Friday, November 25, 2011

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 20

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $36 for 1.7ounces

THE SKINNY: Full disclosure -- I am so pale that even after a week of sun at the beach can I be at best described as Casper-esque. In the middle of winter, I am chalk or spackle colored. Ever since Prescriptives went belly up, I have been at a loss for a good foundation which actually matches my peaches and cream complexion, less the peaches part. It’s hard being kabuki in the middle of a Malibu Barbie world.

I was ecstatic to find that Tarte carries a tinted moisturizer that matches my Chapstick pallor (Agent 00 -- so light it doesn’t even register on the numerical scale). Plus, the Amazonian Clay part brings a certain mystique to the table and makes me feel like I’m way more worldly than the boring mom of two that I actually am.

However, tinted moisturizer is a bit of a misnomer. It gives more coverage than the standard tinted moisturizer, a true medium cover. For those who don’t like the weight of a full on foundation, but still need more coverage (hello, little sun spots) this is the ticket. It goes on smoothly and doesn’t settle into the fine lines (don’t panic, it goes on light and dries to the true color).

Most importantly, it stays put—no sliding off my face in the middle of the day. Added bonus, Tarte doesn’t add a whole lot of junk (e.g. mineral oil, parabens) to make me break out (or as I call it, my “youthful glow”). It’s not as moisturizing as other ones I’ve tried, but with oily skin, that is a welcome change. The added SPF 20 gives great sun protection, which is great as I always forgot to apply a separate sunblock with a standard foundation (don’t judge—a successful morning in my house is when I shave both legs). Protecting against sun spots while covering up the existing ones? SCORE!

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. Wide selection of colors for lots of skin types, with a medium coverage and lightweight feel. Drawback? Pricey for what it is (ergo the 3.5 rating), but hey, I love it so I’m willing to shell out the bucks. Another caveat, I have heard that the darker colored moisturizers (anything other than my Agent 00) have a slight shimmer. Guess they don’t add shimmer to the uber pale ones to keep us from looking like a Twilight character.

CHECK IT OUT: Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer is available in a variety of shades that you can buy from the company's website.

-- Tested by Laura


  1. I have been loving this tinted moisturizer in agent 00 too but have you noticed it really oxidized over time. I have an unopened bottle and when I compare it to the one I have been using for the past few months I can def tell a difference. Now it might have oxidized to a little bit too dark for me :(!

  2. I dug waaaayyy down to the recesses of my makeup drawer and found an almost empty tube (I sound like a candidate for Hoarders, Makeup Edition) and compared it to my current tube. You are right, it had oxidized and gotten grainy. I would have never noticed during the natural course of usage, but then again, I tend go through a tube fairly quickly. Have you tried mixing it with a drop of moisturizer to lighten it? The winter air wreaks havoc on my skin, so I've been mixing mine with Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Soothing Lotion--yes I'm cursed with the double whammy of red skin AND sun spots.

    Good luck! I completely feel your pain. It ain't easy being pale, especially when a tube is as expensive as this one is.