tarte cosmetics Custom Beauty Kit

tarte cosmetics Create Your Own Beauty Kit, $63 (no longer available)

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Melba looks like she has a pink face, but it's just a reflection!  She's such a good model.

Each year, tarte has a deal where you can make your own beauty box.  They offer seven product categories (makeup bag, brush, blush, foundation/primer, lipstick, mascara, and eyeliner/shadow) and you get to choose one product from each of those categories.  If you like tarte, this is a great way to get their products at a reduced price and to try products of theirs you might not have tried before.

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Here's what I chose:

My box was worth about $183.60.  The makeup bag isn't for sale individually, so I had to estimate its value.  They also threw in a sample of four colors of their Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation.

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tarte offered two bags -- a purple one and a unicorn one, which is iridescent.  I had to choose the unicorn one because I love iridescence!  It's roomy and well-made.  It is lined and has some light padding inside to keep your makeup safe.  The only problem is that it's almost too pretty to use!  

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Swatch of tarte cosmetics Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation in Fair-Light Neutral

Swatch of tarte cosmetics Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation in Fair-Light Neutral

I love tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation, so I was hoping they would offer that as one of the foundation options.  It's always good to have a backup!  Unfortunately, though, they did not offer that particular foundation.  The options were Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation, Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation, Confidence Creamy Powder Foundation, and the Colored Clay CC Primer.  You could also choose your color, of course.  I almost went with the Airbrush Foundation, but I've never had good luck with powder foundations, so I ended up choosing the gel foundation.  This gives me great coverage and holds up all day without looking gross from the oil on my chin a few hours in.  I didn't blend it in above so you could see what the color looked like, but it is actually a great match for my complexion.  My only complaint is the packaging!  This comes in a wide-mouth jar with a screw-on cap.  If it's open, it's very easy to make a mess.  I really wish they put this in a bottle or tube like their other foundation.

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tarte offered six different brushes -- Timeless Beauty Blush Brush, Bronze and Glow Contour Brush, Swirl Power Contour and Bronzer Brush, Etch and Sketch Double-Ended Bamboo Liner Brush, Concealer and Finishing Powder Brush, and Double-Ended Camouflage Brush.  I had a hard time choosing the brush because I don't really need more makeup brushes at this time.  I thought a two-in-one brush might be nice, though.  The bristles are very soft and pick up a good amount of product, but not an excessive amount.  The big end is for bronzing and the small end is for contouring.  I don't bronze and highlight daily, but this will be a good brush to have when I'm getting ready for a special event.

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Swatch of tarte cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Natural Beauty

Swatch of tarte cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Natural Beauty

The blush selections were the Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush, the Colored Clay Bronzer Blush, Cheek Stain, and Airblush Maracuja Blush.  The Amazonian Clay and the Cheek Stains were the two I had tried before, but I didn't find any appealing colors in the Colored Clay Bronzer Blush and the Airblush.  I've been wanting to try a good red blush for some time, so I went with the Natural Beauty Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush.  This has a lot of pigment!  You really want to use a light touch with this blush and blend it out after applying.  It gave me a healthy flush and was quite pretty.  It's quite bold for a color called Natural Beauty!  I have a number of colors of the Amazonian Clay blush and love them all.  This is definitely one of my favorite blushes.  The color always goes on smoothly, blends out easily, and holds up all day.

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Swatch of tarte cosmetics smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Gold

Swatch of tarte cosmetics smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Gold

They had a lot of eyeliner options, so I had a really hard time choosing!  The one I ended up going with, the smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Gold is more of an eyeshadow.  It is a very thick pencil.  This stuff has amazing staying power!  It has a lot of pigment and the color is beautiful.  I was able to blend this as long as I did it immediately after applying.  If you wait more than a few seconds, though, it will set and not blend easily.

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Swatch of tarte cosmetics Drench Lip Splash Lipstick in Bikini

Swatch of tarte cosmetics Drench Lip Splash Lipstick in Bikini

tarte offered tons of lipstick choices, making this another hard decision.  I love their Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint and I was going to choose one of those, but they had only a few boring colors to choose from and I wanted something bolder.  The Drench Lip Splash Lipstick came in a number of colors and was an actual lipstick, not a gloss or tint, so that is what I ended up going with.  The color I chose was Bikini, a pink coral.  This color is gorgeous!   I had never tried tarte's Drench Lip Splash Lipstick before, but I was really impressed by the formula.  It has amazing pigment and staying power.  It doesn't have quite the staying power of a liquid lipstick, but it's close.  It was also very moisturizing.  The color is bright, but beautiful, and looked great on me.

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The mascara choice was easy!  I chose the Best in Faux Lash Extending Fibers because I've never tried lash fibers before.  To use this, you apply the mascara, then apply the fibers, then finish with another coat of mascara.  This gave me serious length and volume.  I was worried it would look clumpy or weird, but it looks great.  It definitely gives you a falsie look, but it's great for a special night on the town.

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tarte also sent out a free sample of four colors of their Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation.  The colors were all too dark for me, so I wasn't able to try them.  Has anyone tried Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation? Is it any good?

I'm loving my tarte box!  I wish more cosmetics companies would do this.  It's a great way to get their fans to try their other products.  All of the products were of great quality and had amazing pigment and coverage.  The brush won't get much use from me, but I'm loving everything else in the box.  I don't think I can begin to choose a favorite product.