Tarte Cosmetics Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

Tarte Cosmetics Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder


35 reviews

77% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$$


Silica, Talc, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Kaolin.

Where to Buy

Start your review

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Grey

I really had sworn off powders of any kind for my face. They look cakey, settle into fine lines no matter how little I use or what brush I use, they just always are a hot mess for me. But I do like the airbrushed look they can give and I do get oily in my T-zone sometimes during the day.

The sample version of this was set out on the counter at Ulta and I felt it was my destiny to try it, lol..

I applied it with the It Cosmetics #108 brush and I expected the usual dulling of skin, even a white cast, looking like it was 'sitting' on my skin..but I got none of that with this, in fact, I almost danced over to pick one up to purchase!! It did not give me the dreaded white cast and instantly made my skin look and feel smoother, not heavy or made up nor cakey at all!!

This also does not dump a ton of product out at a time. In fact I usually have to give a good 3 shakes to get any out at all, so I appreciate that. No worries about powder getting all over my vanity, my clothes, etc... Maybe some are really neat about applying their loose powders, but I have tried the tricks and it still usually seems to go everywhere. This does not do that, very pleased!! This is also the first white powder (or translucent, for that matter!!) that I have ever used that does not leave a white cast, and I am currently tanned!!!

I get no scent with this and no kick-up of powder that sometimes irritates my nose. Absolutely no irritation to my sensitive skin. I even forget that I have it on!!

But what really pleases me about this is it seems to smooth out fine lines and blur my pores. As I have gotten older (age 45), my pores look like a strawberry. This blurs my pores and I honestly feel and look 25 again. I had pretty much given up on any powders to do that for me. It also evens out my skin tone.

This is just a workhorse of a product for me, and it sits there quietly and unassumingly on my shelf. Basic packaging, nothing too frilly or loud or 'look at me, ain't I special!!!' yet this works like a charm and makes me look and feel better. I am not one to claim a product to be a miracle product, I always balk when I see commercials when I see women talking about 'miracle' products, but I would say this is just about a miracle product for me.

I even bought an extra It Cosmetics #108 brush just for this, because I figured it went on so nicely in the store with it, that I wanted to have my own brush just for this product.

This is also easy to use. I just dab the big fluffy brush into the powder and brush lightly over my skin. None of those 'tricks' of 'pushing' the powder into your skin or any other crazy 'tricks'..just a powder used how a powder should be used..no gimmicks or tricks. But beautiful results.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 3/5/2014 7:03:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Really like the finish, packaging and feel of this product.

1. Finish- matte and natural but not cakey. Looks good in photos.

2. Packaging- screwtop lid with the shaker top. I upside down the container to tap the bottom lightly and then open it. There is a suitable amount of product on the underside of the lid which also gives me room to swirl it around to distribute on the brush. Really convenient especially when you have 8am lectures.

3. Feel- OH MAN GUYS the finish is so silky and smooth its fantastic.

Didn't like the lasting power:

4. Lasting power- when I get home from school only my nose will be some degree of shiny but I don't reapply during the day so that is somewhat expected. My skin is combination so that might be why.

Forgot to mention a little goes a long way so the price is actually okay.
Would rebuy if I lost or used up.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 5/28/2017 11:29:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I'm disappointed in Tarte cosmetics. I have religiously used their Amazonian Clay Waterproof foundation circa 2011-2012 along with the Smooth Operator loose powder and it was always absolutely flawless. The powder did soften my skin over time and I was impressed. I have combination dry skin and I needed a powder that was gentle on my dry areas. I purchased and repurchased and repurchased until recently.

Back in 2012, the cover of the powder was clear with green leaves surrounding the logo. The powder was very fine in appearance and soft to the touch. I checked the ingredients before I purchased and they were:
Silica, Dehydroacetic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Kaolin, Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride

Recently I repurchased another powder with the new Tarte design on the lid. I never bothered to notice the new texture in the powder but it was much thicker in appearance compared to the old formula. I've purchased the powder several times since the redesign and I never checked the ingredients until a few weeks ago and found out that there's a good amount of talc in the ingredients as well as ingredients I've never seen before:
Silica, talc, polymethylsilsesquioxane, phenoxyethanol, dimethicone, kaolin

Before I realized the new ingredients existed, I tried the pressed powder version for fun and it was incredibly drying. If I remember correctly, it contained talc at the time (currently does not) and I returned it.

Could they be sellouts?

