Product Review: Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer **UPDATED 10.25.2012

Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer, 1oz., US$30.00
Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer, 1oz., US$30.00

This is my very first Tarte product. I have always wanted to try Tarte because it sounds so natural, and it’s cruelty free. The ingredients sound great too. But is it really worth the hype?

First of all, I gave up on the claims of how many hours a product can keep shine off, keep makeup in place, etc. Honestly, none of them really delivered! And I don’t even have oily skin. This claims to provide 12 hours of perfect wear time – but despite the nice ingredients list, let’s not forget that this is a silicone based product. And my experience with silicone is that it balls up, flakes and rubs off very easily, especially if you use a lotion or gel type moisturizer under, or use any base makeup on top. The first time I used this, I applied it over a light moisturizer (All Sensitive by Aveda). The texture is as you can imagine – a silicone gel much like Velvet Skin Coat from DHC (15g, CAD$25.00) – it makes my face so slick and smooth as silicones tend to feel. But the problem started when I applied a powder with a sponge – it rubbed the primer right off, along with the powder I just applied!

Here’s the thing – one should NEVER rely completely on the reviews from seller sites. This gets such great and rave reviews on Sephora (and Tarte’s site too), I had expected much more than this. This is practically not usable. Anyway, I was on a trip, so I had thrown away the packaging since the Sephora I bought this from had erroneously used the US pricing  in Vancouver. Instead of CAD$39, I paid only CAD$30, in line with its US pricing. I thought I would just keep it since I had this giddy feeling of getting a bargain(!). So I had to make this work – somehow – now that I cannot return this. I tried using this alone, or over a waterproof sunscreen (Shiseido’s) and it worked fine without rubbing off. I also used my Eco-tools powder brush instead of the latex sponge to apply my loose powder, and no more balling up and flaking.

Also, I noticed that this was marked ‘waterproof’ on the tube, though on the Sephora website this feature isn’t advertised at all. I tested this by wearing it alone, with no moisturizer or any product underneath, and hopped into the salt water pool at the hotel. I swam for half an hour. My Make Up For Ever eyeliner (Aqua Eyes) and Aqua Cream remained intact; but this primer flaked all around my jawline.

As for the pore-refining claim, I noticed no visible results. I don’t generally believe any product will actually shrink pores, but since it claims to, I have to note that in my review.

Bottom line: despite the pleasant sounding ingredients, this is a silicone based primer that can rub/flake off. It’s not waterproof, and does not shrink pores. Any giddiness I felt when I underpaid for this was gone…rather quickly…and I wish I had not wasted my money at all! Incidentally, after my flaking experience with this primer, I read many other reviewers who experienced the same. Lesson learned: always check reviews at which are unbiased!

**UPDATE: 10.25.2012

This has to be the gunkiest, heaviest primer. I hate it with a passion. Anything you put on top is overkill; on its own, it forms a thick, unbreatheable layer which you will feel all day long until you wash it off. It doesn’t hold foundation or powder in place nor does it control oiliness. So instead of being just useless, this feels highly uncomfortable and thick. I have been trying to work with this for months but I stand by my original review.


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