BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30

$34 - 1 fl. oz.
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Makeup > Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams > BB Cream
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Skin type: Normal, oily

This fragrance-free tinted primer has a lot going for it, but the shortcomings are hard to ignore. Applied sparingly, this smoothes skin, helps disguise the appearance of enlarged pores, and increases the overall wear time of any makeup applied over it. That's what any good primer does, although a lightweight serum loaded with anti-aging ingredients can do the same thing.

The available shades are suitable for light to medium-light skin tones, but are workable only when sheered out; when applied liberally, the texture becomes tacky and uneven, and all of the shades begin to look unnatural. Unfortunately, to get the full benefit of the broad-spectrum SPF 30 sun protection, liberal application is necessary (as with all sun protection products), and the texture and color issues are certainly a deterrent to liberal application. If you're thinking this is a time-saver because of its sun protection, you'll need to pair it with another SPF-rated product that you can apply liberally.

Overall, this primer is more trouble than it's worth. An antioxidant-infused foundation (or tinted moisturizer) with sunscreen would be a much better option; for better options, check out our list of Best Products.

  • Fragrance-free.
  • Smoothes skin, helps disguise enlarged pores.
  • Increases overall wear time of makeup.
  • Color and texture become unnatural and tacky when applied liberally.
  • Overpriced.

Active: Titanium Dioxide (4.55%), Zinc Oxide (3.5%); Other Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Polysilicone-11, Mica, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Alumina, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Diamond Powder.

Tarte Cosmetics CEO and founder Maureen Kelly started Tarte in 1999, supposedly out of a need to create a cosmetics line that "would prove that glamour can be good for you." Well, to be honest, we didn't know that glamour could be bad for anyone, no matter who was selling it. In this case, good-for-you glamour is about the products being "natural." Of course, lots of women believe that natural ingredients are the only way to go because they're told, and unfortunately often believe, that the synthetic ingredients in cosmetic products are toxic and poisonous for your skin. That is a misguided belief!

Ironically, despite Tarte's attention-getting marketing concept, their products aren't any more natural or healthier than loads of other products. We take particular issue with the company's claim of being preservative-free, synthetic dye-free, and talc-free. Not only are these ingredients not a problem for most people, but also many of Tarte's products do contain them! What is that about? Didn't anyone at Tarte read their own ingredient labels?

We are beyond understanding how a cosmetics company can base their advertising on what their products do not contain, yet fail to realize, or just won't acknowledge, that their products in fact do contain them—the very ingredients they tell you are toxic or poisonous for your skin. We mean, really, if your products (in this instance Tarte products) do contain isododecane, imidazolidinyl urea, butylene glycol, parabens, PEG/PPG-18/18 dimethicone, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, that's the pot calling the kettle black. Whatever… if Tarte chooses to mislead and misinform the consumer it doesn't seem to matter, because many uninformed women won't notice the hypocrisy—they'll just accept Tarte's claims at face value.

Marketing hype and ingredient deception aside, the ingredients Tarte does leave out of its products are sulfates (though sulfates are rarely used in makeup products anyway, so it is a trait most makeup products share), phthalates, and synthetic fragrance (but "natural" fragrance isn't any better for skin). That's nice, but in the scope of things, not really all that special.

We appreciate that Tarte conveys their message without the "granola," antiglamour, or anti-elegance image that's characteristic of many "natural" lines. The trade-off is that you're going to pay extra for Tarte's glamorous image and packaging. Although there are a handful of products in the Tarte lineup worth the splurge, if you only shopped this line for cosmetics, your wallet would definitely be lighter—and there's no need to splurge to the point of incurring debt just to outfit your makeup bag with all things Tarte. After all, you aren't going to be applying the packaging to your skin.

Those who shop carefully should pay close attention to Tarte's foundations, blush options, eye pencils, and a handful of their innovative products. If you're looking for matte eyeshadows, however, you're out of luck. Tarte isn't as full-featured as several other makeup artistry lines (Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier come to mind), and Tarte doesn't outdo Rimmel or Sonia Kashuk at the drugstore, but their good products are indeed good.

For more information about Tarte Cosmetics call 855-968-2783 or visit

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
Page of 1
  1. Lisa M.
    Reviewed on Thursday, June 05, 2014
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Holy Grail Foundation
    • Although this is a primer, it offers very decent coverage and I use it alone over my moisturizer with spf. I have large pores and roseaca, and this covers everything beautifully and feels amazing on the skin. I will cry a river if they ever quit making this. The only bad thing about this product in my opinion is the very limited shade range. I feel blessed that "light" matches me very well.

    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    Love You BB
    • A little goes a long way. Very easy to apply. I use a sponge. Looks very natural. And last all day, even through working out! And most importantly, does not cause any skin irritations or breakouts. Very natural and clean ingredients. Works great with my oily skin. Just absolutely love it! Also I must add, Cruelty Free! Yay!

  3. Shelli C
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 02, 2014
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Works Well as an Effortless, Stand-alone Base
    • I use this primer as a foundation. Liquid foundation feels too heavy, so I wear powder instead. However, this winter has left me drier than usual and I decided to try a BB cream. Tarte's finish disappeared on my skin. The effect falls between a TM & a powder. It fills in pores. I use CeraVe AM daily; a makeup product with SPF is a bonus, for me. I wish more products had SPF (I'm looking at you, eyeshadow and lip balm). Tarte provides light coverage & layered protection that feels weightless.

  4. Cindy P
    Reviewed on Tuesday, May 28, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Love it
    • With this product, a little goes a long way. It has a silicon feel to it that some might not like. But just a small amount covers my whole face, with excellent coverage of redness and flaws. I usually set it with a finishing powder and I love that it has SPF. Also long lasting & I know because I work a 12 hour shift. I like that it is in a tube, because you can easily control the amount you want and not waste any product.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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