Oil Doesn’t Stand a Chance Against Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation with SPF 15

Published in: Face, Makeup, Product Reviews, Tarte

tarte amazonian clay full coverage foundation (2)

The Amazon is a vast tropical river basin filled with astonishing animals and prehistoric plants. Freaky!


But apparently the clay there only comes in eight different shades… πŸ™‚

Tarte recently released a new foundation to go with their new Maracuja Divine Shine Lip Glosses, Amazonian Clay Blushes, Maracuja Blush & Glows and Bright Side eye brightener, and like some of their other products, it contains Amazonian clay.

tarte amazonian clay full coverage foundation (3)

Available now at Sephora stores and sephora.com, new Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage foundation with SPF 15 ($38) comes in a modest eight shades.

The foundation has been one of the things I’ve been really looking forward to trying from Tarte’s spring line, not just because it gets several five-star reviews on the Sephora website, but also because I already heart Tarte’s Smooth Operator Natural Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 and their Pressed Powder.

Tarte says that adaptability makes Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage special. Designed for all skin types, it’s supposed to hydrate dry patches on the skin while simultaneously absorbing excess shine and oil.

This, I figured, had the makings of a major win!

My main concern? — would I be able to find a matching shade?

Well, not exactly… Tan, the shade that comes closest to my NC 42 skin, isn’t a perfect match. It’s a tad too light and peachy, and consequently looks a little ashy on me, but I still wanted to test the product’s other claims, so I wore it around the house.

Ingredients in Tan: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Mica, Dimethicone, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phytantriol, Hexyl Laurate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Sodium Chloride, Hexylene Glycol, Lysine, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Nylon-12 Fluorescent Brightener 230 Salt, Polyvinylalcohol Crosspolymer, Kaolin, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Potassium Sorbate, Iron Oxides.

Despite it being designed for all skin types, Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage foundation might behave better on oily skin.

On my combination of dry patches on my cheeks and oily patches on my forehead, nose and chin, I felt like Full Coverage was hungry for every molecule of moisture! — fine for my oily areas, but after wearing it for a few days, my cheeks looked like cornflake central.

And I’m not super crazy about the finish…

Sometimes, I fancy a formal, matte look like this is supposed to create, but even foundations with matte finishes should still look like real skin, and to my eye, this one falls a little flat.

Tarte also wasn’t kidding about it being full coverage because a little goes a very long way. If I accidentally apply too much, it starts to feel heavy and approaches mask-like territory.

tarte amazonian clay full coverage foundation (1)

Swatches of Medium unblended and blended on the left and Tan on the right

And then there’s the issue of wear time. Tarte claims that this should last 12 hours, but I’m lucky to get six before it starts to break up and look patchy.

While Full Coverage and I won’t be running off into the sunset together, it might be a boon for guys and dolls with extremely oily skin. But only, of course, if they’re able to find a matching shade among the line’s limited selection.


PRICE: $38
AVAILABILITY: Available now at Sephora stores and also online

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,




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So far, 30 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Elli Le says:

    People with extremely oily skin?! That’s me! πŸ˜€ I’ve been wearing this for about a week along with a primer from theBalm and MAC’s Blotting Powder to set, and I seriously love it. It’s not amazing by the end of the day … but it’s the best I’ve tried so far. The color range isn’t the best, but Medium works okay for me. πŸ™‚

  2. Nicole says:

    Hi Karen, long time lurker! Thanks for reviewing this…I’d been eyeing it for a while and have to say I’m bummed that it didn’t live up to the hype. It seems like a lot of Tarte’s newer products are falling flat.
    Thanks for the reviews from a fellow crazy cat lady!

  3. Nikki B. says:

    It’s Friday!!!!!
    okay that’s all I wanted to say πŸ™‚ lol Have a great day! And an awesome sunny weekend (it’s raining down south πŸ™ )

  4. KAREN says:

    Hi Karen!

