Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer – In-depth Review and Ingredient Analysis

There are two types of primers, the skin nourishing ones that will create a nice skin base for the makeup to sit on and the usecase specific ones, like mattifiers, smoothers etc.

The Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer falls into the second category. It works great and smooths out pores well but is not as skincare worthy as for example, the This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up.

Let’s have a look at the details.


Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer 3



The Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer comes in a metallic purple cardboard packaging with the typical Tarte branding.

The primer itself comes in a glass jar with a gold, screw-on lid. It looks simple but yet elegant. Although beautiful, the jar packaging can be hard to use if you have long nails (you’ll get the product a lot under your nails) but most importantly it’s also less hygenic. Jar packaging can destroy ingredients since the product will be more exposed to the enviroment but also to our direct usage, potentially transferring bacteria and other dirt.

For this specific product it’s not a major issue but it would have been even better had it had a different type of packaging.


Colour and Texture

This primer has a light pink colour and a thick paste-like texture. It still spreads easily though and covers pores nicely.

Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer 5



This primer has a subtle, sweet cosmetic scent which is pleasant. The scent comes from added fragrance which can be a negative for skin and is actually unnecesary. The scent is too subtle to smell while using the product so (you can only smell it if you literally put your nose into the jar)…what’s the point?



One 15mL jar of the Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer retails for £33. It is a fair bit of money however, it does last a long time and it works better than other primers so overall, might be worth it.



I have pores the size of craters, you can literally see them from a distance so I am very picky with pore minimisers as they, most of the time, promise results they can’t deliver.

The Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer is one of the better pore minimising primers in the market at this moment. It minimises pores nicely and keeps them hidden longer than any other primer worked on me.

With that being said, after a few minutes to a few hours, depending on conditions, my pores still open up and become visible, so this product (like any pore minimiser) didn’t last all day on me. But, it is still better covering and more long lasting than most minimisers out there.



The Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer lasts for 12M.

Here’s what the brand says about this product:


Don’t waste your time on primers that only prime. this skincare-infused primer with innovative blurring & filling technology gives a more youthful appearance while prepping the skin for makeup.


  • Formulated to fade out your biggest beauty boundaries such as large pores, fine lines and wrinkles
  • Antioxidant-rich formula gently melts into the skin delivering a surge of moisture, peptides and other naturally-derived elixirs for a firmer, smoother appearance
  • Has a lightweight texture and fresh powder scent as it provides the perfect blank canvas to enhance the look and wear time of makeup

Always formulated without: Parabens • Mineral Oil • Phthalates • Triclosan • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate • Gluten



It wouldn’t be ethical if we didn’t talk about the credibility of this section. It is very hard to impossible most of the time to verify the information or credibility of the sources, so please take this section with a pinch of salt unless stated otherwise. This section is not meant to be definitive and is most likely more about reputation around those subjects than credible information. If you have additional or more correct information please email: bondsofbeautymail@gmail.com

Tarte is a cruelty free brand.


Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer 4



The Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer contains 40 ingredients of which 21 are potential positives, 2 potential negatives and 11 potnetial irritants.

Although there are some ingredients that are skin care worthy, this is not a skincare worthy primer. This primer is much better used, as it’s name implies, for smoothing pores and other imprefections.

To keep this article short, I am only listing the ingredients that are skin or hair nourishing or positive/negative, while ignoring the ones that only play formulation or dye purposes. For the full list of ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.


Ingredient positives:

  1. Cyclopentasiloxane – A hair and skin conditioner. Temporarily fills in wrinkles or crease lines to give a more “plump” look. It enhances fluidity, making the formulation more silky spreadable and it can also “lock in” water by forming a “protective barrier” on the skin (=humectant).
  2. Dimethicone – Can protect the skin and even act as a conditioner. It has a smooth and silky feeling and can even fill in fine lines and wrinkles temporarily to result in a plumper look. It forms a barrier on the skin that can lock in moisture.
  3. Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil – A skin conditioner.
  4. Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate – Skin conditioner.
  5. PEG-10 dimethicone – Skin conditioner.
  6. Water/Aqua/Eau – Self explanatory.
  7. Tocopheryl Acetate – A more stable form of vitamin E. A hero anti-oxidant molecule. A skin conditioner that also enhances the ability of sunscreens. Can help with inflammation. Check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?
  8. Trimethylsiloxysilicate – A mild adhesive, making the foundation stick to your skin. Also helps form a protective barrier on the skin and minimises moisture loss. Weightless feeling.
  9. Ascorbyl Palmitate – Form of Vitamin C. Anti-oxidant, helps bind other vitamins. This form of vitamin C penetrates the skin faster. Collagen builder and free-radical scavenger. Anti-ageing. Works synergistically with vitamin E. For more details see post “Vitamins C & E – do they work in skin care?”
  10. Propylene Glycol – A skin conditioner and humectant.
  11. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – A skin conditioner and replenisher. Can enhance the delivery of vitamins, pigments and other ingredients.
  12. Sodium Cocoyl Alaninate – Cleanser, hair and skin conditioner.
  13. Butylene Glycol – Skin conditioner that can also prevent moisture loss from the skin. Sometimes also used as fragrance.
  14. Glyceryl Stearate – A lubricant giving smooth and soft skin appearance.
    Easily penetrates skin, slows water from escaping by forming barrier, anti-oxidant.
  15. Citric Acid– A natural preservative, can be used to even out skin tone.
  16. Hydrolyzed Collagen – Hair and skin conditioner, anti-static, film former and humectant.
  17. Hydrolyzed Elastin – Hair and skin conditioner, anti-static, film former and humectant.
  18. Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose – Film former that can reduce tackiness.
  19. Rutin – Anti-oxidant, hair and skin conditioner.
  20. Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 – Supresses inflammation which in turn allows the skin to heal faster. Increases skin’s production of hyaluronic acid and can stimulate the synthesis of collagen, all leading to anti-ageing properties and functions. It can reduce the appearance of uneven skin tones, reduce skin roughness, fine lines, thin skin and wrinkles. A high-end compound and a definite hero.
  21. Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 – Stimulates collagen production, conditions and helps restore skin. Can reduce wrinkle length and depth as well as skin roughness.


Ingredient negatives:

  1. Parfum/fragrance – This ingredient represents an undisclosed mixture of compounds that give the product scent. There’re more than 3000 molecules that fall under this category and I personally do not like that there are some ingredients that are undisclosed and hidden under this general name. Fragrance also does not offer any skin care benefit, in fact there is some evidence that it can damage the skin.
  2. Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 – Might cause skin discoloration to some.


Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:

This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.

If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned.

Check out: What is sensitive skin? What are the causes and what can we do?

The following compounds present in this primer have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Tocopheryl Acetate, Parfum/Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal.


Full list of ingredients:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Mica, Disteardimonium Hectorite, PEG-10 Dimethicone, PPG-25-Laureth-25, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Silica, Water/Aqua/Eau, Tocopheryl Acetate, Parfum/Fragrance, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Propylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Cocoyl Alaninate, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Citric Acid, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Rutin, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Phaseolus Lunatus (Green Bean) Seed Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Carmine (CI 75470).

Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer 2


The Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer works very well, minimises pores and doesn’t add texture. It lasts for a while but not all day and although it is not perfect, it is still one of the best pore minimisers in the market right now.


Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer 4

I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!

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