Makeup Junkie: Tarte Cosmetics

tarte cosmetics is a newly discovered brand for me.  I know, I know – where have I been?  🙂

The first two products I tried came through the Popsugar Must Have** box .  They sent out the cheek stain and the power pigment – I received both in the shade exposed – as part of the their 2014 Special Edition Summer Box.  I really like the cheek stain (shade: exposed) – essentially, its a cream blush in a retractable stick.  It is super easy to apply and blend, and it can compliment so many skin tones (including mine!).  As for the power pigment, not my favorite.  While the texture is pretty smooth, and I really like the minty tingle upon application, the shade (exposed) is too pink and too light for my complexion.  If I get an opportunity, I would try the power pigment again in a different shade. I’ve since tried another cheek stain (shade: blushing bride) that was sent out through BoxyCharm** in their June 2014 box.  I like it as much as the one in exposed – same creaminess and blendability.  Again, because it’s a cream base, you can layer on more or less color for your skin tone.

Lashstash to Go – one of the Sephora Favorites collections – included deluxe samples of Too Faced Cosmetics Better Than Sex Mascara, Lancôme HYPNÔSE DRAMA Mascara, tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara, Blinc Inc. Blinc Mascara, and Bare Minerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara in Intense Black, as well as a certificate for your choice of a full size mascara from those sampled..  Unfortunately, this set is no longer available.  But, thanks to this sampler, my current favorite mascara is now tarte cosmetic‘s lights, camera, lashes 4-in-1 mascara.  My lashes are naturally kind of long, so I look for a mascara that can add volume even if it can’t add a lot of length.  Fortunately for me, this mascara volumizes my lashes really well but also adds length.  In fact, the first time I wore it, several people asked me what I had on my lashes because they looked so dramatic even with one layer (and no mascara primer).  If you are having trouble or want to conserve product, consider adding a mascara primer.  I’ve only tried the mascara primer from elf cosmetics, but it really works well for me.

The products that I’ve mentioned above have been out for some time, but I did purchase a more recently released item – the rainforest after dark limited-edition colored clay eye & cheek palette. I have a few images to share, starting with the box:

The box!

The packaging is beautiful.

The packaging is beautiful.  The case itself is also gorgeous – click here to see the palette on the tarte cosmetic‘s website.  The case is plastic with a wood grain design and a golden serpent with a ruby jeweled eye.  Very stylish.  There are six eyeshadows – bare to explore (matte), make a mauve (shimmer), plum away with me (shimmer), up to no gold (shimmer), tan-gled up in you (matte), don’t turn a-brown (matte) – and three cheek colors – highlight: champagne (shimmer), contour/bronzer: park ave princess (matte), blush: unleashed (matte).  Here are the colors swatched over primer:

All six eyeshadows over primer (same order as in the palette).

All six eyeshadows over primer (same order as in the palette).  Photo taken in natural light.

Highlight, contour/bronzer, and blush over primer.  Photo taken in natural light.

Highlight, contour/bronzer, and blush over primer. Photo taken in natural light.

Head’s up:  I have to wear a primer with these shadows.  My lids are a bit oily, and shadow fades and creases if I don’t wear a primer.  And, not just any primer, but any of the Urban Decay primers ensured that the color stayed all day.  I also tried both the benefit Stay Don’t Stray and Smashbox Photo Finish 24 Hour Eye Primer.  No good – I might as well as not have worn a primer at all.  By the mid-afternoon,  the colors had faded and there was some serious creasing.  This didn’t happen with the Urban Decay primers for me – but, test and see what works best for you.

My favorite eyeshadow is up to no gold.  It is a beautiful, pigmented, creamy true gold.  Most of the eyeshadows are pretty nice with the exception of bare to explore.  This one is a bit chalky and doesn’t really do much for me.  I decided to use it as a transition for blending eyeshadow and brow bone highlight (along with a bit of champagne for the latter), and I can make it work pretty well that way.  That eyeshadow is the most disappointing part of the palette, though I find that I have to use more than I expect with all of them except up to no gold.

The cheek colors are also pretty nice.  I haven’t had a problem blending anything out, and the color seems to last for the day in my normal routine, but they are not super pigmented for my skin tone and I end up using more than I expect.  My complexion is medium/medium tan, and I can use the cheek colors as eyeshadows as needed, so I like that flexibility a lot.  The darkest shadow I can use for eyeliner, so that’s a plus, too.

Would I buy it again?  Honestly, I’d have to travel with it first and see how handy it is or if I keep reaching for something else.  The palette was purchased with the intention of taking it on trips where I need to pack super light and want to have a natural look the entire trip, and I think it will definitely work for me in this role.  For a more dramatic look, I would want to bring at least a waterproof liner for my waterline to supplement the palette.  For day to day use at home, I probably wouldn’t buy it for me.  I have other palettes with similar or more pigmented colors that I can use for eyes and cheeks.  However, if you don’t have a lot of shadows or cheeks colors, and if you are interested in using luxury brands, this palette would be a great place to start building your collection.

One last item – I just purchased the paint the town tarte eye & lip color collection & clutch, but haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.  The set comes with LipSurgence™ lip luster in escape (this shade is not listed for individual sale), lights, camera, lashes!™ primer, and a cute clutch.  I’m not so sure that the lip color will work for me, but I’m super excited to try the primer.

I’ll let you know how that goes.  🙂


* all products were purchased by me with my own funds, and all opinions are my own

** affiliate/referral link.  If you use this link to click through and purchase a subscription, I get a referral noted on my account.  A certain number of referrals usually result in an earned subscription box.


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