Category Archives: Tarte

Products on a Pedestal for January 2012

It’s a new year and us gals here at Product Girl decided to introduce a new monthly feature dishing on our favorite products from makeup, skin care, hair, and anything in between. We call it “Products on a Pedestal.”  If you’re like me and love hearing people’s favs, check in at the end of every month to get the scoop. I’m kicking off the first edition!

To start, my favorite blush.  Is it possible to talk too much about a single product?  Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes are just so good! We’ve yet really talk about the color Exposed, though. It’s such a unique tan, plum color. My everyday, perfect blush.

A new obsession for me is highlighters (following in the footsteps of my sister and Laurie!) Current favorite? TheBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer, such a cute name! The champagne shimmer is suitable for cheeks and eyes.

Now, since it is winter, had to mention my moisturizer. I’ve been using Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream and let me tell you, ahh-mazing!! It smells incredible, doesn’t feel greasy and makes my skin so soft. It also isn’t too much for my oilier skin.

Mascaras are an obsession of mine, so I had to include one. I’ve been head over heels for the Tarte Gifted Mascara. That’s exactly what it is, gifted. Does it all – lengthening, separation and volume in just one coat. Hardly any mascaras are up to my liking with one coat! Clump and flake free, this is something to talk about.

Undereye circles are something pretty much every woman faces at some point. As a teenager up late at night studying and chatting with friends, waking up in the morning is not my favorite thing. But when I need a pick me up, I reach for my Garnier Skin Renew Anti Dark Circle Roller. Roll on a bit, blend, and I’m instantly (looking) more awake with laser sight!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Tarte Black Lash Primer and Black Patent Volume Max Mascara

Ever wonder why all lash primers are white and/or clear? Quite honestly, I never thought much about it until I experienced Tarte’s new Black Lash Primer. And now my mind is blown. Part of a QVC-exclusive duo, Tarte’s Black Lash Primer & Black Patent Volume Max Mascara create insanely long lashes. So insane that if you have longish lashes already, this will give you lashes to your brows. See Exhibit A….

Exhibit A: Tarte Lash Primer + Black Patent Volume Max Mascara

Lashes that long — that are mine — are the clear Beauty VIP this week! The formula is gentle, much like other Tarte mascaras, so lashes will never get that crispy feeling. There’s no clumping to fear or lash combs needed to intervene. The Lash Primer, in the black quilted tube, might be better at lengthening and separating lashes more than most mascaras. And because it’s jet black, you probably could wear it as mascara. Followed up with a coat of the Black Patent Volume Max, the shiny vinyl tube, and lashes get thicker and longer. The formula isn’t waterproof, but does not transfer or flake. Just don’t wear it while watching an hour worth of “Sh*t insert people Say” videos. I say this from experience…and I cannot laugh without crying!

Cheers to the weekend and fluttery lashes!

Four Shimmering Shades Join Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Line-up for Spring

Joining an already impressive spread of high-performing cheek colors, Tarte rolled out four new shimmering shades of its award-winning Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush for Spring. Think of Glisten, Adored, Buff and Frisky as the sassy, sparkly sisters to your more responsible and mature blush colors. Even the outer packaging has a shimmer to it, which is a great differentiator should you happen to stockpile these blushes (as we may or may not do!)

The brilliance of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blushes is that not only do they stay in place perfectly all day; the color almost intensifies the longer you wear them. I think it’s because after about 10-12 hours, other parts of our makeup, like eyeliner or foundation, begin to fade. Also, we completely tip our hats to Tarte for being the brand known for its gel cheek stains to being lauded by everyone for its powder blush. If you’ve yet to try these (what are you waiting for?!), may we suggest one of the spring shades? Here’s a look at all four in action…

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Maracuja Oil Emerges in Tarte's Spring 2012 Collection

If 2011 was the year of Amazonian Clay for Tarte, then 2012 is most definitely the year of Maracuja Oil. With the launch of Tarte’s Spring 2012 collection comes several new items with – you guessed correctly – an infusion of Maracuja Oil. This “skinvigorating” ingredient comes from the Passion Flower, which Tarte sources from the Amazon. It makes an appearance in a few entirely new product launches, the Maracuja Divine Shine Lip Gloss and Maracuja Blush and Glow. We are smitten with the packaging! So springy and uplifting! We’re also digging the click pen applicator on the Divine Shine Lip Gloss and the variety of ten shades. The names should ring a bell, too: Dollface, Blushing Bride, Tipsy and Blissful, to name several.

