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Beauty influencer slams Target for 'racist' security measures for darker shades of makeup

The Target beauty section had locked away darker shades of makeup to discourage theft while lighter tones were left unprotected
Eli Levi, a beauty influencer, accused Target of being racist in a TikTok video (TikTok)
Eli Levi, a beauty influencer, accused Target of being racist in a TikTok video (TikTok)

After visiting a Target store, a beauty influencer claims that the darker shade of a cosmetic product was kept locked up while the lighter shades were left lying around. Eli Levi, 21, of New York City, was shopping at the popular chain store when he saw that the darker shades of the Versed Luminizing Glow Drops were housed in a sealed plastic container to prevent theft, but the lighter shades sat on the rack with no security measures.

In a video posted to TikTok last week, Eli Levi, who goes by the handle @elileviofficial, criticized Target's security procedures in New York City, urging the store to "explain." In the video he said, “Target, please explain to me why the lighter shades are perfectly out while the darker shades are packaged and security sealed. That is racism at its finest, in the beauty section at Target.”  Drops in the lighter shade Sheer Golden are shown in transparent plastic boxes with a unsecured lid on the shelves in the video, while drops in the deeper shade Sheer Bronzed are seen in clear plastic boxes with a locked top. The 21-year-old wrote in the TikTok video's English caption, "Not in NYC 2022."


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The video has been viewed over 540,000 times as of Wednesday, April 6, 2022 with many viewers criticizing Target as a result of the biased protection. “I’m not surprised honestly, the entire curly/coarse hair section is ALWAYS locked up,” one person commented. Another person wrote, “The way I GASPED. @Target you have some explaining to do,” while another said that the store “didn’t even try to hide the racism”. Many commenters, however, stated that the security measures aren't due to racism, but rather to theft prevention, claiming that Target is likely locking up the darker colors of the glow drops because they are taken more frequently.

TikTok video's comment section was spammed by commentors with both supportive and backlash comments. (Photo: @elileviofficial/TikTok)

In the same video, one person wrote, “As someone who’s been the person locking these boxes, they lock up products that are stolen the most,” while another said, “Not racism, it’s loss prevention.” Another person said, “I’m not saying this isn’t racism but I’m pretty sure they only secure things that are most often stolen.” Others pointed out that the product in question is a bronze or golden highlighting serum that may be used on all skin tones, rather than a foundation. One person supported the claim stating, “It’s not a foundation guys, [it’s] literally bronze or golden highlight used for all skin tones. I have the darker bronze one, everyone is stealing the bronze.”

Eli Levi, 21, bashed Target for their 'racist' act. (Photo: @elileviofficial/TikTok)

As there were people who started to defend ‘Target’, the beauty influencer responded saying, “Not y’all defending Target in the comments! This is just ONE of MANY examples of the racist protocols I chose to expose.” Meanwhile, even people on Twitter have started to defend the store by expressing that this act is not 'racism.' One user wrote, "Retail typically have guidelines but good management may see an opportunity of an item being higher in "shrink" & take action. It has nothing to do with racism. Has to do with the company trying to protect its assets because of dumbf*cks unwilling to pay because they're entitled." Another person wrote, "lmfao they're literally stolen 3x as often. it's not fucking racism unless you're retarded."