Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation ($39.00 for 1.0 oz.) is supposed to be a full-coverage, cream-gel hybrid foundation with hydrating, 12-hour wear and is rose-scented. I liked it as a medium-to-full coverage option that’s hydrating over time, is more forgiving on dryness or dry patches, with eight- to ten-hour wear. It was very comfortable to wear, never felt tight, and faded/wore away nicely (no major separation), but it never fully set without a powder (which will take down the dewiness of the finish quite a bit, even with a light dusting of powder) and has mild to moderate transfer. I felt like it was quite hydrating, so it seems like it will be more suitable for drier skin types than normal to oily skin types.
It felt like a lighter-weight moisturizer when I used it, not quite whipped or airy but still light-to-medium in weight and didn’t feel greasy on the skin. I agree that it felt like a cream-gel hybrid, and it even felt cooling as it went on the skin. The texture is thick enough with higher coverage that it was less prone to streaking on me but not so thick that it became hard to spread around nor did it feel particularly heavy on the skin. I liked applying it initially with fingertips to spread across the face, like a tinted moisturizer, and then used a synthetic brush (like Real Techniques Expert Face) to get into the nooks and crannies and finish blending toward the hairline. I felt that sponges, like a beautyblender, soaked up more product initially, so again, I’d use fingertips first for most of the initial spreading of the foundation onto the skin and then go back in with a beautyblender for blending and diffusing into edges and corners.
The coverage was more medium-full to full, and you could build to full coverage with two layers. When I used it, I could definitely tell it was a higher coverage formulation than a true medium coverage formula, but it would spread out so easily that it sheered out some, so a second layer was necessary for true full coverage. While I personally seek out foundations that have a more buildable nature to them, so I can use the lightest coverage I need all-over and then build-up just where I need the coverage, that’s not what this foundation promises.
It has a dewy finish; I don’t think it makes me look oily, but it is definitely radiant as described. I don’t think the finish makes the skin appear smoother as Tarte claims, but it didn’t emphasize my natural texture either. However, I expect that unless you encounter extraordinarily longer wear than I, most will still use a setting powder or primer to extend the wear, and the former tends to bring the finish to more of a softly lit sheen.
I did like that wasn’t so high coverage where a tiny dot is all you need because I tend to find those harder to diffuse across the skin and often hard to avoid over-applying. So in that respect, it was easy to apply and get consistently smooth, even results that didn’t look cakey on the skin. I very much have come to appreciate a foundation that goes on about the same every time I use it because a foundation that looks great one day but terrible the next is a roller coaster ride I just want to get off!
The foundation lasted between eight and ten hours on me, but it seemed to fade more subtly without major separation or gathering in fine lines, so I didn’t notice the product wear away at a glance. With a light dusting of setting powder, the wear was closer to 10-12 hours. With a primer, the wear was between 9 and 10 hours. When I used both setting powder and a primer, it still looked mostly intact after 12 hours of wear.
Shade Range + Shade Tested
This formula is only available ten shades, which is a narrow range. I wish they would consider extending the range, as Tarte knows how to create more comprehensive shade ranges already (see Amazonian Clay 12-Hour, which has 25 shades), and based on the shade range, there are only three shades darker than the one I bought–and that’s a very short shade range for darker skin tones. Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea foundation has given me my closest match–Light-Medium Neutral–and so I ended up buying Medium Neutral, as it seemed like the best bet, but after trying it, I would describe it as a true neutral undertone, so it runs a touch pinker than ideal and is too dark for me (more noticeable in person, so I take this formula all the way down to my neck). If I set with tinted setting powder, it balances out to a more natural undertone on me. For reference, Medium Neutral is very similar in color to Medium Neutral in the Rainforest of the Sea formula, which also has more of a pink-peach undertone.
About My Skin
I have normal-to-dry skin, which tends to be mostly normal but occasionally has dry patches or spots around my upper cheeks, eyelids, and around the nose. I am not always dry in these areas, though. I consider myself light-medium in color with soft, warmer yellow undertones; I am not a true neutral (sometimes neutrals can look rosy on me), but foundations that are touted as warm-toned can lean too yellow on my complexion if they have fuller coverage. My neck is lighter than my face, while the edges of my face are darker than the center, so I try to match closer to my neck to minimize how far down I have to blend. While testing this foundation, I was mostly normal throughout and only had a bit of dryness around my nostrils.