Hey, BB! Tarte’s BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer SPF 30 Joins a Bunch of Other BBs on Counters This Spring

Published in: Face, Skin Care, Tarte

Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12 Hour Primer SPF 30

The new Tarte BB Tinted Treatments in Fair, Light, Medium and Tan ($34 each)

BB creams have been around for years, but it seems like they’re having a moment.

The Sephora by my house even has a special section for ’em, an area dedicated to BB creams, among them the new Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm, the latest batch of 10-in-1 Beauty Balms from Stila and some older creams from Too Faced and Smashbox.


I perused shelf after shelf crowded with tubes standing at attention, each one promising some combo of sheer coverage and skin care, like anti-aging benefits, priming, moisturizing — you name it.

Tarte’s new BB Tinted Treatment 12 Hour Primer SPF 30 and its white packaging caught my eye (is that “BB” font Helvetica Neue Ultra Light?).

Most of the tubes were smeared with makeup, and dirty, and not in a dirrrrrty Christina Aguilera kind of way. Without thinking, I tried to wipe them clean with my fingers (it was one of those, “holy crap, I’m REALLY my mother’s daughter” moments), but no luck. Apparently, it was going to take a cleanser more powerful than my thumbs.

Just as a heads up, if you decide to bring one of these home, you might not be able to keep the tubes pristine for long.

The product comes in four oil-free shades with broad-spectrum SPF 30 (protects against UVA and UVB rays) — Fair, Light, Medium and Tan — each of which are $34 and can be worn as a primer beneath your regular makeup or all by themselves for light or medium coverage.

Tarte claims all of them will last 12 hours and offer a bunch of skin benefits. First, they’re supposed to be moisturizing, supposed to have anti-aging properties, supposed to diffuse the look of fine lines, and bolster skin’s elasticity.

Of the four, Tan probably comes closest to matching my NC42 skin.

Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12 Hour Primer SPF 30

Tarte BB Tinted Treatment ingredients

Tarte BB Tinted Treatment swatches

From the left: Fair, Light, Medium and Tan

I didn’t try it on my mug in the store, but based on feel of the formula in the swatches and the semi-opaque coverage, it reminded me of NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer.

The coverage definitely seemed fuller than Tarte’s Smooth Operator Tinted Moisturizer, which I’ve used before and loved for its sheer, barely-there coverage.


I also took a look at the Fair shade, the lightest of the four, which seemed to live up to its name. I’m guessing it might be popular as it’s currently sold out on Sephora’s website. If you’re very fair and have a hard time finding shades you match, it might be worth considering.

These have a subtly dewy finish to ’em — not necessarily a shimmer or shine — but just a hushed glow, so if you like the look of skin that’s not too flat or matte, you might really like these.

They seem promising. I think I may have to head back to the store this weekend to grab a sample from the nice Sephora gals (and the one lonely dude).

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 32 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Chris El says:

    I love Tarte and I can’t wait to try this. BB creams are just what I need, especially since I’m always running out the door.
    Chris El recently posted … Spring into spring with Chanel Joues Contraste Frivole! (Pictures and FOTD)

  2. Marla says:

    I have gotten burned on so many bb creams because they are always too light or too beigy pink. I’ll have to see how the Medium looks on my olive skin.

  3. Virginia says:

    I’d love to try this. I’m über fair, and too many “fair” shades have an orange tint to them.

    • Michelle says:

      Let me know how the fair shade works. I’ve been using Missha #13 BB cream and its a little too much coverage for me.

      • TrishB says:

        So there’s decent coverage with the Missha #13? I’m darned pasty, but I need heavy coverage due to severe rosacea. All of the US BB creams have been a waste of time for me.

  4. Alison M says:

    So. tempting. Why am I so drawn to face products lately?! Tan looks soooo dark compared to the Amazonian Clay Foundation. It looks like I’d be Medium rather than Tan in the BB Cream.

  5. musical says:

    I haven’t tried any of the BB creams, yet-Asian brands or local ones.Some of my gal-pals have Asian BB creams, and all of them are too light/ashy for my NC35-ish skin tone, as are most of the ones I have seen at Sephora (all of Dr. Jart’s and Dior). The rest seem to be just tinted moisturizers??! I’ll stick with Nars or Philosophy ones-the latter appears to have good deal of skin care benefits and is the only foundation/tinted moisturizer product I have ever finished a tube of).

