Saturday, August 9, 2014

Comparison: Tarte Full Coverage Foundation vs. Revlon Colorstay for Oily/Combo Skin

This is going to be one of those 'your mileage may vary' posts. I'll be comparing the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation (what a mouthful) in Ivory against Revlon Colorstay Makeup for Oily/Combo Skin in 200 Nude. Since you aren't wearing my skin (thank god), your mileage will probably be different than mine.

Let me talk about my skin, because everyone wants to know how gross I am. I'm pretty oily. Remember those gross square pizza slices you got in middle school that had a pool of orange grease on them? The ones you dabbed with a rough brown napkin? That's how I feel at the end of the day. But around my nose I feel like the soil when it hadn't rained in weeks. Pretty gross. So I need a foundation that won't emphasize dryness and won't melt off my face.

After reading Robyn's raving about the Tarte foundation I ran (drove) down to my local Sephora and picked up a sample.

If you were curious, here's a towel with my stuff. I use the flat Sonia Kashuk brush from the Make a Face Set. In person, the bristles are a pretty blue and very, very filthy.

I'll tell you straight off the bat I'll be sticking with my Colorstay, so if the end result is all you wanted to know, then feel free to go back to browsing the net. If you want to see gross pictures of my face, then keep going, I guess.

Tarte foundation on the right. Look at it creasing above my eyeball. Gross.

So here's an uncalled for image of my skin. It's pretty gross. I have a big zit under my nose. It could really use some evening out. The Tarte foundation does a good job of hiding redness and making everything look human colored.

I always put on my Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer (~$8) so I put it on for this test too.

Tarte on the right, Revlon on the left. When you don't look closely, they both look good.

I purposefully chose slapping the Revlon on the uglier side of my face since I've found it has a better coverage than the Tarte. Revlon's Colorstay is a really thick, full coverage kind. They both cover my under-eyes well enough, although you can already see some Tarte pooling in the creases.

Tarte in Ivory on the right, Revlon in 200 Nude on the left.

The textures of these two are widely different. Revlon Colorstay is crazy thick. I really wish this thing came with a pump. It has a liquid, somewhat-melted-icecream consistency that feels like it 'melts' into my skin without sticking to my peach fuzz or dry spots.

Tarte's foundation, on the other hand, isn't as thick but feels more like a mousse. It feels kind of like thick whipped cream that you let sit in a cup for too long so it started to melt some. But with tiny grains of sand inside. This foundation feels like it has tiny little chunks in it. They melt and smooth out, not like actual sand, but the texture just feels kind of weird.

EXTREME CLOSEUP of some goop. See the weird-looking dots?

I sat around for 12 hours (from 3PM to 3AM) with skin-colored goop on my face for you all. Let me point out that I literally sat around in an air conditioned house and did nothing all day. No sweating, no going out and whatnot.

Also let me point out, if you don't know, I wear glasses. So two oval things are sitting on my nose to keep them up.

Here's my face in my badly-lit bathroom 12 hours later.

Tarte on the right, Revlon on the left.

If you scroll up and compare my just applied image, you can definitely tell where the foundation wore off. My Tarte cheek is looking more like my real skin, and the Tarte side of my chin is basically gone. The Revlon side has definitely worn off on my nose and around my mouth, but my forehead and cheek still look smooth and cake-free. I was a lot shinier, but I had just blotted my face in an unsuccessful test to see if one side was oilier than the other (they were both the same amount of gross, if you wanted to know). The place where my glasses sat wore off way more on the Tarte side.

Tarte side. Really gross closeup of my face. It's for science.

The Tarte foundation really suffered at the metaphorical hands of my greasy skin. It literally melted off my face. In person, my cheeks looked cakey and pretty unappealing. My nose was even grosser than in the included pic. If you haven't caught on, I wear glasses, hence the big old circular thing on my nose. Foundations usually move around there, but Tarte was disgusting. Overall, it looked like a white sheet was sitting on my skin. And do note I sat in an air conditioned house for 12 hours.

Revlon side. 12 hour foundation closeups are never pleasant.

The Revlon side  of my face fared a lot better. It looked really natural on my cheeks and forehead, and the wear on my nose was noticeable if you leaned in and stared at it. There was still some coverage around my nose, but it was wearing thin and getting cakey. Theoretically, I could smooth it out with my brush and add some powder and go somewhere like Walmart where people don't care what my skin looks like.

So overall, for me, the Tarte foundation is more like 5, 4 hour. I imagine if I went outside or ran it would be a disaster. Even after sitting on my ass and playing Minecraft for 12 hours it looked like melted chalk. The Revlon Colorstay had significant wear, but it was ok wear. It was acceptable and if I could I would pat the Colorstay foundation on the back and whisper, "You did good, bud. You did good."

* I did test the Tarte foundation with my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer sample. The wear was maybe 20% less--but I'm not about to make my $38 foundation $70 with a primer when I can keep using the same $20 drugstore foundation and primer duo.

Tarte Amazonia Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation is $38 for a whole 1.7fl oz. It may seem expensive, but consider that you get almost twice the amount of a regular foundation. Once per ounce, Tarte comes out to a cheap $22.35 per fluid ounce. For comparison, NARS Sheer Matte foundation is $45 for 1 fl oz.

Revlon Colorstay Makeup for Oily/Combo Skin is $12 (although you can find it for cheaper with coupons) for 1 fl oz of product (a very obvious $12 per ounce).


  1. There's a reason Revlon ColorStay is one of the most well-loved foundation options: it WORKS! I used it for many years on my mega oily skin. Now that I'm older and less oily, I have found base product successes easier to come by. I own the Tarte foundation, actually, and agree about the whipped consistency. I cannot believe how much it broke up in your after picture! Wow! Meanwhile the Revlon still looks like freshly applied perfection! ColorStay for the win fo sho!

    1. I own the Revlon Naked foundation and even that one didn't melt off my face like Tarte did (it did break me out though, haha). I guess this means I can save my cash and not splurge on something from Sephore when Revlon works totally fine. I'm pretty surprised though, since usually higher end = better.


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