Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation Review, Photos, Swatches

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation: Light-Medium Beige, Light-Medium Neutral, Light-Medium Honey, Medium Neutral, Medium Honey

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation ($39.00 for 1.00 fl. oz.) is a new liquid foundation available in 12 shades. I believe Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation (in a tube) is one of their more expansive shades ranges, and it has 24 shades–so I really hope they’ll consider expanding this range as it is heavy on the light to medium range but, unsurprisingly, will likely fall short of very fair and tan to deep dark skin tones. (A note: Sephora’s “swatches” of the range are off; check Tarte’s page for a better visual of the spectrum presently represented.) The formula is supposed to be a “lightweight, full-coverage hydrating foundation” that uses Titanium Dioxide (6.23%) and Zinc Oxide (3.84%) for SPF protection. It comes in a frosted glass bottle with a twist-off cap that uses a dropper to release the foundation, which you fill by pressing the little button on the top of the foundation.

Foundation is a tough product to review, because, like skincare, it is even more dependent on your needs, skin type, skin concerns, and climate. A lot of times I try new formulas and struggle to find anything of note to say about it–I feel like I’m in the more of a “I’m somewhere in-between” camp, because it usually takes me awhile to find the right application method, amount, and 20 different trips to the car to see just how bad of a match it is in car lighting. I loved this foundation from the first application, and I’ve worn it every day since trying it (over two weeks). Here’s why: it just looks good on my skin, and it doesn’t need tricks or experimentation to look good.

I’ve applied it with dense, cream foundation brushes like Tom Ford’s, as well as with dense, synthetic cream foundation brushes like Real Techniques, but it works just as well with a stippling brush like a MAC 187 or a dampened Beautyblender. I can apply a little bit or quite a bit, and it doesn’t look caked on or start to emphasize dryness or make me wonder why I ever strayed from whatever foundation was working decently for me. I personally use Light-Medium Neutral as every shade with the word “Honey” in it was like I ate twenty pounds of bananas, and then anything with Beige was obviously far too cool-toned (that wasn’t unexpected, I am warmer!). Light-Medium Neutral is a little lighter than ideal for my face, but it matches my neck fairly well. I’ve tried mixing Light-Medium Neutral with Medium-Neutral, but it’s a little trickier to keep it from going too dark relative to my neck.

I have normal-to-dry skin with dryness most present around my nostrils with occasional dryness on cheeks. My primary concern is evening out my overall tone and getting my face to match my far-lighter neck. I have fine lines unerneath my eyes, light smile lines, as well as one larger wrinkle that runs across my forehead. The foundation doesn’t seem to settle into my fine lines or smile lines until really, really late into wear (ten hours) and only just barely, but the foundation typically settles a bit into my forehead line as it sets/dries down. I usually go back in with my foundation brush and lightly buff the foundation back out of the line, and then I don’t see it happen again until after eight or nine hours into wear. Without primer nor setting powder, the foundation wears well for ten hours, but it does feel a little emollient after eight hours. With setting powder (Guerlain Les Voilettes Loose Powder), the foundation looks good until I take it off. As the foundation breaks down over time, it doesn’t look uneven; it just seems a little dewier, a little worn to me, but it hasn’t lifted or separated noticeably to me. I think it lasted well for my general lifestyle (mostly indoors), though it wore fine and held up to light sweating (exercising outdoors for an hour in 85+ degree heat), but it’s not the foundation I would wear to Disneyland in 90 degree eat for a 14-hour day and expect to look immaculate by the end of the night on its lonesome (possibly with primer, powder, setting spray!).

The formula’s consistency is thin without being too watery or runny, but it’s not thick and spreads well across the skin. I think that’s part of why it is forgiving if you apply more one day or less the next–it disperses well across the skin and doesn’t dry down too quickly. Its natural finish is lightly dewy; it’s not shimmery or oily-looking to me. It reads well on camera, and it looks just as good in person (I will say that it looks better in person by a bit), which, to me, is where most need it to look its best. It responds well to various loose and pressed powders (both flesh-toned and translucent)–it doesn’t darken or become uneven, it doesn’t thicken or become heavy/cakey. The coverage seemed medium to full to me, depending on how you applied and how much you applied–it didn’t take half the bottle to get full coverage, and it’s going to take a very little amount for light coverage. It seemed less than true full coverage on average, though, to me. It seemed to cover the majority of the darkness I had underneath my eyes, and I didn’t feel like I needed concealer. It doesn’t last a full 12-hours on me, though it does quite well for a solid ten, and it is still visible and decent-looking after 12-14 hours (but again, I’m normal-to-dry).

