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.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3.0%, Octinoxate 7.5% Octisalate 4.0%, Oxybenzone 2.0%; Other Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Mica, Butylene Glycol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ozokerite, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Silica, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl P-Cresol, Magnesium Sulfate, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Bis-Vinyl Dimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Beeswax, Potassium Sorbate, Glycereth-18 Ethylhexanoate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Boron Nitride, C18-21 Alkane, Polyisobutene, Ethoxydiglycol, Xanthan Gum, Barium Sulfate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Glycerin, Benzoic Acid, Glycereth-18, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isododecane, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Aluminum Dimyristate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Propylene Carbonate, Allantoin, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Alumina, Stearic Acid, Trehalose, Gold, Hexylene Glycol, Peat Extract, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
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 www.tartecosmetics.com.