  6. Danii says:

    Okay, I might have to grab this. tarte KNOWS how very fair some girls can be (like me, can’t find a foundation that matches well enough) and their Amazonian Clay foundation in the purple tube? Dead match at the very lightest shade. THANK YOU, tarte, for understanding that not everyone has a fake tan and will fit the orange-tones. And thank you, Karen, for the swatches and telling about the coverage. You are awesome. (And I hope Tabs is having a good kitty-modeling day.)

  7. Christina says:

    I just took a sample home yesterday from my Sephora, in Fair. I do say, it doesn’t seem to do the orange thing! So far so good…:)

  8. Denise S. says:

    I wear my Mabelline beauty balm everyday.I use it on the lower 1/2 of my face where my tone is uneven and I like it a lot since I’ve never worn foundation much this is just enough coverage for me. I’m about an NC45 and use med-deep. Tried using a Stila and Kiehl’s tinted moisturizers in medium and tan but they looked too chalky.

  9. Katherine G says:

    BB creams have been around forever…under the name “tinted moisturizer.” The Stila BB creams are identical to their old tinted moisturizers…except they maybe have a few new ingredients to make them the elusive BB cream. That said, I love the coverage of the new BB creams (I use Garnier’s in Light/Medium and love it), and I enjoy the benefits. I don’t think BB cream alone would make my skin look as good as it is now (meaning just using BB cream as my only facial product/moisturizer), but I think with those few extra ingredients that they boast they do help my skin look better than just plain foundation (although foundation is making its mark now, too).

  10. Iris says:

    Light looks like it may work for me. I like the SPF 30. I hope the finish isn’t too dewy and I’ll be able to use it without finishing powder.

  11. Lulle says:

    Considering CC creams are now all the rage in Asia, where BB creams come from, I predict that the BB cream hysteria won’t last very long here in the US. Wake me up when it’s over!
    Lulle recently posted … CoverGirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm vs Clinique Chubby Stick

  12. Kim says:

    and the BB cream craze continues! I have yet to find one that I can work with. most of them are too light or they give that white/pink overcast 🙁 such a bad look for an NC40 skin lol

  13. BeckBeck says:

    I didn’t see these at Sephora today! But that’s probably a good thing, since I *just* bought the Jane Iredale BB cream online (it arrived Wednesday). I like it so far but have only tried it for a few hours at a time – will need to see how it holds up through an 8-hour workday.

  14. These look interesting! It kinda sucks though that most BB creams, it seems, are not oil-free :/ My very oily, acne-prone skin does NOT approve!! 😛
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: NEW Lush Fair Trade Honey Shampoo Review & Pictures

  15. Julia says:

    Have you tried Urban Decay’s NAKED Skin beauty balm?

  16. Anitria says:

    I wanted to love these BB creams from Starts. They have been on QVC for a couple months now. I’m shade NC 42 in MAC as well and the tan was too orange and the medium too pink. I love the consistency just wish there was a broader color range.

  17. Krisabelle says:

    “…a hushed glow” – you are too cute, Karen! Great photography!

  18. Carolyn says:

    After reading all the hype on the internet about Tarte’s BB Primer, I ordered the Fair and Light from Sephora and have not figured out how to make this BB primer look as good as everyone claims it does! It has an odd, opaque look. I typically use almost the lightest shade of Giorgio Armani foundation, which is amazingly translucent and prettier on your skin than this product. The Fair was extremely white and the Light is entirely too dark for my skin, so I’m stuck mixing the two (if I keep it). As someone else said, it reminds me of a thick, tinted sunscreen w/o the oiliness. I have oil in the T-zone and I cannot believe how dry this makes my skin! It definitely requires the use of a moisturizer before I apply it or it looks dry and chalky. For those that want to give it a try, I saw it at Ulta, in store and online. For the person that said they have rosacea…after trying everything under the sun and Rx’s, my derm’s office sells IS Clinical (sold online, too) and it has helped tremendously. Also, figuring out your trigger foods (for me that’s certain brands of chocolate) will help. Sorry this went so long!!

