08.14.2013
3
Tarte Cosmetics
Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
Rating
$29
Category:Makeup > Powders > Loose Powder
Last Updated:08.14.2013
Jar Packaging:False
pH:
Tested on animals:No
Overview

Smooth Operator is an appropriate name for this translucent finishing powder because it has an incredibly soft and smooth texture! The lightweight, fragrance-free loose-powder formula sheers out onto skin for a nearly imperceptible finish, although those with dark skin tones may notice a slight whitish tint. This can be used to set makeup and smooth out your complexion. While this powder temporarily absorbs oil, don’t count on it to stay matte for long.

By the way, you can ignore the claims Tarte makes about Amazonian clay. That’s just marketing mumbo jumbo.

Pros:
  • Lightweight, fragrance-free loose powder with a luxurious feel.
  • Nearly imperceptible, translucent finish.
  • Works well to set makeup and smooth over complexion.
Cons:
  • Those with a dark skin tone may notice a slight white cast.
  • Despite claims, there is nothing special about Amazonian clay.
  • Pricey!
Claims
Ingredients

Silica, Dehydroacetic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Kaolin, Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride.

May Contain: Iron Oxides.

Brand Overview

Tarte Cosmetics At-A-Glance

Strengths: Excellent foundation; great cheek stain and powder blush; superior pressed powder and eyelining pencils; good mascaras; unique, innovative, beautiful packaging; complete ingredient lists on the company's Web site.

Weaknesses: Expensive; some gimmicky products and claims; lacks matte eyeshadow options.

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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia 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 Begoun herself.

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Saturday, September 20, 2014
true "soft focus" finish

Pricey but unlike any powder ive ever tried this puts a true soft focus..sort of airbrushed blur on your face either alone or to finish a fully made up face, there is not another product like this that I have found. A true "miracle powder". Love.

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Reviewed by
Amy
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Great for oily skin

I have combination/ oily skin and this keep my makeup set all day, with a smooth matte finish.

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Reviewed by
Tylynn S
Monday, May 26, 2014
I loved it

I loved it! It kept my skin matte for 7-8 hours. I also used less product than I usually have to. I'm 43 and I'd say this is the best product I've come across so far. Win win win!

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Reviewed by
nennycakes
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