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When Tatcha launched their sell-out Silk Canvas Protective primer, it was a sensation among the beauty world. The balm-like primer smells like a Japanese garden, gives a poreless finish (legit) and genuinely increases the wear of our makeup every day. It instantly became our fave primer, but at $52, it’s a pretty expensive buy, so naturally, we’ve been looking for a more affordable version!

Along comes Tarte’s new Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Pore & Prime Balm, $25, and we were super excited to see the same type of balm-like primer in tub form. Could this be the more affordable dupe for Tatcha’s primer?

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Pore & Prime Balm, $25

TARTE primer

What it is: A creamy, lightweight formula designed to blur and smooth pores, and control oil to improve foundation wear throughout the day.

What’s in it: Vitamin E and sunflower seed oil to help protect hydrate and regenerate skin.

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Filter Finish Protective Primer, $52

Tatcha SILK CANVAS PRIMER

What it is: Silk extracts diminish the look of pores and fine lines and prolong the wear of makeup while minimizing shine.

What’s in it: Pink and gold pearls to even skin tone and antioxidant-rich botanicals to protect skin from pollution and clogged pores. Superfoods like green tea, algae, and rice feed and protect the skin from pollution and harmful free radicals.

The comparison:

Now for the juicy bit: how do the two primers compare? The first thing we noticed is the difference in texture; while the Tatcha primer feels like a thick, soothing balm, the Tarte primer has a much thinner texture that feels a lot more silicone-like (even a little bit greasy) – it reminded us of Benefit’s Porefessional primer.

Now for the performance of the two! We have to say, we were so hoping that Tarte’s new Shape Tape Pore & Prime Balm would be a dupe, but we didn’t find it as effective at perfecting our pores and improving the wear of our foundation in the same way the Tatcha primer does. The Tatcha primer is almost like a skincare product, it has so many amazing ingredients that really help the skin, and it definitely kept our skin hydrated through the day as well as improving the longevity of our foundation. Unfortunately, we weren’t fans of the Tarte primer, and felt that it didn’t improve the look of our makeup or the appearance of our pores.

If you have normal skin with no pores, the Tarte primer may work for you, but we don’t recommend this for sensitive, oily, or acne-prone skin or for people with enlarged pores.

So, the sad news is, if like us, you saw the Tarte primer and thought it would be similar to the Tatcha primer, but for half the price, then you’ll have to keep searching. For now, the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer still reigns supreme. And although it is very expensive, we love that you only need to use the tiniest amount, which means we’re still to hit pan!