Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

With Valentine’s Day just a couple of weeks away, it seemed only appropriate to make a list of pretty in pink shades.  Whether you like pink on your lips, tips, cheeks, or eyes, I hope that you’ll find at least one shade to drool over. :)

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Tarte Be MATTEnificent Amazonian Colored Clay Matte Eye & Cheek Palette
Tarte Be MATTEnificent Amazonian Colored Clay Matte Eye & Cheek Palette

Tarte Be MATTEnificent Amazonian Colored Clay Matte Eye & Cheek Palette ($36.00 for 0.85 oz.) contains six eyeshadows, two eyeshadow/liners, and one blush. Each square-sized eyeshadow is 0.0758 oz., while the blush is 0.1544 oz., and the two rectangle-shaped eyeshadows are 0.1185 oz. each for a total weight of 0.8462 oz. If you’re familiar with Tarte’s formula, these performed similarly to past Tarte eyeshadows I’ve tried; the biggest takeaway is that they’re so soft that they are quite powdery. You’ll want to use softer brushes and a light touch when you go to pick up product to apply to the lid. I recommend patting the color on, then blending, to minimize excess powder falling underneath the lid.

For me, this is the type of texture that is very workable, as it still adheres well to bare skin and blends nicely without sheering away to nothing, but it usually has a fair amount of powdery fall out that is easiest to clean up if you do your eyeshadow before your base products. On my medium skin tone, a lot of the lighter colors all looked the same on, which had no impact on the rating, but may be something to keep in mind if you’re of a similar complexion. The majority of the eyeshadows in the palette lasted seven and a half hours and then showed signs of fading. I like the palette, and if the colors show up with enough differentiation on you, it would be a nice neutral palette that’s not too warm or too cool-toned. It’s also very well-priced with plenty of product for the price tag.

Elevated is a soft, medium rose with neutral-to-warm undertones and a matte finish. It is part of the Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush formula. It had excellent color payoff, was buildable and blendable on the cheeks, and had a soft, silky texture (slightly powdery, though, so go easy on the surface). I don’t usually get 12 hours of wear out of this formula, and Elevated lasted well for nine hours before showing signs of fading but was significantly faded by the twelfth hour. Tarina Tarantino Neopolitan Lane (P, $25.00) is browner. NARS Love (LE, $29.00) is warmer,. bareMinerals Glamour (LE, $19.00) is slightly pinker. Urban Decay Overexposed (LE) is a touch lighter. MAC The Perfect Cheek (LE, $21.00) is cooler-toned. Illamasqua Naked Rose (P, $26.00) is pinker, cooler-toned. Tarte Exposed (P, $26.00) is a touch darker, a smidgen browner. See comparison swatches.

Sand Out from the Crowd is a light beige with warm, vanilla undertones and a matte finish. The texture was very soft, and it had good color payoff, but it was powdery. As it a staple/basic shade, there are a lot of similar shades — see comparison swatches.

Peach for the Stars is a rosy, light-medium beige-brown with a matte finish. Again, the texture was so soft that it was powdery, though definitely silky to the touch, and it had good pigmentation. Urban Decay Freestyle (LE, $18.00) is lighter. MAC Frisco (LE, $15.00) is a touch pinker, lighter. Inglot #341 (P, $6.00) is similar. Bobbi Brown Antique Rose (LE, $29.00) is darker, browner. See comparison swatches.

Two Plums Up is a dark, neutral-to-warm-toned plum with a matte finish. The texture was soft, finely-milled, and silky, so the color was easy to blend out on the skin and lid, but it is on the powdery side. It had fairly good color payoff. Tarina Tarantino Deep Dahlia (LE) is shimmery. Kat Von D Fur Elise (P) is warmer. theBalm Sexy (P, $16.00) is warmer. theBalm Moderato (P, $16.00) is also warmer. bareMinerals Nightcap (P) is cooler-toned, purpler. MAC Hyperviolet (LE, $18.00) is a cream product. MAC Palace Pedigreed (LE, $15.00) is brighter. Make Up For Ever #160 (P, $20.00) is more berry-hued, brighter. See comparison swatches.