P.S. — Have you checked out the newly updated Foundation Matrix? 🙂

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See more photos & swatches!

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation: Light-Medium Beige, Light-Medium Neutral, Light-Medium Honey, Medium Neutral, Medium Honey

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
No Foundation

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Light-Medium Beige Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Light-Medium Beige Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Light-Medium Beige Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Light-Medium Beige Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Light-Medium Honey Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Light-Medium Honey Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Light-Medium Honey Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Light-Medium Honey Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Light-Medium Neutral Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Light-Medium Neutral Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Light-Medium Neutral Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Light-Medium Neutral Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Medium Neutral Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Medium Neutral Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Medium Neutral Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Medium Neutral Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Medium Honey Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Medium Honey Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Tarte Medium Honey Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
Tarte Medium Honey Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Where to Buy

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Makeup Look

On face:
  • Tarte Rainforest the Sea Aqua Foundation
On eyes:
  • Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette
On lips:
  • Tarte Berry Lip Rescue

About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

Compare Any Two Swatches

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174 Comments

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This review and associated swatches are sooo appreciated! I have a hard time finding foundation swatches on skin tones closer to my own (Native American… light-medium but with neutral undertones). I know it’s not easy to do these kind of posts but when you do, I’m definitely thankful.

I’m so happy to see a positive review on this! I ordered from Sephora and it’s being delivered today. I can’t wait to try! I’m extremely oily and hoping this works well for me – other things I’ve read about it say it sets down to a more matte finish. Fingers crossed!

Keep us posted, Janessa! I’d love to hear your thoughts (even if you hate it!). Mostly, I wish you a perfect shade match 😉

I don’t think it’s a super dewy foundation, but it isn’t matte on me – natural to me? Not quite satin, not shiny.

I swatch tested it on my hand as soon as it was delivered and it oxidized super orange… I got light neutral, I’m not fair by any means, but am lighter. The color looked like a close match on the dropper… I put a small swatch on my chin/neck and it does look like a better match that way… We shall see!

I almost never have an issue with oxidization. I’ve now tried it for 2 days and it actually is a good match and I don’t see it oxidizing at all. I could probably go one shade lighter, but I think with summer coming up this will be perfect. I like it so far. I’m super greasy and don’t feel like a greaseball while wearing it.

Thank you for the review!!! This sounds like it may be worth checking out! But WOW the colors definitely run yellow/orange! I’m curious how the fair/light shades will be… quick question for you–does it dry down fairly quickly?

Also–love the updated foundation matrix! I’ve seen it recommended on various websites, too, so yay Temptalia! One thing that might be helpful (maybe?) would be if it were possible to rate a possible dupe as “not a dupe” or less than an 80% match?

It seems to dry down within a few minutes – it doesn’t feel overly wet/tacky or move around much after I apply it for long.

There is a flag in the upper right hand corner of each match’s box where you can flag a “bad match” 🙂

Woah, I thought the “before” was the “after”! I think your skin looks better without the foundation.

What’s your usual foundation? Is this new Tarte one comparable to other products? I’m still trying to work out what distinguishes a “serum foundation” or “water foundation.”

I’m very happy to see the TD and ZO sun protection (I am allergic to chemical sunscreens). Tarte makes a tinted BB cream with 30+ spf that I love–there is a shade light enough to match me. From your passing comment, I figure there is not a light enough shade in this line. Too bad, bc I have dry skin and this looks nice.

The lightest shade they have is Fair Neutral, but they don’t have anything lighter and nothing more nuanced in undertone. And then just one-up from there, Fair-Light Neutral. I am not sure how fair is Fair actually is, but based on how voting shakes out for their other foundation (which is also supposed to full coverage), Fair definitely seems geared towards Fair/Light skin tones, rather than Fairest.

Ginny, thank you for calling that out! I am not sure if I”m allergic, but I am very sensitive to chem sunscreen; it stings my eyes and the surrounding skin, ouch. Honestly I wish foundations would just omit sunscreen since I always use my own, but I digress. Super excited to see the high rating and praise for this, I hope I can find a match!

Thanks for the helpful before and after photos. I very much like this non-foundation looking foundation on you and I think the colour is even better than the rather peachy pink beige Guerlain because it has a little more yellow without going full on bananas. I know stuff can photograph so differently than it looks in real life with the horrible mirror in vehicle test to let you know in no uncertain terms how bad it can get… but here in these photographs, I do think this definitely looks most excellent 😀

The weird thing is, I think the light medium neutral may actually be in the right range for me too. I will check out swatches on Tarte page to check and see difference between it and perhaps a shade lighter. The last few foundations I have purchased have been frustratingly awful colour misses for me and sent back.