    I got samples of this just last week and I tried it THIS very morning and ugh…. I was not pleased… I had to put another foundation over it just so i looked decent.You are right with the combo skin issue, it sits on your face, patchy and all.!!! plus, I did not think it was full coverage.
    πŸ™ such a shame because i like the consistency, feels soft and velvety… oh well…

    great review doll!!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    =) Karen

  5. Tiffany says:

    I bought this in Tan-Deep and I also thought it looked a little ashy on me (I’m NC45). I have been mixing a little drop in with my Smooth Operator tinted moisturizer and for me, it works a little better… I love the brush that comes with it, though. πŸ™‚

  6. Genevieve says:

    Thanks for the review! I’ve been wondering about this foundation, enough that I hit Sephora for a swatch mini-sesh. Tan seemed a tad too beige/light, and Tan-Deep seemed a tad too orange (I’m somewhere between nc35-40, olive with heavy golden undertones). I guess mixing the two would yield a more preferable shade for me, but since I’m lazy (with dry patches), I’ll be skipping this.

  7. I would love to try that stuff.

  8. Neeraj says:

    Hmmm…Looks nice but I dont know whether I would want to try anything full coverage until and unless I am on stage. It looks to cakey and maybe I would keep my healthy skin dewy and nice and do some smart concealing.
    I really love the Kryolan Suprafoundation palette as they are really versatile and very long lasting though it may not be good for oily skin (but hasnt given me breakouts).
    Neeraj recently posted … Peacocks and Roses! …

  9. Hmm I was getting excited about the title because one concern I have with foundation is my oily T-zone. However, since I do have normal (slightly dry because of the weather) cheeks and what not, these are probably not for me… I think anyone would have to be REALLY lucky to find an exact match in a limited shade range too. Most foundations are too pink for me, so I understand your gripe with this one!
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … FOTD: Snow Bubble Pop K-pop Inspired Look

  10. Joyce says:

    I’m not a fan of full coverage foundation because they usually look unnatural and feel too heavy for everyday. They also clog up my pores after I use it for a few a days straight. =( I much prefer to use a medium coverage foundation and then use a full coverage concealer to cover up any imperfections. =)
    Joyce recently posted … Dior Diva Club Rewards Program – FREE Beauty Products

  11. Tasha says:

    Sometime my face gets oily and sometimes it gets dry. I have tried this both during winter and summer hot and humid (while vacationing at the carribean) and its been great! It wont give u full coverage and it won’t cover imperfections. I feel like its natural looking….

    I get patchy sometimes if my face gets too dry… But other than that it’s great. no it doesn’t last 12 hours (really tarte?) but overall it’s a great foundation. I used it almost everyday. It felt so light.

  12. Kellie says:

    I didn’t like this one. It was not full coverage on me at all and the finish was so flat….I am super oily and it slid off my skin within 4 hours…not a fan!

  13. Nina says:

    this was going to be my next foundation (after i use up one bottle of mac studio fix fluid, one bottle of mac prolongwear, one bottle of mac face and body, one bottle of chanel mat lumiere and my current bottle of nars sheer glow (that im trying to use up because i dont like it!!!) …. but now im not sure. im usually NC37 in the summer and the match might be too light ….

  14. Ling says:

    Would LOVE to get my hands on some Tarte products…pity they’re not readily available in Australia
    Ling recently posted … How To : Gold & Blue Half-Moon Manicure

  15. leslie says:

    can you do a review on the bobbi brown extra repair spf25 foundation?! i hear its good but i trust you and your opinion. thanks πŸ™‚

  16. Lori says:

    I have oily skin and got this in the Light-Medium shade and it was pretty close to my skin color. Did it control the oil? Yes and no. It controlled it on my forehead and chin but the nose did look a little shiny after 3 hours of wear. My nose is super oily anyway and will shine like a beacon after one hour of wearing powder foundation (I hate liquid). I love the finish and look of this and it felt like air on my skin. This may not be for everybody but it’s a big hit with me.

  17. Maggie says:

    Hmm, I might try it out. And you looks great in yours recent pics, what foundation have u been wearing lately?

  18. Vanessa says:

    The temperature’s rising here in the Philippines so I guess I would be needing the oil absorbing powers of this foundation. Thanks for the review!

  19. Melinda says:

    I absolutely hate this foundation. It looks very cakey on the skin and even though I have oily skin after using this for a few days, my cheeks dried out so much they were starting to flake.