Pink Outside the Box is a light, pastel pink with a matte finish. This might be somewhat chalky, as it had a stronger white base, on deeper complexions. The texture was soft, somewhat powdery, but it had good color payoff and adhered well to the skin. MAC Flounce (P, $15.00) is cooler-toned. Too Faced Strawberry Bon Bon (P) is similar. Too Faced Powdered Sugar (LE) is lighter. LORAC Light Pink (P) is a touch lighter. MAC Pen ‘n’ Pink (P, $15.00) is similar. NARS Bouthan #1 (P, $24.00) is similar. Benefit Pinky Swear (P, $20.00) is similar. bareMinerals Giddy (P) is slightly warmer. See comparison swatches.

Rose to the Occasion is a medium-dark, rosy brown with a matte finish. It had so-so color payoff, and the texture was soft and silky though powdery to work with. It a few shades darker than Peach for the Stars, but if you have a medium skin tone like mine, they look about the same applied. bareMinerals Velvet Mauve (P, $14.00) is a touch browner. Aveda Bare Bellis (P, $14.00) is more shimmery. Chanel Rose de Mai (P, $28.50) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

View from the Taupe is a medium, neutral-to-warm-toned brown with a matte finish. It’s a very, very warm taupe, but it read more brown than taupe to me. It had nice pigmentation, and the texture was soft without being too powdery (one of the least powdery shades in the palette). Clarins The Essentials #4 (LE) is more satiny. Too Faced Cookie Dough (LE) is similar. Inglot #337 (P, $6.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Dream in Chocolate is a deep, dark chocolate brown with a matte finish. It had fairly good pigmentation, and like the rest, it was soft but powdery. Laura Mercier Espresso (LE, $23.00) is similar. MAC Midnight Hour (LE, $15.00) is warmer. Tom Ford Beauty She Wolf #1 (LE) is more muted. LORAC Espresso (P) is similar. bareMinerals Boardroom (LE) is cooler-toned. NARS Mekong (P, $24.00) is shimmery. MAC Midnight Flurry (LE, $15.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Dance in the Dark (P, $15.00) is warmer. MAC Embark (P, $15.00) is deeper. See comparison swatches.

Don’t Stand Black is a medium-dark black with a mostly matte finish, though it had a very slight sheen compared to the more matte finishes of the other shades. This was the weakest performing shade in the palette, as it didn’t stick as well to bare skin, even though the texture didn’t feel stiff or dry (soft but powdery). As this is a more basic/staple kind of shade, there are lots of potential dupes, and here are twelve to consider — see comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Be MATTEnificent

B
If you're familiar with Tarte's formula, these performed similarly to past Tarte eyeshadows I've tried; the biggest takeaway is that they're so soft that they are quite powdery. You'll want to use softer brushes and a light touch when you go to pick up product to apply to the lid. I recommend patting the color on, then blending, to minimize excess powder falling underneath the lid.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Elevated

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Sand Out from the Crowd

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Tarte Spring 2014 Launches
Tarte Spring 2014 Launches

Be MATTEnificent Amazonian Colored Clay Matte Eye & Cheek Palette ($36.00) (Limited Edition)

This perfectly portable mirrored compact features eight new limited-edition eye shadows and one blush in everyday shades that complement all complexions. Create the perfect matte look for any occasion by mixing and matching the liner, lid, crease, and highlight colors in the supremely soft, velvety formula. Each shade delivers rich, blendable pigments. The innovative Amazonian colored clay provides unique antiaging, hydrating, and color-correcting benefits.

Cheek Stain Collector’s Vault ($150.00) (Limited Edition)

Rediscover the stain that started it all. To celebrate Tarte’s milestone cheek stain anniversary, they’re giving their award-winning cult favorite a makeover and introducing a brand new shade. The new, sleek design offers the same great formula and size in a slimmer, easy-to-use applicator while minimizing waste to reduce our carbon footprint. Enriched with t5 super fruit complex™, this iconic product delivers a fresh, “just pinched” look, plus antiaging and skin-restorative benefits with every application.

