Not your average concealer.
Like a good undercover detective, I need a concealer that conceals my tired eyes, broken capillaries, and stubborn spots in the most natural-looking and effortless way possible; a concealer that does the job well without leaving a trace of evidence behind. “Tarte’s Shape Tape is the only concealer I use,” exclaims my friend Jorge, whose bright eyes and clear skin always make me do a double-take. “I even use it in lieu of foundation when I don’t want to do a full face,” he adds.
A concealer that can do double duty? Now, that’s something to talk about. And it’s not just my well-coiffed friend who waxes lyrical about Tarte’s Shape Tape, either. Celebrities, beauty editors, and makeup artists alike all praise this “can’t live without it” product for its ability to provide excellent coverage while simultaneously brightening the skin for a more even, illuminated look. Tarte’s website notes that one tube of this creamy concealer is sold every 12 seconds—it even has more than 9,000 glowing reviews on Ulta. Needless to say, this product has garnered a lot of buzz, but is it really worth the hype?
Eager to find out, I tested the acclaimed Shape Tape to see if it can conceal without drawing attention to dry spots or feeling cakey on the skin. Ahead, I break down everything you need to know—including its coverage, longevity, and application—to help you decide if Tarte’s Shape Tape is worth your coin or not.
More Products We Put to the Test
- A little goes a long way
- Large applicator
- Blends easily
- Full coverage
- Dries quickly
- More matte than brightening
First, a Little About My Skin
I’m not sure if it’s genetics or my two screaming kids that have blessed me with dark circles, but either way, I definitely require a good amount of coverage. On top of that, fine lines, dullness, and hyperpigmentation are an unwelcome trio that I try to disguise, but to no avail. That said, I like to play with concealers that feel breathable and natural, like YSL’s Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Concealer Pen, which is among my favorites. Still, for all of the formulas that I’ve tried, I have yet to find a concealer that doesn’t highlight my dry patches and announce to the world that I’m desperately trying to hide my flaws. Given my mature skin, I need something that is creamy, lightweight and doesn’t seep into my (large) pores and expanding collection of wrinkles. Could Tarte’s Shape Tape be the answer that I’ve been looking for?
About Tarte’s Shape Tape Concealer
Tarte’s Shape Tape Concealer comes in a whopping 35 shades and is available in two different formulas: Original (for normal to oily skin), which dries more matte, and ultra-creamy (for dry and mature skin), which offers more hydration. Each formula includes mango seed and shea butter to help condition and retain the skin’s elasticity, and licorice root extract to help color correct and brighten the appearance of dark circles. One tube typically retails for $27 and is also enriched with the brand’s Tape Technology. What is Tape Technology, you ask? It’s a proprietary formula that works to smooth texture and blur the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles (I’m definitely here for that). Tarte’s Shape Tape also promises to conceal redness (goodbye signs of acne) and remain transfer and water-proof for up to 16 hours. An added bonus is its subtle rose scent, which lingers throughout the day.
Trust me when I say that a little goes a long way with this concealer. Shape Tape has a large application wand (compared to other concealers), which means it distributes a lot of product in one go, so be mindful of that. That said, gently dab the concealer using the wand onto your desired areas—three to four small dabs in each section are all you need. Blend the concealer into the skin with your fingertips (my preferred way), a beauty blender, or a concealer brush. Because this formula dries fast, you’ll want to work quickly to ensure that everything is blended in seamlessly before the product sets. You can wear this concealer on its own or over your favorite foundation for more coverage.
I tested the ultra-creamy formula—35H to be exact—and it instantly covered up my lack of sleep, poor diet (is copious amounts of coffee considered a diet?), and stress of two screaming kids in just one dab. Despite its mattifying effect, the mango seed and shea butter left a suppleness that made it easy to blend and left my skin looking nourished and smooth. My friend Jorge was absolutely correct in that I didn’t need a full face of foundation afterward. In fact, I skipped foundation altogether and just rocked Shape Tape, some cream blush, and a nude lip. And believe me when I tell you that this concealer did not budge. I drank coffee (of course), ate my meals, walked the dog, had a pillow fight with my kids and I still looked flawless at the end of the day. And the best part? I didn’t even have to reapply—not one bit. This creamy concealer went on smooth, didn’t crease or accentuate my wrinkles (thank goodness), and left me with a velvety-smooth finish that boosted my confidence.
After a few days of wearing Shape Tape sans foundation, I went on a date night with my husband. I applied a full face of makeup and used the concealer to accentuate my lipstick (by applying a small amount around the edges of my lips) and on top of my cheekbones as a highlighter. The result? My lips popped like Angelina Jolie’s, and my highlight was on point. I had to take multiple selfies to document how elevated I looked because it doesn’t happen that often. But with my new bestie, Shape Tape, the world better watch out.
So, Is It All Hype or My New Holy Grail Product?
Holy grail, through and through. What can I say? Tarte’s Shape Tape is good to me. An excellent concealer can truly change your whole makeup game, and this one is the real deal. If you want to look like you drink eight glasses of water a day, workout, mind your business, get plenty of sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, and love life—then this concealer is for you. If you already do these things, adding Shape Tape to your makeup routine will only bless you further. All kidding aside, if you’re looking for full coverage without any traces of cakiness or creasing, then you will absolutely love Tarte’s Shape Tape. Use it alone as a concealer, as your foundation, or as a pop of highlighter, and you’ll wonder how you ever went so long without it—I know I did.