  20. Ambi says:

    Wow, sad to hear it doesnt live up to the tinted moisturizer. I love the previous product and was looking forward to something w/ more lasting power

  21. Lorraine ER says:

    Hey Karen!

    I wasn’t sure where to put this but I’m looking for a good concealer to use on my face and I have oily skin. The only high-end concealer I’ve tried is the Amazing cosmetics one which is good but the smaller size squeeze tube sucks. It’s super pigmented and you only need a little but but of course it squeezes out enough for three face-fulls.
    Looking online for good concealer recs it’s all about the undereye area. I really want something that looks good on my facial area…any input would be super appreciated!! I trust your opinion.


  22. Melody says:

    I really loved the Smooth Operator Tinted Moisturizer too. But even the lightest shade was really too dark and pink for me. I would powder over it with a lighter color but it never looked quite right. I’d l.o.v.e. to try this foundation but I’m afraid I’ll have the same problem. I’ll still check it next time I’m at Sephora.

  23. Sabrinna says:

    I have no idea how i missed this! been waiting for you to review this! Anyways, It could just be me, but im also NC42 like you, but i noticed im somewhere in between Tan and Tan-Deep. I can actually wear both and after an hour or so they match my skin (oxidizing i guess?) I also didnt experience the matte finish (mine looked natural and it didnt made the flaky patches around my break outs stand out!) But i can agree it didnt last long on my skin (i have oily skin, but dry skin around and on my breakouts). Im on a love-hate relationship with it right now. It does offer medium coverage (cant really say full as i still need concealer!) on me. By the way I noticed you have Medium, does medium match you or is it lighter on your skin? Thanks for the review Karen πŸ˜€

  24. Lisa Marie says:

    I got this foundation approximately three weeks ago and have been nothing but pleased and thrilled with it. I have dry cheeks and a very oily nose, chin, mouth area. I am rather fair in the winter and found light to be a perfect match. I apply about a dime sized amount with my Real Techniques buffer brush or eccotools bamboo handled kabuki brush. It aplies smooth and evenly without streaking–but it takes a bit of buffing. I either use Laura Geller Balance and Brighten or some Rice powder over it to set. It lasts 12 hours on my skin with some oil blotting needed at the 8 hour mark. It is more medium coverage in my mind. It has soothed a lot of redness my skin has and I have NO irritation. I will definitely repurchase!

  25. Ana says:

    Hmm I had been planning on trying this since I had heard good reviews and it’s finally available at ULTA (used to be only available through QVC). I use Lancome Teint Idole right now which I love and am on my fourth bottle of… so maybe I don’t really need to try this. I mostly was drawn to the full coverage claim.

  26. June says:

    Great full coverage with great staying power.Just bought my second tube! Best foundation I have ever used and I am in my 60’s!

  27. TLR says:

    I bought this over the weekend after wanting to try it forever… I will say so far I LOVE IT. It is beautiful on and I have very dry skin but I moisturize well in the morning and this stuff stays looking great till I get home… Going to have to get the concealer now! πŸ˜€

  28. TMB0324 says:

    I just bought this product last week at Ulta and so far I love it. My skin is extremely oily and I have yet to find a product that works with my oily skin. So far so good!!! I would recommend Tarte for anyone with oily skin. I want the powder but it was out of stock so hopefully they will have it soon. There are several products on the market for dry skin. We just need more products for extremely oily skin!!

  29. Michelle says:

    I have to say I hated it as well when I first used it. BUT that was my fault!! I tried applying as I do other foundations and it looked like a mask. LESS IS MORE!! You DO NOT need much. Apply with a light touch and you will love it. It’s a nice foundation for the summer. I like the way my face looked at the end of the day. My face was dewy with the oil break-thru. Not shiny.. Very nice. Also…it will last forever because you don’t need much.

  30. pak says:

    I bought this foundation thinking it was good for you because it is oil free, paraben free, etc. but what a mistake it was…haven’t had a break out since I changed my diet, but after using this product, I’ve noticed bad skin once again. Today I went to a beauty store and learned that dimeticone, an ingredient in this product causes clogged pores.I would have to constantly use my clarisonic to clean out my pores and it would dry out my skin..I’m very unhappy with this product and will be throwing it out!

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