May 4, 2015

Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm Review & Swatches

This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm7

Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm is a new foundation that makes an appearance is the Tarte Beauty in the Basics May QVC Today’s Special Value which debuts exclusively on QVC on May 11th. The new Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm was inspired by Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation.

Balm is an accurate description of this product as it is in fact a balm and NOT a cream compact foundation product even though that’s exactly what it looks like.

Let’s take a look!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm5

I typically dislike cream compact foundations as they feel a bit too heavy and greasy to me plus they all make me think of Benefit Some Kind of Gorgeous! I was relieved to see that Tarte’s new Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm is in fact just that, a balm! This comes housed in a 0.31 oz compact with a generously sized mirror and when you purchase the Beauty in the Basics set you get in your choice of Fair, Light, Light/Medium, Medium, Tan, and Deep.

Now this only comes in the set as of now and isn’t available as a single purchase however, you also get:

      Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara (Full Size)


    Lipsurgence Cream in Vintage (Full Size)

  • Tarte Eyeshadow Quad (Full Size)
  • Amazonian Tightlining Eyeliner in Black Brown (Full Size)
  • Bamboo Smoothing Balm Brush

The set is $47 so its almost like purchasing the foundation and brush and getting a bunch of other stuff free! Plus QVC now offers a new flat rate shipping on beauty of $30 so for $50 bucks you get a ton of delicious Tarte!

This is a thinner balm with a very, very light creamy consistency. It’s not balmy nor is it greasy, shiny, or oily. I think automatically when you think of a balm you might think mega hydrating but this isn’t a balm texture in that sense! It actually applies like a powder and sets to a matte satiny finish that feels very much like a powder. Tarte gives you a very large Bamboo Smoothing Balm Brush to apply it which has massive bristles. It’s a good buffing brush but a LITTLE too large for my liking so I felt like I didn’t have a ton of control when applying the balm. For me, it applied best with my fingers as I could smooth and blend it out easily. Although I personally have drier skin I didn’t feel like this clung to my drier areas! It had a very smooth, soft appearance once blended out and provided sheer, natural coverage that evened out my skin tone and brightened up my complexion very nicely. Tarte says coverage is buildable but personally I get more of a my skin but better finish with this so it’ll likely even out your skin tone, brighten, and possibly hide minor redness or darkness but isn’t an ideal pick if you desire or need medium or heavier coverage.

Bamboo Smoothing Balm Makeup Brush

Bamboo Smoothing Balm Brush

Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm

Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm

Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm swatches

Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm Swatches (Light)

For me, cream compact foundations sound lovely in theory but they typically turn out to be very heavy and quite oily or greasy on my skin. They also feel very mask-like. I love the idea of them because I have drier skin but they end up not really working out for me. Tarte perfects the cream compact foundation formula with a super light formula that melds beautifully with skin and provides breathable, natural coverage.

The wear time varies for me on this little guy. If I’m inside I do well at around five hours of wear but outside, on a warmer day, (I wore it yesterday during a rather nice warm, sunny day) and it seems to be a bit shorter at four hours before showing signs of wear.

I like this formula a lot, was excited to try it out, and quite pleased at the outcome. If you’re looking lightweight, natural Summer coverage I’d suggest giving the Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm a try!

You can grab Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm now on in the new Tarte Beauty in the Basics May QVC Today’s Special Value or wait for the debut on May 11th to see it live on QVC!

This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • zVintageFashionizta

    I was not impressed with the bomb not a good product for me because I need coverage. I thought I would love the brush but find the bristles a little hard/dense and way too big for this compact.
    Did you try out the eyeshadow quad, I have been dying to see swatches & reviews (I have not used mine yet).

    • Isabella Muse

      I’ll have a review of the palette shortly 🙂

    • Colleen

      I agree with the brush being a BIG disappointment. I found it VERY harsh to use on my skin, causing flaking and peeling. Unfortunately I got this set and brought on a trip with me so for the first week I had to use “as is”. Very disappointing. Now that I am home, I will try the balm with my Beauty Blender and see if I can get less painful and unsightly results.
      The eye shadows are not the same quality as the Tartelette Palette. Very little color payoff.
      I like the Lights, Camera Flashes mascara and the LipSurgence Vintage lip color. Great bright coral for summer.

  • Amber

    I got the set already and wasn’t sure whether I would like this foundation because I actually really liked the liquid version they said it was based on but I love it! It’s lighter and doesn’t make my combo skin oily like I thought it would. I like a lighter coverage so this one really works for me. I have worn it every day since I got it! I think it’s my new favorite foundation! And the fair worked great for me!

    • Katie

      does the fair have a pink undertone? or is it more neutral? I think I would need fair but don’t want a pink undertone.

  • devon

    already ordered (and auto-delivery!) soooooo excited to try this!!!

  • Jess

    Did it settle into pores at all? I wear the 12-hour Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation now and I really like the finish and color match to my skin, but if I don’t prime really well (powder done Goss style before foundation seems to give the best result), it settles into my pores and looks terrible.

  • Dee

    Ok, I may have to try this! I’m trying to find a good travel foundation and this looks like it might be it. As long as it isn’t greasy!

    • Isabella Muse

      nope, very soft, silky, feels like powder! No grease!

  • Dee

    Muse, did you notice the color being darker? Some of the reviews say their normal foundation color in this brand was darker than they expected. I’ve not tried Tarte foundation at all so not sure which color to order.

    • Isabella Muse

      for Light it is indeed pretty dark Dee. Depending the range of Tarte foundations they either run too light or too dark in my experience. Apparently the balm might be running dark so you might want to go a shade down when selecting a color.

      • Andi

        I don’t know if I’d say they all run dark. I got fair which usually works well for me & I looked ghostly white when I tried it on

      • devon

        crap. i got medium. buutttt…would work for summer skin!

  • Eriu

    This compact really reminds me of the MAC Prep and Prime BB cream compact. I wonder how they compare.

  • Penny

    Looking forward to trying this…I don’t need it, I am sure I will order it early and I am sure I will get it on AD…I am so predictable! LOL

    🙂 Thanks for the review…I normally wear Light in all Tarte products!

  • susan

    Hi Isabella,

    Need your in put… I usually use IT cosmetics,the celebration foundation in medium. The TSV for Tarte is coming oniin QVC soon. Do you think I should get the medium in that balm foundation heard that TARTE color runs darker. Or should I get the light/medium? Would appreciate your advice. Thanks

    • Isabella Muse

      Hi Susan I’m not really sure. I haven’t seen any of the other colors in person! I just have the light version but not sure how the others look so can’t really do a comparison between it and tarte having only tried one shade of the tarte balm.

  • samantha

    Hi Isabella

    I saw this kit offered the other day but I missed it and I’m so excited to see it back today as TSV. But since I missed it I ended up ordering Tart’s 12 hour foundation as I needed something new for summer. I don’t really need another foundation, but do you think I could use this balm as a contour shade instead. This is a great price for the other products included so I definitely don’t want to miss out My skin is fair, what shade do you think would work best as a contour for me?

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m not really sure Samantha, I only have one shade and don’t know what the other shades look like so it is hard to recommend a shade having not seen it for myself! Sorry.

  • Donna

    I ordered the fair. I hope it is the right shade for my skin! Hope it comes soon! I always love your very helpful blog!:)

  • Tina

    Thank you for the review. I love most of the Tarte line and was wondering how this new balm would compare as a foundation. I have oily skin so I tend to stay away from liquid or creams but I think I will definitely try this set. How do you get to try new products before they are available to the public for purchase?