    • Iris says:

      Thanks for the through overview, Carolyn. With how it dries out the skin, it may be alright or even good to use for my skin type (oily skin). Your description of the shades does cause concern. I was hopeful the shades would blend in with skin. Too bad they don’t.

      • Carolyn says:

        Iris, I wasn’t applying it correctly. I just posted an update. It should be great for oily skin. Also, once I used the right amount of product, it did blend in with my skin.

      • Tessa says:

        I do too have a problem to find my shade. The girl at Sephora and Ulta said that Light is chalky on me and medium is perfect for me. But I tried the sampler in light shade, first it looked whiter on my face but after awhile it blend to my skin color, but medium is a little bit orange on me. I think I will return my medium shade and buy the light shade. I have combination skin, oily on my T-zone and sensitive, sometimes a little bit dry on my cheek area. This cream were not make my t-zone oily and I think it’s almost smudge proof later on. I wore it this morning and still looks good on my skin this night. I hope this will help.

  19. Kim says:

    You know I’m a sucker for Tarte so I can’t wait to hear your “on face” review. 🙂

  20. Courtney says:

    I got a 4 pack sample of this from Sephora with all the colors and I loved it. It’s pretty sheer, but with concealer on my chin ( I have acne scars) and a brightener under my eyes, it looks really good. It is silky and very natural looking. I used the light, and the medium looked pretty good as well, not orange, but a bit darker. It made my pores look small too, but it didn’t cover my cheeks as well as I would like-mine are kind of patchy and red. But, it did look really nice when I applied it like this:
    -Cleaned skin with Bare Escentuals Purifying Cleanser using my Clarisonic
    -Patted on some Argan Oil
    -Use a lightly damp beauty blender and patted the BB cream on
    -Added Boing concealer on my acne scars
    -Used a bit of illuminator from Josie Marin.

    Overall I really liked it, but for everyday I think I need a bit more coverage. 🙂 It would be perfect for me if I didn’t have rosacea.

  21. Carolyn says:

    Update on my review: I gave this product another chance today and really like it a lot! I scaled way back on the amount of product I was applying, used my Beauty Blender brush (as Courtney said) and it looks completely different! Much better. Still put my Armani foundation on top of it, but don’t have to use as much foundation either. Hasn’t bothered my rosacea yet! Don’t believe it will since this is day 5 or 6 of using it. Yay! Have never used Tarte products before but now I’m a believer!

  22. Minsooky says:

    I tried a sample of this too and it’s a bit sheer…and reminds me of tinted moisturizer. Ohhh myyy goooodddd noooo! When are non-Asian companies going to realize that BB creams aren’t tinted moisturizers? >.< Guess I'll stick with Missha BB cream…
    Minsooky recently posted … Review: Lancome Noir Artliner

  23. Jennifer says:

    I haven’t tried BB Creams but if I did, I think Smashbox would be the way to go. Did you try them yet?

  24. Melissa says:

    I been wearing this bb primer and absolutely LOVE it. My skin is oily and acne prone and this leaves me with a soft natural matte finish. It gives great coverage as it blurs any imperfections and large pores while covering any redness. I suggest everyone to give it a try as it really is the best western bb cream I have every tried. Btw I use shade medium as I do with all my Tarte products and it is perfect.

  25. Rachel says:

    I absolutely love this! been wearing it (medium) for a little over a week now and i like how natural it looks on my skin. i don’t have a lot of blemishes to hide and i’m only looking to even out my skin tone all over, and this does that for me. so i’m happy with it so far =) i also have Missha M Perfect BB cream in #27, and while i like how that looks as well, it feels a bit heavy on my skin since i don’t normally wear much makeup in the first place. but i wanted to see the big hype over bb creams was that’s why i purchased. anyway, i will still sample other bb creams but so far, this tarte bb is a keeper for me!

  26. yelena says:

    did you mean to say that Medium best matches your skin tone?
    you said Tan in your post, but with your swatches, the Tan looks way too dark?

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