Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation and Aquacealer Concealer: For a Complexion as Smooth as the Smoothest Seashell

Published in: Face, Guest Post, Tarte

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Buffing in Tarte’s Water Foundation and Aquacealer Concealer

If there’s one piece of mythical holy grail makeup that I’m basically always on a mission to find, it’s The Perfect Foundation. Although I’m not one to buy several different foundations at once, I do delight in testing new formulas whenever I finish one (you’ll almost never catch me using the same foundation twice).

Formulas are always described as being “out of this world,” and in many cases I think they actually are quite innovative. That’s one of the things that excites me about foundation. On top of that, a great foundation and concealer can make all the difference in the world to really set off your makeup.


The new Tarte Rainforest of the Sea collection includes two fabulous, unique base makeup formulas with their Water Foundation and Aquacelaer concealer.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation and Aquacealer Concealer

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation and Aquacealer Concealer

First, Tarte Water Foundation ($39 for 1 fl oz. bottle) will have you ready for summer fun in the sun because it contains SPF 15.

I tend to apply additional sunblock products beneath my foundations, even the ones that have SPF, because you can never be too careful with your skin, but it’s also a relief to know that my base products also have me covered (ha, see what I did there?) when.

Although the formula is full coverage, Water Foundation contains as much as 20% water, which is meant to hydrate skin while also covering redness, blemishes, unevenness and dark spots. The applicator (shown down below on the left) is a pipette-style dropper that picks up a fair amount of product from the bottle. One “pump” of the dropper sufficiently covers my full face, but I find that it works best when I put one full pump on the back of my hand first, and then pick the product up with a brush from there to blend on my face.

As for Tarte Aquacealer Concealer ($26 for a 0.34 fl oz. bottle), the luminous and creamy formula is like a serum in that it feels emollient while blending and sets to an incredibly hydrating, refreshing finish, particularly around my under-eye area.

Formulated to conceal and brighten under the eyes, as well as cover blemishes and a whole gamut of other skin concerns, Aquacealer is a high-coverage workhorse when it comes to hiding skin unmentionables.

And I love the GIANT doe-foot applicator! I mean, seriously, it’s like Tarte took a growth ray to one of your favorite lip gloss applicators and grew it threefold! Why aren’t all concealers equipped with this kind of doe foot?!

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation and Aquacealer Concealer Applicators

The formula (below on the left) isn’t quite as runny and watery as the foundation (below on the right). The texture and formula remind me of MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, while the foundation’s formula reminds me of Armani’s high end Maestro formula. 

Maestro is known for its silky smooth formula and the way that it sort of evaporates to leave pigment behind without any of the thickness I sometimes associate with foundations, and Tarte Water Foundation is similarly water-ful and evaporates in a similar way. It almost feels like you aren’t wearing anything at all once it’s applied.

The downside to this, though, is that you need to work quickly. I’ve tested it with a Beauty Blender as well as the Tarte Double-Ended Foundation Brush, and with either application method, it tends to dry down and oxidize very quickly, leaving you with little time to blend. So move quickly, mermaids!

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Aquacealer Concealer in Light and Light Medium, Water Foundation in Light Medium Beige, Light Medium Honey and Light Medium Neutral

Now, to get down to the nitty-gritty, because I bet you’re now wondering, “Alright, Jessica, that’s all great, but how do these wear?”

In a word: great! I get over 12 hours of wear time out of both of them, and that includes standing up to the demands of a busy working mom. My one complaint (if you can call it that?) is how quickly they dry down.

I don’t like heavy foundations, so I usually blend a small amount of foundation around my entire face to ensure light, yet even, coverage of my complexion and problem areas, and my general application technique just doesn’t work with Tarte Water Foundation because of how quickly it sets.


So, I find myself applying more than I generally would, and perhaps because of this, I find that Water Foundation draws a bit more attention to my dry spots than I would like. Thankfully, I’m able to buy myself a bit more application time if I apply it over a primer.

Tarte Aquacealer Concealer is the true star among the two products, in my humble opinion. Emollient, moisturizing and somehow highlighting without being over the top, it’s already become an integral part of my daily base makeup routine.

The strong scent may put off some makeup lovers, but it fades away as Aquacealer sets.

Just curious, but who makes your favorite foundation applicator? I think this is probably a question that a lot of makeup lovers have a strong opinion on.

Jessica Revitte

Jessica is a Project Manager by day and a mommy, soon to be wife, avid reader and makeup lover in the in between times that really count. You may remember her from her former beauty blog, Getting Cheeky. Jessica is stepping out of beauty blogging “retirement” as a creative outlet and is eager to write about makeup, once again bringing her signature cultural, literary and historical twist to the table. See what she’s been up to these days, with and without makeup, on Instagram.


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So far, 23 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Lulle says:

    The foundation sounds similar to Dior Nude Air Serum foundation! Did you try that one? Would you know how they compare?
    Lulle recently posted … HAND, the happy natural brand!

    • Jessica Revitte says:

      Oh rats, I’m sorry I haven’t tried that one! I will say that this is less watery than I expected it to be. When all is said and done it does have a relatively “traditional” formula.


  2. Alison M says:

    I’m a big fan of Cover FX brushes – the buffing brush is nice and small so it’s great for liquid foundations. The cream foundation brush is perfect for thicker cream formulas. I recently (in January) picked up the bdellium Tools 958 because I missed having a really good duo fiber option and love it!

