19 November 2011

Tarte Smooth Operator Micronized Clay Finishing Powder

Tarte has been a recent discovery of mine.  Which is funny, because it's not like Tarte is a new brand or anything.  I just sort of avoided it because I didn't think it could deliver the type of strong, long lasting color and finish of cosmetics I wanted to buy.  I've since come off that opinion quite a bit and have been thrilled with the products I've purchased from them. This product is probably my second favorite, if not favorite of the three products I own purely because it lets me go sans foundation.  Oh yeah.  Who doesn't like that boon?

From Tarte's Website - powder retainer not depicted.

The powder is translucent and has a softer, slightly less fluffy texture than MUFE HD powder, but about the same particle size as it's main ingredient is silica.  The next ingredient is kaolin, which is industry-speak for clay, which this is reported to have.  In fact, it's supposed to be Amazonian Clay, which I can't tell if it is or not because its described as kaolin and not kaolin du amazon or some other such nonsense.  So I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it is.  The next ingredient is a binder - lecithin.  Following up your binder is lysophosphatidic acid - which I presume is the PM20 (aka pore minimizer 20% - literally).  This is supposed to reduce your pore size by 20% after four weeks of daily use.  

I've only been using it for two, so I can't substantiate that claim, because without the powder on I can't really tell if my pores have shrunken by any percentage, and I'm assuming 20% shrinkage would be hard to detect in your pores prior to the four week marker.  However, with a liberal application of powder over un-made up skin I get a really nice soft focus finish.  Over foundationed skin, I get a nice soft focus finish as well, but the pore masking properties are more obvious because, well, I have foundation on.  So my pores should be more masked anyway.

In terms of actually setting my makeup - this powder is ok.  I need a fair bit on a small dense brush to set my concealer, and even then if I'm slightly heavy handed with my MAC Select Cover it can crease a tiny bit after application of powder.  You really have to buff it into the under eye area, so this powder is ok for that purpose.  MUFE HD performs a bit better for me in that respect.  However, buffed generally over the face with a MAC 109 I get a nice semi-matte finish.  Oilier areas of my face need a second pass, and it lasts about 3 hours or so before I need to touch up with a blot powder.

The only other thing worth mentioning is that you have to invert the container and tap it whilst upside down to get the product into the cap so you can apply it to your face.  This is purely because there is a single hole for the powder to escape in the middle of the plastic insert inside the powder container.  But it only takes a few taps and after a couple of uses the powder flows more freely.  If you click here, you can read how Tarte describes suggests getting the product out of the container.  However, I was not aware of this until about now, so I have no idea if the "perfect amount of powder" is actually dispensed.  So.  Just, you know, FYI.

Yes. I had to do it.  And for the record, the white guy on the bongo's kills it.  Tarte Smooth Operator Micronized Clay Finishing Powder retails for $28 at Tarte's website and on Sephora's.  Happy pore-shrinking!

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