The Vengeful Polyglot

Tarte for True Blood Limited-Edition Palette

Posted on: September 1, 2011

Recently, despite my personal dislike of the series (granted, I mostly mean the Sookie Stackhouse books, I’ve never really seen the show), I was intrigued enough by excellent reviews to buy the Tarte True Blood Limited-Edition Palette. The cheek and lip stain are a bit vampy for me, but the eyeshadows looked really useful, especially since my collection of “good” makeup is still a bit limited in terms of color.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised, and I would recommend it to a friend. It’s a surprisingly wearable set of eyeshadows, despite having some dramatic colors, and I think it’s appropriately priced ($52) for what you get. Set includes 17 all-new, “supernatural” eyeshadows, deluxe sample-sized Lifted natural eye primer, deluxe sample-sized Lights, Camera, Lashes! natural mascara, and a full-sized EmphasEYES aqua-gel eyeliner.



Overall, it’s really quite plush. Here’s the exterior:

Here’s the interior:

My cellphone camera washes out a bit, but the black is really quite attractive in person. I think the packaging is well done, and certainly thematic. The only complaint I have, which I’ve seen mentioned elsewhere, is the lack of division between shadows. They’re a nice size, but you do run the risk of muddying them since they’re right up against their neighbors. The construction feels solid, though, and I don’t worry about the drawer falling out or breaking. While not exactly compact, it’s well-made.



These are obviously the stars of the set. From left to right, top to bottom:

  • The Light: Shimmering beige
  • Fairy: Shimmering pink
  • Dusk: Matte taupe
  • Dawn: Shimmering light gold
  • Werewolf: Matte brown
  • Waitress: Shimmering tan
  • Nocturnal: Shimmering navy
  • Charmer: Shimmering copper
  • Glamour Me: Matte dark purple
  • Stake: Matte dark grey
  • Bayou: Shimmering deep gold
  • Telepath: Shimmering rose
  • The True Death: Shimmering silver
  • Immortal: Shimmering black
  • Moss: Shimmering olive
  • Legend: Matte black
  • “V”: Shimmering crimson

Overall, the shadows have wonderful pigmentation and texture. They’re blendable and not “over the top” despite some dramatic colors. My only complaint is fallout. For the more glittery shades, my cheekbones wound up covered in visible sparkles. This isn’t terrible — I wear shimmery blushes or illuminator anyway — but I really don’t like glitter directly under my eyes.

In their defense, this is a much bigger issue without a primer (which is included in the set); I forgot to use one the first time I tried these out, and was very unhappy with the fallout. The next time, I used the primer, which visibly improved the situation. While there’s still a bit, it’s reduced a lot when using a primer.

Here are all of the shadows swatched on my arm:



Primer, Mascara, Eyeliner

I have some mixed reviews for these, though this may be in part due to my relative makeup inexperience. The primer and mascara I would definitely consider getting as stand-alones, but I’m just not sold on the eyeliner.

First off, let me say that I’ve never used an eyeshadow primer before. I use a foundation primer semi-regularly, but I don’t typically “prime” my eyes. I’m personally really uncertain of the difference between the primer for different face bits (since I gather that using my foundation primer on my eyes would be a no-no), but that’s another story. I found the Lifted primer to be very useful, though, particularly for this set of eyeshadows. It reduced fallout and aided blendability, I think. I also didn’t find its creaminess oppressive. I tend to steer clear of liquid or excessively creamy makeup since I don’t like the feel of it on my skin, but this dried light enough that it didn’t bother me in the slightest.

The mascara was actually a revelation for me. I have sensitive eyes, and part of the reason I had trouble imagining myself wearing makeup every day is because mascara, or eye makeup in general, tends to irritate my eyes. I figured this was probably how it was for everyone, and that I should just deal with it. What struck me about this mascara though (I assume since it’s natural) is that it really doesn’t bother my eyes. It’s not quite as nice as the Chanel I was wearing before, but the comfort is totally worth it. It goes on nicely, and I didn’t notice too much clumping (I usually max out at two coats, though, so your mileage may vary). I’m definitely going to be buying another Tarte mascara. Awesome!

Now, as for the eyeliner… I’m really not too impressed. Maybe I didn’t take the “aqua” prefix seriously enough, but to say this goes on like a really thick-brushed liquid eyeliner probably wouldn’t be an overstatement. I’m used to using either pencils or a gel eyeliner with a brush, and I appreciate the control those afford me. My hands are somewhat unsteady, so I always look like I put on my makeup during an earthquake if I’m using liquid. Liquid just isn’t forgiving. Neither is this. To be fair, I don’t typically use such intense black (I find it a bit intimidating), but even trying my best, my line was totally inconsistent. It just melted off onto me. On the bright side, it is blendable, and after a few swipes with a Q-tip I looked slightly more human. It’s not as user friendly as I’d like, though, especially for a twist-up gel.


Sample Look

I love when sets include little tutorials for different looks. This palette comes with four tutorials, which can also be seen online here. As a test run, I tried Vamp Glam for a night out (well, if a 3-year-old’s birthday can be considered a night out). I was really happy with the result. I’ve never tried smudging a shadow over a liner, even though that’s probably a common technique, and I really loved how it softened and colored the line. I did skip the inner corner emphasis, though, since I had a feeling it would be a bit too extreme for a family dinner and/or I would probably mess it up.

Here’s a closeup of my eyes in artificial light (you can see that there still is some fallout here):

I think the look is pleasant and not too vampy at all. Of course, you could push with “V” a lot more than I did and get a more extreme result, but I think it’s really very wearable like this. Of course, when I was putting it on in the bathroom I thought I looked like a streetwalker, but I’m always like that. Looking back, it’s really soft and pretty.


Overall Verdict

I’m really pleased with this purchase and would recommend it to others looking for a versatile and wearable palette. I find myself using it frequently, especially the mascara. I really like that it can run the gamut from subtle to glam. Tarte is rapidly turning into a staple for me; I don’t automatically bias “natural” or “organic” things (for instance, I really don’t buy all of the company’s hype about “Amazonian clay” being a wonder drug), but I find myself liking Tarte products quite a lot despite their shtick. In fact, I think my makeup was almost entirely by Tarte that night.

Obligatory more-attractive shot!


3 Responses to "Tarte for True Blood Limited-Edition Palette"

[…] mentioned in my review of the Tarte for True Blood Limited Edition Palette, Tarte’s mascara has been a very pleasant surprise for me. Typically, mascaras cause mild […]

[…] packaging is simple and elegant designed. The shadows are nicely separated (unlike the Tarte for True Blood Limited Edition Palette I reviewed before) and the folio is slim enough to carry around if you’re planning on […]

[…] Tarte palette (my review of the Tarte True Blood Limited-Edition Palette can be found here). There’s always something so appealing and fun about limited editions, and this is no […]

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Blog by a programmer cum linguist cum writer cum total geek. One who pretentiously uses "cum" in place of any other logical connectives. Direct questions to the Ask Lauren page!

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