Lipsurgence Power Pigment ($24.00) (New)

Get vibrant, skin-brightening color with this lip tint inspired by Tarte’s newly designed cheek stains. Punched-up color and vibrant shine helps you create the perfect smile all day long. Infused with vitamins, shea butter, and a hint of mint, LipSurgence power pigments also deliver a burst of pure moisture to hydrate lips.

  • Exposed Nude pink
  • Fearless Pink coral
  • Tipsy Peachy pink coral
  • Blissful Dark peach coral
  • True Love Watermelon red
  • Flush Reddish berry
  • Blushing Bride Plummy rose
  • Natural Beauty Berry rose

Cheek Stain ($30.00)

After 15 years of success, the original and cult favorite Tarte cheek stain is getting a makeover. The sleek design features the same great long-wearing formula and size in an easy-to-use slim applicator. This new package delivers a radiant, natural-looking flush while minimizing waste and helping to reduce your carbon footprint. Enriched with t5 super fruit complex™, this iconic product delivers a fresh look and antiaging and skin-restorative benefits with every application.

  • Exposed Nude pink
  • Tipsy Sheer pink coral
  • Fearless Pink coral
  • Blissful Warm rosy pink
  • Blushing Bride Plummy pink
  • True Love Sheer watermelon
  • Natural Beauty Sheer berry rose
  • Flush Sheer berry

Collector’s Edition Super Size Maracuja Oil ($75.00) (Limited Edition)

Maracuja oil is rich in vitamin C and essential fatty acids to hydrate sensitive, dry, and even acne prone skin. It leaves the complexion more even toned and smooth without a greasy feel. This powerful elixir has anti-aging and healing properties to replenish, rebuild, and brighten skin without causing breakouts and is known to help control sebum production for improved skin clarity and texture. Now, get more miraculous oil plus a collector’s keepsake box to store brushes, glosses, or whatever takes your fancy. 3.4 fl. oz.

Collector’s Edition Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment ($38.00) (Limited Edition)

Refresh, renew, and recharge tired eyes with this powerful, multitasking eye treatment in chic, limited-edition collector’s packaging. The skintuitive™ formula addresses fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles by hydrating, firming, and brightening the delicate eye area for immediate results and visible improvement over time. The nutrient-rich, luxurious cream delivers the ultimate in hydration for smooth, youthful-looking eyes as vitamin C instantly illuminates tired eyes for a refreshed, rested appearance. Antioxidant rice bran, mango and coconut fight signs of aging and free radical damage while oat sugars instantly smooth and visibly tighten skin.

Colored Clay CC Primer ($34.00) (New)

  • Fair
  • Light
  • Medium
  • Tan
  • Deep

Availability: Sephora, ULTA, and tartecosmetics.com

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Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Tarte Pink Peony Amazonian Butter Lipstick
Tarte Pink Peony Amazonian Butter Lipstick

Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick ($16.00 for 0.10 oz.) launched recently as a “moisturizing, creamy lipstick.” They’re supposed to “add a splash of rich color and creamy shine” while delivering “intense moisture.” I’ve been testing two shades over the past couple of weeks, and it’s a decent to good formula, but it didn’t knock it out of the park for me. It really wasn’t that hydrating for me; no more than the average lipstick–just lightly hydrating–and the color and shine disappear after two hours of wear or less. If you eat or drink, good luck getting any wear out of these at all; the product just vanishes!

