Whenever I'm at Sephora, I make a beeline for Tarte. I've always had a soft spot for their eco-chic makeup, which is cruelty-free, infused with natural ingredients and formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, SLS and synthetic fragrances.
Over the years, I've amassed a nice little collection of LipSurgences, but surprisingly, not much else. So imagine my delight when the team at Sephora asked me to test-drive Tarte's entire spring 2016 collection. Be still my beating heart!
The range is called Rainforest of the Sea, and it's all about makeup (plus a few skincare products) that give you hydration and radiance.
I can wholeheartedly say, they absolutely nailed it with this launch. Testing my way through the lineup, I was actually giddy, there were so many products I liked.
Let's dive in, and I'll tell you about my very top picks:
So first up, there's the Deep Dive Cleansing Gel, which is a gentle gel cleanser suitable for all skin types. It's fragrance-free and sulfate-free (you know how important that is to me) and even the tiniest amount produces a rich lather. It's totally effective at getting all your makeup off in one step—even waterproof makeup—but won't leave your skin tight or dry. It's hard to find a cleanser that ticks off so many boxes, so I am impressed!
My next pick is the Wipeout Color-Correcting Palette, which contains six cream shades for colour correction, brightening, contouring and highlighting. I love that you get everything you need in the one palette! You're meant to apply this with the Color Correcting Brush, although you might have a similar brush at home already.
Here's the lowdown on the shades. The orange is for darkness, and the green neutralizes red. The darkest colour, the brown, is for contouring and sculpting. Then there are two peaches for general camouflage work; one for light-to-medium skin tones and the other for medium-to-deep skin tones. The pale yellow in the centre is for highlighting and brightening.
You can use this palette to hide dark circles, redness around the nose and even blemishes. I really appreciate that the textures are lightweight creams, not powders, for a more natural finish. Bonus: they also help minimize pores and fine lines.
Probably my favourite thing in this whole collection is the Water Foundation. As you know, I've been testing quite a few new foundations lately—all of them great—but this one truly takes the cake! It is a water-based fluid that I would describe as medium-to-full coverage. Normally, I'm not one for heavier foundations, but this doesn't look or feel that way AT ALL. (Hang on, I'm going to show you a close-up on my face in just a sec.)
There are 12 shades and Fair-Light Neutral is an exact match for my skin tone. They describe the formula as "moisture-rich" but don't let that put you off if you've got oilier skin. It doesn't leave you greasy, and I didn't need to powder until hours later. You can apply it with the Double-Ended Foundation Brush, which is the perfect tool for buffing it seamlessly into your skin. On me, the results evened out my skin so well that I barely needed any concealer.
However! If you do want concealer, they have the Aquacealer Concealer and The Airbrusher Double-Ended Concealer Brush for that. I haven't been able to properly test the concealer since I got one that is too dark for me, but the texture seems similar to the foundation.
Moving on to powders... Tarte's answer to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is this Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette. You get three shades. In the centre is Filtered Light, which is a brightening setting powder in a universal matte sand. On the left is Sunlight, a daytime champagne gold shimmer, and on the right is Moonlight, which gives a warmer, rosier gleam for evening.
These can be applied with the Highlighter Brush, which has the ideal shape for sweeping the powder across your cheeks. Once again, the palette features a beautiful sea-themed design on the cover.
It's also got the most gorgeous cover pattern of all the palettes I've showed you—a fun psychedelic purple! No applicators, but there's a Double-Ended Eyeshadow Brush sold separately. I can't get over how well these shadows wear. Usually, I get creasing very quickly, but not for hours with these, and that's with no primer.
The other eye item in the range is the So Fine Micro Liner, which is a waterproof, skinny liquid eyeliner in black. My eyes don't do liquid liner well, so I skipped this one.
Now let's talk lips! The first batch of goodies are the Quench Lip Rescue, a moisturizing lip balm with a sheer tint. There are four shades. Opal is a sheer pearly white; Nude is a sheer brownish-rose; Rose is a sheer coral pink; and Berry is a sheer reddish-purple.
Did I mention these are sheer? (Hehe.) Don't expect intense colour payoff, but do expect a super-hydrating balm, with a hint of minty flavour. Rose, which I'm wearing here, is probably my favourite shade. These would be a good go-to lippie for the handbag.
Last of all, there are lipsticks—lots and lots of lipsticks! But first, I must alert you to the Lipsaver Treatment Primer. Many readers have asked me about what to apply underneath lipstick to prevent dried-out, flaky-looking lips. This is the answer! It's a leave-on primer and moisturizing balm in one that smooths everything out but is completely matte, not shiny. Genius, I tell you.
Once that's on, it's time for the Drench Lip Splash Lipstick, a full-coverage matte lipstick that comes in 12 vibrant shades. I tried six. Beach Bum is a dark nude; Happy is a rich, deep rose; Bikini is a bright pink coral; Hey Sailor is a bright fuchsia pink; and Wet Suit is a deep plum berry.
Beach Bum and Happy were my two faves here, since I'm on this '90s lip train right now and both have a hint of brown. But seriously, they are ALL beautiful colours. Because the pigment is so intense, you may want to use the retractable Lip Brush to perfect your edges.
Here's my final look:
I went minimalist and glowy here—just to show you how sheer and natural you can go with this collection. You know me, I'm not about the heavy contour (er, ANY contour) or zillion colours of eyeshadow. (I'm also really pale, so without a blush in the range, I looked a bit pale in the lipsticks!) But I LOVE highlighting powder with this fresh-faced makeup. It sculpts and pushes out my cheeks... who needs blush?
I am wearing: the yellow shade from the Wipeout Color-Correcting Palette; the Water Foundation in Fair-Light Neutral; the Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette in Moonlight on my cheeks; Wave (slate), Sand (ivory) and Abyss (dark brown) from the Eyeshadow Palette; and the Quench Lip Rescue in Rose.
I hope you've enjoyed swimming around Tarte's Rainforest of the Sea collection with me! It's definitely one of the most impressive spring beauty offerings I've seen—not just in 2016, but EVER.
These would be my top picks:
1. Deep Dive Cleansing Gel | 2. Wipeout Color-Correcting Palette | 3. Water Foundation | 4. Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette | 5. Eyeshadow Palette | 6. Quench Lip Rescue | 7. Lipsaver Treatment Primer | 8. Drench Lip Splash Lipstick
Have you checked out Rainforest of the Sea yet? What do you think?