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Tarte Cosmetics Is Denying Accusations That It Used A Filter In A Video Meant To Show How Its Product Requires No Filter

"We can confirm that a filter was not used in this video and we did not retouch it in any way," said a spokesperson for Tarte Cosmetics.

Posted on July 8, 2021, at 11:52 a.m. ET

Tarte Cosmetics / Screenshot / Via Instagram: @https://www.instagram.com/reel/CRAcE0BhmXB/

A video Tarte Cosmetics posted to its Instagram account of someone using its Timeless Smoothing Primer has gone viral because people on the internet have accused the company of using a filter on it.

In the Instagram Reels video, the person applies the primer on their face with a voiceover that says the product is "like a filter, without a filter." The Reel currently has 3 million views.

After Tarte posted the video, people on the internet began to complain. Some claimed they could see a filter being used to smoothen the texture of the person's skin.

"You can see the edited part SO obviously," wrote one person. "Stop the false advertising. Wow."

In response to the backlash, a spokesperson from Tarte denied the allegations.

"We can confirm that a filter was not used in this video and we did not retouch it in any way," said the spokesperson.

Instagram Screenshot / Via Instagram: @https://www.instagram.com/reel/CRAcE0BhmXB/, Instagram Screenshot

As more and more people began to call out the video, makeup artist Kait Kelly shared a slow-motion video, in which she claims she can clearly see a filter being used.

"You can see the blur filter activate and deactivate," she wrote.

Kelly's edited video soon went viral as well. Skincare influencer James Welsh reposted the video in a tweet and called the video awful.

"This is not allowed. And shouldn’t be allowed. Her face / skin literally glitches," Welsh wrote.

Even actor Jameela Jamil got in on the drama, quote tweeting Welsh's tweet and writing: "Why do women hate themselves?"

People online soon began to break down the video frame by frame, with one user saying that the use of a filter is more noticeable toward the end of the video.

Another tweeted that they have reported the video to the UK's advertising regulators.

@James_s_welsh @tartecosmetics @ad_association Man that "before" side smoothed out REAL QUICK 😂😂 there's even like...a cut in the video or something. Ridiculous

Twitter: @Nic_Spit

However, the Tarte spokesperson said the changes in quality viewers saw throughout the video were a result of the team adapting to quarantine — not any funny business.

"A lot of our team is still working from home part-time, so our team member shot this at home using a ring light and her iPhone, which will automatically go in and out of focus depending on what’s at the forefront of the video," the spokesperson said.

The makeup company also released a video on its Instagram page to fight the rumors.

"Not a filter!" claims the video. "While nothing out there can ACTUALLY shrink pores, our timeless smoothing primer does a lot to help blur their appearance & can be used under or over (like Shanna did here!) your makeup."


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.