Tarte Hybrid Gel Foundation Hype?

I’ve been meaning to post this for weeks now, but I keep discovering more and more about this product. As you may have seen Tarte released a new Double Duty Beauty line with lipsticks, eye shadows, foundations and more. I mentioned in my Sneak Peek post I recently decided to try out the new Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation since it was recommended for dry skin types. Want to know if this is worth it or totally hyped up? Keep reading to find out more about my experience! Or skip to the bottom (it’s a wordy post)… I included a video review!

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I bought the shade Light Neutral online as a guesstimate and luckily it wound up matching my skin pretty decently. I do think I would be a shade between this one and the next lighter one down, which I believe is Light Sand. The Light Neutral would be perfect if I had a little more coloring ha! A lot of other reviewers, who have paler skin than myself, had a hard time finding a good match. Most said the fairest shade was too dark for them, so I would highly suggest going into the store to test it out first.

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Upon first opening it comes in a luxurious, sturdy, frosted glass jar with a reflective gold lid featuring a purple zig zag pattern on the side (which is pictured above in the box, and in the picture prior.) It’s very pretty but very impractical. There will be no traveling with this foundation not only because the jar is so heavy, but also because the rest of the packaging itself. It will, however, look very nice on display!

When you open the lid there is a plastic covering you peel back to get to the product. Normally I would discard this piece and it would be fine, but this foundation is super messy. So in efforts to keep it in the jar I’ve kept the plastic lid, which isn’t exactly convenient. Due to its consistency, the foundation gets everywhere when trying to close the lid, especially when replacing the plastic protector. It is impossible to close the jar and not get this stuff everywhere. Not only is it messy, but I found that the foundation actually dried out around the edges where it overflowed. So I keep the plastic over it as a precaution to not have all my foundation dry out. Cause ya never know!

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The formula is a true hybrid as the name suggests, since it is like a gel but also a mousse, yet also very creamy. It is almost impossible to describe. As most reviewers will tell you, a little goes a long way. That’s an understatement. I find you have to use even less than what you believe to be “a little.” If you apply too much it never seems to blend and you are left with streaks of foundation on your face. Even with just a small amount I find that it looks kind of streaky when first applied. Oddly enough it seems to look better as time progresses.

They sell a separate foundation brush and spatula combo (double duty beauty duh) for this specific foundation. Let me mention that I have been using my Real Techniques Buffing Brush (which I will delve into in a second…) I also have been using a tiny spatula to scoop out some product instead of dipping my brush, or my hands, directly into the foundation. I received one with my Erase Paste but have never used it with that ever, and it is small enough as to not scoop out too much product.

Now for my Real Techniques Buffing Brush… I have not had a problem with this brush until now. I also would have never realized it if I hadn’t tried it with a Beauty Blender. I actually hate using a Beauty Blender cause it gets dirty and gross and I just can’t deal. But using it with this foundation actually made me not call it quits on this stuff. It applied much less streaky and didn’t look cakey. It was a very light application though, so I had to go over it several times to provided me with the coverage I was looking for. With that said it’s definitely better than my RT brush, which gives me hope that I can love this foundation!

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Top is one swipe, Bottom is blended out

As I mentioned earlier, if too much is applied it just slides around your face looking streaky. It is best to start off with too little and build it up. I actually found it looked better without a primer. With a primer it sits on top of the skin for a very long time and is easily transferred, even when set. Without a primer it absorbs into the skin, which isn’t as terrible as it sounds. Ultimately I do use primer, because I want it to last as long as possible on my face.

With that said it doesn’t wear very long at all. Whether setting it with powder or not, after a few hours I wound up being kind of shiny on my forehead and chin, and it was practically non existent on my nose. As I mentioned I have dry skin, so I was hoping not to have to use a drying powder since that seems to counteract all that this foundation promises… radiant skin. In reality you have to set this, or expect your foundation to be everywhere but your face. Even after setting it, it does not last for 12 hours. I noticed with a primer it lasts a wee bit longer, but without one after a few hours you can see a noticeable lack of coverage.

Also most reviewers say it doesn’t cling to their dry patches. Well I hate to say that it does. On some parts of my face it actually made my skin look dryer than it was, which I thought to be very odd. One time (I believe it was the time I applied too much product and a primer,) it made the area around my mouth so dry that I looked like I had very deep laugh lines. Honestly every time I try this foundation it is different, so I feel like I can’t formulate a consistent opinion still!

Overall PROS:

  • Feels very nice on the skin
  • Luminous finish, not exactly dewy, but radiant as it suggests
  • Has a lovely rose scent, which eventually fades
  • Has great coverage, once built
  • Makes your skin look amazing in photographs… AHHMAAAZING
  • Didn’t oxidize on my skin, and the color matched pretty decently

Overall CONS:

  • Wipes right off my face
  • Does indeed cling to dry patches despite what people say
  • Looks cakey if too much is applied
  • Looks like you are wearing heavy foundation close up
  • Isn’t very long wearing
  • Packaging is cumbersome and very messy

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Now I have tried this multiple ways at this point, over the course of a few weeks! I have used different primers, no primer at all, different powders to set it, no powders at all… and still have not found a good combination. Each time I get vastly different results. The only consistent outcome is that it wipes off fairly easily. Don’t even think about touching your face, wearing glasses, sneezing… I had asked for suggestions on how to keep this from happening, and Tarte’s response was to use their new Confidence Creamy Powder Foundation to set it. Now that’s great and all and maybe works, but I’m not buying another foundation to set my foundation. Maybe it’s just me, but that is just ridiculous.

I’m still torn on whether or not this foundation is worth it. I actually like the finish more after it sinks into the skin a bit, which can take some time. I really like the way my skin looks about an hour into wearing it, but then about two hours after that point I lose a lot of coverage. I have yet to try using a finishing spray so perhaps that may be the key. I really just want to love this foundation because of the beauty benefits it promotes and how amazing it looks in photographs. I just haven’t found a way to make it work for me yet…

Thanks for reading my long, torn opinion of the new Tarte Double Duty Beauty product! OR if you just skipped it and wanted to hear me blab on camera about basically the same points, I leave you with this video!

Has anyone tried the Hybrid Gel Foundation? What are your thoughts or tips for this product?

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