Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tarte for True Blood

Like pretty much every other woman between the ages of 18-45, I am a sucker for True Blood (puns!).  What I am not usually a sucker for, though, are gimmicky tie-in products.  My gut reaction is actually to ignore them because if a product isn't good enough to sell well without the name of a celebrity, movie, or television show attached why would I buy it?

Enter Tarte's True Blood collection.

I was initially very skeptical.  First, I'd never tried any Tarte products before (see yesterday's post about lip colors--I purchased those at the same time I purchased the True Blood palette) and I'm loathe to spend $52 on eyeshadow even when I do know and love the brand.  Second, it is SO gimmicky.

And yet, I was totally smitten by the wide range of colors in the palette.  Mossy green, wine red, and several lovely pinks alongside matte black and gold.  The palette also offered a sample of Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara (not pictured because I have since completely used it up) which I'd been eager to try.  The eye primer sample and full-sized black eyeliner were less of a draw to me as I was happy with the primer and liner I was currently using, but it can never hurt to have some extras lying around.

So I took the plunge. That was in early August, and as you can see by the state of my palette, it's not been my most-used product of the Fall.

Pros of the Tarte for True Blood Palette:
  • All of the shadows are quite soft, and so highly pigmented that you hardly need to pack any onto your brush to get the full impact of the color on your lids.
  • While many of the shadows are quite glittery, the fallout isn't nearly as bad as one might expect.  Definitely nowhere near the kind of fallout I saw from the glittery shades in Urban Decay's Naked Palette.
  • The colors really are stunning in person.
  • While the palette does run $52, it includes 17 large shadows.  That's $3/color, which is comparable to drugstore prices.
Why I Don't Recommend it for Beauty Newbies:
  • Unless you're in your teens/early 20's you probably don't wear many truly glittery shadows on a regular basis.  I'm 100% no longer in that demographic, and while I love the look of glitter in the pan, on my face it looks like I'm trying too hard to recapture my younger days.
  • Even if you're in the right age group to wear the glittery shadows, they're so highly pigmented that it's very difficult to create wearable daytime (read: work-appropriate) looks using the palette's most striking colors. 
  • The "get the look" card included with the palette was a joke.  I could see Pam (vampire bitch extraordinaire on True Blood) carrying most of them off, but not a regular human living in the real world.  
  • The arrangement of colors in the palette is gorgeous, but not terribly conducive to figuring out which shades will go best together if you're new to eye makeup.  You can sort of figure out which are meant to be worn together by picking a lid color and then looking at the shades in its immediate vicinity to see which might work as crease and highlighter colors, but even that's hit-and-miss.  I'm sure experienced eyeshadow users wouldn't have trouble with this aspect of the palette, but newbies are certain to struggle.  
Verdict:  Not for me, and probably not great for anyone in my age range who's looking for shadows to build a daily wear collection.  I'll likely buy more Tarte shadows just because I think the formula is wonderful, but will stay away from anything glittery from them in the future.

As a sidenote, I also purchased the Tarte for True Blood cheekstain, which also left me hot and cold.  More on that later this week when I discuss why beauty newbies need to check out Tarte cheekstains as a powder blush alternative.

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