Tarte (Kose)

Last Updated: January 5, 2022

Is Tarte (Kose) Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here’s a summary of Tarte’s ethics and initiatives.

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Ethical Analysis

Is Tarte cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Tarte’s policies.
Tarte is cruelty-free but Tarte is owned by Kose, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.
Not all of Tarte’’s products are vegan, but they have some vegan options.
Tarte claims they work with cooperatives in the rain forest to ensure their ingredients, like maracuja oil and Amazonian clay, are sustainably harvested.
It’s not clear where Tarte’s mica is mined or sourced from and how they trace or audit to ensure no child labor was involved.
Tarte’s products come in plastic packaging. I couldn’t find anything stating they’re working on reducing their use of virgin plastic in their product packaging.

About Tarte (Kose)

Tarte Cosmetics makeup, skincare & beauty products are made with high-performance naturals.
PRODUCTS MADE IN: USA, Europe, and other countries
PRODUCTS: Makeup, Makeup Brushes, Lashes, Skincare

Tarte (Kose)

This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

You can find Tarte’s cruelty-free products at tartecosmetics.com, Sephora, Ulta, and on Amazon.

Tarte is *Cruelty-Free

Tarte has confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf. Their suppliers also do not test on animals, nor do they allow their products to be tested on animals when required by law. And finally, their products are not sold in stores in mainland China or any other country that may require animal testing.

By our standards, we would consider Tarte to be *Cruelty-Free.

*Tarte is owned by Kose, a corporation that is NOT cruelty-free because they allow some of their other brands to test on animals.

It’s your choice whether you want to support or boycott cruelty-free brands owned by a parent company that is not cruelty-free. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer to this. I encourage you to do what you’re comfortable with, but I think it’s important to disclose that Kose owns Tarte Cosmetics.

Below is what’s currently stated on Tarte’s website:

Is Tarte Cruelty-Free?

What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?

Tarte has confirmed they do not sell their products in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.

As of May 1, 2021, some imported ordinary cosmetics can be exempt from animal testing under certain conditions. However, for the most part, animal testing is still legally required for most imported cosmetics in 2022.

Cruelty-Free Policies

Note that there is no legal definition for the label ‘Cruelty-Free.’ It can mean different things to different people. But Cruelty-Free is generally used to imply no animal testing. More specifically, the ingredients, formulation, or finished product are not tested on animals at any stage of product development.

At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, or any third parties.

Also, note that Cruelty-Free and Vegan don’t always mean the same thing.

Tarte is Not 100% Vegan

‘Vegan’ in cosmetics can refer to an entire brand that is 100% Vegan or a specific product is vegan.

In the case of Tarte, not all of their products are vegan. But they have some products that are suitable for vegans.

The following is what’s currently stated on Tarte’s website about its vegan product offering:

Is Tarte Vegan?

How to know which of Tarte’s products are vegan?

All of Tarte’s vegan products are clearly marked on their website. See below for an example.

Tarte Vegan Product List

As of 2021, I will no longer be regularly updating this list of Tarte’s vegan products as all of their vegan products are now clearly marked. Check their website for the most up-to-date and accurate information on which products are vegan or not.

Below is a list of Tarte products that are suitable for vegans and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.


Foundation Tarte Vegan

Concealer Tarte Vegan

Prime & Set Tarte Vegan

Blush, Bronze, Highlighter Tarte Vegan


Mascara & Lashes Tarte Vegan

Brows Tarte Vegan

Eyeliners Tarte Vegan

Eyeshadow Palette Tarte Vegan




Vegan Policies

Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But it’s usually used in the context to describe something that doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

Some common animal products used in cosmetics include carmine, lanolin, snail mucus, beeswax, honey, pearl or silk-derived ingredients, animal-based glycerin, keratin, and squalene.

There are plant-based and synthetic alternatives to animal-derived ingredients. But it’s sometimes difficult to know with certainty whether a product is vegan just by reading the ingredient list.

So it’s best to ask the company and manufacturers to ensure the ingredients they’ve chosen to use were from non-animal sources.

Where are Tarte’s products made?

When I asked Tarte Cosmetics where their products are manufactured, they told me:

“Our formulas and products are very important to us, so we work with respected suppliers and manufacturers in the US, Europe and other countries abroad who have strong expertise in beauty and packaging materials.”

I also noticed that some of their products state where they’re made in the product description on their website.

*Note: Cosmetics made in China are not required to be tested on animals. Only cosmetics that are imported and sold in physical stores in mainland China are required to be tested on animals according to China’s animal testing laws.

Ethical Mica Mining Policy

Mica is a mineral that’s used in cosmetics to add a shimmery effect. But the mining of natural mica has been linked to child labor and human rights violations.

Unless the company discloses its mica mining policy, we have no way of knowing whether its mica is ethically sourced without child or forced labor.

So I asked Tarte if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor and they responded by stating,

“Thanks for contacting tarte Customer Service. Our formulas and products are very important to us, so we work with respected suppliers and manufacturers in the US, Europe and other countries abroad who have strong expertise in beauty and packaging materials. These suppliers and manufacturers are audited to prevent slavery and human trafficking in our supply chain.

All ingredients and finished formulas tarte uses are tested and based on US FDA requirements before being imported or sold in the US. We only work with highly reputable laboratories and factories that meet the strictest GMP standards, which is an international grading scale for cleanliness and the environment for workers that abide by a strict code of standards.”

Tarte claims their suppliers and manufacturers are audited to prevent slavery and human trafficking in their supply chain. However, they didn’t specifically address the ethical sourcing of their mica and it’s not clear where Tarte sources their mica from.

I hope this article helped you to understand Tarte’s cruelty-free and vegan status and by choosing cruelty-free together, we can help end animal testing for cosmetics once and for all!

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What do you think

0 thoughts on “Tarte (Kose)”

  1. Some of the products on the list are NOT vegan: for example, the amazonian clay 12-hour foundation has honey AND pearl extract.

    Their website also lists it as vegan, which is not true. I haven’t looked at other products, but it’s good to know you can’t trust what they say. Vegans beware.

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