A lot of us are searching for the perfect concealer but this one unfortunately is not going to be the holy grail of concealers.. Is Tarte's Shape Tape Contour Concealer does have a lot of great qualities, but it ultimately fumbles, meaning the search continues.
Shape Tape comes in a clear plastic tube with a large sponge-tipped applicator (much larger than the standard size). This applicator delivers quite a bit of product, and since the concealer is full-coverage, it's best to dot this on instead of just swipe it. Swiping and blending means you'll wind up applying more product than you intended!
The texture is creamy yet not too thick, and is easy to smooth onto skin. It sets fast, so it's best to work quickly to make sure it's fully blended (which is easy enough to do). Once dry, you'll see an attractive satin finish.
This does a great job covering dark circles and redness, and doesn't budge even through a full day of wear (no creasing or fading here). It comes in a good range of natural-looking shades for very fair to medium-deep skin tones, and includes options for both warm and cool undertones.
This all sounds like an excellent product, and it would be… were it not for Tarte's decision to include fragrance and fragrance ingredients in the formula! Two of those fragrance ingredients, amyl cinnamal and benzyl salicylate, are listed before most of the beneficial ingredients Tarte calls out in its packaging, meaning you're getting a higher concentration of known skin sensitizers than the good stuff. The scent is apparent from the moment you open the tube, and it lingers for a while after you've applied it.
This is a problem because fragrance can aggravate skin, and it's a particular issue when you use it over blemishes or around your eyes (and this product is designed to be used in both ways!). See More Info for details on why fragrance is a problem in skincare and makeup products.
It's a shame, because otherwise this is an excellent full coverage, long-wearing concealer. But because of the potential to sensitize skin, we suggest instead one of the selections on our list of Best Concealers & Correctors.
Why Fragrance is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This leads to all kinds of problems, including disruption of skin's healthy appearance, worsening dryness, redness, depletion of vital substances in skin's surface, and generally keeps skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see the negative influence of using products that contain fragrance has on skin, the damage will still be taking place even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see or feel the effects on your skin for your skin to be suffering. This negative impact and the visible damage may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410-1,419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166-175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821-832
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement pages 1-43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446—475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, issue 11, pages 789-798
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, issue 4, pages 191-202
Tarte Cosmetics At-A-Glance
Tarte Cosmetics CEO and founder Maureen Kelly started Tarte in 1999, out of a desire to create a cosmetics line that “would prove that glamour can be good for you.” This comes in the form of products that highlight naturally-derived ingredients in their marketing campaigns, and occasionally taking swipes at the concept of synthetics in makeup.
This is ironic, as Tarte uses more than a few beneficial synthetically derived ingredients in their formulas—silicones, synthetic fragrances, preservatives and on and on. However, we’ll forgive them that as what’s ultimately important is whether their products meet your needs, and to that we can say the brand excels in many areas at what they do.
However, a few products are a bit on the pricey side and there are a few iffy shades and textures to consider among their foundations—noted in their respective reviews. A few caveats aside, most of Tarte's foundations, blush options, eye pencils and an ever-expanding range of innovative products demonstrate that color is what they do best.
For more information about Tarte Cosmetics visit www.tartecosmetics.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!