This fragrance-free foundation promises full coverage, sun protection, and a weightless texture—and it essentially delivers on all three. Dispensed from its squeeze tube, this has an initially thick, almost toothpaste-like texture that belies how silky and light it feels as it’s blended. It melds convincingly with skin, providing medium to full coverage and a soft-focus, powdery finish best for normal to oily skin. This foundation’s finish is the kind that will magnify the slightest hint of dry skin, so be sure skin is sufficiently prepped before applying. Also, take care to apply this lightly around the eyes if you have wrinkles, because this foundation, like many others, will magnify these signs of aging.
Sun protection is provided by gentle mineral actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, making this a good choice for sensitive skin, too.
As for the cons, this has a tendency to ball up slightly as you blend. It’s not a deal-breaker because this effect goes away with further blending—but consider whether you want to take as much time to blend as this foundation demands. Also consider whether you really need this much coverage. Flaws are hidden but no question this looks like makeup, not natural skin.
In terms of longevity, this goes the distance—maybe not for 12 hours as claimed but most with oily skin will find this delivers several hours of wear without breaking up, fading, or looking spotty. The shades present some beautiful, soft colors for fair to medium skin tones. The best among them are Fair, Ivory (both excellent for very light skin tones), Light, Tan, and Tan Deep. Light Medium is slightly peach while Medium has a yellow tinge that requires careful inspection in daylight to ensure it matches well. The darkest shade (Deep) is slightly orange but workable.
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.
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Mica, Dimethicone, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phytantriol, Hexyl Laurate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Sodium Chloride, Hexylene Glycol, Lysine, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Nylon-12 Fluorescent Brightener 230 Salt, Polyvinyl Alcohol Crosspolymer, Kaolin, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Potassium Sorbate, 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.