The texture on the lips isn’t gritty, but it’s not quite smooth… almost waxy in some ways. These were best applied on naturally healthy lips, as the consistency/texture tended to accentuate any imperfections on the lips–definitely exfoliate prior to using these. The color is buildable from sheer to semi-opaque color coverage. If a color is going to be one of those super hydrating, buttery balm-like formulas that wears away quickly, it at least needs to be ultra hydrating to make up for it, and I felt like these just stayed middle-of-the-road on all accounts. The lipsticks are packaged in cardboard containers, which may be a deal-breaker for some.  They have a light mint scent, but I didn’t notice a mint taste.  These looked a lot better when initially applied than they actually are in reality, unfortunately!

Pink Peony Amazonian Butter Lipstick ($16.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “blushing pink.” It’s a light-medium, warm-toned pink–almost a coral-pink–with a luminous sheen. It was buildable from semi-sheer to semi-opaque color with some translucency. It lasted just under two hours on me. Givenchy Rose Taffetas (201) (P, $36.00) is pinker. Marc Jacobs Beauty Have We Met? (108) (P, $30.00) is similar. Urban Decay Fiend (P, $22.00) is darker. Urban Decay Naked (P, $22.00) is lighter. Chanel Liaison (P, $34.00) is more matte. NYX Blush (P, $4.00) is lighter. MAC Flamingo (LE, $15.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Tulip Amazonian Butter Lipstick ($16.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “mauve rose.” It’s a medium, warm-toned, rosy pink with a luminous sheen. It had semi-sheer to semi-opaque, buildable, color. It lasted almost two hours on me. Too Faced Coral Fire (P, $21.00) is warmer, less pink. Urban Decay Streak (P, $22.00) is slightly warmer. Urban Decay Fiend (P, $22.00) is similar. Urban Decay Rush (P, $22.00) is more mauve. Givenchy Rose Dressing (202) (P, $36.00) is brighter. MAC Grande Dame (P, $22.00) is similar. MAC Elegant Accent (P, $22.00) is pinker. Chanel Genial (LE, $34.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
product

Pink Peony

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Tulip

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Tarte Off the Cuff Blush Palette
Tarte Off the Cuff Blush Palette

Tarte Off the Cuff Blush Palette ($42.00 for 0.79 oz.) includes four blushes and one bronzer. It just sold out sometime between yesterday and today (last I checked, it was still available) online, so your only bet is to find it at a local store. Three of the five shades are part of the permanent range (Dazzled, Dollface, and Park Ave. Princess). Tarte’s blushes are normally 0.20 oz. each, and these are 0.158 oz., which is close. The set contains $81 worth of blush and $14 worth of bronzer, plus a faux leather cuff with a bow on top, but it contains $95 worth of makeup in it. Overall, all five products are nicely pigmented, and though a few are a little powdery at times, they sit well on the skin and blend out beautifully. If you can find the set, it is worth checking out. Tarte’s blushes, to be sure, though, do not wear the full 12-hours as promised, but they wear nicely at eight to nine hours, on average.

I had a feeling it might sell out, and unfortunately, I didn’t receive this until late last week. I haven’t even tested all of the blushes, but since it’s sold out, I’m not reviewing this in full–instead, I’m sharing photos and swatches so if you’re able to head to a store, you might still be able to snag it. Otherwise, check out the dupes for each.

Crave is a warm-toned, pink-coral with a satin finish. It had nice pigmentation, and the consistency was soft without being powdery. See comparison swatches.

Dazzled is a warm, muted rose with a hint of berry and a satin finish. The color payoff was quite nice, and the texture was soft and silky without being powdery. See comparison swatches.

Darling is a medium peach with a rosy tinge and a mostly matte finish. It had fairly good pigmentation, and the texture was silky and soft, just a bit powdery. See comparison swatches.

Dollface is a cool, blue-based, light-medium pink with a satin finish. It had excellent color payoff, and the texture was very soft–a smidgen powdery. See comparison swatches.

