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Prime Time — Tarte Cosmetics Launches Its Timeless Smoothing Primer And Colored Clay CC Eye Primer Stick



Though many don’t consider primer a requisite step when applying makeup, I personally believe it makes a world of difference — not just because it essentially locks your makeup in place, allowing it to last longer, but also because it turns the skin into a smooth canvas, minimizing pores, hydrating and plumping the skin, and diminishing the appearance of fine lines (all of which, in turn, allow any cosmetics applied to truly dazzle). Now, I’ve tested about a thousand and one primers and definitely have my favorites — among them the Per-fékt Skin Perfection Gel, the Hourglass No, 28 Primer Serum, and the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. And now, there’s a new sheriff in primer town courtesy of Tarte Cosmetics: the Tarte Cosmetics Timeless Smoothing Primer ($39 at TarteCosmetics.com).

What makes this primer so special? Well, it practically melts onto the skin, delivering nutrients and antioxidants that firm the skin, minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, and practically erase existing wrinkles and expression lines. Now, most primers on the market rely on dimethicone, a silicone-based polymer that essentially creates a protective cover on the skin and that, like spackling paste, helps to fill in holes and crevices and smooth the surface of the skin. This primer, too, contains PEG-10 dimethicone, as well as dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer (which has a three-dimensional cross-linked structure that renders it more flexible and which, moreover, helps to make skin appear more matte). But beyond smoothing the skin’s surface, what makes a primer stand out from the fray is the antioxidants, vitamins, botanical oils, and minerals in its formula.

The Tarte Cosmetics Timeless Smoothing Primer contains a number of skin-loving ingredients, among them: hydrolyzed collagen and elastin, which make the skin appear more supple and youthful; vitamin E, which functions as an anti-inflammatory and protects the skin from UV damage; vitamin C, which brightens the skin and supports healthy collagen; green lima bean extract, a copper-rich substance that helps skin look glow-y and prevents cellular damage; rutin, a bioflavonoid that helps the skin use vitamin C and produce collagen; and palmitoyl ogliopeptide, a compound made by blending together palmitic acid (a fatty acid) and several amino acids, that purportedly stimulates collagen production and fortifies the skin’s intercellular matrix. The primer also contains a small amount of silica, which helps to smooth out fine lines and fill in pores, and which controls oil and shine so that the skin can look matte and non-greasy throughout the day. Natural pigments like carmine (which is extracted from the shells of the red cochineal beetle)  help sallow skin look resplendent while a dash of mica offers a soft-focus finish, blurring out any existing imperfections.

Now, most primers on the market have either an oil-like serum texture, a lightweight creamy consistency, or a mousse-like feel. And almost every primer I’ve ever encountered is packaged in either a squeezable tube or a cylindrical bottle with a pump dispenser. This one, however, cones in a round jar with a twist-off cap. In terms of its consistency, the primer initially feels like a whipped but rich cream and yet, once smoothed onto the skin’s surface, it practically melts therein. Within seconds, there’s no trace of the pinkish white hue of the dollop you scooped out with your fingertip. There’s also no greasy residue, no ashy cast, and no unwanted sheen. The primer feels like a second skin — not like some foreign substance just sitting atop the face.

Because it has such a rich consistency, the primer should be used sparingly, and it’s preferable to apply the product with your fingertips rather than a brush since the massaging action will help the peptides, vitamins, and antioxidants in the formula better penetrate the skin. That said, the primer performs stunningly! I’ve been wearing it below my makeup every time I  have a TV appearance, and it’s done well by me. While I don’t have oily skin, the harsh lights in most television studios can magnify any existing shine and, when I’ve relied on this primer, I’ve been pleased to discover that my skin looked matte and smooth even under those shine-boosting lights. Also, I noticed my makeup looked more natural — even when a lot of foundation, sculpting creams, highlighters, and powders had been applied.

Now, when I want my skin to look really dewy, I’ll still likely use the Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum since it’s loaded with botanical oils that hydrate the skin and give it a luminous finish. But when I want my skin to look matte, I’ll be reaching for this product since it does the trick and doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry and uncomfortable. If, like me, you have dry to normal skin, you’ve likely come across the problem of mattifying primers actually dehydrating the skin and yet, thankfully, this one doesn’t do so.

 And that’s not all! Tarte also recently released the Tarte Colored Clay CC Eye Primer Stick ($21 at TarteCosmetics.com), a product that can only be described as sheer genius. Whereas most eye primers come in squeezable tubes or in pots with sponge-tip applicators that require a steady hand and accuracy with a brush or wand, this one has a pencil form so that all you need to do is basically color your lid, crease, and brow bone area with the easy-glide tip. The fact that it comes in a convenient pencil form is enough to lure in consumers, but the benefits extend way beyond the eye primer stick’s portability and its ability to facilitate a goof-proof application.

Part of what makes the Colored Clay CC Eye Primer Stick unique is that it’s infused with color-correcting clays: purple clay to reflect oncoming light and brighten the skin, green skin to neutralize redness, and yellow skin to conceal any darkness and sallowness. If your eyelids look a bit grayish due to a lack of sleep, this primer will eradicate that somber cast. If they’re a bit red (maybe you have allergies or you scrubbed the tender skin on your kids too hard while removing your eye makeup the previous evening), this eye primer will also address the issue.The clays in the formula also have skin nourishing and soothing properties, with rose clay calming the skin around the eye area, vanilla clay controlling oil so that any eye shadows applied stay in place throughout the day, and green clay again balancing oil production.

In terms of the CC Eye Primer Stick’s texture, it’s creamy and lightweight (in part thanks to the fatty acid-rich shea butter in the formula).

I’m pretty much obsessed with this eye primer stick since it does keep my eye makeup from smudging or creasing, but it also just makes my eyelids look naturally beautiful. If I’m going for a minimalist makeup look, then, I can literally apply the primer to my eyelids and disguise any redness, any pesky veins, and dark circles, and instead coat the skin with a flattering nude color that somehow looks exactly like my skin tone (the colored clays adapt to a broad spectrum of skin tones).

 After trying this eye primer, I can’t imagine using anything else!


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