shade that has been met with a wave of criticism and backlash.

The Controversy

The foundation in question, dubbed ‘tar in a bottle’ by its detractors, is a jet-black shade that was intended to cater to people with very deep skin tones. While the brand may have had good intentions, the execution of this product has been met with widespread criticism.

Many people argue that the name itself is problematic, as it perpetuates negative stereotypes about dark skin. Comparing a foundation shade to tar not only reinforces the idea that dark skin is undesirable, but it also ignores the beauty and diversity found within the black community.

Furthermore, critics have pointed out that the formulation of the foundation is subpar. Users have reported that the product is difficult to blend, leaves a heavy and unnatural finish, and does not provide adequate coverage. These issues only add fuel to the fire of the controversy surrounding this product.

The Impact

The release of this foundation shade has had a significant impact on the brand’s reputation. Social media platforms have been flooded with negative reviews and comments, with many users expressing their disappointment and frustration with the brand’s insensitivity.

Additionally, this controversy has sparked a larger conversation about inclusivity in the beauty industry. Many people feel that this incident is indicative of a larger problem, where brands often fail to adequately cater to people with deeper skin tones. This lack of representation can be disheartening and exclusionary for many consumers.

The Response

In the face of the backlash, the makeup brand has issued a public apology and acknowledged the concerns raised by consumers. They have promised to reevaluate their product development process and ensure that future releases are more inclusive and sensitive to the needs of their diverse customer base.

However, some critics argue that this apology is not enough. They believe that the brand should take more proactive steps to rectify the situation, such as pulling the controversial foundation shade from the market and actively working to improve their inclusivity efforts.

Lessons Learned

This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of thorough research and testing when developing new products, especially those aimed at addressing the needs of underrepresented communities. It is crucial for brands to consult with a diverse range of individuals and gather feedback throughout the development process to ensure that their products are truly inclusive.

Moreover, this controversy highlights the power of social media and the impact that consumers can have when they collectively voice their concerns. Brands must be prepared to listen to their customers and take swift action to address any issues that arise.


The ‘tar in a bottle’ controversy has shed light on the ongoing challenges faced by the beauty industry in creating truly inclusive products. While mistakes can happen, it is essential for brands to learn from these experiences and strive to do better in the future. By listening to their customers and taking meaningful action, brands can work towards creating a beauty industry that celebrates and embraces diversity.

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