Oh, yeah, they are so off – and it’s bizarre as Tarte’s website makes sense and Sephora has swatches for Tarte’s other foundation ranges. When I first looked at Sephora’s range, I thought there were NO tan+ shades available until I read the names and cross-referenced back to Tarte.

I love Guerlain’s foundations, but the shade range is limited. 02 is too pink on me – I can always tell the undertone is off if I wear it, but the lightness of it is better suited to me than 03, which is darker and too yellow on me. I usually mix the two, but it isn’t the most reliable method to get the closest match. I definitely feel like the Light-Medium Neutral is one of the best as-is shade matches for me in awhile.

I’m starting to go a little lighter, because I’m finding that is better for matching than true mediums and then using more medium-hued powder seems to bring it back from being too pale for me.

I can’t remember if you wear TF Fawn? (liquid, not stick.. the sticks do not co-incide with the liquids at all). Or are you more TF Natural? I just looked at Tarte website swatches and I’m torn between the light medium and the light. I’m TF fawn as a consistently good match..never perfect because of my light olive undertones but respectable enough because the level is very accurate.

I have TF Natural for liquid, which is about 50 shades of orange on me right now. It looks 3-4 shades darker and very orange-y compared to my neck at this very moment. I have Fawn in the TF stick, which I would say runs a little light for me. I’m pretty sure that didn’t help you at all.

No, it actually is helpful as a reference point because I have the exact issue with TF Natural. It is completely out of the question for me and runs sun-tanned barbie orange on my skin too. It is very good for peeps with super warm undertones. Fawn is that critical shade lighter and runs more neutral, but has noticeable yellow (In my opinion TF Fawn is more NARS TM Alaska =yellow versus Groenland= peach) Fawn in Stick formula is about a half shade lighter and has more pink than the liquid which I would place in between MAC NC20 and 25 intensities. Lately the Light-Mediums I have been buying have been all wrong and too dark and more consistent with NC30… so I’m now gun shy with the level descriptor. Sigh.. LOL

Oh, you are so on the money. I have felt like Fawn (stick) is a little light and did not quite enough… warmth for me, so I was thinking a little too neutral or too pink. Sounds like Fawn in liquid might be perfect match if I want to use the liquid again! Thank you 😀

I think you’ve sold me on trying this. I wasn’t planning on it because I didn’t like the similar Becca one that was just released and I think the “Rainforest of the Sea” thing is silly. But this looks gorgeous on you and I seem to be in the range of skin tones that will work with the current offerings.

Hope you can find a good shade to try, Katie 🙂

Haven’t tried the Becca – if you end up trying Tarte’s, do let me know if you think they’re similar. Then maybe I’ll try Becca’s! The range is narrower for that one, too, and pricey, so I haven’t made it a priority to try yet.

I thought the name was silly too! I was like, are they growing a kelp forest so they can make this? If Christine had not reviewed this, I would have dismissed it.

This looks great on you. I’m on a big foundation kick and I love foundations like this. I’m certainly going to try this one. I may even just order the shade you use. I know i say it all the time. But, yes I have many years on you, but our skin tone colorings match very close!

Christine your skin is so beautiful. You don’t really need foundation at all. I almost feel like you look better on the “before” pictures!
This looks like an interesting foundation option, I love the packaging, and the level of coverage seems pretty good considering this is a more fluid texture. I always have such a hard time finding the right shade for me when I purchase foundations, and like you my neck is considerably lighter than my face so I have to make a choice: go with the color of my neck, but then the foundation is much lighter than my skin, or go with the color of my face, and then it’s hard to avoid the “mask” effect. Usually sales associates go for the first option, and I end up with the lightest shades, although I’m light but definitely not fair, and I sometimes feel like they wash me out. A beautysta’s life is so complicated, lol!

I feel a little ghostly? like “whoa, I’m not that light” and that I’m trying to hide the color of my skin when I match my neck, but then it is definitely mask-like if I get a good face match and ignore the neck… but I don’t really want to have to blend down foundation to my chest, lol! So, I totally relate and understand your plight, Lulle. It’s in the last six months or so that I’ve given up on medium-hued foundations and have been trying to skew lighter than my natural inclination, and I think I am getting some better matches. I like using a flesh-toned powder that’s more medium and that seems to give me some of the depth/warmth I need to feel less like my face is too light.

I’m kind of travelling in the opposite direction: recently I’ve mostly stopped listening to SA’s advice and tried going for a good match for my face which is a light or even light-medium rather than a fair-to-light, and I feel like it makes me look healthier if that makes any sense. It all started as an accident, when I got a sample packet of YSL Touche Eclat in B40, thought it was wayyy to dark for me when I opened it, but then to my surprised it turned out to be a perfect match for my face… and it looked so good!

