Before we discuss the specifics of this liquid foundation with sunscreen, a comment: The sunscreen actives, which include avobenzone for reliable UVA protection, are synthetic. There's nothing wrong with that, except Tarte bills itself as the "high-performance naturals" line, so in essence they're not following their own philosophy—this is assuredly not a natural product.
Although the formula is fragrance-free, the sunscreen actives aren't the best for those with sensitive skin, or for use around the eyes. You may find this stings when applied around the eyes, in which case this isn't for you—but that reaction doesn't apply to everyone. Generally speaking, the mineral sunscreen actives of titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide are preferred for use around the eyes.
The creamy liquid slips over skin and provides medium to full coverage from just a tiny amount. Keep in mind that applying this sparingly (a little goes a long way) means you'll be shortchanging your skin of sun protection, as any SPF-rated product must be applied liberally to get the stated SPF rating on the label. You may want to apply this foundation over a daytime moisturizer rated SPF 15 or greater because SPF 15 is considered too low by most dermatology boards around the world.
Once set, this feels moist and leaves a dewy, radiant finish best for normal to dry skin. The high amount of wax in this foundation makes it questionable for breakout-prone skin, not to mention those with breakouts probably don't want a foundation that feels as moist as this.
Most of the shades are workable, especially for fair to medium skin tones. The darkest shade (Deep) isn't that dark (it's best for tan skin tones), while the following shades should be considered carefully due to pink or peach undertones: Ivory, Beige, and Medium Tan.
As for the anti-aging ingredients that Tarte maintains firm and brighten skin, they're present in teeny-tiny amounts that likely won't affect skin. This foundation contains a high amount of the mineral pigment mica for shine, which has only a cosmetic effect, but that's not the same as "active" ingredients that lighten dark spots for a more even complexion. The tiny amount of gold this foundation contains is not cause for concern (or excitement, as gold isn't a precious skin-care ingredient though it can be an allergen).
Last, it's worth nothing that this foundation has an awkward pump. It clogs easily and tends to dispense more product than most will need to cover their entire face. We recommend unscrewing the pump and pouring the desired amount into the palm of your hand or onto a sponge.
Note: This foundation's rating is due to its overall performance rather than its SPF rating. Due to concerns about people not applying sunscreen liberally enough to get the amount of SPF protection stated on the label, it is often recommended to look for SPFs with ratings higher than 15. If you plan to use foundation as your sole source of facial sun protection, consider using one rated SPF 20 or greater. If the foundation with sunscreen you choose is rated less than an SPF 20, we strongly advise applying it over a daytime moisturizer rated SPF 15 or greater and following it with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater. That way, you're ensuring sufficient broad-spectrum protection which is essential for having and maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin at any age.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection in a fragrance-free formula.
- Allows for full coverage from a small amount of product.
- One of the only dewy finish foundations for dry skin.
- Very good range of shades.
- Pump dispenser quickly becomes problematic.
- Amount of anti-aging ingredients is low, which makes the price out of line.