Tarte Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is what my favorite foundation is. People are often surprised when I say that it’s Tarte’s Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation. First, because most people have never heard of it; Second, because it may  just be the longest name of a foundation in history.

People are also surprised that most times, I do not recommend this foundation to them. Why don’t I typically recommend my favorite foundation of all time? I promise it’s not because I’m greedy or trying to keep this beauty secret to myself!

Keep reading for a full review of Tarte’s Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation.

tarte empowered hybrid gel foundation

Let’s start out with the product claims:

“A poreless, full coverage gel foundation with skin-smoothing hyaluronic acid. 

Product performance: Smooth skin is in with this radiant, full coverage foundation with skin-loving ingredients wrapped in a luxurious, creamy gel. The unique, oil-free blend of smoothing, plumping and pore refining ingredients help brighten skin while moisturizing and blurring the look of fine lines and pores. The cooling, hypoallergenic gel feels like a drink of water for your skin, while masking any redness, dark spots, acne and uneven skin tone for 12-hour wear across skin types. It’s available in a range of shades to match any skin tone with a soft, rose scent and natural, radiant finish.” (that mouthful was taken from tarte.com)

If I had to rate this description for accuracy, I would say it scores about 90%.

SENSORIAL SKIN CARE: This foundation is a spa-like experience. The feeling of putting this foundation on never gets old. It truly feels like skin care and because it is a gel foundation, it is instantly cooling on your skin, soothing any redness or irritation you may have. Skin is left feeling so hydrated and refreshed that often times I want to stop right there and not put any more makeup on!

One of my favorite parts of this foundation is the fresh rose scent, which is so unusual for me. I typically find rose scents so overwhelming and  really don’t enjoy it, but for some reason in this foundation I find it so pleasant and relaxing.

COVERAGE: I would agree that this is a full coverage foundation, although you can definitely use less product and make it more medium coverage. This foundation glides on and blends so easily, fully covering pores, redness and any other imperfections.

*Application Tip: A little goes a very long way! This foundation comes in a jar so it is very easy to take too much product onto your brush or blending sponge. I typically don’t advocate purchasing the coordinating foundation brushes, but in this case I find it very helpful. The brush comes with a spatula on one end to scoop out the foundation (which in my opinion is also more sanitary) and a slanted flat top kabuki brush on the other end. Start by scooping a little out at a time and build up to your preferred coverage – It is always easier to build up than remove product. Shop the Tarte Foundation Brush & Spatula.

SHADE RANGE: Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation is currently available in 18 shades. As with most Tarte products there is a wider selection in the fair-to-medium and tan shades. Common complaints with Tarte foundations are that there are not enough options when you get to their dark to rich shades. Tarte is pretty receptive to feedback and I want to believe they will expand their darker shade ranges in the future.

I am a light to a light-medium skin tone with pink undertones. I always had trouble finding my shade until I found Tarte foundations. They make it incredibly easy to find your accurate shade with full descriptions and photos on their website. I would recommend clicking through all the shades and reading the descriptions before heading into the store, so that you know whether you should be trying the beige, neutral, sand or honey shades. I typically wear light beige in the fall and winter months and light-medium beige in the spring and summer.

WEAR: This is where the product starts to fall short on its claims. This product is super hydrating but the down side to that is it never feels like it fully dries down. I find in the winter when my skin is a little more dry, this foundation lasts longer because my skin seems to drink it in and really hold on to it. In the spring and summer when my skin is a little more normal and balanced, my oils will break through and make this foundation transfer or wear off quickly if I do not set it with powder. If I really want to get full wear out of this foundation I need to have blotting papers on me at all times as well as powder to touch up with.

SKIN TYPES: This is the reason I often do not recommend this foundation. It is definitely not for all skin types. If you are normal or oily, there is a good chance this foundation will slide right off your face. I have dry to combination skin and sometimes on my more combination days this foundation can wear away quickly on me. If you have dry and/or more mature skin, this will give you the radiant youthful look that you are probably looking for and will wear much better on your skin type.

