Tarte Cosmetics Acquired by Pro-Animal Testing Company, KOSÉ

Tarte Cosmetics

I was disappointed to hear the announcement this week that Tarte Cosmetics, which has been touted as an environmentally conscious company that doesn’t test on animals, was bought out by KOSÉ, a Japanese cosmetics company that supports animal testing. KOSÉ has now acquired a 93.5% share in the company, which includes most of the shares of founder and CEO Maureen Kelly.

Tarte addressed the topic on Facebook, saying that the changeover will not affect their own animal testing policy.  A post on their wall stated that:

By joining the KOSÉ family and adding to that rich portfolio, we can build on what we’ve already accomplished with powerful products and explore expanding the tarte brand in new and exciting countries. And rest assured, we are committed to remaining a cruelty-free brand and will not test on animals.

However, many of Tarte’s customers were displeased with the announcement and aired their concerns on Tarte’s Facebook page.  While I personally haven’t been a long-time user of Tarte, I did make my first purchase of their products last month.  Like me, many people had turned to Tarte as a way of avoiding big cosmetics brands that include animal testing.  These customers made it clear that they didn’t want to give money to a company, knowing that it would end up funding a parent company that does support that cruel endeavor.

In reaction to the complaints, Maureen Kelly stated the following on Tarte’s Facebook page:

Remember, tarte will NOT be testing on animals, or EVER test on animals. We are a cruelty-free company and will remain one. KOSÉ is completely on board with our position as an eco-friendly, cruelty-free company and has given tarte such a great opportunity to grow and expand around the world.

Although I had liked the products I tried last month, I can easily say that will be my first and last Tarte purchase.  Especially with something that is as much of a non-necessity, luxury item as make-up, there seems to me to be no reason to support a brand that is owned by a company that tests on animals, regardless of their own stated policy.  By giving money to Tarte, one is essentially giving money to the company that owns a 93.5% hold on it, and that company is pro-animal testing KOSÉ.

Image Credit: Photo by Cadry Nelson

Will this announcement affect your purchase of Tarte Cosmetics?

For information on animal testing, check out this post on recent global bans.

Written by Cadry Nelson

Hello!  I’m Cadry Nelson, a vegan food & lifestyle writer.  My aim is to help others live their most compassionate lives and dispel misconceptions about what it means to be vegan.  When I’m not in the kitchen, you’ll find me in the pottery studio making hand-built ceramics or out on the hiking trail.  Visit me at, on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, and find me at .

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