Funny story, a few months ago I got shade matched at Sephora where they used their Color IQ electronic device, and it returned results that were like 5 shades too dark. The MUA was really puzzled, she tried doing it again, and it gave the same shade matches again! She blamed it on my freckles (thanks…)

Whatever works for you, do it! I totally get what you mean though – for me, the powdering (almost like bronzing, I guess) with a medium shade does that for me. I’ve been on the other route… trying to get my neck to match my face… so time to go the other way, haha.

How frustrating! At least the MUA KNEW it was off!

Hi Lulle. I’m on the hunt for a light weight foundation. I don’t wear foundation often, because I’m very unwell. A good day is making it out if the bed to the couch downstairs. But, I’d still like yi have something just in case I can go out or I feel sick but what the h–l I’ll throw on some makeup to lay around the house in. Anyhow, you made the comment about your freckles causing an issue with Sephora’s foundation scanner. I’m on the light side with leanings to medium skinetone, in MAC speak I’m NC20.

Anyhow, I, too, am blessed to have a bunch of freckles. I really just need something to even out my skintone as I have redness due to Rosacea and side effects of medications. I have no desire to wear something so thick that it covers my freckles up. Do you have any suggest for a light or medium buildable foundation that doesn’t masks your freckles? Thank you in advance!

YSL B40 is also a perfect match for me, and when I check on Temptalia they give me Light Medium Honey for the tarte rainforest. Which color is a perfect match for you?
I live in the Netherlands, so I cannot go to the store and try it….

OMG, I have this same problem! Face darker than neck. The worse part is, if I decide to match my neck, and when my foundation breaks down BC I didn’t touch-up, then that paler color clings to all my dry patches and emphasizes them, so it looks like I have pale scaly patches against darker skin. ICK. Or I have to put up with a mask.

I’m currently trying Becca’s new foundation and really liking it. I wanted to order this but was reading lots of bad reviews, especially about the shades. After reading your review I will definitely play with this in stores when we finally get it in Canada. I wasn’t really going to give it a chance, but now I will. Thanks so much for your review. And I thought you look amazing without any foundation on!

That’s good to hear re: Becca! I have been contemplating trying some of the more “hydrating” and “luminous” foundations of late to see if they are easier for me to use.

can we just have a moment for your no-foundation skin…. its flawless!! I dont have anything by Tarte but after seeing your genuine excitement over this I am definitely checking it out!!

I saw you wear the new Tarte foundation in your post today about the Zoeva blush kit, and I was just going to say what a nice color match it was! It’s like your skin-but-better look. Glad you found a foundation that works well for you. Such a pain trying to find one, about as fun as shopping for swimsuits! I’m kind of worried though, because some of the other colors look kind of orangey to me?

The range didn’t seem unusually orange to me from the five swatched here, though in general, I find that more pink/beige based shades look almost peachy against my skin tone. But when they say Honey, they really mean yellow!

LOL Well, I have a lot more unevenness/sallowness/age spots to cover, so I’m sticking to my MJ Full coverage one for now, and I do like it a lot, although it’s definitely a trickier one to match and apply, especially in winter, when my skin is drier. But I do need a new shade for summer, and if MJ doesn’t have a good match, I’ll keep this Tarte one in mind. Thanks for the review!

I need another foundation like I need another hole in my head! And yet, because of your review, I think I may need to scope this out in person. I’m kind of a tough foundation match online (seems like they always look different on me). Thanks so much for your review! And yes, I need to chime in with everyone else – your skin is beautiful! You really don’t need ANY makeup! (Lucky you!)

I don’t have a particularly high batting average if I go by my own eye for picking, but I have tended to err closer to medium and find the shade too dark or too yellow, either!

I tend to err too dark as well. I was surprised that the shade match for me in Dior was Ivory and the Geller match was Fair! I don’t think of myself as having a fair complexion; I actually have some redness and also freckles! Plus, unlike most fair complexions, I don’t burn in the sun. Kind of interested to try this one though bc if it works, it will be a nice alternative for days my skin wants to act up and have some dryness (also around my nose btw!)

This kinda reminds me of the MAC Waterweight foundation. I searched and noticed that you didn’t give it an official review, but did you happen to try that one?

Haven’t tried it! I might have samples around here, so I’ll definitely look for them next week to see if I do. I’ve been meaning to try a MAC foundation if only to establish my current shade match again!

Jesus, Christine! I saw the first picture and thought, wow, that looks good! Then I realized that was the before picture, with no foundation on. Goodness woman, your skin looks fantastic!!!