PRICE: This foundation retails for $39 for 1 Fl. oz. on tarte.com and Ulta Beauty. I will tell you right now, I have never paid full price for this foundation! Right now it is on sale for $27 as part of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty and Tarte periodically has a Friends and Family Sale where you can purchase the Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation for 20% – 30% off. If I don’t already have one, I typically buy a back-up during these sales so that I never have to pay full price.

tarte empowered hybrid gel foundationWHY I LOVE IT: When this product works it really works. This foundation gives my skin full coverage with a glow. I have a lot of redness and I love the idea of full coverage but hate a heavy matte look. I want the best of both worlds – full coverage that looks like my skin. Tarte’s Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation is the closest I have ever gotten to that.

The best part about this foundation, is that it just feels like I am doing something good for my skin when I’m wearing it; It looks AND feels good – and isn’t that the whole point of makeup?

Let me know in the comments if you found this review helpful and if there is a foundation you have been wondering about. I may just review it next!

Until next time, beauties!



Milani Conceal + Perfect

I am always on the hunt for a great new foundation. I have been trying out a lot of high-end brands lately, but YouTubers have been raving about the Milani Conceal +Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer. I had my doubts because I have been wronged by many a drug store foundation before, but I was willing to give it a shot. Hey, if a drug store foundation could give me the coverage that I need without drying out my skin, while eliminating the need for concealer all for under $10, why not give it a try?

To give it a fair shot, I also picked up the Milani Prime Perfection Hydrating + Pore Minimizing Primer. I do have dry skin and lately my pores seem to need a little extra TLC.

*I’m going to shoot you straight on this one. I can’t even put the energy into reviewing the primer – it was that bad. It smelled like pure chemicals and did absolutely nothing for my skin or my foundation.

The basics…

Conceal + Perfect Foundation


$9.99 at CVS (as low as $6.99 in Target)


Medium to full coverage. Lightweight, oil-free formula. Longwearing, water-resistant and sweat-proof.

Color Selection

01 Creamy Vanilla, 02 Natural, 03 Light Beige, 04 Medium Beige, 05 Warm Beige, 07 Sand, 09 Tan, 10 Golden Tan (I have no idea what happened to 06 and 08, but I could not find them in stores or online!)

So here’s the deal…


Lasting Coverage – This is definitely a long wearing, full coverage foundation as the claims state. This lasted a full work day without budging and with almost no need to blot or touch up. I would not go as far as to say there is no need for concealer – especially if you have under eye issues like me. I still needed a color correcting concealer under my eyes to cover up my dark circles. If you are lucky enough to not have any problem areas or blemishes you may find that the foundation is enough for you.

Light as a Feather – This foundation was lightweight, as it claimed and it dried completely so that there was no transfer to my clothes – this is a huge plus in my book. At times it felt like I wasn’t wearing any foundation at all.


Parched – As I mentioned, I have dry skin. This foundation really clung to my dry patches and really made my skin look dehydrated. Any and all expression lines were emphasized and I felt like it aged me (not cool, man). On day 2, I used a hydrating finishing spray on top and I still felt like my skin looked super dry.

You Better Be Quick – While I loved that this foundation dried completely and did not transfer, you pretty much have to be “faster than a speeding bullet” to blend out this foundation before it dries. It was the most difficult foundation to blend that I have ever encountered – it dried within seconds of placing it on my skin. No matter how hard I tried, I ended up looking patchy in spots – particularly on my forehead and chin.

One Shade Does Not Fit All – The color selection in this line is just weird. I don’t get it. There were only 8 shades and all of them appeared dark with a yellow undertone (I am a fair-skinned, pink undertone gal). Picking a shade was almost impossible and even after quietly cracking the seal in the store and trying it out on my hand, I still picked the wrong color. Somehow the second shade in the line was still too dark for me, so this foundation is not for my fair-skinned ladies.


Despite some redeeming qualities, this foundation just did not work out for me. My biggest problem was that it was too dry for my already dry skin, so if you have combination or oily skin, I wouldn’t necessarily rule it out. I could actually see this having a really beautiful finish on someone with oily skin. The lack of colors also did not do this foundation line any favors. I am typically somewhere in the light-to-medium range – I usually end up with beige shades. Even if I had purchased the 01 Creamy Vanilla, I think there’s a chance it would have still been dark and definitely too yellow for me.

Unfortunately this foundation is headed back to the store along with the primer (ughh, I can’t even deal with that primer!).

Let me know in the comments if you agree or if you had a completely different experience than I did. I would also love to know what foundations you would like me to review next.