Another reason to heart tarte – the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation review

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The Green Monday fave gets top marks for their skin nourishing foundation!

tarte the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation photos: we heart this

One of the biggest makeup conundrums I face is matching foundation to my skin tone. That inevitable trip to the store, desperately searching for the perfect formula, always wanting to try a different one…only to be disappointed YET again, when I get it home and I look like an Oompa Loompa.

Why do so many foundations look so good in the store and so wrong at home? Not only is the color wrong, but I often end up looking either greasy, or flaky, or I get too much coverage, or nowhere near enough. It is utterly exhausting.

So, when one of my favorite brands, tarte, arrived on my doorstep in the form of their new(ish) Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 ($38) for testing, I was hopeful I would find a foundation that worked.

the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation swatch with brush

As you’ve heard me (as well as my review team members) rave in previous posts, I have nothing but love for tarte. EVERYTHING, and I do mean everything, I try from them is amazing. The quality of their ingredients, the eco-friendly philosophy, the packaging, the colors, are the best in the business. And, just when I think they can’t get any better, they come out with Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15.

For those of you who remember, the tarte “Glow Your Way to Gorgeous” QVC set made our 2011 list of all-time favorites, and contained some of my favorite Amazonian Clay Products. Amazonian Clay is extracted from the banks of the Amazon, where nutrient concentrations are at their peak. This natural ingredient is indeed a wonder – it helps control oil, improves skin’s clarity and texture, hydrates, reduces flakiness, and the list goes on…

The first thing I noticed about my little package of joy was the PACKAGING. It comes in a great, 1.7 oz. recyclable squeeze tube, that’s both sturdy and easy to hold in your hand. It also has a beautiful wooden cap that made me feel like I was opening something very special.

Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation in Light-Medium and Light swatchesAmazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation in Light-Medium and Light

And special indeed it is when you get to the ultra creamy, lightweight foundation inside. At first, I was thrown off by the consistency and thought for sure it would have no coverage and be a greasy mess on my oil prone, combination skin. Happily, it was anything but, and stayed on all day, had great coverage and wasn’t greasy at all. All I can say is WOW!

According to tarte, “whether your skin is oily, dry, or combination, skin-smart Amazonian clay will intuitively adjust to address your complexion concerns.” I can attest to that because it WORKS! My oily skin stayed in check, my blemishes and discolorations were reduced, I was completely impressed with how well it covered and evened out skin tone.

With 8 color combos ranging from fair to deep, here’s where the ultimate test came in… could it match my skin tone? Well, the one I tested, (light-medium with pink undertones), looked great! I couldn’t believe it… a foundation that blended right in!

Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush

For the best application tarte recommends using their incredible Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush (it’s the brush Stef and Tyna flipped over last fall). While this brush may seem pricey ($32), I have to say its bristles helped the foundation go on beautifully, or as they say “airbrushed without the air!” The brush helps to stipple and buff foundation into a super smooth, practically pore-less finish.

This brush has a hefty feel and fluffy full head of soft bristles with a chunky recycled bamboo handle – and it’s one of the best foundation brushes I’ve ever used. I adore it, which may sound dramatic, but seriously, it brings me joy.

Creamy, blendable formula with great coverage
Amazonian Clay makes this an excellent choice for all skin types
A multi-tasker with SPF 15 protection
Brush creates amazing, flawless results.

All natural ingredients
Formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals or phthalates
Eco-friendly, recyclable packaging

May be a bit pricey to buy both the foundation and brush, but totally worth it

After three weeks of use, I am completely sold. This foundation is one of the best I’ve used and I will be buying it again. I give it one of my highest recommendations and it has truly re-affirmed my belief in tarte as one of the best makeup brands out there.

How about you readers, – does tarte’s Amazonian Clay Hour Full Coverage Foundation have your full endorsement?

Shop tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 at Sephora

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • Erin

    Erin is a secondary science teacher who adores makeup and fashion. She spends her free time pursuing her other passions which include cooking, antiquing, and decorating. skin tone: NC30 skin type: oily to normal favorite beauty product: lipglosses and bronzers

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  1. @spitfire77 – What a great rundown of this foundation. I am also member of the “hard to match club” so I know first hand how frustrating the quest is for something that matches your face. I can remember my days of liquid foundation and how ugly I felt when I looked in the mirror only to see the dreaded foundation. YIKES!

    I have tried many Tarte products and loved them all. I have not tried the foundation but, your review has inspired me to give it a try.

