Time for a BIG blog review. This is all about the Today's Special Value from Tarte that's on QVC today! It's $59.96 on QVC's website, and, assuming it doesn't sell out, the price will go up slightly after it's featured "TSV" day. First off- this kit was sent to me by Tarte to review. I received no monetary compensation from Tarte for this review, and these are my own, honest opinions. I would have definitely purchased this kit myself, but thanks to Tarte, I was able to get my hands on the kit EXTRA early, experiment with it for several weeks, and can now provide an educated review on the TSV day! Hopefully it's helpful to those of you who are considering picking it up.
(Click any of the pictures to enlarge them)
Here's a quick rundown of everything that's included...
- Maracuja Miracle Foundcealer (brand new)
- Maracuja Miracle Foundcealer Brush (brand new)
- Amazonian Clay cheek & eye palette (brand new - limited edition)
- Double-ended eyeshadow brush
- Gifted Mascara (limited edition packaging)
- LipSurgence Liquid Lip Shine in Exquisite (brand new - limited edition)
- Makeup bag
Maracuja Miracle Foundcealer (my shade: Light-Medium)
Ok... remember Tarte's Maracuja Miracle foundation? I thought that was one of the few really great coverage foundations for dry skin. I was so excited to see that the brand didn't totally let go of that concept. This is definitely a different formula... very liquid-like, but buildable coverage that can go medium to full. I admit, the thought of a "foundcealer" sounds a little gimmicky, but the fact that this is so buildable makes it possible to use it in a very full-coverage way if you choose.
My skin type is very "normal" at the moment, and this gives a great finish that's not too greasy and not too dry. It's not what I'd call dewy or tacky on the skin, but I do prefer to set it lightly with powder. I can't guarantee how this would work for other skin types, but it seems lightweight enough to be something people with oily skin could enjoy, but also non-drying enough to work on dry or more mature skin. I have used this as all over foundation, as well as just an under eye concealer. I LOVED how it didn't seem to dry out the under eye area and even by the end of the day, it looked really fresh. I can't speak for those with extremely oily skin, but with my normal (slightly combo) skin, this has the staying power of Estee Lauder Double Wear (assuming I set it with a little bit of powder) with a less dry feel.
The one thing I don't like about this is the packaging. The dropper doesn't pull out much product... maybe mine is defective, but when I press the button at the top to release the foundation, hardly anything comes out. I end up just kind of swiping the wand around my face to get what I need. So I think a pump would've been better with this... but maybe they were trying to use new packaging to differentiate this foundation from the old Maracuja Miracle? Not sure.
Maracuja Miracle Foundcealer Brush
This brush is SO SOFT. We're talking baby bunny soft. And I know, because my mom rescued baby bunnies when I was little. It's a really unusual shape, too. As you can see (especially in the top picture), the ferrule is kind of pinched at the top, but the brush is still very full and majorly tapered down one side. It works wonderfully for blending in this foundation. However, the large size makes it a bit difficult to get around the eyes. Since the Foundcealer is both a foundation and a concealer, it would've been nice to have a smaller brush to help with those smaller areas. I've been using a full (yet small) brush from Tarte that came with a concealer I purchased months ago, and it's been working well to buff in the product. The Sigma precision brushes like the P80 would also work well when using the Foundcealer as concealer.
I know this wasn't taken in the best lighting, but I just snapped a picture before and after I applied the Foundcealer. I LOVE the coverage. I first blended it all over, and then just applied a little extra to the under eye area and around my nose to act as concealer. Foundcealer is the only product on my face in the after picture. I think you can see that while my skin tone is very evened-out, it's not totally matte. This still has a skin-like appearance, which I love. And it continues to wear well into the nighttime hours. I'm super impressed with this! After applying Foundcealer, I used a little bit of powder to set my t-zone, and I used my Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour kit in the hollows of my cheeks and hairline. Now on with the rest of the products in this kit!
I was really excited to see that a rather sizable palette was included in this TSV kit! I don't usually see palettes like this get lumped in with a group of other products. But I think it's a great value. If you look at the top picture in this post, you can see the gorgeous outer packaging. This palette also has a mirror on the inside, as well as an Amazonian Clay blush in Talented, and six eyeshadows. The blush is a beautiful matte shade that walks the line between pink and coral, and is a great pairing with the lip color in this kit. I've used a lot of Tarte's Amazonian Clay blushes, and this is every bit as pigmented as any of the others I've used. A little goes a long way. And I love that it's full-size! The eyeshadows in here aren't anything too flashy... though I suppose that in order for this one kit to appeal to the masses, the shades needed to be pretty basic. I must admit, the quality is great. Four of the six shadows are matte... the light pink and plum on the left, and the taupe and dark brown on the right. There's an extremely soft, beautiful shimmery taupe, and also a shimmery champagne. That shade didn't photograph wonderfully in the swatch, but it's still a great color to work with. Overall these shades can give you anything from a barely-there natural look to a deep smokey eye. One slight drawback might be for those who enjoy warmer neutrals... these shadows are all pretty cool-toned.
