Hey crew! Today I am reviewing my first (possibly of many) Christmas/Holiday 2016 reviews. This is the Tarte Color Wheel Amazonian Clay Blush Palette which is part of the Works of Tarte Holiday 2016 collection.
I bought this for AU$65 (free shipping for orders over $55) online at the Australian Sephora website when it had a 2 day limited pre-release of the Tarte Holiday collection. Don't worry, if you missed out on the pre-release it will be back, I just don't know the exact date that they will be released... but it should be any day now. You can also buy this directly from the Tarte website (it's currently out of stock - but it ships internationally) but it is a bit more expensive - AU$72 plus shipping. If you are from the US then you can buy this from the US Sephora site for US$44.
Before I continue with the review I do want to break down how good the $65 value is in Australia. This palette contains 10 blush shades that contain 2.4g each. A single Tarte blush contains 5.6g and retails for $38. The palette retails for $2.71 per gram but a single blush retails for $6.79 per gram... so the palette is WAAAAY better value.
I do want to also mention that the holiday collection is made in China whereas the permanent Tarte products are made in the US. I personally don't have an issue with this, and I do think it's just a way to make the holiday products more affordable. The blush texture between the palette (made in China) and the singles (made in the US) are different, but they are both good quality. The USA made blushes are a lot firmer, less pigmented and last a little longer on the skin, but the Chinese made blushes tend to be softer, more pigmented and apply smoother on the skin. I personally prefer the Chinese made blushes because they are a lot easier to apply and look very flattering on the skin.
The packaging is a small round compact that is primarily gold with a swirled purple and gold design on the lid. This is exactly the same size as their circle eyeshadow and face palettes like the Rainforest After Dark palette. When I saw photos of this palette I did honestly think it was going to be a lot bigger, but after the initial shock of how small it actually is I have come to realise that it is a lot more user friendly, travel friendly, easier to store AND if it was bigger then it would have a much larger price tag.
Each side of the palette has three matte blushes, one shimmery blush and one highlighter/blush topper. The top side of the palette has primarily warmer and brighter shades (perfect for spring and summer) and the bottom has more cooler and muted shades (great for autumn and winter). The names of each shade are printed on the pan and there is a very handy plastic slip that separates the two sides and it has a perforated base which allows you to move it to where ever you want and it stays in place.
|Clockwise from the top: Mod, Deco, Surreal, Culture, Idol|
|Clockwise from the top: Icon, Montage, Ironic, Crafty, Concept|
The arm swatches above are on clean skin, no primer. I decided to swatch in the order of the three mattes, the shimmer blush and then the highlighter.
Mod - matte peachy nude (my favourite blush from the palette)
Deco - matte bright coral pink
Surreal - matte bright barbie pink
Culture - pink base with gold shimmer
Idol - champagne gold highlighter
Icon - matte soft pinky plum
Montage - matte plum
Ironic - matte red plum
Concept - bronze-nude with a slight shimmer
Crafty - shimmery off white highlighter with some gold and pink shimmer
The formula of the blushes are great, they are nicely pigmented, smooth to apply and can be built up. I also love how its set out - six matte blushes, two shimmers and two highlighters that can be used as a highlighter or can be used to as some shimmer to the matte blushes. I was particularly impressed with the highlighters in the palette, I think they are both gorgeous and they add a nice amount of sheen that can be sheered out for a more natural look or built up for a stronger highlight. The Crafty shade of highlighter is a beautifully complex shade that would suit most skin tones because it is light enough for fair skin, but it also has hints of gold and pink so it doesn't appear too frosty and white. I love it.
My biggest pet peeve with this palette is that there isn't enough variety for eight blushes. There is one peach, one nude, three pinks that give a similar colour on the cheeks and three plums that look pretty much identical. This is the biggest problem with this palette. I would have loved to see another muted peachy nude shade instead of one of the bright pinks, and maybe a dusky rose and a mauve instead of two of the plum shades. I think this palette had SO much potential but the lazy shade choices let it down.
Overall if you were interested in picking up a blush palette that you could use all year round, is easy to travel with and has great quality blushes then I highly recommend this palette because it's one of the best blush palettes I have seen in the most recent years and the value is fantastic. But I can't help noticing that this palette could have been 100x better and a complete holy grail product if they changed up two or three blushes to make it a lot more versatile.
Did you pick up this palette? What are your thoughts?