Tarte's new Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder in Bronze ($28) is goof-proof! Want a bronzer you can't overdo? Check! Want a bronzer that will leave you looking like you had a week at the beach, without the expense? Check! Prefer to use makeup that's good for your skin? Check! Tarte has you covered.
Like the original, this micronized clay finishing powder mattifies the skin, minimizes the appearance of pores, and replenishes all skin types, while adding a natural touch of bronze to your complexion. This silky smooth finishing powder glides on evenly and imparts a healthy, natural warmth. The skin-smart Amazonian clay, nature's perfect ingredient, acts as a total skin balancer by reducing dryness and flakiness, improving clarity and texture, and removing surface oil to mattify skin for a soft and flawless lit-from-within finish. I know it seems counterintuitive that the powder could leave a matte finish while giving you a glow, but it manages - somehow. It even works to replenish and rehydrate the skin, with Tarte's Amazonian clay, natural pigments, and skinvigorating ingredients. It's formulated without mineral oil, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, sulfates, or synthetic dyes or fragrances. Good for your skin - good for your looks!
The container has a plastic insert with one hole in the middle. You are supposed to press on both sides of the sifter hole to dispense the powder. It was designed to release just the right amount of powder for one application, without leaving you to worry about getting powder all over the place. Just use a fluffy brush and apply the powder all over the skin, or wherever you want to glow (the high points of the face, jawline, neck).
That little hole didn't suit me, so I started trying to pry the insert out of the container with a very small screwdriver. It was tenacious; Tarte designed it to stay there! I succeeded, but unfortunately chipped a small piece out of the lip of the screw top. No matter, once the cap is re-attached, there will be no drying inflow of air. Why did I do that? Because I'm pretty good at sweeping just the right amount of powder onto my brush, shaking off the excess, and applying it with ease. That worked for me quite well when applying this powder. That's not to say you should take my lead. The little dispensing hole should work for most because a little goes a long way. However, if you want to do your own thing, and if you have more patience than I do (take your time), you can flip out that little plastic insert without chipping anything!
The color is a beautiful sunlit bronze. Here's a photo of the powder, which you can see has a golden, matte bronze tint. I applied a swatch of the powder to my arm with a sponge-tipped applicator and struggled to get a photo that would show you that it has just a teeny tiny hint of pink/peach in it. That's what makes it so perfect for my skin! Many of us, particularly those with light coloring, tan naturally with a pink/peach hue. Tarte's Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder in Bronze looks natural on my face.
My swatch photo was taken in full sun, and I applied the bronzing powder to my arm very heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator. The slight shimmer you see is sunlight. The yellow you see is a bruise. Concentrate on the left side of the swatch photo, and you'll see the beauty of the shade. I hope you can see the slight pink-peach tone of the bronze. It's so pretty!
I already deemed 2011 the year of the bronzer. Here's another one that should send every makeup-loving gal to the store for peek. Don't let this one disappear before you get there. I'll bet you come home with it! It's a great value and competes extremely favorably with bronzers twice the price. I'm lucky - Tarte sent mine for a look-see. I'll be using it often.
You can purchase Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder in Bronze from Tarte, Sephora, Ulta, QVC ($42 there, with a brush included), and beauty.com. You really need to try it.
Photo at top courtesy of Tarte; other photos by Best Things in Beauty