If you have been on TikTok recently, you may have noticed that TikTok creator Bria Jones accused Tarte Cosmetics of mistreating her during a press trip. The influencer’s accusations are the latest instance of drama for the brand.
Tarte has previously made headlines due to its #TrippinWithTarte influencer trips. Tarte seemingly used its Tarte Island Trip to address criticism that it does not include enough people of color on its excursions. Clarke Peoples and Golloria George were two of the women of color tapped to attend. However, creator, Cynthia Victor, also known as @Shawtysin on TikTok, alleged that she was given a smaller room than non-POC creators during her Tarte trip.
Now Jones’ recent allegation have once again put the spotlight on Tarte after she shared a TikTok video about her encounter with the brand.
Here’s how it all started
Jones accused the brand of mistreatment during a Formula 1 trip to Miami. In her TikTok, Jones shared that she was scheduled to arrive at the event on May 5 and return on May 6. That schedule would result in Jones missing the the main F1 race day, while other non-Black influencers with more followers were invited to stay until May 7. In a since-deleted emotional TikTok video, Jones expressed her disappointment at the treatment she received, stating that it felt like a sorority situation.
On May 5, Tarte founder Maureen Kelly shared her version of the events in a get ready with me video. In it Maureen Kelly stated that her focus was on ensuring as many people as possible could enjoy the experience. She said she was less concerned about what was happening at the F1 racetrack. According to Kelly, a plan was put in place that allowed everyone to enjoy one day at the racetrack. That included one nice dinner, and one fun night out.
“So everyone was coming for the same amount of time and I was really excited to hang with so many cool creators. Every day had a mix of big creators and up-and-coming creators,” Kelly said.
Several members of the TikTok community didn’t take kindly to the Tarte founder’s response. Simi Muhumuza called Kelly out for “gaslighting” and failing to apologize for the mistreatment.” Muhumuza also accused Kelly of disregarding the complexities of marginalized voices in these spaces.
Another Black influencer who was also invited on the Formula 1 trip came to Tarte’s defense amidst all the drama. In a series of now-deleted videos, Niké Ojekunle discredited Jones’ account of the trip. She said Jones should not have complained about the incident.
Folllowing the Tarte CEO’s response and an outpouring of opinion on social, Jones once again addressed the issue. She apologized in a video posted to TikTok. Jones said there was miscommunication on both ends. She added that Tarte has done a great job of working through the situation with her.