Cool and Stealthy – The Essence of a Rogue with Tarte’s MATTEnificence Eyeshadow Palette (and Dollface Blush)

Greetings from slightly messy lodgings, my fellow rogues!

*phew* – you’ll have to excuse my slightly sweaty glowing state, friends – I just sprinted all the way up out of a particularly eerie catacomb buecause I just couldn’t wait to show you something!  I finally got my hands on a particularly coveted adventure posting, and I have with me right now the epic loot that we prised from the eldritch depths – the Tarte be MATTEnificent Eyeshadow Palette!

This gorgeous artefact has given me starry eyes since I first heard rumours of its existence. A stunning geode, which when cracked open reveals a cornucopia of cool-toned matte goodness? Could it be true? Well, indeed it was, and many days, several inter-adventure group bitchfights and a trip down into a truly hair-raising dungeon later, it’s finally mine!

Box

I was a little confused by the receptacle that this artefact was housed in – I’m not sure what ‘CC’ is supposed to have to do with anything, but hopefully it doesn’t stand for ‘completely cursed’. They usually don’t advertise that, but…

Obviously, the first thing you notice when removing this treasure from its box is the absolutely stunning packging. Yes, it’s still plastic, and therefore relatively lightweight, but it’s still sturdy and the clasp is very strong. The amethyst geode-style design on the lid of the palette is beautiful – truly a collector’s item. I like to imagine that alongside the ettin on Tarte’s product development team that came up with the effortlessly lame ‘MATTEnificent’, there was an ethereally wise elven mystic that was on the packaging board.

I...I just can't even express how much I love this palette - it's PURPLE...and, and...MYSTICAL, and...GEOLOGICAL! I can't even take a photo that does it justice...this is why I go into trap-littered catacombs, people.

I…I just can’t even express how much I love this palette – it’s PURPLE…and, and…MYSTICAL, and…GEOLOGICAL! I can’t even take a photo that does it justice…this is why I go into trap-littered catacombs, people.

Once you crack into this geode (no mean feat, actually, the clasp on my palette was a true rogue’s task to open), the glorious cool tones continue. I feel that it’s woth mentioning here that I own all of about three matte shadows, and one is a bright, warm cherry red – not precisely an ‘everyday’ shade. This palette perfectly fills a niche in my (admittedly very modest) beauty hoard, giving me a range of effortless, elegant matte neutrals to play with on a daily basis. The blush and eyeliner shades are essentially a bonus, as is the little double-ended brush (I do 99% of my eyeshadow with my fingers, because good brushes are face-meltingly expensive in these lands).

Punny Shade Names

Puns abound in this palette’s names, thanks (presumably) to that same ettin that came up with the name of the palette. Still, some of them are kind of cute, I guess. Seriously, I think they must have been talking with the people at OPI…

Contents without Inlay

The contents of the geode, without the odd plastic name overlay. Having the names actually printed onto the shadows or the palette itself would have ruined the effect a bit, I agree.
*So many glorious purple tones!*

The palette has a mirror that fills the space of the lid, and comes with a double ended shadow brush and a little card in which Tarte semi-helpfully explains how these shadows should be used (their placement ideas also appear on the little plastic insert with the names). The brush is totally functional at picking up colour, and it seems relatively soft, but my metric for this is poor, as I usually use my fingers…

Info Card and Brush

The information card that helpfully explains where Tarte thinks you should put all the things. Also, the little brush that, by virtue of being double-ended, brings my eyeshadow brush collection to a grand total of three.
Also: how exactly does being ‘MATTEnificent’ launch you into space?

I also found (on the floor of the dungeon, because I never listened to my mother when she told me not to pick up shiny things off the ground) a blush sample with this palette – Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush in Dollface.

Shinies from the catacomb floor - a smaple of Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Dollface. There's actually quite a bit of product here (depending on how doll-like you want to look).

Shinies from the catacomb floor – a sample of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Dollface. There’s actually quite a bit of product here (depending on how doll-like you want to look).

Righty-ho, as the paladin would say – time to get swatching! As a general comment, I found almost all of the shades/products to be very dense and silky to the touch – almost *too* dense and silky in the case of the blusher (Elevated) in the palette, which required a little warming up to get the colour off. Once I did, however, there was pigment aplenty. Pink outside the Box and Don’t Stand Black were plenty pigmented, but on the drier/crumblier side – not so much that it was a real problem, but it was noticeable when compared with the others. Sand Out From the Crowd is nearly indistinguishable from my skin in the photos, although it is a little more obvious in real life – this shade was also a little sheerer than the others., which probably doesn’t help the swatch show up!

NB: I haven’t had time to test out all the possible looks with these products, or the wear time – I’ll update this post as I find out! I was just too excited to show off my loot to wait, and this is my first experience with Tarte, so I have mo frame of reference for what their stuff ‘usually’ does on me. Stay tuned!

First: The Blushes!

Blushes

The Dollface sample and the Elevated blush from the palette.

