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Highlighters - Tarte - Smooth Operator Illuminating Serum

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rated 4.0(22 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.0
  • 77% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.0
  • Price: $$$

  • Ingredients
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rated 4 of 5 on 5/24/2013 5:27:00 PM More reviews by PowerFemme

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Green

I love this product, but for me it is not necessarily a must have. This product it hard to describe so I can see where some people may be disappointed in it- this is somewhere in between a highlighter, illuminating liquid, and tinted moisturizer for me. It does separate, as other reviewers have mentioned, but a quick shake solves this problem and even on my very oily skin this has never, ever made me greasy or shiny. While brightening, this does not pack a shimmery punch, so if you are looking for a cheekbone highlighter this will likely be too subtle for you. I either mix this will a matte full coverage foundation (like the Revlon ColorStay for combo/oily skin) when I want a more natural finish or I will wear this all over like a tinted moisturizer when my skin is being well-behaved. I find that this imparts a small amount of coverage (mostly just balancing out some redness), and the Amazonian Clay ingredient does an awesome job of controlling my oil and shine whether on its own or mixed with other products. Mostly, this makes my skin look naturally healthy, glowy, and balanced.

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rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 12/28/2012 2:29:00 AM More reviews by keyelement

Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Brown

Broke me out like whoa. I shook and mixed it the best I could, but it was still really greasy and oily coming out of the tube and going on. I am fortunate to have really great, balanced skin (just a tad dry), but this made my face increasingly greasy throughout the day. Which bums me out, because I did love the fineness of the shimmer - it was very natural and glowy looking. I wish it didn't turn into shiny and whitehead-filled. :(

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 6/24/2012 6:41:00 PM More reviews by LeMinx

Age: 30-35 Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Warm Hair: Brunette, Curly, Coarse Eyes: Brown

I tried this at Ulta and fell in love! I was hesitant to buy it because I've tried so many products at the store only to get it home and be disappointed so I bought a deluxe sample from eBay.

I've used my sample off and on for the past few months (mainly because I keep forgetting I have it), and each time I'm impressed with the results. The product itself is a bit oily for my taste but it appears to sink into my dry skin without leaving it feeling oily. I typically pair this with Nars Sheer Glow foundation and again, the results are great. I also like the fact that this serum doesn't contain an obscene amount of glitter. While I love "glowing" and "illuminating" products, so many of them rely on tons of glitter to achieve the effect. Somehow Tarte figured out how to create a product that does in fact illuminate without leaving you looking like a Club Kid.

The downside of this product are few. It is seemingly oil based so it does separate while it is in the package. As a result, you must shake the container before you apply it. If you don't, you'll get a good amount of oil before the serum itself comes out. Also, if you get lazy and decide to skip taking off your makeup, be prepared for a monster zit. The price is also a bit steep, but most primers last me at least six month so I will likely end up buying a full sized bottle when my sample runs out.

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rated 2 of 5 on 4/15/2012 6:31:00 PM More reviews by hippiepippie

Age: 25-29 Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Warm Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Hazel

To me, this is nothing special. I mostly tried it out of curiousity, maybe hoping it would help out with my super dry skin. Does it? Naah. Sure, it makes my skin glow a lot more, but that's about it. I don't think that it's really healing or taking away anything, but just _hiding_ my dryness problem. And that's not what I wanted. Except for terrible dryness, I don't have any skin problems: no break outs, blackheads, puffiness or whatever else one can have. Sometimes I'm a bit red, but that's normal for skin as pale as mine, and also considering my pink skin tone. And speaking of the pink skin tone, this serum has very little color -- but enough to show up yellow on my face. It turns out yellow and it shimmers too much, so I honestly see no reason for repurchasing. Will stick to my MAC Studio Moisture Tint in Light. Besides everything else, MAC SMT has spf, another thing this serum lacks.

