Amazonian Clay Bronzer

by Tarte Cosmetics  Amazonian Clay
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Makeup > Bronzers > Powder Bronzer
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This talc-free pressed bronzing powder has a dry but smooth texture and soft color payoff of sheer golden tan. The gold, faux leather compact is attractive, but it’s what’s inside that counts, and users will be rewarded with an even application and an almost-matte finish—there’s just a hint of shine, and it’s suitable for daytime wear. As for the mineral claim, the minerals used in this bronzing powder are no different from those that show up in numerous other powders.

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)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

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

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 1
  1. LL
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 24, 2013
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    Great Application but...
    • Thought Park Avenue Princess would for sure be a winner & ended up having to return it to Ulta after one careful when sampling in the store...make sure you see in natural light. It applies beautifully & lasted all day but I felt like a tan King Tut...totally different look than in compact...Very very gold shimmery overtone. Would be flattering to highlight olive skin...on my fair/medium--not so much!

  2. Anne Marie
    Reviewed on Tuesday, December 04, 2012
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Little goes a long way
    • Tarte's Bronzer in Park Ave Princess is the first bronzer that has worked well for me and I have tried many. I am very fair (NW15) so many bronzers look muddy or orange/rusty on my skin. (Nars nope, Laura Mercier yucky, etc) Tarte's PAP looks like cheekbones! Blends into my skin so well it just looks like a perfectly contoured shadow, not makeup. I love it! I use this with a Sephora Pro Bronzer Brush - essential to good results. I just barely tap into this product and have the perfect amount for half my face. Tap again and do other side. It is expensive, but I've been using for a month now and I can't even tell. I think it will last for a very long time, making it a good value. I do have sensitive skin (and maybe the beginnings of rosacea) and this is not irritating. Washes off well and hasn't clog any pores. Bought 2 palettes with PAP bronzer from Tarte for my daughters' Christmas presents! Tried it on my oldest daughter who has medium beige skin tone and it looked like cheekbones on her too. Tarte gave me free samples with my order too!

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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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