While the first quarter of 2017 may be done, I am still sorting through my 2016 holiday haul. Naturally, beauty-loving friends went a little Black Friday gaga and pooled our US purchases for shipping to Manila. The first of my buys making a debut for review here is the Intro to Tarte Deluxe Discovery Set (USD 10). *Note that this is a limited edition set for Black Friday that is no longer being sold, but there are resellers still offering this set.
Quick Specs: Mascara 4 ml / 0.13 fl oz manufactured in Italy and assembled in Taiwan ; lipstick 1 g / 0.035 oz made in Italy ; blush 1.5 g / 0.05 oz made in China
If you are a newbie to Tarte, then this aptly named value set serves as a well-curated selection of the company’s best-sellers that’s enough to complete a whole look. The individual pieces are also compact enough to be stored in your tote-around makeup bag.
Let’s start with the Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Unstopabble. The tiny, mirrorless compact is a cutie, and I love looking at the tree design stamped on the powder. In my Tarte research around the web, I have found reviews noting that the Tarte blush palettes and value/gift sets tend to be made in China, as opposed to the full-sized ones that are made in the USA. I can’t compare the quality as this is my very first Tarte blush, but this particular one is highly-pigmented albeit somewhat patchy (even when I’ve used progressively fluffier brushes in subsequent applications). Unstoppable is an apricot-tinged reddish brown that gives off a summery flush. The blush fades to 50% of its original coloring at around the 8-hour mark.
For mascara, I was rather intrigued to see the Lights, Camera, Lashes‘ textured packaging. It channels a synthetic animal skin “leather” and can’t stand up on its own, but the texture does make it easier to grip the wand as you apply the mascara. With 30 swipes, I get nicely fanned out lashes with natural-looking enhanced volume and not much by way of length. Two layers, as in the pic here, creates luscious volume that would look good with a smokey eye.
My favorite of the three, the Tarte Drench Lip Splash Lipstick in Living is a darling rosy brown MLBB that has a deliciously creamy application that remains creamy-moist for 3-4 hours. It’s a pity that the tube only contains 1g of product. But, hey, I kinda want a full-sized one now, so I think this sampler thing was an effective marketing strategy. Just one itty bitty caveat, however: There is a somewhat rubbery (synthetic?) vanilla-ish scent that reminds me a little of Colourpop lipsticks. If you find that off-putting, then you may not be able to stand the scent on this.
Verdict: I am all about the value sets. It’s my weird quirk about buying beauty stuff, because I have this perception of value. (Well, of course!) And some value sets do introduce me to great products that make it to my wishlist. In the case of this Tarte sampler set, I do want to try out their full-sized blush and lipstick. And, yes, I will be on the lookout for more Tarte sampler sets!