Tarte is also re-launching the Amazonian Clay Cream Eyeshadows with new packaging and one new shade, Shimmering Bronze. The new packaging has a wider opening, and is much easier to work with. The good news? It’s the same water- budge-EVERYTHING-proof formula.

And, previously only available via QVC, Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation, is making its debut at Sephora and We are absolutely mesmerized by the demo on this foundation every time we see it on QVC, and are happy to see it launch officially as part of the Spring 2012 collection. The key to making magic happen here is definitely that brush. Sephora has a value set with both the foundation and the brush (not yet in stock) for $38.

Last but definitely not least, look out for four NEW shimmering shades of the Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Frisky, Glisten, Buff and Adored.

What do you think about Tarte’s spring offerings?

Product Girl's Top 11 of 2011

Narrowing down the best beauty releases of the year can be a daunting task. But when it comes down to choosing the best of the best, all we really had to do was look in our makeup bags and on our bathroom counters. From there, it was pretty clear what products we can’t live without and will happily  carry into the New Year. Without further ado, we present to you the Product Girl Top 11 of 2011.  

While this list is officially in no particularly order, NARS Velvet Gloss Pencil is definitely our favorite lip product of the year. We can’t get enough of these. Frivolous and New Lover are my top two, but the deep raspberry of Baroque is a close third.We absolutely love how these look and feel on the lips – the subtle gloss, burst of color and moisturizing properties make them a major winner.

We purchased countless tubes of Burts’s Bees Tinted Lip Balms this year. For ourselves and for others. The Rose is the perfect tint of sheer red, and Honeysuckle is a lovely peachy nude. The formula is 100% natural and the price, at $7, is just right. These are a standout drugstore buy of 2011.

We continue to be mesmerized by this seafoam green tub of youth! Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica is such an  interesting moisturizier. It’s thick in texture, very balm-like, but doesn’t feel like it on the skin, and seems to instantly make our skin look brighter and healthier. Plus, we love the way Rosa Arctica looks on our bathroom counter!

Thank you, Dr. Dennis Gross, for reviving our pale skin and helping me fight my Vitamin D deficiency with the Alpha Beta Glow Pads. Since these launched in February, they’ve been a constant in my beauty routine. I don’t let actual sun rays get near my face, so these were a godsend. Unlike self-tanner, these are skin care. They give you a legit bronze and unleash anti-aging + exfoliating properties into your skin.

Perhaps the most difficult category for us to choose the “best of” was nail polish. But, Chanel Black Pearl managed to take home the honors. This gunmetal green is like an edgy accessory that goes with everything. It looked good no matter the season, and on fingers or toes.

Benefit Cha Cha Tint was worth waiting until 2011 for. It is a delicious mango-colored stain that looks intimidating in the bottle but is like magic on the skin. If you think you can’t wear coral, Cha Cha Tint can prove you wrong. Plus, it’s a stain so it lasts forever.

Another cheek product that dominated our makeup bags the majority of 2011 was Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush. We can’t pick just one favorite, so consider ALL of them the best of 2011. (Although, we might be partial to Amused and Tipsy!) They are the longest wearing powder blush you’ll ever use and the color stays vibrant all day. And the colors are phenomenal and importantly, flattering on the skin.  

2011 will go down as the year the U.S. got a taste of the BB Cream. And we couldn’t be more smitten with Boscia’s B.B. Cream SPF 27 PA++, a skin perfecting “blemish balm” that is like a super-powered tinted moisturizer. It manages to blur out imperfections and moisturize our skin. In the summer, we could get away with using this for coverage, moisture and SPF!  

A serum that actually helps repair and heal damaged hair and split ends? Yes, it exists.  The exotic oils and silk peptides in Phyto Phytokératine Serum  helps strengthen strands and restore moisture to dry hair (and is silicone-free). I truly believe that by slathering the ends of my hair in this, I can go a lot longer without a trim.

The central weapon in our fight against aging is sunscreen. It may not be the most exciting part of our beauty routine, but it’s very necessary. Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense is the best facial SPF we’ve ever used. We like that it contains only physical blockers and a special extract that increases skin defenses and resistance to UV and heat stress. But the best part? It feels weightless on the skin.

Each month, we looked forward to the arrival of the pink Birchbox! What a treat – which is why this beauty delivery service deserves a spot in our best of 2011 list. We’ve been introduced to some great brands, like Sunday Riley and Oribe, and fabulous products, like Orofluido Elixir and Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee.

