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!
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.
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).
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…
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.
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!
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.
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).
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!
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!
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!