Four Quick Looks at New Face Products from MAC, Stila and Tarte

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

Can I get a HOLLA from my on-the-go girls? Why does it seem like there’s never enough time for, well, anything? If “summarize it” is your mantra, I got yo’ back, holmes. Here are four lickity split looks at new face products from MAC, Stila and Tarte.


Shade: NC 35

I really wanted to love MAC Mineralize SPF 15, the company’s latest foundation. It blew me away with its creamy, weightless formula, soft focus finish and medium coverage. My combination dry/oily skin couldn’t wait to give it a try.

But, alas, it breaks me out like a mo’ fo’…

Some ladies love it, though, so I’d say it’s worth a try if your skin plays well with other MAC foundations. Performance-wise, it’s great stuff, offering buildable coverage that doesn’t settle into fine lines. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B+

Shade: Agent 14

When Tarte re-packaged their oil-free Smooth Operator line, they were cool enough to spruce it up with five new shades.

I’ve been wearing sheer Agent 14 on the weekends (I love the names; they also have Agents 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 00). It’s a lightweight tinted moisturizer with just a hint of color, but it still manages to eliminate any redness I might have while evening out my skin tone.

It’s a little expensive, but you get a lightweight, natural look that l a s t s. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

Shade: Honey 12

Top your Smooth Operator with this pressed powder for a faboo “non-makeupy” makeup look. I like that it doesn’t settle into pores or fine lines, earning a big fat YAY from this 30-something gal.


I also like how light it feels on my skin and that the finish doesn’t look cakey… But TOO BAD it isn’t cheaper. Come on, Tarte! 😑 Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

Shade: Tan

Now, I’m up for anything that saves me time (since time is of the essence), and Stila One Step Foundation does just that, combining the benefits of a primer, foundation, concealer and powder. A little bit of this light mousse (so smooth!) goes a long way, and it does a super job of standing up to water and sweat. Unfortunately, it also seeks out larger pores and acne scars, where it makes itself at home (drawing attention to ’em), gah! I don’t think I have the skin to really take advantage of this, but you might give it a try if you have skin that’s in tip-top shape. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Ohh.. sorry to hear the new MAC foundation breaks you out!! I was contemplating trying it out too, but now I probably won’t because I’m too scared. MAC Studio Fix Fluid breaks me out really bad, but Studio Sculpt and Face & Body foundation seem alright with my skin =)
    .-= Princesa Livia’s last blog post… MAC Rhapsody in Two, Two Virtues & Thoughts on Spring Colour Forecast & Too Fabulous Collections! Γ’β„’Β₯ =-.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve heard great things about Face & Body (my BFF loves it). One of these days I’ll get around to picking it up!

      Hope you’re having a lovely Friday. πŸ™‚

  2. Nina says:

    Love the Chanel-esque packaging on the Tarte Pressed Mineral Powder. But what caught my eye in this quartet is the Tarte Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer.

    As Houston weather grows warmer, I actually move away from foundations and into tinted moisturizers. Im almost out of my Stila TM (I also use it during weekends instead of doing foundation) and I think im going to give the Tarte TM a go! πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      I really like it a lot. It’s so light that I can barely feel it on, and my skin doesn’t feel suffocated!

      How’s the weather out your way? Has it gotten any better over the last few days? The rain’s finally let up over here, but it’s still overcast.

      • Nina says:

        We had two or three rainy days this week but the temperatures have been in the 40s in the morning and 60s in the afternoon.

        Its usually warm-ish until 4 pm …. then the temp starts dropping. I hope for prettier days for both of us.

        Cool news about the Tarte TM … I think im going to try that for sure!!!

      • Karen says:

        60s!! That’s downright balmy!

        Do you live near a Sephora? You might want to get a sample first… the coverage is pretty sheer, but you can build it up.

        • Nina says:

          Not close to the house but there’s one thats drive-able from the office. I also pass it on my way home so its going to be easy to stop by and grab a sample. Ill do that for sure.

          Its chilly but sunny today — perfect walking weather!!!

        • Karen says:

          Ooh, that’s tempting. I have one within driving distance and it’s a miracle I’m not there every day, LOL!

  3. Vonvon says:

    Would love to try Tarte products some day!
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… Busy Day Ahead……. =-.

  4. Janelle says:

    My pores are too big for Stila, too. πŸ™ I never thought I would be a foundation kind of girl, but I’m actually really loving a Bare Minerals matte foundation sample that I got because it’s so fast to apply and has great natural coverage!

  5. HC says:

    Since there’s SPF in the tarte tinted moisturizer, will flash photog reflect off of it?
    .-= HC’s last blog post… Sharpie, the new eyeliner??! =-.

