Best tarte Foundation

Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for best tarte foundation

True to its name, foundation makeup provides a base for other cosmetics by evening out the complexion. But just as important as the pigments that hide imperfections are the ingredients and whether they suit your skin type. Tarte foundation is available in a wide selection of shades and various formulas, including liquid, powder, stick, and cream.

Tarte makes makeup and skincare products that are free of harsh ingredients, and the brand’s foundation is no exception. In addition to being made without chemicals that could cause irritation, Tarte foundation is formulated with ingredients like plant extracts, vitamins, minerals, and Amazonian clay that are beneficial to the skin. What’s more, some Tarte foundation provides the added benefit of sun protection.

Our buying guide has everything you need to know about Tarte foundation to make an informed choice. When you’re ready to buy, you’ll find our five favorite Tarte bases in the matrix above.

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Tarte foundation is made without gluten, triclosan, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, mineral oil, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances. These additives can irritate skin and cause it to look dull or dry.

Key considerations

Skin type

The best foundation for your skin type will blend well without looking heavy on the skin. The goal is to look like you have beautiful skin, not like you are wearing a lot of makeup.

Dry skin responds well to hydrating foundation that moisturizes as it covers. This type of foundation tends to include oils or other moisturizing ingredients. Liquid and stick foundation formulas work well for dry skin.

If you have oily skin, foundation that contains added moisturizers may look greasy on the skin or cause breakouts. Those with oily skin usually fare best with oil-free liquid or powder foundation.

Full-coverage or powder foundation can settle in lines and make dry patches more obvious, so it isn’t the best option for mature skin or dry skin. Stick to liquid foundation with a radiant finish if you have mature skin.

If you have normal skin and few concerns, just about any Tarte foundation will work for your skin. Choose a formula with a finish that you find most flattering.

Foundation shade

It doesn’t matter if your skin is light, medium, or deep because Tarte foundation is available in a wide range of color options. Some formulas have fewer shades, about 10 to 12, but many Tarte foundation formulas are available in 30 to 50 shades to help each customer find a perfect match.

Don’t forget to consider your skin’s undertone with selecting a shade. Tarte foundation is available with neutral, warm, and cool undertones.



Tarte makes foundation in liquid, powder, stick, and cream formulas. Liquid foundation is lightweight and easy to blend. Powder foundation can be good for oily skin or for adding extra coverage when setting liquid foundation. Stick foundation offers good coverage for dry skin and is convenient for travel. Cream foundation offers the most coverage for a truly flawless face. Tarte also makes tinted moisturizers for those who prefer sheer coverage with SPF.


Tarte makes foundations that offer sheer, light, medium, or full coverage. While some formulas like tinted moisturizers and powder foundations are best for sheer to light coverage, keep in mind that Tarte foundations are also buildable, which means you can adjust the coverage level to suit your needs.


It’s Tarte’s natural ingredient that make the brand’s foundation formulas stand out. Here are some of the key ingredients and what they can do for your skin:

  • Amazonian clay clarifies skin and minimizes oil for extra staying power.
  • Plant extracts and oils soothe irritation, reduce inflammation, and moisturize.
  • Pigmented minerals provide natural, lightweight color and coverage.
  • Vitamin A locks in moisture and tackles signs of aging.
  • Vitamin E protects skin and minimizes inflammation.
  • Marine plant extracts hydrate and plump to soften and improve mature skin.


Do you prefer a foundation with SPF? Several Tarte foundation products contain sun protection ranging from SPF 15 to 20.

Expert Tip


Makeup sponges: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
Applying and blending foundation is easier with a quality makeup sponge. These sponges from Real Techniques earn praise for how evenly they smooth on foundation without soaking up too much product.

Concealers: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer
Foundation doesn’t always cover up every flaw, making it necessary to apply a concealer. Tarte’s Shape Tape blends easily to cover difficult imperfections like dark circles and breakouts. With 30 shade options, there’s a color for everyone.

Setting powders: Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Tinted Pressed Setting Powder
From setting makeup in place to absorbing oil throughout the day, a setting powder is often a necessary step in your foundation routine. Tarte’s Smooth Operator is a pressed powder that comes in four shades and is made with nourishing ingredients and minerals that never feel heavy on the skin.

Tarte foundation prices

Tarte is a high-end beauty brand, meaning you can find it at specialty beauty retailers like Ulta and Sephora, rather than at the drugstore. All of Tarte’s foundation formulas are priced between $36 and $39.

The brand’s most popular liquid, stick, and cream foundation products typically cost $39. Formulas with SPF and extra moisturizers typically cost $39 as well. You’ll save a few dollars on powder formulas and tinted moisturizers, which offer lighter coverage and usually cost $36.

"The natural ingredients in Tarte foundation don’t just cover problematic areas but can also improve skin’s appearance, tone, and texture."


  • Match your foundation to your jawline and neck. Foundation that is too light or too dark will look unnatural.
  • Think about your skin’s undertones. Cool skin has pink or red undertones, while warm skin has yellow or golden undertones. Neutral skin has a combination of both cool and warm undertones. Wearing a foundation with the wrong undertone can make you look sick or washed out.
  • Use foundation to even out the skin and concealer to hide imperfections. For the most natural look, even if you have problematic skin, use a thin base layer of foundation and then spot conceal blemishes and dark circles.
  • Blend, blend, blend. Whether you apply your foundation with your fingertips, a beauty sponge, or a brush, make sure to blend it into your skin to prevent unnatural-looking lines and a cakey appearance.
  • Think about your age. If your skin is starting to show signs of aging like fine lines, apply a light moisturizer first and choose a Tarte foundation with a hydrating formula. Avoid powder foundation as it can settle in creases and wrinkles and make them more noticeable.

Other products we considered

The Tarte Face Tape Foundation was inspired by the brand’s top-selling Shape Tape concealer. Like the concealer, this liquid foundation offers full coverage that wears all day, contains nourishing ingredients, and hides most skin imperfections. We also love that it comes in 50 shades. Not everyone needs a full-coverage foundation.

For lighter coverage that feels weightless on the skin, try the Tarte Babassu Foundcealer Skincare Foundation. In addition to providing light to medium coverage, this liquid foundation delivers SPF 20 and is enriched with highly nourishing babassu oil for a radiant finish that’s ideal for dry or mature skin.

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If you love animals, you’ll love that Tarte is a beauty brand that prides itself on being cruelty-free.


Q. Does Tarte use animal ingredients in their products?
Not all of Tarte’s products can be classified as vegan because some contain animal-based ingredients like carmine, beeswax, and lanolin. However, the company does make a number of foundation products that meet vegan standards.

Q. Can I use stick foundation as a concealer?
For mild imperfections, stick foundation works well as a concealer. Stick foundation is also easy to build up for more coverage. However, you may need an additional concealer for darker skin imperfections or undereye circles.

Q. If I choose a Tarte foundation with SPF, do I need to use an additional sunscreen?
An SPF rating indicates how long you can stay in the sun without burning. If you don’t spend a lot of time outdoors, a Tarte foundation with an SPF of 15 to 20 may be all you need to protect your skin. However, if you spend hours in the sun, you’ll need to apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more for optimal protection.

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