What beauty items topped your list this year? Let us know what you loved!

Get Your Blush on During Tarte Friends & Family Sale

This is a beauty service announcement: Tarte’s Friends & Family sale is going on through Monday, December 12. For a few more days, you can take advantage of the 30% discount by entering code FFDEC at checkout. Free shipping over $40, too. Tarte has some perfect gifting sets, and the Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes are just a given. Those are a MUST! I have been using these constantly now that winter has arrived, because my winter complexion needs a long-wearing blush. I get super pale. I like my blush to look the same at 5pm as it does at 7am when I put it on.

Shining Stars Collection ($25) – SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner Collection ($39) – Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Blushing Bride (left) and Flush (right)

The SmolderEYES set is a crazy deal with the 30% off, which is why it appears to be out of stock at the moment. I’m hoping it sneaks back in stock before the sale ends! Also, a heads up that Tarte Founder Maureen Kelly will be on QVC this coming Thursday, December 15, from 2-3 a.m. (the DVR will have to get that one!) and 6-7 p.m. (all times eastern).

Cyber Monday Beauty Deals, Take Two

Cyber Monday has officially sent me in to a beauty-deal-induced coma. For real…forget the electronics and video games, Cyber Monday is ALL about beauty. Here are the deals that we could not resist sharing. And, to see Cyber Monday deals part one, click here.

Forget a percentage off, Suki is offering BUY ONE GET ONE of the entire line. Suki’s Creamy Exfoliating Cleanser is about the best thing in the world, so this deal is a must in my book. A great chance to stock-up, or try for yourself and for a friend! Visit and enter code thanks2011 at checkout.

Butter LONDON is offering a 30% discount on all online orders today with code CELEBRATE11 at checkout.

Tarte Cosmetics is offering a staggered savings based on what you spend. Use code CYBER at checkout, where you’ll also receive your choice of a full-size gift. Free shipping over $40. May we recommed the Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush?

You have until end of day Tuesday, November 29, to take advantage of Dr. Dennis Gross’ Cyber Monday deal. Take 20% off all orders with code CYBER11 at checkout. If you indulge on this one, add a box of the Alpha Beta Glow Pads to your cart (I remain obsessed!)

Receive a FREE By Elizabeth Dehn Face Spray ($28 value) with the purchase of The Serum or Shea Cream. No code needed! These products remain among our 2011 skin care favorites! Check out our initial review here.

If you’re like me and hoard Birchbox points, then this deal is for you. With any purchase in the Birchbox shop (starting at $50+), you’ll receive bonus points. Remember, every 100 points is equivalent to $10 to spend in the Birchbox store. They have tons of new products and gift sets that are totally worth checking out. I am eyeing up this Atelier Cologne Vanilla Gift Set!

Happy shopping! Let us know if you take advantage of any Cyber Monday promotions.

In a Makeup Rut? Go Bold with Eyeliner

The other day I realized that I was in a serious makeup rut. My summer eye makeup routine is pretty no nonsense, and I think I’ve worn the same three eyeshadows all summer long. I just can’t be bothered with elaborate eye makeup when it’s hot. But, I hit my wall. I got bored, and maybe even a little whiny one morning. Then I picked up my Lancome Ink Artliner in Teal Delight from the Spring 2010 collection (a favorite still!) This lovely cream liner was my one-way ticket out of rutsville. It’s amazing what a simple swipe of color along your lashline can do for a mood.

Pop of teal

I believe this liner was limited edition, so if you don’t have it, here are a few recommendations for you to  get our of your summer eye makeup rut. My picks are all in the blue/green family, because I just can’t get enough.

  • Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof Long Lasting EyeLiner in Minuit ($25.50) – It’s a deep navy that I think has an interesting twinge of teal. This is way more interesting than basic black.
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Ivy Shimmer Ink ($21) – The ultimate gel liner out there! These are so easy to use, and the colors are stunning. Especially this deep green.
  • Tarte SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner in Navy ($25) – Love these for a one-minute smokey eye, or just a swipe along the lashline. They have fantastic staying power and powerful pigment.
  • NARS Larger than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Rue St. Honore ($23) – This navy eyeliner is possibly the most gorgeous navy blue eyeliner I’ve ever seen. It just lights up my eyes. I’m a blue-eyed child, and it’s awesome. BUT if you have blue eyes, you need this.

Any eyeliners you’d add to the list? Let us know!

