Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation Review & Swatches

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Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation (image from Tarte.com)

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation is Tarte’s newest foundation that is supposed to adapt to any skin type and look fresh for 12 hours. Tarte’s description says “With a broad range of shades available and a supremely blendable and buildable formula, everyone can achieve skin that looks healthy and natural.” Since I am always up for trying a new foundation, and I am generally impressed with the quality of ingredients Tarte uses in their products, I headed to Sephora to pick up a sample. Unfortunately, I am not impressed with this foundation, and I don’t think it lives up to most of Tarte’s claims :-(.



I should first explain what I look for in a foundation. I believe foundation should not cover up the healthy glow of real skin. Yes, it should provide some coverage to smooth over pores and even out redness, etc, but it should look like my real skin. A foundation also must keep my skin from getting too oily throughout the day, and it should not slide around or puddle up in pores. Finally, it should not enhance imperfections by clinging to dry patches, accentuating pores, or settling in fine lines.
How does Tarte’s foundation stack up to their claims and my expectations? Not so well…


Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation in Fair (sorry for the low light - this is the most sun we get in Seattle this time of year!)




Foundation blended on my arm - as you can see it highlights roughness, in this case chill bumps (it was cold out there!); compare it to the first picture. It also highlights roughness on the face.


First of all, the foundation does not have a “healthy and natural” finish as Tarte's product description claims. The finish is very dull and matte (as you can see in the photos). It covers up the healthy look of my skin, and looks chalky and lifeless.


Perhaps the worst thing about this foundation is its tendency to highlight any imperfections in skin (as shown above). Have a dry patch or pimple? It will cling to that area and accentuate the roughness! It settles in fine lines, and makes my under eyes look much more crepey and wrinkly than they are – I suppose due to that dehydrated look it gives to my skin, pretty much the opposite of “healthy and natural.”

I find that on my skin it looks similar to Fresh Umbrian Clay Freshface Foundation. Both of these foundations contain clay, so I suppose that makes sense; it would explain the dull and slightly chalky texture.

You can see the dull finish in this photo, but it looks better in the photo than it did in real life.

As for the wear time – I only got 6 hours out of it before it started sliding around and evaporating from areas I needed coverage.

There were a few good things about this foundation that I should mention. It does have buildable coverage, as Tarte's product description states. I found I could layer it over areas that needed coverage, and I did not need concealer (until about the 6 hour point, when it started sliding around).

It also has a very nice ingredient list - no chemical sunscreen, no fragrances, no formaldehyde releasing preservatives, no parabens. I would be comfortable applying the ingredients in this foundation to my skin daily.

In summary, I think this foundation may work for someone with very smooth but oily skin, but anyone with combination or dry skin, acne, fine lines/wrinkles,  may not find much to love in this foundation.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! I've been curious. I tried their tinted moisturizer and didn't like that much, either. I actually don't love a lot of Tarte products, though I've given a few of them a fair trial.

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Larie! I loved the texture of the Tarte Smooth Operator tinted moisturizer, but they do not have a color to match me. If they did, I'd wear that one. Now I'm searching for the perfect light coverage foundation! the only other Tarte product I tried was the Amazonian Clay powder, and I disliked that as well - also looks very dry.

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  2. Ash, I loooooove Smooth Operator. Like a lot of Tarte products. Have you tried their Gifted mascara? FAVORITE. Was thinking about trying this foundation, but after reading this, I likely won't bother. Thanks for a great review!

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  3. Ash, I loooooove Smooth Operator! I really like a lot of Tarte products. Have you tried their Gifted mascara? FAVORITE. Anyway, I was thinking of trying this foundation because I wanted a little more coverage than Smooth Operator. After reading this, I probably won't bother. Thanks for a great review and for saving me some $!!!

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    1. Kelsey, I'll be reviewing a couple of more foundations in the near future that you may like better - I think we like similar things in foundations :)

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  4. Kelsey, what color do you use in the Smooth Operator? I couldn't find one to match me, but we are a similar skin tone. They were all too pink, too yellow, or too dark.
    No, I haven't tried that mascara - I'll look into it :)!

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  5. Thanks for the review - I guess I won't be even tempted to pick up a sample. I hate foundations that emphasize every flaw you might have!

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    1. Yes, I do too - the other one that did this for me was Revlon PhotoReady - ugh, hate that foundation! Thanks for the comment :)

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  6. What is your skin shade? Like in MAC, NC20 or lighter? Thank you!

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    1. I'm NC 15 in MAC, at least most of the year. In the summer I get to be almost NC 20, but I had tried this foundation in the winter, so I think I was NC 15 then...

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