I’m going to need the name of your dermatologist/esthetician if you have one…

You’re too sweet! My skin is just fairly clear (and at the moment, very clear) since getting on Differin/clindamycin (prescriptions), and otherwise, I try not to touch my face, be vigilant about removing makeup and applying my moisturizer/SPF 🙂

Really interesting review, it looks and sounds like a lovely foundation to wear. Shame that the range isn’t wider, I’m very light (NARS Terre Neuve/BareMinerals 01 Opal) and it’s taken a long time to find shades that don’t look too dark or too yellow on me! When I was younger – I’m nearly 39 – I had to put up with either not wearing any base at all (with visible spots ?) or going out looking yellow!

Wish you can do ‘with flash’,’without flash’ and ‘natural light’ photography when doing the foundation review. Must be very very helpful.

Ok, I guess a trip to Sephora is in order to pick up samples of this in the fair and fair/light shades. I love the fact that this is medium-full coverage (I have serious cheek redness) and that it has mineral SPF. I love Tarte products in general and I desperately need a fuller coverage foundation than the ones I’m using now. Thanks so much for this review Christine!

No problem, Emily! If you like Tarte products, you might also want to take a peek at their Amazonian Clay – I know a lot of people like that one (and the shade range is more extensive!) and is also full coverage, though I have not personally tried it!

I have tried it. I used it back when I was really oily. At the time the shade range was more limited, so the Light Medium was too pink and Medium was too dark. However, it looked really really good on my skin when I first applied it.

The reasons I stopped using it are (1) I prefer less coverage. I tend to prefer medium coverage foundations. (2) I found that it broke up a lot on my t-zone and fuller coverage made that noticeable.

However, now that I’m on the hunt for a replacement for my HD foundation, I’m thinking I should revisit the Amazonian clay foundation. My skin is a lot less oily than it used to be, they have an expanded shade range, and I found a better setting powder than MAC MSFN (for me) so I think maybe it is worth testing out on my combination skin.

OHHH, I need to go find the other swatches online to see how pale they get. I need to find a list of ingredients too. I love the light to medium coverage and how skin like it looks. Mind you I have some light acne scars that create pore/texture issues but it still looks promising!

Thanks so much, Christine! I ordered it immediately after reading your review. It sounds unlikely that the Fair Neutral will suit, but I’m curious enough, and I have my MUFE Chromatic Mix in white that can still rescue it if not. It’s hard for me to get passed the name “Rainforest of the Sea” and I’m not generally very fond of Tarte products, but just this morning I nearly ordered it anyway though my reasons were unclear, and now your review has me thinking I want to give it a go. I second all those who say you look lovely, Before *and* after.

Keep us all posted, Victoria! But it is nice that you have a white mixer that you can always work with 🙂

I agree with the others, you have beautiful skin! I have to swatch the lightest shade in this and Tarte’s new cream foundation too. I’ll probably go for the one with the best coverage.

These look like they run really, really warm. I don’t think I’d find a shade match in this, unless they expand the range down the line.

I really hope they do! They definitely need more nuances in the range – there are so many variations of light-medium/medium but everything else is like “here’s one, good luck!” Such is the nature of far too many ranges but I digress.

Thanks, Marlee! I use a lot of Origins for moisturizers (both AM/PM), cleansers I tend to experiment more with, though I usually fall back to shu uemura’s Cleansing Oil after trying something else for a couple of weeks for makeup removal! I credit most of my skin’s appearance to Differin/clindamycin (prescriptions), which really saved my skin.

Not helpful at all, but can I just say how fantastic your skin looks?! I thought you had mislabelled the images until I noticed that in the second picture your beauty mark was paler! I am very jealous haha.

Ha, ha, I was thinking that my beauty mark was also telling a little story about opacity. I didn’t even realize that it had been so covered until I was looking at the photos while trying to write about coverage.

CHRISTINNNNNNEEEEE
Thank you so much for this review!!!
It was so thorough and well-explained.
I say it all the time, but it is so refreshing to read your take on makeup because so many other blogs just say “this is great!” and don’t get into the details. You cover so much: Wear time across weather, setting products, primers, exercise, daily life, long hours, oxidation, finish, compatibility with concealer, opacity, etc…
Fantastic quality as always- you are the benchmark.

But a quick question!
How does this compare to Sephora’s teint infusion foundation (if you have tried it)? Or smashbox’s new fluid/water foundation? All these brands are coming out with similar textures and while I like that, I have trouble differentiating them aside from price per oz. Thoughts?

FYI-smashbox bb water and Mac water weight are the exact same formulas per Wayne goss and a few other folks. They’re owned by the same company, so makes sense. Mac is cheaper and has way more shade ranges!