Glow Getter: Tarte's Radiant & Rested Volume II Kit

Tarte’s at it again with another fabulous kit filled with glow-inducing makeup. The Radiant & Rested Volume II Universal Complexion & Color Collection is a tradition I hope Tarte continues. Just as last year’s version launched the Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum, this year’s includes a new release as well with The Bright Side Double-Ended Eye Brightener.

Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Glisten – If you are yet to try these blushes (we love them!), this is a perfect excuse. Glisten is a lovely golden peachy pink with gold shimmer and gives a nice sheen to the cheek. And, as the name would indicate, it’s got serious lasting power.

Provocateur Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powder in Champagne – This highlighting powder is so finely milled and melts into the skin. Champagne is a golden highlighter that seems to be in the same color family of NARS Albatross. Tarte included a deluxe size that is so cute — it even has the quilted compact like the full-sized version!

Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum – This serum is the key to radiance – it can be used on its own all over the skin with just a dusting of powder over it, blended into your sunscreen or moisturizer or mixed in with your makeup. A deluxe sample is included in this kit. (Check out review on it here!)

L-R: The Bright Side, Sweet, Provocateur Highlighting Powder, Glisten Blush

LipSurgence™ Natural Lip Luster in Sweet – This shade is indeed sweet, a golden pink that feels so light and summery. If this looks familiar, this was also included in the QVC Glow Your Way to Gorgeous kit (see it in action on Carla here!)

The Bright Side Double-Ended Eye Brightener – Ahh, the pièce de résistance. I love love LOVE this product. It features two sides of a creamer eye highlighter in champagne (for day) and shimmering pink (for night). It’s magical on the inner corner of the eyes, and doesn’t get all gooky or fade like other products tend to in the inner corners. This is a full-sized preview product that isn’t available anywhere else yet.

Tarte’s Radiant & Rested is currently available for $42 on, and should be making its way to stores soon!

Currently Loving for Summer: Monochromatic Bronze Makeup

Over the long holiday weekend, I found myself reaching for a familiar few products to give me a bronzed look with a touch of shimmer. It’s an easy summer look that feels natural that takes no more than five minutes. I’ve been a stickler for skin care this summer. Determined not to get too much sun (or any on my face, really) and keep my skin in balance. It’s been working, and as a result I’ve been able to abandon a lot of face makeup. My hero product to thank (not shown here) is definitely the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads.

Here’s the rundown on my other bronzing essentials:

Stila All Over Shimmer Duo – Both Carla and I use this constantly. On the eyes, on the cheekbones. Anywhere goes. I find I dust the lighter portion on my eyelids and along my cheekbones and take the darker shade and apply just under my browbone. It gives some dimension to my eyes without really wearing eyeshadow.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse – Finished brows are critical to any makeup look, but especially a “no-makeup” look. They pull everything together and give the face some structure. I use Tarte’s Brow Mousse (exclusive to QVC right now) in Taupe. I love the formula and the brush it comes with too! It gives a very natural look, and the Taupe is a perfect match.

Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart MascaraTarte makes amazing mascaras – and the best part is they contain ingredients that help repair and strengthen your lashes. This is crazy volumizing and really opens up my eyes. Oh, and no flaking or smearing. It’s not waterproof, but I haven’t experienced any breakdown on a hot (and sweaty) day. And, it’s only $19. If you’re a Dior girl, you should yourself the $$ and give this a try. It’s better.

Fresh Sugar Honey Tinted Lip Treatment – Sugar Honey is a rosy nude with a hint of brown (see swatch below) and is very natural on the lips. It also has SPF 15!

Fresh Sugar Honey swatch

Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Liner in Rock Candy – These liners wowed me from the start, and I’ve been favoring the sparkly bronze Rock Candy liquid eyeliner lately. It’s more fun than a matte version and easier to apply than a cream, gel or pencil. Perfect for summer.

NARS Laguna Illuminator – I squeeze out about two drops on the back of my hand, take my MAC 131 (a flat duo-fibre powder brush) and blend as a counter on the cheeks, along the sides of my face and along my jawline. It’s a sparklier formular, but it doesn’t look glittery on the face, just bronzed. It feels wonderful on the skin too — the liquid is a blast of cool which I welcome when the humidity level in my bathroom is high.

Too Faced Primed and Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer – If I’m going for a bronzed look, I’ve got to keep my pores in check. This primer does tthe trick by creating a flawless canvas. It contains vitamins A & C, Mulberry extract and a dose of retinol to perk up tired skin. It comes out of the tube in a nude color but blends into skin without color.