Dollface is what I call a ‘Barbie’ pink in the packet – bright, almost hot pink with neutral to warm undertones. It was very smooth and pigmented to swatch, and there is a surprising amount of it on the little sample card. It blends well onto the skin with the fingers, and gives a fresh, bright pink flush to my skin. I like blushes like these where you have a lot of bright pigment to work with, but can sheer them down to exactly your desired level.

Elevated is a bit of a deceptive one – in the palette, it looks like a sort of cool-ish, baby pink, but as you can see, when swatched on my skin it takes on a very peachy, gingery tone! As I said above, I had to kind of get it going, but once I did the pigment flowed freely. It felt a bit more dense to swatch than Dollface, but still blended out well when I tried it. I like the colour, as my incredible hoard of two blushes does not yet contain a peach/ginger shade!
Top Row of Shadows:
Top row shadows

The shadows from the upper row of the palette, complete with swatches in three different kinds of light (to make up for the fact that I’m not very good at doing eyeshadow swatches, perhaps? :-D)

I promise you that I did swatch Sand Out from the Crowd, and that it is at left in the swatch photos! It was comparatively sheer and matches my skintone quite well (aside from being, if anything, a little yellower than I am). Peach for the Stars is a bit like Elevated in that it looks pinker in the pan than it does on my skin. It’s a lovely neutral beige shade. Two Plums Up (by Corellon, the names) was the shade I was most looking forward to in this palette, and it didn’t disappoint – it’s pigmented, smooth and retains its purple tones in different lights (i.e. doesn’t go too reddish or brownish).

Lower Shadows:

Lower Row of Shadows

Shadows from the lower row of the palette. I think there’s quite some versatility in these for me!

Isn’t it crazy that I’m so cool-toned I make cool-toned stuff look kind of warm? You can tell they are actually cool-toned though because they don’t look ‘odd’ on my vampire skin.

Pink Outside the Box is what I refer to as a chalky shade – it has an obvious white base to it, and it was drier than some of the other shades. That being said, it had a decent amount of pigment (although it’s close enough to my skintone that it’s hard to see), and the dryness didn’t stop it from applying alright to my skin. I think this is probably a shade I’ll keep for inner corners or maybe the browbone. Rose to the Occasion is a medium cool pinkish brown shade that I actually think would make kind of a neat blush on some skintones. It was smooth and pigmented, and blended onto my skin without any trouble. View From the Taupe is, well, a cool taupe. This is an interesting shade for me, because it’s tempting me to try it not only as a crease colour but also as an eyebrow powder and a contour! We’ll see how I get on on that score…

Finally: The Liners!

Liners

Two totally functional liners! Huzzah! :-D

These liners are totally functional. Dream in Chocolate is a dark brown that is dense, pigmented and smooth. Don’t Stand Black is…black. It’s a little drier/flakier than Dream in Chocolate, but it does smoke out nicely on the skin, so I suspect it will be good for smokey eye looks or setting other black liquid/gel liners. Even though it’s not so pigmented, it (along with Dream in Chocolate) rounds out this palette nicely – you have pretty much everything you need, right here.

Phew! Thanks for staying with me for a marathon swatch and photo fest – I hope it was useful to anyone eyeing up this gem of a palette! A note for those in Middle Earth who might be lusting after this: Tarte is unhelpful. They don’t ship internationally, and require a US billing address. This means (if you don’t have the latter) that you’ll need to either take advantage of a friend in the States (if they do it online, and use your YouShop address as the shipping address, then the total shipping to NZ will come out as less than if they buy it in a store or have it shipped to their address and *then* send it to you). or try ShipItTo – I’ve not personally tried this, but Shannon seems to manage just fine!

The verdict: Gorgeous packaging, incredibly useful, wearable (cool-toned! finally!) shades that are (for the most part) smooth and dense and pigmented – this palette pretty much has it all. If your collection doesn’t have many matte shadows, if you’re cool toned and are royally sick of everything being too warm for your skin, or if you’re just in the market for a lovely collector’s palette, give this one a look! I’ll be over in the corner with my preciousssssss….

The practicalities: Tarte’s Be MATTEnificent Collector’s Palette costs USD 36.00. The eyeshadows are 2.15 g/0.0758 oz each, the liners are 3.36 g/0.1185 oz each, and the blush is 4.38 g/0.1544 oz. The Dollface sample has no listed weight (unsurprisingly), but the full size costs USD 26.00 for 0.2 oz. The MATTEnificent palette is limited edition, Dollface is permanent and both may be acquired, with the rest of the Tarte line, from www.tartecosmetics.com and  www.sephora.com (and Sephora stores in the US).

Until next time, fellow adventurers, don’t forget to check for traps!

Syl

I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com., or use the contact form provided!

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40 thoughts on “Cool and Stealthy – The Essence of a Rogue with Tarte’s MATTEnificence Eyeshadow Palette (and Dollface Blush)

    • I wondered about putting that I the title, but then I thought it would be getting too long :- P

      I know I was instantly smitten with the packaging – which is quite rare, actually!

