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Tarte’s Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum Will Light Your Fire!



Ever woken up feeling a bit weathered, then looked in the mirror only to confirm your suspicions that you do, in fact, look like something that crawled out of a manhole? For the past few months, I’ve woken up with that feeling nearly every single day thanks to a new jam-packed, overly taxing schedule that involves rising at 5:30 a.m. and often functioning on three to four hours of sleep. In addition to pesky under-eye circles, I know have to concern myself with revitalizing my dull-looking skin. Luckily, I’ve discovered a new secret weapon: the Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum. Every time I smooth it onto my face, I feel like breaking out into “This Little Light Of Mine,” and shouting out the “I’m gonna let it shine” part over and over.

Like the original Smooth Operator, a stellar tinted moisturizer available in an array of shades for multiple skin tones, the serum is packed with vitamin A, which promotes collagen production, decreases oil production and hence helps to combat and treat acne, and stimulates cellular turnover; vitamin E, which softens skin and protects it from harmful free radicals; vitamin C, which brightens the complexion and helps to combat aging sings; and chamomile extract, which soothes any existing inflammations and heals dry and damaged skin. But, unlike its predecessor, this serum relies on Amazonian clay to ensure your complexion looks radiant. This white clay forms when rocks and mineral deposits are micronized into small particles due to the impact of the Amazon river’s forceful water rushing over them. These clay particles are then carried down to the mouth of the Amazon in Brazil, where they accumulate and dry under the tropical sun rays. Rich in iron, aluminum, potassium, calcium, boron, and sulphur, Amazonian clay minimizes pore size, purifies skin, and restores moisture balance – regardless of whether you lean towards the oily or dry ends of the spectrum.

The Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum, then, provides long-lasting moisture, soothes irritated skin, and gives your complexion a subtle but spectacular glow thanks to the tiny glimmer particles in the formula. Your visage will have that natural, lit-from-within appearance since there are no chunky glitter bits or overwhelming pigments to overpower the skin. It’s as if you were twisting the dial on a light fixture’s dimmer control, turning it to its highest setting and basking in the final glow.

Now, the coverage itself is rather minimal, but you can always mix the Smooth Operator moisturizer with the Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum on days when you want more color payoff without having to rely on foundation or powder. I love using the serum by itself when my skin is clear (no major breakouts or marks to conceal) but, if I need a bit more coverage, I’ll mix it with my shade of the Smooth Operator moisturizer — and, of course, I’ll dust on some powder when I’m going to an event or I need to be camera ready. One of the surprising aspects of the serum is that it works wonders even under makeup, helping skin feel supple and soft, boosting luminosity, and increasing the longevity of the makeup (it almost works like a primer!).

Just one word of advise: the Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum boasts such powerful hydrating properties that you don’t need to apply a moisturizer atop or beneath it. When I first began using the serum, I applied it over thoroughly moisturized skin and, at times, my forehead would look overly shiny and greasy (which was all the more baffling since I have dry skin). I quickly realized I could skip the moisturizing step of my skincare routine and rely on the serum to keep my skin at its optimal hydration point. Since then, I haven’t had another shiny faced moment, and my skin has always felt supple, smooth, and completely comfortable.

Bottom line: this product belongs in the beauty Illuminati.


Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum, $32. Available at Sephora.com and TarteCosmetics.com

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