Here you're looking at each end of the double-ended eye brush that's included in this kit. While both ends are quite usable, I still found myself wanting to use my everyday brushes that I reach for all the time. It's easy to fall into a comfort zone with your favorite brushes, you know? Anyway, here you have a flat, but still rather full brush for packing on shadow, and a tapered crease brush. Both ends are very soft. Neither end is over-sized, which I think gives you control with the application. For most looks, I would reach for additional brushes in addition to this double-ended brush... like a smudge or pencil brush for the lower lash line and a larger brush for blending. For a quick, basic look though, this brush could work fine.
For this look, I used the browns on the right side of the palette. I first used the crease brush to apply the medium taupe in my crease. I added a little bit of the dark brown to my outer corner, and then lightly applied the champagne color to the center of my lids. I also smudged the taupe on the lower lash line. Last weekend I did a look with the plum colors (I should've taken a picture), but just so you know, that shimmery taupe on the left side is a dream to work with! It would make for an EASY one shadow look! And of course, one could also be creative and mix shades from both sides of the palette :)
In addition to the eyeshadows, I also applied a nude liner to my lower inner rim to further awaken my tired eyes, and I applied black liquid liner to my upper lash line. Next step- mascara!
Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara
This is a full-sized mascara in special, limited-edition packaging. I'm not sure how "smart" this mascara is, but it certainly performs awesome on my lashes. I remember raving about this mascara years ago, saying how I liked it as much- if not better- than Tarte's Lights Camera Lashes. I think this one might be even more lengthening. I love the brush-- short bristles and lots of them, and it's slightly tapered toward the tip making application easy in the inner corners.
Look at that length! And if I wanted even more volume, I'd apply my Estee Lauder Little Black Primer underneath. That primer also helps this mascara hold a curl... Gifted isn't great about doing that on its own. Another small gripe- when I was wearing Gifted on my lower lashes, I noticed some smudging just below my eyes. So watch out for that if it tends to be a problem area for you. Today I used my Cover Girl Clump Crusher Water Resistant on the lower lashes, because that stuff goes NOWHERE.
LipSurgence Liquid Lip Shine in Exquisite (Limited Edition)
At first I just thought this was a new shade in Tarte's LipSurgence Lip Gloss line, but it's actually being referred to as a Liquid Lip Shine. My info says "these brand new liquid lipsticks blend the benefits of a stain and a gloss in one high-performance application". I don't notice much difference in the way these feel compared to LipSurgence lip glosses. It's slightly sticky, but definitely has nice color and shine. This particular mauve/pink color has no shimmer, and gives off a nice amount of color on the lips. I definitely didn't notice any staining effects, though. For me, it wears for a couple of hours... give or take, depending on eating, drinking, accidentally kissing some off on your baby, etc. It's nice that this was included in the kit, but in my opinion, it's definitely not the strength of this kit. Oh, and unlike other LipSurgence products you might be used to, this gloss is not minty. It has a lightly sweet scent that I can't quite put my finger on.
Overall, I think Tarte put together a great TSV... probably one of their best, and I've tried pretty much all of them over the last few years! I thought I'd be most excited about the palette, and the palette is great. But I think I was most pleasantly surprised by the Foundcealer. I do not have perfect skin... between the lingering melasma, broken capillaries around my nose, and darkness around the eyes, I've got some stuff to cover and I tend to like a lot of coverage in my foundations. This was able to give me a lightweight feel, and coverage that I could control. And I didn't need to bring in any additional concealers to get the job done! If you get this kit, I think you'll also really enjoy the Foundcealer brush. Furthermore, there's a fabulous mascara in this kit. The lip color is a bit thick and sticky, and probably isn't something I'm going to reach for often. But all in all, I love the look that the products in this kit can achieve. Thanks for taking time to read this epic blog post- I hope it was helpful!
- I'm writing this post on Thursday... last night the Emily Awards wrapped up with the LIVE finale and it was SO SO FUN! Thanks to everyone who tuned in!
- Cupcake is napping in Belle's bouncy seat right now. She also loves the pack-n-play.
- I've had my Vanity Girl Hollywood makeup mirror for a little over four years, I think? Just yesterday, one of the bulbs went out. I can't believe that didn't happen sooner, considering the use that thing gets!
- I have had an ongoing Mexican food craving for a few weeks now. All I want are nachos, taco salad, quesadillas, etc.
- It has been far too long since I've written daily nuggets!