Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tarte Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15; Review & Swatches of Shades

Tarte Full Cover 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Foundation

Price: $38 for 1.7 ounce
Approx $22 an ounce 

Tarte Full Cover Foundation is made with miracle ingredient Amazonian Clay and promises a whopping 12 hour wear-time. Does it live up to its claim? Well we put it to the test and you can see the results for yourself if you keep reading!

I want to mention quickly, that this is not my original review for Tarte Amazonian Clay 15 Hour Full Coverage Foundation. I had the original version and then I somehow managed to delete the whole post when I was adding a photo at the request of a reader. I am re-writing it now to the best of my memory's ability, but if I forgot anything, please let me know!

Tarte's Full Cover Foundation has quickly become a cult favorite in recent years and with good reason- it's great. It's sadly very rare nowadays to come across a product which is truly innovational, yet Tarte's Full Coverage 12 Hour Foundation manages to carve themselves out a nice little "one of a kind" hole in the cosmetic industry which is absolutely fabulous.

Paula's Choice rated this foundation only a "Good" rating. The reason that it failed to earn their Best rating is because it has a tendancy to "ball up" they say. Anyone who has ever used this foundation will know precisely what they are refering to, but I personally look at the "balling up
 as a positive feature because I have a tendancy to over-do it with foundation application and the balling up, which completely disapates with further blending, let's me know exactly when I have finished blending the foundation it.

The formula itself is long-lasting, and by that I mean that it will have a matte finish and will successfully control oil on normal to slightly oily skin and it will also have a transfer resistent, water proof finish. 

Where Tarte Full Cover Foundation differs greatly from your average long-wearing formula, (like Estee Lauder Double Wear or Mac Pro Longwear), is that Tarte's version doesn't have the "sit on top of your skin" tendancy which often accompanies such formulas. Instead, Tarte Full Coverage Foundation meshes with your skin in a lovely, natural looking way and instead of the flat, one sized fits all finish most long wearing formulas have, it has a powdery (but not drying), adjustable, breathable finish that is absolutely divine.

While the full coverage claim is most certainly true, many people will find the coverage to be more on the medium-full coverage level- it will depend on how you apply it. I would like to note that for those who only need light coverage, it sheers out absolutely beautifully which is another key differentiating factor.

If you have ever used a silicone primer, you will have some idea of what to expect as far as the texture goes, although that's a slight comparison at best and the only commonality is probably the main ingredient of Cyclopentasiloxane which is a great oil absorbing silicone. 

The addition of Amazonian Clay is especially helpful if you have very oily skin. Clay has long been used as an oil absorber and will only help the silicones in the formula while delivering a healthy does of anti-oxidants, all without being too drying for those with drier skin!

The SPF 15 has an in part titanium dioxide base, so you will be getting adequate sun protection from bother UVA and UVB rays, but you will need to apply it to the full coverage level if this is your only source of sun protection. Personally, especially for summer, I would recommend layering it with at least an additional SPF of 20, but that's just me.

The 16 shades are wonderful and will suit fair to deep skintones. I wear Fair, formerly called Fair Sand, (wait, that may be vice-versa?) but its the lightest shade. I also have worn it in Ivory, Sand/Light Sand, and Fair/Light Honey and I have to say, I can pretty much get away with any of them. The amazing thing is for a long wearing formula, or any silicone based foundation for that matter, that there is next to zero oxidation and the color purity 12 hours in is near flawless while the coverage is virtually the same, but don't take my word for it; just check out the pictures below!

This is absolutely a must try foundation for those of us who want to try the next big thing and the great news is, its already here!