    It’s been a hot minute since I used Tarte foundations, but this new one makes me want to revisit the shade selections!
    Alison M recently posted … Dry Skin Beauty Favorites

    • Jessica Revitte says:

      I LOVE Cover FX brushes, they’re so great!

      This is worth a swatch, but I think Sephora may also be offering samples at checkout as well?


  3. Barb says:

    I love the Tarte airbrush finish foundation brush. It’s definitely my go to. If that’s unavailable I use a beauty blender. My all time favorite foundation is the Estée Lauder double wear foundation. I love it. It gives me the coverage I need without looking like I’ve got a ton of makeup on. I just bought a bunch of rainforest Tarte products and was eyeing the foundation but passed. Maybe I’ll go back and give it a whirl.

    • Jessica Revitte says:

      You know, I’ve heard people rave about Estée Lauder double wear for YEARS and I’ve never tried it, maybe I’ll need to ask for a generous sample next time I visit Sephora. I just ordered Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation and I’m eager to give that a shot.


      • Amy says:

        Oh Jessica – Please report back on the Magic Foundation! I’ve been eyeing that one! I tried the new Tarte foundation, but it’s a little dark on me even using the lightest shade.


      • Hazel says:

        ooh girl, lemme tell u!

        the estee lauder DW is easy to blend, lasts all day, doesn’t transfer, and feels lightweight. cons are that there’s no pump or it’s not in a squezable tube so it’s easy to pour out more than you want. and, if you’re not properly moisturized/and or haven’t exfoliated, your dryness shows.

        too bad i’m returning it tomorrow, wish i got a sample first. i guess my skin became dry, due to weather and my cleanser, and your skin changes every 7 years. i gotta take care of my skin first. would love this tho if my skin was still oily 🙂

  4. Amber says:

    Initially I wasn’t all that interested in this set, only because serum foundations don’t usually work on my skin. After your (great, thorough) review, I am thinking I need to at least get a sample to try. Tarte has released SO many great new products this Spring. My wallet is crying haha!

    • Jessica Revitte says:

      Thank you, Amber! What really struck me is that I expected this to be a serum but it’s really not. It comes out relatively fluid but blends and dries down to a more traditional finish. You may like it! 🙂


  5. Fran says:

    I’ve been thinking of trying this, but I need base products that contain mineral sunscreen and are fragrance-free. I can’t tell from Sephora’s web site what sunscreens are used in the foundation (found the info on Tarte’s site: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide — good). It looks like the fragrance is from “gardenia tahitensis flower extract” in both the foundation and the concealer; I don’t know if they put it in for the fragrance or for some other reason, but most things that smell good irritate my skin (because of my rosacea), so I may have to skip this. Bummer!

  6. Erin says:

    I’m hoping they will have one that is light enough for me.
    Erin recently posted … Play by Sephora

  7. CrystalCandy says:

    I’m surprised that the foundation is full coverage, for some reason I was expecting a very sheer coverage like MAC Studio Waterweight1
    CrystalCandy recently posted … OPI New Orleans Collection

    • Jen says:

      I have tried it, and the last thing I would call it is full coverage. I normally wear MUFE Ultra HD and it took three layers of this to get that level of coverage. Also, when I used the color correcting palette, foundation and concealer one day, my face looked bare by lunch and I used primer, powder and setting spray. IMO, after using everything in the line, the lipsticks and eyeshadow palette are the only things worth buying from this collection unless you like very sheer coverage.

      • Lauren Yorio says:

        I would agree this is not at all a full coverage foundation. I previously used Kat Von D’s Lock It Foundation- now that is full coverage. I’d say you could build this up to a medium coverage but not full. It took 3 layers just to cover up a little bit of redness on my cheeks. Maybe if you have perfectly clear skin this might seem like a full coverage but for me it doesn’t even come close. The watery consistency can also be really messy.

    • Jessica Revitte says:

      Perhaps it’s a matter of opinion? For me this is definitely a full coverage foundation. It’s thick, doesn’t blend like a serum or liquid based foundation and dries down to a traditional demi matte finish.

      Foundation can be like perfume, I think, and ultimately one (wo)man’s full coverage may be light for someone else? I suppose it depends on your skin’s needs. 🙂 The best way to figure out how you feel about it is to snag a sample, I think.


  8. Lara says:

    I have been so intrigued to try this foundation out. I do have oily skin and it makes me worried that it might not hold up. Glad to hear it was great for 12 hours!

  9. The way you describe the concealer it really sounds awesome! And woah yeah, that is one big-ass applicator 🙂
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Travel | Food and eating out in Japan

    • Jessica Revitte says:

      Oh em gee the doe foot applicator is freaking amazing. I don’t know why more companies haven’t thought of this, because generally even concealers that come with a doe foot have a small doe foot.


  10. Valerie says:

    I need to try this foundation! I usually use powder foundations on my oily skin, but, it’s difficult to find fair/cool (even in the new Tarte powder foundation). I’ll test this one out over the weekend. Thanks!

  11. Chris25 says:

    I can see how the quick drying time could be problematic, but it sounds like there is a nice pay off in the end. Overall, it definitely sounds like it’s worth checking out.
    Chris25 recently posted … Review: CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation in Golden Tan

    • Jessica Revitte says:

      I’m used to tinted moisturizers and serum foundations, too, so I sort of felt like I kept running out of time! Otherwise, it wears very nicely. 🙂


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