Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Revisiting the Tarte BB Tinted Treatment Primer

The Tarte BB Tinted Treatment Primer (I hate writing that damn name) was a long-time love of mine when I was in graduate school, slash, immediately outta there. Obviously, it was a huge bonus that it was fair enough for me out of the tube, plus slightly yellow in undertone and easy to apply with fingers. But my main attraction to the product was the lightweight feel and the all-physical SPF30. When I got rid of my half-full tube, it was only because the sunscreen had expired.

And then I forgot to repurchase it. Whoops.

Three years later, a lot of new foundations are due to come out and my skin is dryer than it was several years ago. I figured this would be a great time to re-test an old favorite. I didn't treat this like a formal review when testing or photographing, so I won't be giving this product an official score, but I hope you'll still find this post helpful!

Let's talk about this BB cream at a base level (ahahahaha!) first. For $36, you get a full ounce of product that's available in four shades, ranging from very light to slightly dark. I'd love a darker shade in this line, especially since it's hard to find a decent physical sunscreen if you're ebony skinned, but I'm overall okay with the price and the base shade range.

What does make me tilt my head is the claim that this is some kind of "treatment." Above are the ingredients plugged in to Cosdna; you can see the two sunscreens at the top and everything else below them, all fitting on one screen. On the one hand, it's great that you can see a full ingredients list on one page. It's short, and there's not a massive amount of irritants here, so if you're sensitive skinned (and not allergic to silicones), this might be a great option for you. That said, there isn't anything on this list that actually treats the skin. Tarte claims that people who used this product felt like their skin was smoother and softer, but that's probably due to the massive amounts of silicone that give this primer its slip, not any actual treatment.

You'll also notice the diamond powder listed on this. In a few of the photos where I'm wearing this product, you can see tiny white flecks on my face: this is most likely the diamond powder shining through. Annoyingly, it's often visible in HD photos, but in standard definition and selfies, it's invisible and adds a soft glow to the skin. Just something to note if you plan on being photographed wearing this.

The coverage on this product is quite sheer, but that makes sense, since it's technically meant to be worn under another product. If you have a powder foundation, for instance, and you want to add some slip and SPF to your skin before applying it, this is your product. That said, I have always worn this product on its own without any major issues. I find that this provides enough coverage to make my face almost match my much paler neck.

As mentioned, the Tarte BB primer has a very silicone-heavy texture, and you can tell when you touch it. It has a powdery sort of feel and it smooths over the skin easily. I find the feeling of silicone-y bases very weird when I'm rubbing them in, but to be honest, it makes this product completely weightless. Wearing this makes me feel like I'm wearing nothing at all, so it's a prime summer option in that respect.

Unfortunately, this product clings a bit to my dry patches, making my skin look extra-flaky. It's not as bad as some foundations, and it's only visible if you're within a foot of my face, slash, photographing me in HD. That said, this BB cream will probably look much worse when it's not so warm and humid out. Also, I have certainly found foundations that don't emphasize my dry skin--there's no real need to cling to this one.

I will note that plenty of Cinema Secrets Moisture Spray softens this product up a good bit, though again, I don't think that will be enough when winter rolls around. And if you are not very dry skinned or very oily, I think you might like this product. In fact, I'd recommend it to people with more balanced skin who are looking for a sheer, light SPF product. It's just not a good fit for my skin these days.

Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

Before I return this tube to Sephora, here are some comparison swatches! All of these products are roughly the same depth, but have different undertones. NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia has strong yellow undertones, while MAC Full Coverage in NW10 has strong pink undertones. Buxom Show Some Skin in Tickle the Ivory and the Tarte BB in Fair are very similar, but I'd say that the Tarte is a hair more neutral and the Buxom is a little more yellow.

PS: By this time tomorrow, I should  be hanging out with not only my partner, but also my new niece. Again, posts may become sporadic for a while. Thank you for your patience!


  1. I didn't have much luck with it. Stuck to all my dry patches, looked terrible in pores by mid day, and oxidized a little.

    1. Oxidized?! I didn't have that issue, but it sounds like a real shame. :(

  2. Same issue with in. Bought it thinking it would be a good match for my skin, but 'cones and I aren't friends. Brought up dry patches that I didn't even know I had.

    1. It's a shame, because it can be so hard to find a tinted sunscreen that's fragrance and alcohol free.