To quote (and then paraphrase) the great Sade, “No need to ask,
he’s [she's] a smooth operator.” Except her charms aren’t working on me.
The new Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Eye Base ($22) may be a touch too light for this brown girl, but lighter lasses, listen up. This pretty pink primer just might shine for you.
The warm yellow undertones in my skin don’t agree with Smooth Operator (it turns gray on me), but that shouldn’t happen if you like the way you look in shades of cool-toned pink.
Released as a QVC (yep, that QVC) exclusive last December, Smooth Operator Eye Base looks to me like a hybrid of two other products, Benefit Eye Bright Pencils and Urban Decay Primer Potion. It combines the light pink color of Eye Bright with UDPP’s fluffy, smooth texture.
Tarte refers to it as a brightening eyeshadow base designed to prevent shadows from smudging and creasing, and increase how long they last on the skin.
As you can from the name, its claim to fame is the Amazonian clay it contains, which Tarte claims has “intuitive” properties. They say it’s able to adjust to the wearer’s skin. If need be, it’ll hydrate dry spots into nonexistence, or absorb oily patches to eliminate shine.
Now that’s some smart clay.
A lot of beauty products contain clays, one of the most common of which nowadays is a type called kaolin. It’s known for being highly absorbent, which makes it perfect for products like this one that are designed to both retain (and deposit) moisture, and absorb oil.
Kaolin Fun Facts — The clay is also used to manufacture paper products, and also in organic farming, where it’s used as an earth-friendly pest deterrent.
So does it work?
Well, it’s tough to say. I’m disappointed that the color of the product doesn’t work for me (seriously, the gray makes me look like a zombie ), and that could be clouding my judgment, but I wore it around the house anyway to get to the bottom of this so-called Amazonian Clay.
Swatch on NC35 skin
On NW20 skin
Smooth Operator did a pretty good job of keeping my powder shadows in place and also prevented creasing and color loss, but I didn’t really see or feel a significant difference on my oily spots or dry areas.
Tarte claims the product’s waterproof, but I dunno about that… I tested some on the back of my hand, expecting it to last through a few hand washes (Urban Decay Greed does), but it came off after just one rinse.
I was also hoping it would ramp up the color intensity of my eyeshadows in much the same way as my current eye primer love, NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, but I didn’t notice much of a difference. Admittedly, it’s hard to look past the annoying gray cast…
All told, I like Smooth Operator Eye Base and give it a few points for its cruelty-free list of ingredients, smooth texture, cute packaging (love the included doe foot applicator) and ease of use, but I’m not really sold on the color or the clay.
And the shade restricts its usefulness to lighter lovelies and/or gals who wear cool-toned pinks well.
AVAILABILITY: Exclusively at qvc.com
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B-
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,