I believe my skin tone falls somewhere in the selection of these. Have you tried Smashbox’s BB Water? If so, how would you say it compares? It’s my current HG but if it can be improved upon, I’d be thrilled.

I second that squeal!
Foundations must be super hard to review–they’re hard to shop for. I’m happy with several foundations just now for my fair, dry skin: MUFE Ultra HD liquid in Y215 and stick in Y225 (which has lovely finish, but I have to use a fairer colour to mix which I do by placing on the face dots of it and dots of a fairer liquid MUFE Ultra HD 205, and buffing from there–yes, high maintenance, but nice), UD Naked in 0.5, Armani Luminous Silk, MAC Waterweight in NW 13. But happy though I am, I feel I’m always on a quest for perfect foundation. And so I’m so happy to read this, Christine!

I mean, it’s not a replacement for a moisturizer, but one thing that I struggle with is making sure foundation doesn’t make my skin look dry/flaky/separated when I apply it (even though I don’t feel like my skin IS flaky at the time), and I haven’t had that issue at all with this foundation (at any point during the day). It seems particularly good at making sure the area around my nostrils doesn’t look like the desert by the end of the night!

I’m glad to know this is working out well for you, Christine! The ingredients list is a good one for me, and it sounds like I’d like the finish, so I’m going to give it a try (although I’ll have to supplement with additional SPF underneath). I have a sample of light neutral to try, but I’ll probably have to mix a beige with a fair to get a decent match. It’s always nice to have options in the base department, and I don’t have many!

Yes, it’s nice! Tarte has been pretty reliable for me that way, they don’t seem to use fragrance or chemical sunscreens in their base products (the percentage of foundations that contain fragrance is really astounding). I do better with a higher SPF, but I do have a couple of sunscreens to try under it, from Radical Skincare, Josie Maran, and Drunk Elephant (the Paula’s Choice sunscreens that I otherwise like give any foundation I put over them too matte of a finish for my taste). The tricky part is getting foundation to apply well over a mineral-based sunscreen. I think using a BeautyBlender might give be easiest and give the best results. A bit fussier than applying IT CC cream with my fingers, but, it’s nice to have options!

This looks like a lovely foundation. However, it’s unfortunate that it’s 2016 and brands are still launching foundations without shades for women of color!

That’s a beautiful foundation! I am loving the fact that foundations are looking more and more natural. I don’t like too much of texture on the skin.

Fantabulous review Christine. You are the most hard working blogger I have ever come across.. Have you tried the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual skin fluid foundation?? I heard its pretty amazing…

I really like this foundation i have dry skin so it feels nice going on. I got it from Qvc and it came with the matching brush for less than $35. Qvc said they might get it back since its a permanent item. I know that you can get the new concealer with matching brush from Qvc for $30.

This looks about as close to perfect as a good, solid foundation gets. Not cakey, or “fake” looking. Very skin-like! I’m intrigued by it, that’s for sure. Now to finish up my Pro Longwear foundation, which isn’t bad at all, but only has NC or NW, no C, which actually is neutral. At least in the liquid Studio Fix, it is.
My guess is that since I wear either Medium Honey or can also wear Medium Sand, I may be able to try this Rainforest one without too much trouble.

I’m really digging it! Definitely a new favorite, and it’s been awhile since I’ve fallen for a new liquid foundation. I think the last base product I really loved was IT’s CC cream.

THANK YOU for this review! I’m almost done with my current foundation and this sounds like the kind of formula I’m looking for. I’ll swatch this if I see it in Sephora and grab a sample if I can find a color match! 😀

Thank you so much for reviewing this, Christine! I imagine trying out foundations is much more complicated than other make-up products, so I highly appreciate all the trouble!
Yay for more foundation reviews! =)

I’m digging the split screens! Thank you for the review. Stupid question alert…Just to clarify you used the Light-Medium Neutral in all the pictures wearing the foundation on your face, correct?

I am rather curious about BECCA’s new foundation, MAC’s Waterweight (I know someone else requested a review on it) as well as new MUFE Ultra HD Definition Foundation. As for the MUFE, I thought I saw a pictures of you wearing it in an older review, but don’t recall seeing a did you try either type (stick or liquid) of the I searched the other day and it didn’t come up.

I’m in the market for a new foundation. I was never one to wear liquid foundation. I just got fed up with the way MAC’s Skinfinish & Studio Fix were looking on me. I tried wearing IT Cosmetics CC Cream & it was way too high coverage for my liking and needs. I have Redness from Roscea and that is my only skin issue. I would like to be able to even out my skintone tone and when/if I ever have the energy & ability to a full on face of makeup again I really love to pull it together with foundation now,that my redness is very prevalent. My health is very bad right now & I’ve been bedridden for the past 7-8 months, I’m not seeking sympathy, just clarifying why I said when/if I ever put makeup on again.

