by Katelyn Masters

I have combination-oily skin.  I say that, not to be unique and more complicated than others, but because I’m not all over oily, but I’m also not dry in any places. My skin is confusing. Strangely enough, if I go bare-faced all day, my complexion looks pretty balanced, but as soon as foundation touches my face, it usually looks like Shine Central in my t-zone. If I reach for a mattifying formula, it looks cakey and somehow creates dry patches that never existed before. So, as you can imagine, I have been through many failed new foundation trials.

I swear, these beauty gurus online all must have the most perfectly normal skin, because they can just chuck on any old base and look pristine.  Not me. It had gotten to the point where I had almost given up on finding my ideal foundation, but then I came across Estee Lauder Double Wear. See my story and review of that here.

Double Wear is great. It is the best foundation I have found for my oily skin.  It lasts all day and doesn’t give me that disco ball shine like other foundations can.  However, sometimes you need a change.  Think of Double Wear like that clingy friend you have.  She is so devoted and loyal and she is always there for you. Always. And she’s kind of hard to remove and slows you down a bit…All metaphors aside, I love my Double Wear Foundation, but I’m the type of person that can’t leave well enough alone.  So when Tarte released a foundation counterpart to my favorite concealer (read my Tarte Shape Tape Concealer review here), I had a feeling that this would be worth trying.


Enough about me and my fascinating foundation history, though. Let’s jump right into the review of Tarte’s Shape Tape Matte Foundation available exlusively at Ulta and through Tarte.


Tarte Shape Tape Matte Foundation was just what I was looking for in an alternate foundation. It doesn’t last quite as long as Double Wear on my oily complexion but it is certainly the next most long lasting foundation I have ever tried and I still look put together after a full day of work.  The formula is indeed matte and leaves me with just the tiniest bit of natural shine showing through by the end of the day.  Which is nothing compared to other foundations I have tried where I end up gleaming by hour two (I’m looking at you Makeup Forever, Nars Sheer Glow, and Too Faced Born this Way!!!).


Is the Shape Tape Matte Foundation full coverage? You bet it is! Just as I had hoped, the Matte Foundation is nearly as full coverage as the Shape Tape Concealer, although slightly more sheer as a foundation should be.  You will get a very good medium-full coverage with one coat, enough to cover most acne and discoloration. Even better, you can easily build up this foundation with a second layer for super full coverage, something I couldn’t pull off with Double Wear.

 The shade range has been updated to include several more shades since this was taken.

The shade range has been updated to include several more shades since this was taken.


Tarte has never been the place to go for finding your ideal skin tone match. I remember back many many years ago, when I was using Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Foundation, they had what I recall to be six, maybe seven, shades in that line. For me the only two options were Fair and Light before you hit Medium.  It was so basic, it’s laughable! And, of course, I was neither Fair nor Light but somewhere in-between the two. Today, however, the Clay Foundation boasts like twenty four shades. Welcome to the Twenty First Century, Tarte!

So when Tarte launched their Shape Tape Foundation line in two formulations (Matte and Hydrating) with only fifteen shades each, I wasn’t surprised. The deep skin tone selection was deplorable and they also didn’t include standard cool tones (pink undertones) for fair or light shades.  The good news is, they will be releasing ten more shades, which should fill out the line nicely.

**Update: since writing this, Tarte has already expanded to include several more deep shades!!


When I originally ordered the foundation I went for the darker of the two Shape Tape Concealer shades I have, Fair Neutral (lighter) and Light Neutral (darker).  However, when I tried it on, Light Neutral was a bit too dark for my paler winter complexion.  With a tan though, it would be ideal!  Then, when I took a closer look at the Tarte Shape Tape Matte Foundation lineup, I noticed that there was a shade perfectly in-between the two, called “Fair Light Neutral”.  Why hadn’t I noticed this before??


Fair Light Neutral is the best match for my skin tone which is like NC 20 to NC 25 in MAC and between 1N1 and 2N1 in Estee Lauder Double Wear.  Are you noticing a pattern here? I’m pretty much always in-between.  Tarte, while you’re back there developing shades, why not add Fair Light Neutral to your concealer lineup??

Above I am wearing the Fair Light Neutral shade of the Matte version of Tarte Shape Tape Foundation.  The picture was taken with my cell phone in natural light with no filters, flashes, or artificial lights. 



Overall, I must say that I have been reaching for this Shape Tape Foundation almost every day since I bought it.  It goes on super easily thanks to that big ol’ doe foot applicator, it blends well, and it lasts on my oily skin through an entire work day and beyond.

If I had to compare it to my long-time favorite Estee Lauder Double Wear, I would say that it blends better and is easier to apply and easier to remove.  However, it isn’t quite as full coverage and flawless as Double Wear.  My other reason for reaching for Tarte’s Shape Tape Foundation these days, besides the ease of application, is that I’m pretty sure it has cleaner ingredients, which I’m all about with this baby growing inside me.



  • Sturdy, glass container with a standard 1oz (30ml) of foundation inside.
  • Large doe foot applicator wand to easily dot foundation on face.
  • Blends out nicely with my go to foundation brush or a damp Beauty Blender.
  • Buildable medium-full to full coverage.
  • Matte finish. Controls oil well.
  • Lasts a full work day (10 hours+) without disappearing or getting patchy.
  • Shade range was initially wanting, but more shades are being added.
  • Has not caused breakouts during the 5+ weeks I have been using.
  • Fairly easy to remove at night with a good face wash.

If I had anything more negative to say, believe me I would put it down. I am very picky about foundations and have been loyal to just one formula for the past six years.  My only complaint that I have so far for Tarte’s Shape Tape Matte Foundation is that it isn’t quite as flawless looking on my complexion than my long-time love, Estee Lauder Double Wear. For now, I will probably continue using this Shape Tape Foundation on a daily basis, reserving Double Wear for special occasions.


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