Tarte Rainforest of the Sea is supposed to be a 12 hour lightweight, water based, full coverage formula with SPF 15. When the new lightest shade Porcelain came out, I was excited to give it a try. I usually try to get foundation samples at Sephora because my skin is sensitive and acne prone, but the dropper format is unhygenic for getting samples.
After trying it for the past few weeks, it is definitely a lightweight fluid, but I don't think it is full coverage. I would rate it a light-medium coverage - building serious coverage would require quite a few layers. I get light coverage with one dropper and medium with three. I could see someone using up 5-6 droppers full of foundation to get maximum possible coverage with this one. The dropper system gets messy, so I wouldn't advise traveling with this.
- Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation, shade 2
- L'Oreal True Match foundation, shade N1 Soft Ivory neutral
- Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation, shade Porcelain
- NARS Sheer Glow foundation, shade Siberia
- Giorgio Armani Power Fabric foundation, shade 1
- It Cosmetics CC Cream, shade Fair
- SKIN79 Green BB cream (Skin79 BB cream in the green bottle is much lighter than the VIP Gold, Original, Diamond or Hot Pink)
- Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer, shade Fair Neutral
As always, no editing of any kind. I think foundation reviews should show what skin actually looks like to give you an accurate idea of what the product could do for you. I took these in natural light standing in front of a window. Feel free to zoom in :)
Before 1: Bare skin. I moisturized with the Clinique DDMG, a gel moisturizer that sinks in quickly and doesn't leave the skin feeling tacky. No primer, no sunscreen.
After 1: Tarte rainforest of the sea in porcelain (the lightest shade) 2 thin layers. For each layer I patted in a thin amount of product with my fingers and then blended with a damp real techniques sponge. No powder, concealer, or any other products used. I see a big improvement with general tone correction - look at the area beside my nose and jaw. This foundation leaves a matte finish, but my skin doesn't look dead or flat. It would look more natural if I had used a more emollient moisturizer or a hydrating primer.
Before 2: Bare skin. I struggle with hormonal acne and dryness on my chin - I currently have some hyper pigmentation and redness from past spots.
After 2: Same as before, 2 light layers of foundation applied with my fingers and blended with a damp sponge. The redness on my chin is evened out nicely, but I would still need concealer to look flawless. My upper lip/ little peach fuzz hairs are standing out and foundation is sitting on top of dry areas on my chin, but I like the natural matte finish and even canvas. No settling into my smile lines.
Again, my chin really could have benefited from a more emollient moisturizer, hydrating primer, or dewy setting spray - I think this looks a little dry.
Overall, this is a nice product and I can see why so many people are hyping it up.
It suffers from the same drawbacks as other liquidy high pigment products - you have to be careful with application and blending. If you're not careful, the liquid base will soak into your skin or beauty blender, leaving you with chalky or unblended pigment, especially around dry patches. I have had the same issue with other base products of a similar viscosity like the Cover FX custom cover drops or the Urban Decay naked skin concealer, so if you like those, the texture of Rainforest of the Sea won't cause any issues. If you are used to creamier, more forgiving textures of BB creams or tinted moisturizers, you may have a learning curve with application.
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea does not mix seamlessly with other products. I like to mix foundation with moisturizers to create lazy tinted moisturizers when I'm in a hurry, and this foundation doesn't mix well. It's not a dealbreaker, but in my ideal world I would like my foundations to be a little more foolproof to apply.
For me, the biggest selling point is the color match - the new shade porcelain matches me wonderfully. This foundation does a good job evening out the skin, but I wouldn't call it full coverage. I don't think Tarte Rainforest of the Sea is my favorite foundation of all time, but I'm enjoying it.
UPDATE: After wearing daily for ~3 weeks, a few items I wanted to update/note.
- My preferred application method is with a dense synthetic brush (holla Real Techniques buffing brush) in one light layer
- 1 dropper with a brush = 3 droppers with a damp sponge coverage wise & accounting for the sponge soaking up tons of foundation
- The second layer looks nice at the time of application, but if I layer up to get more coverage my skin looks heavy by the end of the day