I would love to find a gel to powder for creamy powder if such a thing exists) foundation, but also find a liquid foundation. PLEASE IF ANYONE HAS ANY SUGGETSIONS FOR A LIGHT, BUT BUILDABLE GEL to POWDER, CREAMY POWDER OR REGULAR POWDER FOUNDATION THAT THEY LIKE, I’D LOVE SOME SUGGESTIONS! Thank you.

Yes, that’s the only shade I used for the full face photos 🙂 I did, while testing, try Medium Neutral as well as mixing the two shades together, though, but off-camera, so-to-speak!

I’ve tried both the stick and liquid, but they don’t seem to suit my skin. Some days it looks okay, other days it looks bad, and sometimes I like it. The problem is that it looks better on camera, so photos give an illusion of it looking about 40% better than it does in person (on average)!

I know readers recommend Dior for a good powder foundation – have not tried myself.

For just some redness and evening out skin tone I am using the MAC studio sculpt powder, which is really quite creamy, not powdery or drying at all. Blurrs imperfections without looking heavy. For me a quick but effective fix… I wish you to get well!

Christine, thanks so much for the in-depth review on this one; foundation is always tricky for me – it’s too thick, it’s too thin, it’s too dark, it’s too light, blah blah blah – but this sounds like a good one, especially for the warmer months. BTW, you look extra beautiful in these pics!

Thank you for this review! I’ve been enjoying Becca’s Aqua foundation but wanted a similar product with SPF for summertime. This should fill that need perfectly.

And your no-makeup skin is lovely! At first I thought it was an after shot. 🙂

First off…omg you have gorgeous skin!!!

Now that that’s out of the way, lol….I tried this foundation and it did not work for me. I have combo/oily skin so maybe that’s why. It’s not so much that it didn’t stay on but it did turn darker throughout the day and settled into my fine lines (around mouth and eyes). Also the lightest shade isn’t light enough for me (NC15) and even though it’s neutral it leans pink/orange on me. I tried the other version which I LOVED since it was dewey (non-oily) very natural, and covered better than this one. But again…the color selection makes it a no-go. Very sad about that because I fell in love with how natural it felt yet covered well.

Oh no, sad to hear that the lightest isn’t light enough 🙁 I did think it might not work for all fair skin tones. Which foundation did you try the other version of?

Yea it’s such a bummer! I hate falling in love with a formula and then find out the color is off. The other Tarte foundation I tried (and preferred) was the “Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation”. I think it’s only sold at Ulta though.

Christine, I came here simply to state that your makeup-free face is as beautiful as your made-up face. Your skin is gorgeous!

Thank you so much for this review! I love it when you review foundations, it’s so helpful. We all struggle to find a good one I think! I’m currently using Tarte’s Amazonian clay foundation in Light-Medium Honey and my husband commented the other day that it made my face a weird color like I was sick or something – now I totally know what he meant! Bananas!! Hahaha!!! Omg. Killed me. I had originally thought honey would mean a peach-undertone which would have been perfect for me. So I guess light-medium neutral it is now! Definitely going to try this foundation.

I don’t often comment but I read your blog every day. I had to comment because YOUR SKIN IS UNREAL. Seriously, if I had skin like yours I would NEVER wear foundation. It’s got this luminescence to it that the foundation covers up. Girl, you do not need foundation! You have gorgeous, gorgeous skin!

ohhh i’m so excitied about this foundation. it sound slike i’ve something i’ve been looking for for a long time. i have normal to dry skin, but i do have redness on my cheecks and old acne scarring from past acne problems. i’m looking for a light weight, natural looking, hydrating foundation. that has medium to buildable coverage. and lasts long. i like that the price isn’t so bad. i just can’t justify buy 40 to 50$ foundations, when their just going to run out. and i like that tarte doesn’t put all that nasty stuff in their foundations, my skin is on the senesative side, so i’m hoping it won’t break me out. which has been my problem with other hydrating foundations, it’s either that or the longevity isn’t very long.