Park Ave. Princess is warm-toned, golden brown with a satin finish. It had excellent color payoff and applied smoothly and evenly. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Off the Cuff

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Crave

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Dazzled

Results
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Dupes
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Wednesday, November 6th, 2013


Holiday Indulgences

One question I get asked a lot prior to Sephora’s winter sale (20% off for VIBs with code VIBTOPIA, 11/7 through 11/11!) is, “What do you recommend?” This is a loaded question! There are so many ways to answer this question! The way I tend to frame my answer is in the context of, “What have I wanted to buy but felt was a little too expensive normally? What favorites do I need to stock-up on?” I think sales offer us an opportunity to indulge in something that might be above our price point comfort zone the rest of the year, or be more willing to take a chance on a brand we’re not familiar with (because they’re not cheap!) as well as stock-up on things we know we’ll use over and over again.

Of course, it being the holiday season, there are also plenty of seasonal offerings to indulge in like sets and palettes–you can see my top palette picks in full here as well as some picks for sets and kits generally. Those both cover some of the seasonal offerings, and this post is less focused on seasonal/limited edition as it is just really fantastic products that I highly recommend from trying them.

Products to Indulge In — Lips

  • Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick ($22 @ Sephora, see my review here) — great if you love creamy, more emollient lipsticks with high pigmentation and moderate lasting power
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains ($34 @ Sephora, see my review here) — long-wearing, moderately pigmented color that doesn’t dry out lips
  • Givenchy Le Rouge ($36 @ Sephora, see my review here) — creamy, luminous opaque lip color that wears well, makes lips look smoother than they really are
  • Guerlain Rouge G Lip Color ($49.50 @ Sephora, see my review here) — Rouge G is a long-time favorite (still reigning supreme after years and years of trying new formulas) for long-wear, hydration, opacity, and feel
  • Buxom Full-Bodied Lipstick ($21 @ Sephora, see my review here) — superbly hydrating, smooth, rich color that wears well
  • Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipgloss ($24 @ Sephora, see my review here) — for a high-gloss, insanely shimmering/glimmering gloss

Products to Indulge In — Face

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush ($26 @ Sephora, see my review here) — a variety of gorgeous shades from intensely pigmented to subtly neutral with a soft, blendable formula
  • Illamasqua Velvet Blusher ($26 @ Sephora, see my review here) — perfect for someone who loves the feel and blendability of of a cream blush but look and finish of a powder
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder ($45 @ Sephora, see my review here) — a gorgeous finishing/luminizing powder to give that something special to the skin (and don’t forget the Ambient Lighting Palette!)
  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($ @ Sephora, see my review here) — creates a lovely, smooth canvas and helps keep makeup on longer

Products to Indulge In — Eyes

Most of what I wanted to recommend (in terms of what came to mind) were palettes, which I’ve recommended previously here.

  • Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo ($38 @ Sephora, see my review here) — buttery, soft texture and intense color payoff
  • bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow ($30 & up @ Sephora, see my review here) — one of my all-time favorite eyeshadow formulas for texture and color payoff
  • Dior Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadows ($30 @ Sephora, see my review here) — obsessed with these pigmented cream eyeshadows that wear well

Products to Indulge In — Nails

  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer ($18 @ Sephora, see my review here) — high-shine, long-wearing formula with a nice range of colors/textures
  • Illamasqua Nail Varnish ($17 @ Sephora, see my review here) — one of my all-time favorites for application, wear, and range
  • Guerlain Nail Lacquer ($23 @ Sephora, see my review here) — so glossy and high-shine, pigmented, long-wearing

Products to Stock-Up On

These are your favorites, but this is a little list of basics that we sometimes blank on but often have a favorite we use quite frequently, so consider what you reach for in these product types:

  • Eyeshadow Primer
  • Lip Balm/Lip Care
  • Foundation
  • Skincare
  • Mascara
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Sprays
  • Top/Base Coats (for nails)
  • Makeup Remover

Are you indulging in Sephora’s upcoming VIB sale? What’s on your list? What would you recommend to someone?

And if you aren’t a VIB, while Sephora has hinted at upcoming promotions for BIs as well, they haven’t confirmed what that means (could just be more samples, free shipping, etc. or it could be really awesome), Beauty.com’s F&F sale is open to all with 20% off.