4 of 6 people found this helpful.

on 7/26/2014 2:38:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I only have the small jar but let me tell you this small container will last your forever. I wanted a untinted powder that will set my makeup for all day. The powder is softly milled to the touch and so it made my skin velvety. It sets to a matte finish and keeps your makeup lasting for several hours but you may have to set it a couple of times throughout the day. Your makeup won't be looking nice as it you first applied it. If you have dry skin it will cling on to dry patches and creases into the fine lines making them looking worse than it was before. It also lightens your foundation and makes it look grayish looking? Whenever you use white powder over darker skin tones there is a white film laying on top and this is what it does. So no it's not good for camera and photo taking.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

This product is something magical. My face is usually drenched in oil after 4 hours, but with this I'm at hour 6 and I don't have any oil peeking through my foundation. It has also kept my foundation in place, no clumping here! Definitely replacing this with my MAC Blot Powder!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Tan, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

This is probably the best powder I've used for my mostly oily, sensitive skin. I've been using this powder for almost 4 years now and the formula has changed but it's still the best in terms of oil-control and one of the best for smoothing out my large pores.

-best oil-control I've used in a powder (old formula was even better at oil-control but still beats other powders in the new formulation)
-smooths out texture, lines and pores very nicely (I see a huge difference in the way my pores look when I use this versus other powders, one of the best powders for this purpose)
-gives a super smooth and silky feel to your skin. bronzer, blush and highlight glide and blend over it nicely
-sets foundation really well even with a small amount, leaves no tackiness behind from foundation
-very finely milled
-non-irritating, doesn't break me out
-makes makeup last amazingly (does this better than other powders. makes it very resistant to water and sweat)
-gives an airbrushed almost flawless, soft-focus effect
-cruelty free, vegan

-can be drying/dehydrating (but not as much as the old formula. This powder is much better for oily, combo skin)
-not the best for setting concealer around your eyes (only due to it being a bit too mattifying, I prefer Nars Light Reflecting loose powder for my undereyes)
-cannot "bake" with it (you should avoid baking with all silica-based powders to prevent flash back)
-can leave behind a somewhat powdery look if not blended in properly
-can emphasize dryness and flakiness (if you prep the skin well it won't happen)

Back when my skin was very dry, I disliked this powder because it was way too mattifying on my skin. Now, that my skin is mostly oily again, I love it. I try a lot of powders from high end to drugstore, both silica and talc based and I always come back to this. It's smooth, lasts and controls oil, blurs pores, lightweight, sets foundation perfectly and gives a really nice finish. It does everything I need in a powder. Most powders either look really beautiful on the skin but it doesn't last or it controls oil and lasts well but doesn't look very nice on. This does it all.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I got this in Ipsy and I liked it. I have found a duplicate which is ELF translucent mineral powder. I used this to set my concealer and it did the job however not liking the price and I will not repurchase because of the price. I do understand this is a high end product though, so maybe high end just isn't for me considering I am a cheapo. This was a good product and for anyone who doesn't mind spending a decent amount of money on makeup, this is the product for you if you are wanting a translucent loose powder.

2 of 3 people found this helpful.

on 5/16/2018 10:28:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have combination skin (around my chin gets pretty dry and sometimes flaky and my forehead turns into an oil slick) and this stuff worked great. It didn't emphasize the dry patches and it blurred out any shininess from my forehead. Made my skin feel silky smooth, kind of like a good blurring primer would. I love it! I, however, do not love the price. It is currently on the Tarte website for $33 and that's a bit steep for a gal on a budget like me. For now, I have a sample size and I think it'll last me a long while as I don't wear tons of makeup everyday.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 4/17/2017 5:49:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I am really liking this, but it is the first loose setting powder I have used, so there may be better out there. It does help my foundation and concealer stay, and doesn't really add too much of a matte look or too much of a glowy look. It is more of a natural finish. What I really like is how it makes adding powder products easier. When I use this, my blush and bronzer goes on so smoothly and blends super easily. This is definitely more of a high maintenance product, as it gets messy and adds time to my routine, but I do like it for when I want a done up look.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I use this to set my makeup for the day. This is something to instantly lock in your makeup before leaving home, not something to touch up with on the go. It's so fine and makes your foundation/concealer instantly matte and smooth. If any liquid products are a little sticky and hard to set on their own this is a good product. If you use too much it can look a little chalky or white but after melting into my skin for a few minutes it goes away completely. A little messy as well (what kind of loose powder isn't though lol) but is a really good product for any girls out there that like to bake. Expensive, yet so worth it.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Back to Top