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rated 4 of 5 on 2/13/2012 5:40:00 AM More reviews by esavage83

Age: 25-29 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Makes my skin flawless
Love the glow
Doesn't break me out
I look alive because of this
Good under makeup and alone

Need to shake before application
Have to use another moisturizer under

OK ..So this product was a little difficult for me. I wanted something that would do everything.. SPF, moisture, tint, and glow. Maybe I wiill try a BB cream next.
As for this, I use it with an spf moisturizer and I love the finish.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 12/16/2011 7:06:00 PM More reviews by prettylights

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I was confused when I first got this as to what it was actually for. First I tried it as a tinted moisturizer but it was too dark and shimmery on my pale skin. Then I tried it as a primer under foundation but thought it was a little too heavy when layered. Finally I started using it after I was done with my foundation and blush as a highlighter and it works great! It's not too dark for me that way and just a little bit along my cheek bones and up around my eyes, along my nose, and on my brow bones really brightens up my face and gives me a gorgeous dewey glow. I get so many compliments from strangers when I wear it this way. Just this weekend I was wearing it when a random guy told me I looked 'very pretty' when I was walking into the bar. I think it's because of the healthy glowing sheen this adds to my skin. Will definitely buy again, and the big tube will last a long time since you don't need a lot to see results.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 12/10/2011 10:31:00 AM More reviews by browneyessmiles

Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

I got this in a deluxe sample size as a sephora 500 point reward (along with other tarte products). I was impressed with this as I ended up using this not just as a highlighter but as a tinted moisturizer. It didn't look shimmery to me, and just made my skin look great. Compared to the price of laura mercier tinted moisturizer I'd been using this is way more affordable. The deluxe mini size lasted me for about 3 weeks of daily use, which i also found impressive. I have normal skin (neither dry nor oily) and I found the hydrating properties of this to be okay, I still wore a moisturizer under this every day.

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 12/9/2011 10:40:00 AM More reviews by dsbirnbaum

Age: 36-43 Skin: Dry, Medium, Warm Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Blue

This is a very subtle, light lotion based, neutral tinted highlighter that gives a modest, slightly pink toned, brightening effect. If you dislike the glittery or shimmering look caused by some highlighters, this product may be for you. It doesn't give my skin the dewy appearance that I can achieve with other , more moisturizing illuminating products, but that is probably because my skin tends to be dry. The product claims to hydrate the skin and help it retain moisture, but it has no hydrating effect on my dry skin. I apply it over moisturizer and under foundation. I sometimes apply extra product on top of my foundation, to boost the highlight on my cheekbones. The result is a hint of glimmer and a very mild brightening effect. This highlighter doesn't last on me the way other similar products do. The brightening effect tends to fade after a couple hours. I wish this came in more color options. My skin is warm/light olive toned, so a warmer, slightly golden color would be more noticeable and better suited to my skin. I would not repurchase this because there are other highlighters that are more suited to my skin tone and type. I recommend this as a good highlighter option for skin colors in the fair to lighter toned, oily to normal skin type.

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rated 5 of 5 on 10/31/2011 8:12:00 PM More reviews by tori8780

Age: 25-29 Skin: Oily, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

I LOVE this! I use it over my moisturizer then top with powder mineral foundation and it gives me such a nice, dewey glow. I do have a tendency to get oily when I use it, so I just top with SN blur and that does the trick for most of the day. This is my HG and I will most definitely repurchase!

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rated 4 of 5 on 10/29/2011 6:27:00 PM More reviews by skyeblu

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Green

I had been using a deluxe sample of this product and just ordered the full size. It's too dark for my very fair skin to use it as-is, but it's terrific to mix in with mineral sunscreens. I mix a few drops with my Clarins UV Plus and it neutralizes the white cast and adds a nice warm glow and evens my complexion a bit. I love being able to juice up my daily sunscreen with this! I also mix in a few drops with my Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer, as it has a matte finish and I prefer a more dewy/natural finish. I imagine this product is even more versatile for girls with less pale complexions.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No