Tarte Full Cover Foundation, Fair, Light, Medium, Tan, Deep, Ivory, Beige, Honey, Sand, Neutral
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation Shade SwatchesFair/Fair Sand, Ivory, Fair Beige, Fair/Light Honey, Light Sand, Light Beige*, Light Neutral,
Light/Medium Sand, Light/Medium Honey, Light/Medium Beige,* Medium Sand, Medium Honey,
Medium/Tan Honey, Tan Honey, Tan/Deep Honey, Deep Sand*
*not available to swatch
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation. Review & Shade Swatches Fair/Fair Sand, Ivory, Fair/Light Honey, Light Sand, Light Beige, Light Neutral, Light/Medium Honey, Light/Medium Sand, Light/Medium Beige, Medium Sand, Medium Honey, Medium/Tan Honey, Tan Honey, Tan/Deep Honey, Deep Sand
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation Shade Swatches
Top: 1. Fair/Fair Sand, 2. Ivory, 3. Fair/Light Honey, 4. Light Sand, 5. Light Beige,
6. Light Neutral, 8. Light/Medium Honey, 7. Light/Medium Sand,
Bottom: 9. Light/Medium Beige, 10. Medium Sand, 11. Medium Honey, 12. Medium/Tan Honey,
 13. Tan Honey, 14. Tan/Deep Honey, 15. Deep Sand
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation Shade Swatches Fair/Fair Sand, Ivory, Fair/Light Honey, Light Sand, Light Beige, Light Neutral, Light/Medium Honey, Light/Medium Sand, Light/Medium Beige, Medium Sand, Medium Honey, Medium/Tan Honey, Tan Honey, Tan/Deep Honey, Deep Sand
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation Shade Swatches, 
Top: 1. Fair/Fair Sand, 2. Ivory, 3. Fair/Light Honey, 4. Light Sand, 5. Light Beige, 
6. Light Neutral, 8. Light/Medium Honey, 7. Light/Medium Sand, 
Bottom: 9. Light/Medium Beige, 10. Medium Sand, 11. Medium Honey, 12. Medium/Tan Honey,
 13. Tan Honey, 14. Tan/Deep Honey, 15. Deep Sand
Tarte Full Coverage Foundation Swatches of Shades Fair Sand, Fair Beige, Ivory, Fair/Light Honey
Tarte Full Coverage Foundation Swatches of Shades
Fair Sand, Fair Beige, Ivory, Fair/Light Honey


  1. I agree entirely with this post. I have to mix fair light honey with light medium honey to get the best color. I have sensitive skin that breaks out easily, but not with this. My skin looks nicer after makeup is removed. Thanks for the swatch. I was curious how light neutral is compared to light since the latter looks too cool on me. I'm just too lazy to go to a store and swatch. Base on the swatch, it doesn't seem much of a difference. When I mix my shades together, I add one drop of argan oil and it applies beautifully and smoothly. I love this foundation!

  2. I was so bummed they didnt have all of the shades! Every counter I go to has a different 10-12 of the 16, so frustrating! I don't think their's a huge difference between those shades though. I think Tarte might be doing some switching around and fading some out to introduce new ones, I think it started with like 3 shades or something crazy?

    The argan oil is a great way to "offset" any drying properties a foundation would have! You could use less or more depending on how dry your skin was that day/season! Fabulous idea.

    I am so glad you like the foundation. I think its so sad that finding a truly new product is such a rarity, but this one definitely is one of the best and most unique products I've ever tried!

    Make sure to come back & let me know any other great ideas you have!


    PS: Have you tried the Marcuja Creaseless Concealer? Its emollient so you shouldnt use it on breakouts, but for undereyes, its unbelievable when paired with this!

    (I reviewed it at , I have new better pictures I have to get up, the ones on their now are awful)

  3. Hey do you have anymore swatches? I can't decide between two colours but you are the only person I can find with swatches of the shades.

    1. You know, on second thought.... You may not need to go that dark and 13 may be better than 14 or 15 for you, but 11 or 12 may be even better. You don't look that dark and I definitely think getting the right Olive undertone is key for you so you don't look rusty.

      I can get you swatches of the deepest olive shades tomorrow. I would have had to wait to get you the deepest shade since noone near me carries those, but tthe tan shades aren't a problem. If you can hold off for a day I'll post the pictures tomorrow night for you.!

  4. I just posted a picture of shades 13 and 14 for you. It was pure luck that I had them handy. I was putting together a package for a MAC Sales Associate to try and she's had her eye on Tarte so I got her samples of those two shades, otherwise I would have had to try to get them next week for you. Just an FYI, she is C5 in Mac Face & Body Foundation.

    You're right and there is very little difference the two shades, but if your profile picture is accurate at all, I wouldn't go darker than 13 Medium/Tan Honey, primarily because that shade has more of an Olive undertone and Tan Honey has more of an orange undertone. You *look* more olive than orange, but use your judgement!

    Let me know what else I can do to help you, and tell me how it works out for you!

  5. Hi! Do you know what the difference is between ivory and a new shade called fair beige? They're both described as being for fair skin with pink undertones. Thanks!

    1. I haven't seen Fair Beige in person, but I have seen it listed. It's very likely that Tarte is replacing Ivory with Fair Beige or they're introducing a new shade. Based strictly on the pattern Tarte has with naming their shades, I would guess that Fair Beige will be a lighter version of Light Beige which is swatched in the photos. I don't think that Ivory would be considered a lighter version of Light Beige, so just look at the pictures and see which undertone works better for you.

