I Tried Tarte's New Hydrocealer & Here's What I Thought


If there's a single skin product pretty much everyone has heard of, it's Tarte Shape Tape, a high-coverage concealer that sells every 12 seconds. The brand recently made a new foray into skincare and makeup, however, with Tarte's Hydrocealer. For those who would place their hand over their hearts and swear allegiance to Shape Tape, is the new product worth a shot? I road-tested it to find out.

What Does Tarte Hydrocealer Claim To Do?

The new Hydrocealer sounds exactly like what it is: a hydrating concealer. Marine plants, aka portulaca oleracea extract and sargassum pacificum thallus extract, are two key ingredients. Portulaca oleracea extract is more commonly known as purslane and has been shown to help combat inflammation and increase skin barrier function by decreasing water loss. Sargassum pacificum thallus extract is a seaweed species that can also help with inflammation and deliver antioxidants to the skin.

Alongside the marine-based ingredients, the concealer features caffeine to help reduce puffiness, increase brightness, and tighten the skin. It also contains niacinamide, which has been proven to help reduce redness, combat fine lines and wrinkles, and increase elasticity.

Tarte's Hydrocealer is meant to provide medium coverage with a finish that should mimic your skin's natural glow. The brand says the product can cover redness, dark circles and spots, and blemishes. Plus, it shouldn't crease or settle into fine lines and is water and sweat proof.

How Do You Apply Tarte Hydrocealer?

The first thing I noticed about Tarte's new Hydrocealer was its consistency. It's more watery than many high-coverage options, which tend to be thicker. The doe foot applicator is smaller, more precise, and holds less product.


I first applied the concealer under my eye (post-foundation application) and used it as both a concealer and highlighter. I blended the product into my skin with a damp beauty sponge.

While Hydrocealer brightened up my skin a bit as a highlighter, when it came to concealing, I didn't notice much more coverage than what my foundation already gave me. I applied a light second layer to see if it was buildable. It was — slightly — but using more definitely would have resulted in caking. Using a small, fluffy precision brush and Laura Mercier's Translucent Loose Setting Powder, I gently set my under eye and moved on.

Shea Simmons

Since Hydrocealer is much lighter weight, I also decided to try it with a "no-makeup" makeup look. To do this, I applied a tinted moisturizer (Hourglass's Hyaluronic Skin Tint) all over my face then moved into the concealer. Using the applicator, I placed three dots — my inner corner, below my pupil, and the corner of my eye — and blended with my ring finger. Blending was a breeze, and the product absorbed well into my skin, adding brightness just to my inner corner.

With this application, there was a notable difference in the way the coverage worked. Because I was only wearing a tinted moisturizer, I was better able to see the product's actual coverage level. It did conceal the bit of blue shadow in the inner corner of my eye where, before, I couldn't see the change.

To finish out the application, I set the product with the tiniest bit of translucent powder.

How Long Can You Wear The Tarte Hyrdocealer?

With my full-coverage look, I wore the concealer for seven to nine hours each day and never noticed it fade, despite the two layers. As an added bonus, my under eyes are home to a few fine lines that can only be concealed with the power of Juvaderm, and Hydrocealer didn't settle into any of them. The "no makeup" makeup results (below) were identical.

Shea Simmons

Who Is Hydrocealer Best For?

Hydrocealer doesn't go on like spackling paste, so people who prefer fuller coverage may want to sit this one out. It's a great option, though, for those who like a lighter look, and it couldn't be launching at a better time — after all, fresh, glowy looks are always in for summer. Thanks to its low-to-medium coverage and natural finish, Hydrocealer is ideal for a "no-makeup" makeup look.

Should You Try Tarte's Hydrocealer?

Yes and no. If you like low-to medium-coverage concealers that work well for more natural beauty looks, then Tarte Hydrocealer may be your new go-to. Full-coverage concealer fans, on the other hand, might want to skip it. But at $24 — the same price as Shape Tape — it's worth a shot for curious makeup lovers.


Zhao, H., Li, S., Luo, F., Tan, Q., Li, H., Zhou, W. (2015). Portulaca oleracea L. aids calcipotriol in reversing keratinocyte differentiation and skin barrier dysfunction in psoriasis through inhibition of the nuclear factor κB signaling pathway. Experimental and Therapuetic Medicine.

Yende, S., Harle, U., Chaugule, B. (2014). Therapeutic potential and health benefits of Sargassum species. Pharmacognosy Review.

Herman, A. (2012). Caffeine's mechanisms of action and its cosmetic use. Skim Pharmacology & Physiology.

Bisset, DL., Oblong, JE., Berge, CA. (2005). Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance. Dermatological Surgery.