Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation Review, Photos, Swatches

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
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.

Medium Neutral

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See more photos & swatches!

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Bare Skin | Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Bare Skin | Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation with Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
Makeup Look
On face:
  • Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation
  • Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder
On eyes:
  • Viseart Bijoux Royal Eyeshadow Palette
  • Sephora Go for a Ride Eyeliner
On lips:
  • Too Faced Honey Bear Lipstick
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


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I’ve really been wanting to try this, thank you for the in depth review. This sounds like what I may be looking for: a full coverage foundation that is moisturizing and appears natural. Your before picture is amazing btw, your skin is gorgeous!

This looks really nice on you! I tend to be combo with a moderately oily t-zone so I think this would be too luminous on me by mid-day. You are the reason I tried the Rainforest foundation and I LOVE it, Christine!

Thank you! I could definitely see this getting into that “too dewy” territory, especially if one has more natural luminosity to begin with!

Happy you love Rainforest of the Sea! Still my new fave πŸ˜€

I like the medium to full coverage here (not that you have much to cover!), but having SD Alcohol 40 B or denatured alcohol so near the top of the ingredient list is a deal breaker for me, as it dries out my skin

I am not much of a foundation try-er… because none of them carry anything light enough for me (except for, hopefully, Kat von D which I shall try upon cooler weather) and I have finicky skin. But I love reading your foundation reviews. Something about them, idk! Great work πŸ™‚

I feel you there with shade range issue and being pale. There only so much white foundation I can throw at a foundation shade that is too dark before it turns pastels. (Olive (yellow/blue) pale undertone as well).

You should try Armani or an Asian foundation. They work the best for very fair skin tones. I’m on the cool pink side, but they have as many yellow undertones as pink – which is why I love them. I use Armani Maestro Glow – I like a dewy finish, but there are other options. For Asian brands I love Cle de Peau radiant fluid finish, but if that’s not your price point ($125 if I recall), but they also own Shiseido, so I would recommend them as well. CdP is worth the price for me to have a perfect color match that wears well and doesn’t cause me to break out, but I know that’s not accessible for everyone.

I’m not sure if you’re going to be able to find full coverage in an Asian brand. That’s not really the Eastern style. They tend to be lighter in coverage and doing a more natural look than we do.

This has a beautiful glowy finish! I like it a lot! I’ve been a fan of the Amazonian Clay formula for awhile, but this one looks like one I would love during the dry as flint late autumn and winters we have. Not too sure if they have my shade in this new formula, though. Medium Honey.

Thank you for the detailed review and for including info about your own skin. I have normal to oily skin and I don’t think this will work for me. Love the staying power though.

Love the eye look!! Sephora eyeliners are my favorite!

This sounds like a nice winter foundation. In summer anything that mimics humidity on my face is a major NO. I’ve been using Tarte’s Double Duty pressed powder foundation all summer. It’s pretty light but more coverage than just pressed powder and doesn’t feel heavy.

I can totally see this being better as a fall/winter foundation vs. summer – particularly in warmer, more humid climates. I’m actually not sure how anything stays on during hot, humid weather πŸ˜‰

Very peachy, but very flattering on you, I think. Fun for a change or going out. I think dewiness looks really fantastic in smokier lighting. I’ll spare you my Ode to Night Lighting LOL as a 53 year old.. it’s amazing how great one can look. This is definitely much dewier than you normally wear and I’m with you on your vote for the Rainforest of the Sea as your regular go to since the finish looks more refined and polished and that somehow suits you better. That’s just my opinion. You can clearly rock both.

The shade selection here deters me. We know Tarte can pull out a better range than this. Economics possibly; offering up their most popular shades in this formula only. Dunno, but pfftttt on dat.

Green Girls: After weeks of testing mixes and re-evaluating my foundation collection, I have come up with KGD 213 as an absolute necessity for me and possibly anyone in the light olive category with visible ashy/dull greeness to their skin. I think it is a very unique in the respect that it works for those with neutral to cool olive, not warm skin. It may not be cool enough or run neutral enough for some, but at least it captures that green undertone and that makes it something workable for me. Golden skin is most definitely not olive in my opinion and gold foundations sit sallow on olive complexions. I’m so done with that scene. So I am working 213 as my HG tweaking foundation and that’s about as good as it is going to get. I do have a few Bourjois foundations arriving which I picked off from evilB. They seem to be well-known within the olive community and are geared towards light to fair neutral to cool olive skin. BTW I compared KGD 213 to GA Lasting 4.5; they have similar depth/intensity and the GA pulls peachy on me so more of a traditional neutral base, not green. Sorry to pull another Olive Bomb on your foundation review. We need to stand up to get noticed.

