If you haven’t tried Tarte Cosmetics, this set would be a great introduction. It offers a wide array of products for a great price. For $54 you get:
– 0.05oz Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Adventurous
– 0.07oz Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
– 8 x 0.059oz Maracuja Lip Glosses
– 0.16oz Lights, Camera, Lashes! 4-In-1 Mascara
– Face brush
– 24 x 0.06oz (1.75g) Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow
– Makeup bag
Tarte is a great cosmetics line to consider if you’re ingredient conscious. It is a vegan, cruelty free company that makes it products without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil, phthalates, GMOs and triclosan.
The bag is your basic plastic fold out. It has a nice sized mirror with two clear storage pockets on either side. The eye shadows contained in its own slender palette slips neatly under the mirror. The area is large enough for a Mac 15-pan palette or a Z-Palette.
The glosses in the set have a nice color range, though they are all relatively sheer. The most pigmented (and my favorite) is Nuria. When Tarte says ‘mini’, they mean it. You can see exactly how much product you’re getting by looking at the bottom of the tube. When you compare that to the size of the wand, it’s not a whole lot of product per tube, but you get eight shades. I found the ingredients not drying at all, so you can think of these as tinted lip balms. The formula wasn’t consistent throughout as some shades were stickier than others.
The mini blush is new is a new shade for the brand. It is described as a shimmering rose (which is accurate for the swatch) but it looks like a peachy-brown in the pan. I have most of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blushes, but his one isn’t my favorite. It had such promise from the pan, though I am not a fan of shimmery blushes. I think the shimmer in this blush makes it very powdery. The pigmentation isn’t as great as their permanent blushes, but that may be due to my skintone. It took several passes for the swatch. Can you see it? No? Well, it’s barely there to the naked eye. It is there, but the problem is my face is NC45, but the inside of my swatching arm is a few shades lighter. If you’re NC40 or lighter, this is a nice shade. It’s definitely a natural/neutral blush for days when you have bold eyes or bold lips. If you’re darker, it will take several passes and it may get too powdery.
Typically, the brushes in gift sets are akin to brooms, but this isn’t. It isn’t the softest brush on the market, but it’s not scratchy at all; however, I have experienced minor shedding in the few times I’ve used it. As far as the finishing powder…I’ve only tried two others (Makeup Forever HD and Fyrinnae). They are all the same to me. To be honest, I use finishing powders less than occasionally.
For the main event…the eye shadows alone are worth the price of this set. They are housed in a slim case with a magnetic closure that is easy to store. Inside the palette is plastic overlay with the shade names. There is a nice mix of neutral and bold shades with varying finishes from matte, shimmer to glittery. Out of twenty-four shadows, there are only two that are troublesome; not duds, just troublesome. Those two are the glittery shades (Pebble Beach and Sunshine State). These shades were difficult to swatch and don’t work well when not used wet. When used with a damp brush over a sticky base, these shades perform well. The rest of the colors are really pigmented, easy to blend and smooth in texture. See here and here for swatches. Check out The Swatch Bin for corresponding shade names with the swatches.
For $54, this is an awesome set. The blush may not work for deeper skin tones and may even be too bold for really pale skin tones, but it is a good universal shade. The glosses are sheer, but I’m more impressed with the ingredients. It’s nice to see a gloss set that doesn’t include mineral oil. Finally, the eye shadows. There are some shades that you may own or have seen before, but this is a great collection of shadows. It’s not every day that you get so many eye shadows without a dud. Amazing.