    • Karen says:

      I took some pics with the Tarte TM and pressed powder combo above last week and they turned out really nice. I didn’t have any white cast issues at all. The only thing is if you want lots of coverage for pics, this is probably not your best bet, as it’s very sheer and natural.

  6. AO says:

    I am trying the MAC Mineralize SPF 15 foundation today for the first time. I am waiting to see if it breaks me out like a mo-fo as well. “sigh”

  7. Steph B says:

    How does the Tarte tinted moisturizer compare in coverage and feel with the Laura Mercier?

    • Emily says:

      I’m interested in the same!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Steph and Emily,

      It’s slightly thinner in texture so it absorbs faster, and the color
      is about half as sheer.

      I also feel like Laura’s has a slightly “wetter” look.

      And even though Laura’s feels pretty lightweight, Tarte’s feels lighter, like I’m not wearing anything at all.

  8. Kizzy-online says:

    Aww….MAC Mineralize broke you out? Im afraid to use it now. My skin is very sensitive….

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, it wasn’t pretty. I’ve been in Benzoyl Peroxide overdrive for the past few days.

      Have you worn MAC foundations before? If you’ve had luck in the past you’ll probably be ok.

  9. marisol says:

    I like the Tarte packaging. I wonder what it is about MAC foundations that makes people break out. I don’t break out using thing but it seems everyone I know does.
    .-= marisol’s last blog post… Beauty makes people come together =-.

  10. I wonder how much Tarte spends developing and producing their packaging, because it’s always ridiculously cute πŸ™‚

  11. Aw, it’s too bad that the MAC Mineralize SPF15 broke you out. I got this recently and have only used it once with no problems yet. Hoping it stays that way! πŸ™‚
    .-= SoVeryFabulous’s last blog post… 5 February Favorites =-.

  12. Sarahc says:

    That Tarte Pressed Powder has the cutest packaging! I so want that, and it’s not terribly expensive, I mean for what it is.

  13. DanielleO says:

    You’ve intrigued me with the Tarte TM. I’m currently using Stila, but have noticed that as the day goes by my face starts feeling and looking greasy.

    I remember you like the DuWop Foundation of Youth too… how does it compare with Tarte?

  14. Sylvie says:

    Hm, I just tried Stila’s One Step foundation at Ulta today and you’re right, whoever is willing to spend $44 on foundation better have already decent or fitting skin for it. I have about the same skin type as you and I didn’t think Stila’s new one would work for me either. It kind of felt like a chalkeir version of Smashbox primer, which has its good and bad qualities!

  15. Samantha says:

    That powder is too cute! I use Benefit “Hello Flawless!” primarily as a mattifying [is that even a word?] powder because it can be worn lightly and is never cakey. It’s $4 more, and although it has no effect on the product, the little design around the label begins to rub off after a bit, which bugs the little packaging OCD part of me. How does the Tarte powder compare in texture and finish? If it’s good, I might buy it and use “Hello Flawless!” as just a foundation from now on. The packaging is almost enough to sway me.

  16. Emily says:

    Oooh, I’ve been wanting to try out Tarte! I also have not yet tried tinted moisturizer, but I like how the tinted moisturizer has spf, so maybe I will pick it up for warmer weather! πŸ™‚
    .-= Emily’s last blog post… Tarina Tarantino at Sephora: Accessories =-.

  17. yasmin says:

    Hey Karen, I know this might be a crazy question, but it has been on my mind and the Stila thing made me think of it again…if you were in a situation where you knew you would be sweating a LOT but also that your picture would be taken, and you wanted to look natural but not disgusting…what would you wear?

    The specific situation, if you haven’t already guessed…childbirth. I know there are *way* more important things to worry about but that “first picture” just after the baby is (hopefully relatively painlessly, LOL) born is one that I want to look somewhat human in…Am thinking some sort of long-wearing foundation, waterproof mascara, blush/bronzer of some sort, and some chapstick…any suggestions or comments??

  18. Arleen says:

    Hi Karen! I feel like you and I have the exact same skin color (I use MAC NC35, too!) and I absolutely love Studio Tech is NC35, I break out a lot and I’m actually on a few prescriptions right now, but Studio Tech is the only make-up that looks natural, makes my skin look dewy and even and actually covers up the acne and scars. A few negatives about it: doesn’t last all day and has no sun protection. Will you tell me what your absolute favorite foundation is? Thanks! Love your blog!

  19. I’m really excited about the oil-free tint! I have been looking for a great lightweight something something to put on my face when I’m on the way to the grocery store and want to keep it easy! I appreciate all the dedication to this blog, thanks!

  20. Jayne says:

    Hi Karen,

    We are just about to get some Stila one step for our UK customers so your review is very helpful and appreciated xx
    .-= Jayne’s last blog post… RoC Skin Care Roc Multi Correxion Eye Cream Review =-.

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