Longevity has been good for me in this one – I haven’t tried too many luminous/hydrating foundations over the last few years as they used to feel like a slip ‘n’ slide on, LOL! This felt comfortable but not oily or greasy for me.

i mean 8 hour claim is good enough for me. i’m just glad tarte came out with a more hydrating one,. i loved the their amazonian clay one. i used to use it when i was a teen and my skin was oily then. it covered it but didn’t irriate it, and was the only foundation that didn’t break me out, and i tried hundreds. i tried it awhile back now that my skin has changed, but it didn’t lay nicely on me. its definiley a beautiful one for the combo to oily girls. its just sad its not flattering on my skin anymore. i clings to any dryiness. i’ve also always liked that that tarte is usually a pretty reasonable price range. i’m a college student, but i still can’t wear drugstore foundations cause of my skin sensativity problems. i have also been using tartes airbrush powder! and it is the best loose powder i have powder. not cakey at all, natural finish, and light weight. i got my 59 year old mother hook on it too. so its great for older ladies too! and for concealer i love the amazing cosmetics concealer. works great for spots and under eyes.

This looks pretty nice. I am looking for a replacement for MUFE HD. It is my HG foundation for most of the year (except summer, when I need Mat Velvet +). Sadly, the Ultra HD formula is not for me. My skin is normal combination with a somewhat oily t-zone. Ultra HD doesn’t do as well for my t-zone as the regular HD. I am on my last bottle of regular HD, so I’m on the hunt for a replacement.

How do you think this compares? For me, HD blends seamlessly into my skin. It wears very well with no primer, but with setting powder (Too Faced Primed and Poreless). I need very little concealer. Blot 1 time throughout a full work day. I still feel ok with minor touch ups 10 hours after applying. Perfect shade match (127). (Yes, I’m DEVASTATED that the old HD formula was discontinued).

I’m so sorry that the new Ultra HD didn’t replace your HD as HG 🙁

HD is more like a traditional liquid foundation – this feels airier… it’s “thicker” but not heavier, lighter-weight, in fact, when it coems to feeling. The Tarte one spreads well but doesn’t just sheer out and look streaky – I just feel like I can move a droplet of product across the planes of my face for even coverage without worrying about working quickly.

Have you tried it with a primer? I am having a hard time picking out a water based primer since this foundation is water based! And unfortunately, the girls at our sephora are not helpful.

Thank you so much! I got some samples of the Tarte amazonian so I could try and match the color. It was a little cakey on me, so I am hoping this works much better for my wedding in the Dominican Republic next month 🙂 I usually only use powder foundation so am trying to find something with a little more coverage that isn’t heavy.

I’m excited to try this foundation! I am in love with the packaging and have been wanting to try something new anyway.

The packaging on this is sooo nice. Ive been thinking of going on a no buy (need $ for next semester’s tuition). Anyway, from your swatches it looks like anything that is supposed to be for my skin tone will be too orange. The finish looks great though… Not matte but not dewy or satin. I think I’ll be great for summer.

Haven’t read any other comments, but you should really just not wear foundation. Your skin is beautiful as-is, and I hate that it takes the natural color out of your cheeks. I hope you usually go without! This does, however, look like a foundation I’d like to try!

I was so interested in this, then I saw it had SD-Alcohol and even with oily skin this ingredient is usually a huge irritant to me. Oh well I still love their 12 hour tinted bb cream!

Thank you so much for this thorough review and swatches!

I haven’t found my HG foundation yet, but I’m still searching. I would like to give this Tarte foundation a try.
My skin type is different from yours though. I have some uneven skintone, but I also need good coverage for my acne. Not sure if the thin foundation liquid would be enough coverage for me.

No problem! It is medium to medium-full coverage – not entirely full, but it’s definitely not sheer!

I just purchased this last Saturday at Sephora. I saw that it had good reviews, including yours, Christine. I’ve only worn it once (on vacation this week). I got Fair Neutral which is the lightest, but when I wear TD or ZO sunscreen, my neck has a lighter (read: whitish) hue. It blended perfectly. Wore it yesterday and the finish is lovely with a light to medium coverage. Within 4 hours it had slipped into lines, but not as bad as Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue or Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water. After 8 hours, I noticed there was no more slippage and it still covered beautifully. It never settled into my pores. I’m hopeful this will be a great foundation through the warmer days ahead.

Ooh, good to hear that it wore so well after that initial issue! Fingers crossed it keeps working out for you, CeCe!

This review is very detailed, and I like how much positive feedback this foundation has been getting! I ordered it for some time ago and am waiting for it to arrive, I am so excited! I have never fallen in love with a foundation before, but I almost fell in love just by watching reviews on it.

I have not yet gone out to buy the foundation because I am very worried about the coverage. It says full coverage but the consistency is thin. I have freckles and was wondering if it covers up marks like that. (BTW you look beautiful with or without foundation.)

It’s medium to full coverage, but it isn’t like BAM! full coverage with a tiny dot of foundation. If you want full coverage all over, I’d probably go for another formula. If you want at least medium coverage that you can build to full, you might like this.

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