Do you know what I think is probably the most asinine part of shade matching? That we get educated we have certain undertones and whatnot early on but often find they are much, much more nuanced than simply warm and cool – that there is neutral, olive, red, peach, pink, yellow, golden. There is a genuine spectrum of undertones and while I am not truly neutral, I am not as yellow as a lot of warm-toned foundations seem to be.

I have found that as I go back to shades I’ve used in the past, they become more and more obviously too warm against my complexion more often than not. Sometimes I swatch warmer foundations and think, “Man, maybe I’m COOL-toned, wouldn’t that be a TRIP!” because they are so obviously a non-match.

So, thank you for sharing your struggle! You never know who might read it and have an a-ha! moment πŸ™‚

Totes agree: far more complex than the theory would otherwise lead us to believe. I’m thinking of that one post within the last few months which found many of us (surely covering a myriad of skintones) kvetching about lack of proper matches. So it’s not limited to a specific undertone.

I also look back to shades I used and many were predominantly light yellow or peach. In some respects the neutrality at least made them somewhat work. They were always far better than super cool pink or super warm yellow/orange in any event. And hopefully this will help someone else.. ’cause man I’ve struggled. I’ve always looked at the many images on-line of peeps and their foundation ‘matches’ with a lot of skepticism and maybe I’m simply far too much of a nitpicky person. Some of the shade ranges are just crazy and don’t even remotely look like the same skin. Yeah, we can all find great matches in winter while wearing a turtle neck. πŸ˜€

Wwendy — super helpful! Thanks so much!

I don’t know what I am anymore. πŸ™‚ Nars Barcelona, which I wore for quite a while, should be perfect for me, and it pulls yellow. I’m light olive-y with some yellow/neutral undertones — I think. GA color 7 should also be perfect, and it’s OK. I just don’t like the formula — I know, I’m one in a million who doesn’t like it.

Will check out the KGD as I move away from powder foundation as it gets colder here in the NoEast.

Which GA, Linda? The luminous silk? I’m not a fan either.. much prefer the Lasting Silk. The colours unfortunately do not run consistent between formulas.
I have a tough time with NARS and have never really had a good match other than their TM, but that is purely due to sheerness methinks. πŸ™‚

Yes, the Luminous Silk. I have most of a bottle left (it’s my second), and I’ll just grin and bear it until I finish it up. Too expensive to have it be a throw away. But your post cleared up a lot. I will switch, period. I need a better match.

Lea’s point about Asian skin and varying tones is a great one. I’m going to take my time with KGD, really test carefully, and find what I need.

I haven’t tried KGD, but I do generally swear by Asian brands for better color matching especially on the fair side of the spectrum. I chalk it to the diversity in Asian completions, but I away send up back there for a true match.

Well said. I have very similar issues and funny we come to similar conclusions in terms of shade choices. Over and over again, I was told that I am yellow undertone. And yet every time I looked sallow or yellowy wearing the shade sales associates suggested. They then would switch to a neutral-based foundation for me to try. Depending on the brands, it often looks either a bit ashy or pinkish. KGD 213 is a perfect match for me in summer when I get a bit more color. However in winter months, I have to go with GA lasting silk 4.5 as the closest match since the KGD 213 runs a tad deeper. Now formula-wise, I have yet to find a perfect one for my combo skin. KGD makes me oily on my T zone in summer, whereas GA lasting silk is too drying for me in the winter. We need more true light olive shades!!

I’m actually surprised about the length of wear time not holding up as well consider dimethicone is #2 ingredient. Then again my It cosmetics CC+ foundation breaks down quicker on my dry skin without a primer as my skin seems to suck the life out of the serum part of the formula. With a primer I’m golden. πŸ˜‰

The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation is still my Holy Grail foundation but I’m still interested in this one if they have a pale yellow/neutral shade. Tart has a tendency to bring out 20 shades first when they launch a foundation to see if people like the formula. But they usually do this QVC and their store first and not my the time it hit Ulta/Sephora. There is usually a 6-month gap to.