    Sometimes, I can be sensitive to sunblock that is already in a product. (I seem to do better when I add it in myself.) TESTERS—I cannot wait to hear your take.

  2. Great review! I’m anxious to hear about this foundation!! Sounds amazing.. I love a good full coverage foundation so hurry ladies and post!

  3. From the swatches, Light looks like it might work for me. I’m going to check out the colors at Sephora the next time I’m there. Great review, @spitfire77 — I’m also looking forward to reading what the other testers have to say.

  4. I really do love this foundation. I’m really impressed with the lightweight, creamy formula, but really good coverage, and the brush does make a difference. Five stars all the way!

  5. I can’t wait to test this out too at my local Sephora – sounds as great as all their other products! Excellent review, Erin – you’ve got me wanting this one badly!!

  6. First I have to say once again how much I adore the Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush – it is my go to brush for any and all tinted moisturizers and foundations. It does a really great job of buffing the color into my skin and getting a clean, non-makeup looking finish. Plus the brush just looks and feels good in your hand – I’ve had this brush for over 6 months and love it more every time I use it – it’s a total winner and one of my fave brushes ever!

    As for the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation, I was really impressed with the formula. It offers a lot more coverage then their tinted moisturizer without looking or feeling mask-like. And as mentioned in the review, the color stays true and stays put on your face – and doesn’t turn greasy after a few hours.

    I tested the foundation in Light (for Light skin with yellow undertones) and think I would do better with Fair (for those with pink undertones). The Light formula was too yellow for my skin. But this was no fault of tarte, so no marks off for the mismatch. And I have to say I love that tarte tells you about the yellow/pink undertones in each formula – I can never tell with just my eye, so that is very helpful for me.

    One more plus for me is the packaging – a simple squeeze tube so I can get as much or as little product as I need, no pumps or fancy mechanics to dispense the foundation. Simple and smart.

  7. I am usually not a foundation person. But I am a HUGE Fan of Tarte!! So I have actually been jonesing for this stuff!! The excellent reviews from the review team have got me sold on this foundation. And the brush looks insane!!

  8. I am not a foundation person, at all. Ever since tinted moisturizers have hot the scene I have pretty much been foundation free. But there are those times when I want a bit more coverage. And I figured if any brand would woo me – it would be tarte, as I figured their good for you ingredients would be as light on my skin as possible. And I was right! This gives you full coverage (like the name says) but more important to me it doesn’t feel like full coverage. And applied with this FAB brush? It seems to melt into your skin, leaving behind perfect skin in it’s wake. Love both of these. 5 stars x 2!

  9. That brush just looks fabulous… I WANT IT!!! :) And although I have had a hard time finding a good foundation match, I’m a huge fan of Tarte’s products, and am really interested in giving this new foundation a try. I need really good coverage without it looking like a thick paste, and the SPF15 is definitely a plus! $38 seems a little spendy for foundation, but it is 1.7 ounces of product (many foundations only contain 1 ounce, and cost around $25-30). I’m eager to try this out!

  10. I’d like to try this foundation sometime soon. I already found my shade in this line while at Sephora but I haven’t purchased yet. Maybe soon :)

  11. Did Tarte reformulate this or just change the packaging? The packaging looks a little different, but I picked up their Amazonian clay foundation AND the brush from QVC for $35 total.
    –The foundation gives great coverage and the brush really helps buff this into your skin, giving you a flawless finish. My only complaint is that I wish the brush were a teensy bit smaller b/c when I buff it onto my forehead, I inevitable cover my eyebrows, which I then have to wipe off. Mrrrr…

    1. I think it’s the same product, but let me investigate that for you!

    2. Thanks! I was also wondering about the cream shadow. It seems that they changed the packaging and it no longer contains a brush with the product, but did the product itself change? Get to sleuthing :)

    3. Same product, extended color selection. My gut tells me this is probably the same with the cream shadows…

  12. ReaderRita says:

    I think I need that brush in a serious way!
    I was not, however, a fan of the Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation. I have really oily skin all year round (not just summer) and was super excited to try it when it hit Ulta earlier this year, but by 11:00 am on my first day it was sliding off of my nose and forehead in big greasy sheets. :( I was SO bummed, because this sounded incredibly perfect. Sadly, back it went.
    I have had much better luck with Arcona’s tinted sunscreen Reozone 40 (which looks and feels like a mousse out of the tube and on application feels like it’s going to be oily, but dries down matte), and Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer, both of which give me more complete coverage and more staying power on my super oily, aging skin.

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