I'm going to go ahead and start this review with the bottom line. You do NOT want this product if:
- You have fair skin.
- You have dark skin.
- You have dry skin.
- You have cool-toned skin.
- You want this product to actually work as a primer.
- You have significant complexion imperfections.
I'm going to go ahead and guess that most of you probably fit into at least one of those categories. So, really, y'all can probably just close this review now and go on your merry way, content in your decision not to buy this product.
This product is a twist-up tube that looks like a classed-up version of a push-pop. In a loading-screen-esque wheel, it contains two chunks of "color correcting" product, a green and a purple.
So, green and purple do actually color-correct. Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever fingerpainted should be aware, green + purple = brown. So, if you blend this product, it won't color correct. You could, hypothetically, use this product to color correct if you selectively put the green half on any redness you have and selectively put the purple anywhere that leans yellow. However, Tarte has made no indication that this is their intention, and I've seen no reviews or tutorials that have mentioned anything on that topic. I think Tarte just kind of went, "If one color-correcting product is good, two must be better!" without giving the way that color correction actually works any thought.
The two larger wedges of product in the wheel are orange. This is the "fair", the lightest shade. The lightest that this product goes is "carrot".
The thing about this that is so disappointing is that I know that Tarte knows that fair ladies exist. They make relatively fair foundation shades. If MAC made this product, I could just shrug my shoulders, content in the knowledge that people who make MAC foundations have never seen anyone with light skin. But, Tarte knows better.
The darkest shade, called "Deep", sadly, is also in the "tan person" range. If you have dark skin, then, this is also not for you. On the bright side, if you are a medium-ly tan person with warm-toned skin, you can probably find a "good enough" match.
When I try to use the product on its own, it looks terrible because it is the complete wrong color. I end up with an orange face, but all my yucky skin stuff still pokes through. All it really does is make it so that my face does not match my body. In that way, it's like the opposite of color-correction. (I have seen a lot of reviews do really weird mental gymnastics to forgive this problem. E.g. "Oh, it's nice that it makes it look like I have a little bit of a tan!")
What's worse, the texture is really unpleasant and dry. I have oily skin and it was dry and patchy on me. If you have dry skin, I can only imagine the train-wreck it would be. It created additional unevenness on my skin by really emphasizing the parts of my face that were drier. There are lots of products that also give a matte finish and look ten million times better.
That problem carries over if you try to use it as a primer, as well. Perfectly nice foundation can look patchy because the "primer" below it is patchy.
I also did a quick test to see if it actually extended the life of my foundation. I used Tarte's Amazonian Clay Foundation in Ivory, which is one of my favorite foundations when I have a little bit of a tan (it's too dark at the moment!). Here's how the two foundation swatches looked at the start of the day:
|No primer, primer|
Here's how they looked at the end of the day:
In other words, exactly the fucking same. The primer didn't do shit.
In summary, I hate everything about this product. (Well, except the fact that the packaging is matte. That looks kind of nice.) On me, it does nothing it promised and, indeed, makes everything worse. Tarte is a good brand that makes lots of good stuff. That's why I know that they can make something a million times more awesome than this dry, orange stick.
The Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer retails for $34 for 0.51oz, or $66.67 per ounce.