Product Review: Tarteguard 20 Tinted Moisturizer

Do you wear a full face of makeup everyday? I admit, I used to - but for the past few years, on the days that I'm staying home or just running a couple of short errands, I don't bother. That's not saying that I don't put on some makeup (just can't make myself go bare-faced!) - but it's usually just sunscreen, a tinted moisturizer or powder, blush, mascara, and lipgloss.

Tarteguard 20 Tinted Moisturizer

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Earlier this spring/summer, I received a deluxe sample of the Tarteguard 20 Tinted Moisturizer in a Sephora Play! box. It's described as an oil-free SPF 20 tinted moisturizer that delivers natural, sheer-to-light coverage and non-chemical sunscreen ingredients.

There are three shades available:
  • light - light skin with yellow undertones
  • light-medium - light to medium skin with pink and yellow undertones
  • medium - medium skin with pink undertones

Tarteguard 20 Tinted Moisturizer in Medium on the back of a hand

I have the medium, and while I feel my skin tends to be neutral, this shade is sheer enough that it works when I have a faux tan. It's a little too dark for my natural skin color, so I would probably choose the light-medium to wear in the cooler months - but it works right now.

In the two photos below, you can see the color against my untanned skin. The top photo shows it spread out, but not blended, and the bottom photo shows it once it has been blended. You can see that it's definitely not the right shade in the top photo, but in the bottom photo, it has blended in pretty well.

Tarteguard 20 Tinted Moisturizer in Medium spread out (but not blended in) on the back of a hand

Tarteguard 20 Tinted Moisturizer in Medium blended in on the back of a hand

The Tarte website says that you can build coverage, but I find, as with most "sheer" products, even with applying more than one layer there isn't much coverage. You just have to be realistic in your expectations. I don't ever expect much coverage from a product that is a tinted moisturizer.

Active ingredients: titanium dioxide 5%, zinc oxide 5%
Inactive Ingredients: Water, cyclopentasiloxane, PEG/PPG-18/18 dimethicone, octyldodecyl neopentanoate, glycerin, dimethicone, aluminum hydroxide, stearic acid, phenoxyethanol, mica, boron nitride, sodium dehydroacetate, caprylyl glycol, sodium chloride, phytantriol, kaolin, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, palmitic acid, dextrin palmitate, sodium hyaluronate, hexylene glycol, retinyl palmitate, tocopheryl acetate, tocopherol, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, methicone, butylene glycol, triethoxycaprylylsilane, calcium sodium phosphosilicate, saccharum officinarum (sugar cane) extract, pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract, citrus limon (lemon) fruit extract, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) fruit extract, camellia oleifera leaf extract, panax ginseng root extract, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, anthemis nobilis flower extract, iron oxides.

Other things to note: This product is vegan-friendly and fragrance-free. Thank you, Tarte, for making it fragrance-free!

As you know, if you read my post about my top 5 favorite sunscreens, I'm pretty picky about my sunscreen products - especially ones I use on my face. I prefer my facial sunscreens to be mineral-based, fragrance-free, non-greasy, to dry down to matte (or close to it), and play well with my skincare products and makeup. I wear sunscreen daily (my number one anti-aging must-have!), with a SPF 30 for normal wear, and at least SPF 50 when I'm at the beach or going to be outside for prolonged periods. If I can find one that also has antioxidants as well, that's even better.

So how did the Tarteguard 20 Tinted Moisturizer measure up?

I find that it works well for me, but only for very specific circumstances. It doesn't have enough SPF for me to wear it outside as my sunscreen. It also doesn't have enough coverage for my comfort if I was going to be out in public for awhile. What I do like it for is the days when I'm staying at home (inside most or all of the day), or those early evening walks when I want some protection from the remaining UVA rays and a little coverage (in case I run into someone I know, ha!), but I don't want to put on foundation just to exercise.

A tube of Tarteguard 20 Tinted Moisturizer lying on a wooden table

Honestly, I was surprised that I like it as much as I do, because I'm not a fan of the Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion or the BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer with 30 SPF. The Tinted Moisturizer has a little more coverage than the Tinted Treatment Primer and is much less greasy than the Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen. I just set it with e.l.f.'s HD Powder, then a spritz of Skindanavia The Makeup Finishing Spray. That seems to keep it matte for most of the day.

The full-size is 1.7 oz., but there are several options to purchase the size that I have (0.25 oz) on Amazon. Would I purchase the full size? Maybe. I still have to use a separate sunscreen if I want to spend time outside, so I do have limited use for it. I also have a lot of other sample sized foundations/tinted moisturizers to go through. If they offered a smaller size, I would be more likely to buy that.

One product I do want to try is Tarte's Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20. I wish it was 30 SPF, but I would still give it a shot.

Let me know your favorite tinted moisturizer - I'd like to find my holy grail! Tell me in the comments here or catch me on Instagram or Snapchat!


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