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When it comes to wearing foundation, I have one thought and one thought only: don’t. I lament its obvious texture and uniform coverage, and how it can actually make your skin appear dull, one-note and drab. So when I heard I about Tarte’s Shape Tape Cloud Coverage Foundation, a new skincare-foundation hybrid promising “dreamy-looking skin,” I knew I was the ideal cynic to give it a stern vetting.
Tarte’s a magnificent, female-founded/powered brand that was doing the whole no-nasties thing about twenty years before anyone else knew about nasties. It’s anchored by the cult-classic Shape Tape franchise, including the Shape Tape Contour Concealer and Glow Wand, which are fabulous for covering dark circles and adding dewy dimension to skin. They’re the kind of iconic products that inspire caps on how many you can purchase at once. But truth be told, my early-thirties skin and Tarte’s original Shape Tape Foundation don’t play well together: My complexion tends to be on the dry side, and the formula is too full-coverage for my liking. It looks like capital F Foundation on me, which belies my lazy, devil-may-care style.
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I received a sample of the Shape Tape Cloud Coverage SPF 15 in a little tub, and immediately noted the unique, bouncy texture, somewhere between that of a primer and a gel moisturizer. I scanned the cruelty-free ingredient list, which boasts calming and hydrating ingredients like snow mushroom extract, hyaluronic acid and squalene.
I felt safe scooping it out and simply applying it to my skin in little strokes, admiring the way it disguises my dark circles and spots while still upping my glow factor. Seriously, I haphazardly slapped it on and watched in delight as it made my skin look like the best version of itself, one in which I did a five-step skincare routine and didn’t drink Chardonnay the night before. The lightweight formula imbues skin with an actual sheen that smacks of a rich person who gets regular facials and never steps into bad lighting. It makes your skin look expensive, even and glowy; the opposite of foundation.
If my initial reaction to this “foundation” was to marvel, my lasting one was to bow down. In the hours following application, I made out with my boyfriend and didn’t transfer any onto him or his shirt, went for a brisk walk and stared at my computer screen for hours, and my skin still looked luminous.
Shape Tape Cloud Coverage comes in 21 shades and drops on Black Friday exclusively at QVC. Shoppers can score Shape Tape Cloud Coverage with a free AirLift Brush for only $39 (normally $69 for both) and free shipping through Dec. 17. Basically, the entire experience will make you look (and feel) like a mysterious relative left you a skincare inheritance.