Hello! Welcome back to my world. Another week, another review, and this week it’s the Tartelette “Toasted” palette from Tarte Cosmetics.
Before I bought this palette, it was in serious competition with two others which had essentially the same colour scheme, Urban Decay’s “Naked Heat” and Too Faced’s “Just Peachy”. I did an awful lot of research and in the end this was the one that won out. Part of my thinking was that I’m already well acquainted with Urban Decay and Too Faced eyeshadows, so I wanted to have a look at another brand.
This palette is my first encounter with Tarte, having heard an awful lot of good about them from other bloggers and influencers in my travels. Although I have yet to try it myself, their “Shape Tape” concealer has attained almost legendary status. According to their website, one is sold every 26 seconds. Suffice to say, it’s on my list to try!
Founded in New York in 1999 by Maureen Kelly, Tarte are an American brand who focus on natural and eco-friendly product manufacture. Their (trademarked) tagline is “high-performance naturals”, and every one of their products is cruelty free and made without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate and gluten. They also have a number of vegan friendly products which are very easy to find on their website and clearly marked.
Tarte is available widely in America: here in the UK, the options are to buy it from QVC or from Tarte themselves as they do ship worldwide to a huge list of countries.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Tarte take care of tax and duty for you. When buying things from America in the past I have been bitten by tax and duty once too often, in some cases ending up with a hefty bill to pay before the item is released to me thanks to the Customs “administration charge” which goes on top.
When you first go to the Tarte website it asks you which country you are shopping from. Once you select your country, it shows you the correct price of the products already adjusted for tax and duty. My palette cost me £38. Had I been ordering it from Australia, I would have paid AUD77 (about £44). From France it would have cost me EUR49 (about £43). As far as I can tell (hopefully I have it right this time), they start with the RRP and then adjust it for tax, duty etc. to display the correct price for the country you are shopping from. I can’t tell you what their delivery charges are, if you spend more than £40 you get free delivery, and I did!
In any event, my package made its way from New Jersey to Nottingham in 5 days and dropped onto my desk with absolutely no tax/duty aggravation of any kind. To say I was impressed is an understatement.
EDIT: I have amended the above paragraphs in relation to Tarte’s handling of tax and duty, as I had it wrong the first time! The above is now correct to the best of my understanding.
Anyway – on to the palette itself.
The palette is solid and weighty with a lovely glossy appearance to it, and it closes with a nice, satisfying “click” when you shut it, so no fear of it coming open when travelling somewhere, as is always the worry with magnetic closure palettes. It has a polished gold coloured finish so looks and feels very luxurious when you open it. The mirror is very clear and a decent size too, which is always helpful.
The shiny gold-ness makes it a little troublesome to photograph because of the reflections: in “real life”, the whole area around the shadows is the same bright, metallic reflective gold with no flaws or indentations.
In common with a couple of other brands around at the moment, the shadows have a very pleasant smell. I wasn’t sure about this to start with, but when you open the palette you get a lovely chocolaty-vanilla smell. It never fails to make me smile! It’s not strong or offensive, but definitely noticeable. Once you apply the shadows and put the palette away, you can’t smell it at all. It’s a gimmick, but really quite a nice one.
This is very much a warm toned palette, so an assortment of browns, fawns, golds and oranges. The colours are just as beautiful when swatched as they are in the pan – in some cases, more so. On with the finger swatches! (This does of course come with the usual caveat that finger swatches don’t give you any indication at all of how the shadow will perform on the eye, they’re just a good way to get a snapshot of how the colours look on your skin.) As always, these are swatched with a clean finger rubbed briefly in the pan and then swiped onto clean skin with no primer. The main swatch photo was taken in the morning on a bright but overcast day, with daylight only in a North-facing window.
From left to right we have Fireside, Simmer, Latte, Candle, Cozy, Flame, Warmth, Cashmere, Crackle, Sunset, Sunrise and S’more. I am absolutely in love with these colours and with the formulation of the shadows. There wasn’t a single colour that I had to swatch more than once to get the colours shown above.
Crackle is the most amazing shade which I really couldn’t capture properly on the first swatch, so I swatched it again on its own under a bright light to try to show it off to a better advantage:
It’s absolute perfection, soft, silky, buttery in texture and so sparkly and glittery that the camera just can’t get a fix on it properly! When I shall wear it, I have absolutely no idea, but it’s simply one of the most beautiful shadows I’ve ever seen, anywhere.
As well as the above swatches, we have the usual “dry brush, wet brush, finger” test. This time I have chosen the shade Flame, which is an absolutely glorious rose gold.
Finger on the left, wet brush in the middle, dry brush on the right.
Looking back at my previous posts, I’ve noticed that I actually chose a moderately similar shade for “dry brush/wet brush/finger” in my review of the Urban Decay “Backtalk” palette. What can I say? I have a deep and abiding love of rose gold! That post is here if you want to compare the two. The difference in formulation and performance is absolutely huge.
This may be my first encounter with Tarte, but it definitely won’t be my last. The shadows apply absolutely perfectly. They’re pretty soft in the pan and quite finely milled, so a little bit of care is required when dipping your brush in to make sure you don’t get too much kick-up onto the surrounding colours. (It’s not a disaster if it happens, simply gently but firmly blow any excess off the palette.)
The pigmentation is strong and beautiful, and it applies evenly so that it’s very easy to build it from subtle to holy-cow-not-at-all-remotely-subtle depending on your mood and the occasion. I have had absolutely no trouble whatsoever with patchiness, and the shadows blend incredibly easily. There is little or no fall-out onto the cheek and under-eye area when applying, and what little there is can be very easily whisked away with a soft powder brush.
The longevity has been absolutely remarkable. On an average day, by the time I get home from work my eyeshadow has been on for somewhere in the region of 12 hours. After 12 hours on oily skin, most eyeshadows are going to be struggling to fight the good fight, but these hold up really, really well. Every single time I have worn these shadows, I would have been more than happy to go out with friends straight from work with absolute confidence that my eye makeup still looked good. Not perfect by any means, but absolutely good enough. I’m really seriously impressed.
You’ll have to forgive me – I’m afraid I haven’t been able to get any decent photos of the looks I’ve created with this palette, eye photos are still something I’m struggling with! Please do take my word for it though. These shadows are truly something very special.
Other than it being a tiny bit challenging to photograph, I literally cannot think of a single negative thing to say about this palette. At all! When it runs out, I shall be replacing it with exactly the same again. It retails for around the same as other high end palettes of this size – not cheap, but for the amount of shadow you get and the sheer quality of it, I think it’s an absolute bargain. I love it, and it’s here to stay.
Available here – RRP £38, plus shipping.
DISCLAIMER: This review is not sponsored by Tarte Inc., and I have no affiliation with the company. I have not been paid or otherwise compensated for this review, and I (or my very generous husband) pay for every product I review. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.