This year Tarte Cosmetics has brought back their influencer trips that once swept Beauty YouTube culture several years ago. The trips this year have been extensive and include a broader range of influencers, including those adjacent to the beauty community, and some with smaller reach than others. Now, one influencer is speaking out about inequalities in the way some influencers are being treated.
Yesterday Bria Jones took to TikTok to speak out about why she didn’t attend the Miami leg of the current ongoing Tarte trip. The trip has been going on for several weeks now and started in Turks and Caicos, but it’s now moving to Miami for the Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday.
Each week a different sent of influencers were flown out to enjoy a vacation and promote the Tarte brand on their social media channels.
Bria says that she was excited to go on the trip until that she noticed that she was set to leave the trip on Saturday, before the race on Sunday.
In her email, which she didn’t share, told her that she would be front row to watch the race on Sunday, which didn’t align with the date on her flight home.
She checked with other people who were also going on the trip and found out that they were leaving on Monday. Bria says this different treatment made her feel “less than” because she didn’t have as big of a reach as the creators who were staying longer on the trip. Because of she felt like she wasn’t being treated like everyone else she opted not to go on the trip at all.
Another influencer also experienced a difference in treatment during her stay at Turks and Caicos during “Season 2” of the trip. Brianna Chickenfry posted about her experience staying in the “worst” room in the villa.
Not only was her room “down in the basement, tucked away in the corner,” but it didn’t even have a working toilet or shower. Still, she wasn’t upset about her experience, and they fixed her bathroom two days later.
Brianna, who has 1.9 million TikTok followers, said that she knew beforehand that there would be “tiers” to the trip based on power and influential reach. She said she had a good time even if she was in the “dungeon,” and noted that she thought that a larger influencer would have had their bathroom fixed faster. She says she still doesn’t know if she thinks it’s “right” to treat different levels of influencers differently, but understands why it happens.
She noted in the comment section that she only spent a total of “9 hours” in her room for the trip.
Tarte founder and CEO Maureen Kelly responded to these issues. She acknowledged that he team sometimes makes mistakes and has miscommunication and defended the difference in rooms because they were staying at a villa so every room was different.
As for the Formula One situation, Maureen says that she wanted to include as many people as possible on the trip and didn’t make any decisions based on follower count. She also claims that she didn’t consider actually going to the Sunday race as the most important thing about the upcoming weekend.
She says she purchased extra tickets for the main event when she realized how many of the influencers wanted to go, and she said she never wanted to make anyone feel sad or hurting their feelings.
Thanks for listening 🤍