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  1. The packaging is very nice indeed. Now the idea would be to actually get a real Geode and put a diorama in it. Little dwarves digging away and finding precious stones, make up…one moment? However, well written and informative post as always.

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    • Neither of those brands is directly available in MIddle Earth, so I confess I’ve been a bit lazy in trying some of them out! I have looked into E.L.F, but I guess I just really want to be able to feel the brushes before I buy them! Ecotools and Manicare (Artiste) have their ranges in Farmers and Pharmacies here, but the brushes are still ~$20-30 each.

      A lot of this can be attributed to laziness on my part, seriously ;-)

      Like

    • I’m excited to get into the looks! When I’ve figured out how to take photos of my eye that don’t look like a still from the Blair Witch Project or something, you’ll see them! :-D

      Like

      • Now that I’ve seen the eyepics, they don’t look horrid at all. Nothing to beat yourself up over. When I take selfies I always try to do something ‘interesting’ like make a sexy look. The reaction is typically recoil and, ‘what were you trying to do???’ I end up with a lot of drunk-girl-shots.

        Like

      • Aha – but you forget that there’s a reason (other than preserving my stealth) that I’ve cropped just the eye out of the photos ;-)

        I do really appreciate your comment, though :-)

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    • Hehe, thanks :-) I’ll try to get some looks up soon!

      Yeah, I first saw this palette on Makeup and Beauty Blog, and Karen mentioned that the colours were quite pale and very cool toned. I was like: ‘OMGfinallyacooltonedpaletteIMUSTHAVETHIS’ or something to that effect. You don’t realise how difficult it can be to find a fully cool-toned palette until you actually see one! Just look at MAC’s recent 15-pan ‘Cool toned’ palette – I swear half those shades were totally warm!

      Like

  2. I can’t believe you don’t have very many brushes! Breaks my makeup addicted heart. You should check out Morphe Brushes. They are really nice and quite inexpensive. They ship all over the world too.

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    • Ooh, I’ve never heard of that brand… *goes to Google* Thanks for the tip!

      I, too, wish I had more brushes. But I remember going to a MAC counter to see about this famous 217 I kept hearing about, and sort of staggered away after being told the price. These are some prices of MAC brushes here in Middle Earth (as of 2011, but I highly doubt they’ve gotten cheaper!)

      217 – Blending Brush $48.00
      219 – Pencil Brush $68.00
      239 – Shader Brush $73.00

      I need a lie-down ;-)

      Like

    • No joke: I saw this thing on Makeup and Beauty Blog, and started making inarticulate squealy noises. The wizard came in, thinking I was being mauled by a wyvern or something, and had a laptop shoved in his face while I gushed about this palette ;-).

      Not a lot of roguelike dignity at play there. There was a similar situation as I barreled out of that catacomb with this palette clutched to my breast like a rugbly player heading for a gamewinning try….

      Like

    • Oops :-P Sorry Victoria’s wallet!

      Even if you fall off the wagon for this palette, I think you win both ways – if you use it, it’s a host of great matte neutrals. If you never use it, it’s a collectible piece of art! :-D

      Like

  3. I really wasn’t tempted to get this palette at all until I read your review. I loved the packaging but all the swatches on others seemed to be warm still. We have a similar skin tone so if it’s coming up cool on you, I need to swatch this ASAP. As for brushes, Real Techniques has some nice cheap sets! Middle Earth should have those!

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    • Thanks for the tip! I’ll have a look :-)

      I’m glad you liked the review! We pale people have to share word of amazingly cool-toned things!

      I find that companies are actually relatively bad at releasing cool toned versions of things. A good example of this is those marbled blushes that Hourglass just released – the ones that everyone is buzzing about. They’re pretty for sure, but only *one* is even remotely cool toned! So when I saw this palette I nearly sprayed my potion over my keyboard in surprise that they’d actually released a palette that was so ‘cool’.

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      • OMG, I know exactly what you mean! I was so upset about those Hourglass blushes! You’d think Radiant Magenta would be, like cool or something neutral at the warmest, but no. I guess the only consolation prize we have is that we save a lot of money on makeup. Being bloggers however that makes our review options rough!

        Like

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  7. Your review is the BEST I have seen of Tarte Mattenificient so far, clear concise descrptions and beautiful pictures of the palette in 3 lights. Most reviews had the colors off! Your colors are the most accurate. I love the palette so far, and it cost USD50 here in Malaysia with no discount and No samples.

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    • Aww, thanks, Karin! Welcome to the Painted Rogue! :-D I was just in Malaysia two days ago (well, in the KL airport) – wished so much that I had time to come out and see the country!

      Like

  8. This is a truly all in one palette for me. I use the the light colors under my eyes too and the dream in chcolate as my eyebrows color. The black is dark enough as eyeliner. Strangely all the colors appear on me, u nlike some reviewers who say the colors disappear on their skin.

    Like

    • The pale ones do disappear on me a bit, but that’s just because I am super pale, LOL. It really is an awesome palette, and even the more disappear-y shades are great for blending edges and subtle, natural highlighting!

      Like

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