Tatcha launched a new primer called The Silk Canvas Protective Primer ($52 for 0.7 oz/ 20 g, available at Tatcha and Sephora). It’s described as a “multitasking skin-protecting, makeup-perfecting primer is for face, eyes, and lips” that “smooths and makes makeup last longer while keeping it out of skin, helping to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.” I tried it two ways, as an all over face primer and as an eye shadow primer and found it to be one of the best that I’ve tried. I usually don’t like makeup primers because although they do make my makeup look better when applied, they don’t make my makeup last as long as advertised. Also I apply moisturizer, sunscreen, foundation, powder and occasionally concealer just for my base, adding one more layer of primer often seems just too heavy and excessive. That doesn’t even count the days I add serum (which I’m actually pretty lazy about). I’ve found Tatcha skincare to be excellent in quality, packaging design and performance. The Silk Canvas is no exception.
The Tatcha Silk Canvas primer has a velvety smooth feel and comes in a super pale pink cream. The cream disappears into the skin once blended on the face but since I’m very tan I can detect a very slight pale cast left on my hand. Once on the face it is barely noticeable and even applying a sheer base on top will cover it entirely. The primer smooths out the skin and does a really good job at making the skin a smooth canvas for makeup application. To apply they’ve given you a small circular disk with a line indicator. Simply swipe it across the surface until product hits the line and that is supposed to give you enough for your entire face. For me it does give the perfect amount of product. I like the applicator because it will keep the product itself germ-free and from fingers although I’m one who always loses any kind of small applicator (compact brushes, spatulas, stirring sticks, you name it, I will most likely misplace it). I’m going to have to try and be more diligent about these things. Finish-wise it’s not heavy or thick feeling.
With The Silk Canvas there’s no detectable scent. Edit – it is lightly scented but for me there is no detectable scent once it is blended on my face. Your mileage may vary depending on how sensitive your nose is. It doesn’t clog my pores. It feels velvety without being thick. Foundation goes on smoothly and the entire face feels noticeably more matte throughout the day and when I tested it I didn’t have to touch up once. Skin looks smoother with this although I do remember seeing a more noticeable smoothing effect with their Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen that doubles as a sunscreen and primer for me. I’ve been out of this and keep forgetting to repurchase!
You may have to do a bit of experimenting to get the right combination of bases. I tested it with a number of different combinations. Since I like to have as few layers of makeup on my face with Florida humidity I tested it with a few double-duty products like sunscreen and serum in one. The primer worked well with any combination of these. Your combo of course is most likely going to be different depending on your skin type and skincare routine. You might apply sunscreen after your moisturizer too.
Step 1: Apply a double-duty sunscreen and primer in one with the Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum (one of my favorites, also Andrew’s current favorite)
Step 2: Apply a moisturizer, I tested the primer in combination with four different moisturizers on different occasions, ones that worked well included the Tatcha Watercream * (lightest in texture), Tatcha Silk Cream (best for normal to dry skin), Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream * (lightweight in texture for normal / combo skin), Drunk Elephant Protini™ Polypeptide Cream (another favorite with more hydration than the water cream or sisley, but still good for combo skin).
Step 3: Add a layer of Tatcha’s The Silk Canvas all over face.
Step 4: Apply your foundation base, ones I tested that work well with this primer include the Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation in Medium Sand (review soon), Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Bisque, Dior Forever Undercover Foundation (I mix 21 and 31, color shown above is 31), La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation in Satin Nude and Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude in 3W1. I did not test all my bases as I haven’t had enough time to do so. But with the ones I did try, I found it compatible with a wide range of formulas.
I always set with powder too. Swatch on my hand below to show what it looks like blended. If you blend more on the face it disappears completely.
Swatches for eyeshadow with three shades from Tom Ford Eye Shadow Quad in Honeymoon which I think has excellent pigment on its own. Swatched on bare skin vs over the primer just using fingers to swatch. The primer makes the product adhere better to the skin with richer more opaque application.
Compared to other smoothing matte primers I’ve tested, the most similar one in effect is the Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen * and Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen. Tarte’s Timeless Smoothing Primer is also similar and one that works well for me but is thicker in texture as it’s more dense. All of these have a velvety silicone-like feel and finish to them, but I’m really thrilled that none of them irritated my skin or clogged my pores. Your mileage may vary depending on your sensitivity.
Bottom line a solid winner. I do think it’s very similar to their Pore Perfecting Sunscreen, just in a different formula and packaging. The Silk Canvas does a better job at keeping everything matte throughout the day. But their sunscreen doubles as a primer + sunscreen. If you’re dry make sure you have your skin properly moisturized first. We’ve started to see bits of warm weather peek through here in South Florida. I will be testing this throughout the warmer months but so far for the mildly warm weather it’s performed remarkably well for me to extend the wear of makeup all day. Since it keeps makeup on a long time, be sure to wash your face thoroughly at the end of the day. I double cleanse with either a cleansing oil like the Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil * or Deep Cleanse Face Wash * and follow with a second round of cleanser which is either one of the Rice Enzyme Powders or something from Kate Somerville (loving the Exfolikate and Eradikate Cleansers right now).
The Silk Canvas provided by Tatcha for review. Other press samples featured have a * next to them.