Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer - review


I bought this primer a while ago but I hadn't used it much until the last couple of months because I had another pore-plugging primer I was using before opening this.

I bought it because I'd heard a lot of good things about it, with many people saying it's the best of these kinds of primers that they've used. 

I'm pleased to say that I do really like it, and it's on par with the comparable Clarins primer that I've traditionally loved (I've reviewed that here). They're very close in terms of performance and I'm happy with either of them.

Tarte claims/product details:

  • Prep skin for makeup application
  • Formulated to reduce the appearance of large pores, fine lines and wrinkles
  • The antioxidant-rich formula is infused with vitamins c and e
  • Green bean extract gently absorbs into the skin, delivering a surge of moisture, peptides and other naturally derived elixirs so that skin has a firmer and smoother look
  • Lightweight texture
  • Provides the perfect blank canvas to enhance the look and wear-time of makeup
  • Wear it under makeup or alone as part of your skincare regimen for a flawless, soft-focus finish
  • RRP $52 AUD for 15ml, but do shop around


I'm really enjoying this product and it's one I would consider buying again.

Note that I've had some trouble with mattifying, pore-plugging primers before - they tend to slip around and also ball up when you apply foundation over the top, plus foundation can slide off them throughout the day so they can reduce the lasting power of your makeup, rather than extending it. For example, Benefit's The POREfessional did this (see review here), but this primer does none of those things.

As compared to the Clarins primer linked above, this Tarte one is a little thicker so it takes a little more elbow grease to blend. But once on the skin, they act in a very similar way and I can't tell the difference between them (and indeed I've tested them alongside each other on my face, so I can say that for sure).

I only need to use the tiniest amount of this primer and I wouldn't recommend being heavy-handed because it mightn't work as well. Indeed, I use about half the amount of product per application as compared to my other primers, which means that the tub will last a long time - making it better value than you might first think.

On the tub packaging, I don't like it because you expose the contents to air when you use it, plus I know that a lot of people don't like dipping their fingers into tubs - although that doesn't bother me personally because my hands are always clean when I do my makeup and I use my fingers for application anyway. In any event, I do see why they've used this packaging because the product is so thick that a tube may make things difficult.

What I like about this is that it plugs in pores and gives me a smooth base for makeup application, and my pores are a little less noticeable once I've got my foundation over the top. I also think it's a good product for me for summer, because it's mattifying and I produce more oil in the heat, despite having dry skin.

I also think it helps my makeup last a little longer, but not enough to be really noticeable so I wouldn't buy the product for that reason alone - instead I would buy it because it makes my pores less visible and doesn't crease/intensify wrinkles throughout the day.

On the claims: yes it preps the skin well; yes it reduces the appearance of large pores, fine lines and wrinkles; no I don't think it gives skin a surge of moisture; yes I do think it gives my face a firmer and smoother look; yes I think it enhances the look of my makeup; and yes also looks good alone for a soft-focus finish.

Overall I think this is a great product and I recommend it. So far I've only come across two pore-plugging primers that work well for me and meet all their claims: this one and the Clarins primer. I would buy both again.

Worth trying.

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