      Many brands only cater to a beige/olive undertone, but some brands forget it exists and have only yellow, peach and pink. The truth is that there are alot more undertones than just the four basic ones, but you should have a pretty easy time picking a shade based on the pictures becuase Tarte is pretty consistent.

      If you like the look of Ivory, order Ivory. If Ivory is too pink for you, imagine how well you would wear the undertones of Light Beige if it was a bit lighter!

      Good Luck!

    2. No I was totally wrong. I did swatch Fair Beige and its pictured next to Ivory in the very first picture. They are very similar, but Ivory is a tad pinker!

  6. Hi,
    I really want to buy this but I'm torn between medium sand and light medium sand. Which one will be a good match for a nc30 skin you think? (can't swatch it because where I live they don't sell it)

    1. What mac foundation is your best NC30 match? macs consistent but not perfect & honestly light/med sand & medium sand are closer than say mac nc30 in mineralize or prolongwear compact vs nc30 in studio fix. if you give me your BEST match ill take some side by side pics for you 2mro.

    2. Mac NC30 Studio fix fluid, shade 54 in Bourjois healthy mix and in the Covergirl outblast 3 in 1 foundation shade 845 warm beige. You would be a life safer if you could help me out with this. Thanks!!

    3. Hey hun,
      My internets been a mess lately & I'm a little worried about uploading pics to this post because the LAST time I did I accidently deleted the whole post. can you email me @ & ill send the pics to you? (Or ill upload them in a day or two once my connection is stable.)

  7. Tarte now owned by KOSE who test on animals

    1. Yes. They were bought this year. Tarte, Smashbox, Urban Decay, NYX, Too Faced, and several others are owned by companies who are sold in China and tested on animals.

      I, (along with Peta, Paula's Choice, and NAVS) still list these companies as cruelty free and will continue to do so until their products are sold in China (or adopt another form of animal testing.)

      Tarte has made assurances to their consumers that they will not start testing on animals and as of right now, they have kept that promise. That may change in the future.

      Punishing a company who was bought by a cruel company is a very slippery slope. If you start categorizing Tarte as cruel than you would also have to categorize Calvin Klein, Polo, Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Hilfiger clothing as they are all owned by companies who do sell in China and test on animals.

      If a company like Estee Lauder owns 20 companies and 17 out of the 20 are sold in China, it is out responsibility as consumers to make a concerted effort to purchase from the 3 that are Cruelty Free.

      Cosmetic companies will only respond to money. Period. If someone wants to boycott animal testing on moral grounds than by all means they should refuse to buy from all brands connected to animal testing.

      HOWEVER, if you really want to make a difference and insight change that will hopefully lead to the ceasing of animal testing than you MUST purchase from companies that are owned by companies who test on animals.

      If Lauder sits down and looks at the portfolios of their 100 companies and 99 of them have suffered an 8% loss but the 100th one (which is Cruelty Free) is showing a 17% INCREASE in profits, the next step of Lauder would be to pull more companies from China.

      If we boycott Tarte than they will only loose money. If they loose money they will do whatever they can to recoup that money which could very well lead to sales in China because all cosmetic companies WILL chase the dollar. Period.

      Once animal testing is banned in china we can focus on companies who don't have the highest moral standards but unfortunately right now we have a much more pressing concern- animals are dying.

  8. Have u considered doing a review of the powder foundation? I LOVE IT! I've seen a lot of people having I issue with shades...for some reason at QVC they offer a REALLY good deal where u get the brush they made to go w the foundation (airbuki brush) AND the foundation for like 43$ when the foundation is like 36$ and the brush is like 26$ if purchased separately BUT they only offer like 5 shades and none of them are the same shades in the normal range. I've seen soooo many people being confused on what shade to buy if they want to go the qvc deal route (I noticed qvc does sale the larger shade range also BUT u don't get the brush with it that way) because u have no idea what the shades look like compared....if u could get swatches for both ranges that would be awesome....I've not seen anyone else have that comparison.

  9. Hi,
    I'm in the UK and only have very limited shades here, on QVC. I normally wear Bourjois 52 Vanille/Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua 20 or in the summer Bourjois 53 Light Beige/Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua 30. Which one do you think would work best for me, Light Sand or Light Medium Honey? I have olive skin with yellow undertones.
    Do you have any other favourite fragrance free foundations?
    Many thanks!


I don't moderate comments before they're posted but I do make it a point to read & respond to every one of them. I LOVE hearing what you guys have to say so thank you for taking the time to let me know what you're thinking!