It’s actually been about six months since this formula launched at Ulta, I think, so here’s hoping! I can understand a more limited shade range, but I think the 10 shade range they have is extremely limited πŸ™ Rainforest of the Sea also has that problem, though I believe that has 12 shades, and it also shares a lack of nuanced shades in the darker range (it is definitely fair-light focused).

That is an excellent point about the serum/skincare matrix of foundations absorbing. I hadn’t thought about that, but it’s so true. My skin and hair are porous, meaning absorptive, like a sponge. 100 years ago, really, as a child, I had to have some kind of hair treatment, bec it had absorbed and held the shampoo. It came out like grits. Watery products seem better, and anything silicony not only is occlusive and clogging, but feels unpleasant…you made me understand a lot. Better concept of something that had been eluding me. Thanks.

Pass!! I have oily skin, and I don’t think any of the shades/undertones will work for me.
I have NC25 skin, but with a lot of RED undertones, and it’s so difficult finding a lighter shade with red undertones!!! (Thanks to my indigenous mother making finding a foundation so hard!! πŸ˜› )

Thank you for the great review and it does look lovely on you.
But I would hate to have a jar like this to use – I much prefer a pump delivery system which give me just enough to cover my face. I think it would be easy to end up getting too much on your fingers/brush to use.

I’m 46 & I really liked this foundation. I have dry skin with an oily t-zone & I get the lifty skin/dry patches. Also, I’m fair/cool undertone. The lightest color in this is too dark so I color adjust it with Laura Geller’s Balance & Brighten Powder Foundation in fair because it’s very light & pink. This foundation goes on so evenly that I can solely use my fingers. It doesn’t grab & accentuate dry patches and it didn’t give me polka dot pores nor did it settle & crease around my nose or laugh lines. If you have texture issues with foundations, then I’d give this a try. I have to apply every other foundation with a damp sponge and still many times it’s a fail. I end up looking like foundation face with dry patch clingers, polka dot pores on my nose and creasing around my nose and laugh lines. But not with this one. I hope Tarte expands the color range. It makes me nervous that they haven’t yet because I hope they keep this in their line.

Your analytics are only improving. What a brain! Wendy: I get the obsession, but olive skintone does not reach the bar for an orphan disease. Lol. Good luck with the Bourjois. Idk that Cle de Peau was Asian, not French, but so is Laduree. You guys make me want to scope out Koh.

Thanks for reviewing this! I have had my eye on it and I think I will take the plunge. I am quite glad this does not set quickly or fully set–as this is formulated for dry skin so hopefully it didn’t get points knocked off for that. I cannot wear any quick-setting foundation bc those dry out my skin–even better that this doesn’t have any volatile silicones bc my skin instantly reacts to it. I am hoping it won’t be bad for my acne prone skin.

On a different note, earlier while reading this review on my Samsung note 4, it redirects to an ad for free apps. I now cannot peruse your site bc I immediately get redirected even when I close the app and try again. I was not sure how to contact you regarding this.

Hi Maggie,

Can you take a screen shot and email [email protected]? We don’t have pop-ups/redirects/pop-unders/takeovers etc. so it might be a rogue ad (something unapproved that is in an ad network), but we’ll need more info to help diagnose.

Hi Christine. Thanks for another terrific review.
This immediately smacked me as similar, if not a dupe, to the Chantecaille Future Skin. Do you have any thoughts on this? Future Skin retails for $76, so a dupe would be a welcome thing indeed!

Unfortunately this will be too hydrating for my oily-tending skin. But I have to say — thank you for reviewing foundations. There are so many variables in foundation selections — tones, finish, skin types, various uses, seasons, etc. etc. — and so many brands and choices that it’s daunting, and these reviews are so helpful. Thank you.

this has become my holy grail foundation. i use a sigma f80 brush for maximum coverage – i feel that it is one of the more full coverage foundations out there but i understand that we all have different experiences. thanks for the review!! πŸ™‚

I love a dewy finish and need hydration in a foundation, so this one looks interesting to me πŸ™‚ It reminds me of a Chantecaille foundation I once had (Future Skin, maybe?) that was also a cream-gel formula and I loved how it felt on my skin. I’ll definitely check this one out. Shame on Tarte, though, for not offering this in more darker shades. Really Tarte??

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!