This is the Tarte big boy this year. This one is an Ulta exclusive, there is another one that’s available at Sephora, but from all reports it sucks butt and the shadows have little to no pigmentation. I almost got it too, but once I’d seen this on Instagram along with the blush palette, I decided early on that those were going to be my Tarte Holiday purchases this year. So I held out thankfully, because the blush palette turned out really well.
I think that I’d already said something about most holiday sets being made in China and so the pigmentation suffers a lot. Which is why in the end, even though you’re getting a ton of stuff for a smaller price tag, it almost doesn’t make sense because you’ll still be overpaying for crappy products. I’m happy to say that the only thing in this set that has been produced in China is the brush that comes with it.
For $49 you get not just 24 shades of eye shadow, you also get a blush, a contour powder (which let’s be real, it’s Tarte so it will only really work if you’re fair skinned), a highlighter, a mascara and a Creamy Lip Paint, all of them housed in a tucked away drawer at the side of the huge box-that-is-palette.
The packaging, while certainly pretty is…inconvenient. In order to use the shadows, you’ll have to have it sitting on a surface of some sort, because holding it up in your hand becomes very labour intensive, and renders that big, beautiful mirror pointless. This would have been a much more friendly palette if I were able to just pop the shadows out. This was the thing that people complained the most about last year, and it seems that Tarte just didn’t feel like listening.
Speaking of shadows not made in China…while I found these shadows to be very pigmented, I also found them to not be very blendable, they sort of become muddy when applied onto the lid. When trying to blend them out they had a tendency to just become one colour. No All of them though. The more bright shades had a bit more blendability, however I found the mattes kicked up a lot of dust and blended away a lot.
If you’re a brown skinned girl, you’re going to find that at least half of the palette is a struggle to use. There is only so many brow bones shades I need in one palette. Some of the colours will make great transitions shades, but those first two rows I’m still struggling to incorporate into looks almost two weeks later. All that being said, I do like the palette, the shades make sense in a neutral palette sort of way, and the bright pops of colour rescue it from being utterly boring. I still think that if you have one Tarte palette you have them all though. Swatches below.
L-R: Reflection (champagne), On Display (pink) ,Muse (pinky mauve), Canvas (ivory) Set the Tone (light peach), Have we Met (grey mauve)
L-R: Take it Easel (caramel) Renaissance Woman (mauve) Abstract (rose quartz) To the Pointillism (rose gold) Gilded Gallery (antique gold) Stencil (taupe)
L-R: Roygbiv (shimmering russet), Metallic Masterpiece (metallic plum mauve), Be an Original (metallic aubergine), Beret (copper) Sepia (brown). Kaleidoscope (shimmering plum)
L-R: Go for Baroque (chocolate),Contrast (deep plum), Make the Gradient (midnight aubergine), Doodle (burnt sienna) Landscape (shimmering pine), Kaleidoscope (shimmering plum), Gothic (black)
The little mini palette in the compartment under the shadow house a blush (contour 1), what looks to be more of a bronzer, well…finishing powder for me (contour 2), and a highlighter. Also a Glossy Lip Paint in Double Tap, a mini mascara and a brush that is a complete throwaway because it’s too big to use as an eye brush, and too small for a face brush. Except for maybe highlighting?
The lip paint I instantly fell in love with, it’s that mauvey brownish pink lip shade that I love, I just really wish it were matte…or maybe not considering I dislike that matte lip paints. The blush at first glance, and swatch appeared way too light, but when I applied it, not only was it pigmented and buildable, it turned out to be a matte version of the lip paint. The highlighter is a champagne number with a mild rosy undertone. I had the same issue with it that I’ve had with all Tarte highlighters, with the caveat that the brand is new to the game, it’s not very pigmented, but what pigmentation it does have winds up being quite brassy. Swatches below.
This palette is by no means a must have unless you’re an avid Tarte collector, and if you must have, choose this over the Sephora version. I feel like this is just more of the same from Tarte, as well as the other brands, which is why I’m not doing a whole lot of the conventional holiday kits this year, even though I’m still holding out hope that Stila debuts a monster like the one last year. It’s not a terrible palette in the least although geared more towards the fairer set, once again, Tarte M.O. though so no surprises there. All in all it’s decent, if not spectacular and a good value for the price.