Archive - Product Reviews

How Far Does Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer Turn Back the Hands of Time?

Published in: Face, Makeup, Product Reviews, Tarte

Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer (2)

Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer

If Father Time got his contractor’s license, he might invent something like Tarte’s new Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer ($39). Designed to turn back the hands of time (that’s the idea at least), it works like makeup spackling paste.

A new addition to Tarte’s permanent line of cruelty-free cosmetics, it fills in pores and smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles, so skin looks a little blurred, and a little closer to flawless. It also preps the skin for foundation and other makeup layered on top.

Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer (1)

Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer (3)

I have to say, I like how lightweight it feels, and I dig the lemony scent, even though, yeah, I don’t feel like ’90s teenage Karen is staring back at me in the mirror when I wear it on my face.

Still, I think my skin does look smoother when I wear it, and my pores aren’t all up in my grill.

I guess in a way, maybe, it does turn back time a bit… Like perhaps six months to a year. :)

Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer (4)

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Waterproof Wednesday: Tarte Amazonian Clay Dual Liner in Black/Bronze

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Product Reviews, Tarte

Tarte Amazonian Clay Dual Liner Black Bronze

The new Tarte Amazonian Clay Dual Liner in Black/Bronze ($28), available now exclusively at Sephora

I originally intended to test the waterproof-ness of Tarte’s new limited edition Amazonian Clay Dual Liner ($28) by doing cannonballs at the pool today, but check it — that is not happening.

It’s drizzling and overcast outside and kinda cold actually, which is very unusual for us this time of year.


Even so, in the interest of science (goooooo, science!), I did perform an improv waterproof experiment this morning while I exercised instead.

I popped the shimmery bronze shade on one eye and the matte black on the other…and then ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes like I was chasing Ryan Gosling. :)

Tarte Amazonian Clay Dual Liner Black Bronze

Interestingly, this liner has a cream formula of the kind I’d typically use for softer, more diffused lines, but because of how pigmented and smooth it is, the edges turn out extremely sharp, and about as defined as the crisp lines I’d expect from a liquid liner.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Dual Liner Black Bronze

And the velvety finish, while not as shiny as most liquid liners, has more oomph than a flat matte. I like to wear it with a shimmery eyeshadow on my lids because I love the way the two contrast — the velvety finish of the liner and the shiny eyeshadow.

Just adds another interesting visual element to yo’ makeup. :)

Tarte Amazonian Clay Dual Liner Black Bronze

As Tabs is fond of pointing out, Tarte is a cruelty-free line, and they have mad love for Amazonian clay. It’s often up in the mix with their products, as it is in this liner.

The purpose is twofold. First, they say it makes for richer pigments that are intense enough to draw an opaque line in a single pass. Second, it’s supposed to be good for your skin by absorbing oil and smoothing out the texture.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Dual Liner Black Bronze

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On the Bathroom Shelf: Diptyque Paris Skin Care

Published in: Diptyque, Product Reviews, Skin Care

On the bathroom shelf, Diptyque Skin Care

Diptyque Paris skin care

Diptyque Paris, those purveyors of fancy-schmancy candles, now have a pricey new skin care line called L’Art du Soin, which le Google machine translates to “The Art of Care.”

And I totally get that. I’ve been giving a few of the items a try this month, and my mug does feel like it’s been properly cared for and nurtured. The gentle products haven’t aggravated my normally fussy, acne-prone combination skin at all, which is quite an accomplishment.

The heavily scented products contain some unusual sounding ingredients, too, like marble powder (Wha? As in statues and countertops?), and other things, like sweet almond oil, that are more usual for skin care.

The overall presentation is très posh. These are the kind of skin care goodies you find in those fancy bathrooms at five-star hotels frequented by movie stars and diplomats.

After using them for a while, I see these as great getaway products. Vacation products. But when the plane lands and it’s back to the real world grind, I think I’d want to resume my aggressive anti-aging, anti-acne agenda.

Gimme, gimme, gimme, the stuff that slows down time’s march across my face and prevents the zits, which left to their own devices would take over my chin (those @ssholes), from exacting their reign of terror.

For me, the standouts in the line include the Infused Facial Water ($55), which contains damask rose and geranium extracts and smells amazeballs — like someone (either Prince Charming or a stalker) left 10 dozen roses on my doorstep. Lightly hydrating, it doesn’t make my skin feel sticky, which is great.

The Moisturizing Protective Lotion ($72 OMG!) has SPF 15 and absorbs quickly into my skin. It also layers well with makeup and looks lovely in pics (none of that SPF flashback).

Diptyque Radiance Boosting Powder

Radiance Boosting Powder, $58

Diptyque Infused Facial Water

Diptyque Infused Facial Water ($55) and Moisturizing Protective Lotion SPF 15 ($72)

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Recently Reformulated Rouge Bunny Rouge Witchery Modelling Mascara in Midnight Casts Its Spell on Even the Littlest Lashes

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Product Reviews, Rouge Bunny Rouge

Rouge Bunny Rouge Witchery Modelling Mascara in Midnight

Rouge Bunny Rouge Witchery Modelling Mascara in Midnight

I’m always down for makeup magic. (Somebody pass girlfriend some eye of newt.)

Rouge Bunny Rouge Witchery Modelling Mascara ($29) leaves lashes so defined, separated and fanned out — even the tiniest little lashes at the corners — that I wouldn’t be surprised to find out they were made at Hogwarts.

That’s because magic is the idea behind Rouge Bunny Rouge Witchery Modelling Mascara and its new formula, which does not contain bat wings, frog toes, lizard legs, triethanolamine, silicone, fragrance or alcohol.

The creamy formula does, however, contain pure pigments, soft waxes keratin and conditioners to keep the mascara lightweight, flexible and easy to layer.

Seriously, pile that ish on! It does not clump.

I actually never tried the original Witchery formula, so I can’t compare this new version to that, but I can tell you how much I lurve it. :)

When it comes to getting those individual lashes separated and pinpoint defined, it’s bad@ss like a 20th-level wizard. The plastic brush works like a fine-toothed comb, drawing out even the littlest lashes from their secret hiding places.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Witchery Modelling Mascara in Midnight

Besides separating and darkening lashes (ooh, blacker than my cold, cold heart), Midnight also turns them into a ballerina — and by that I mean that it grants them excellent extension.

(Picture Ryan Gosling doing hot yoga.)

Wait, what?

I guess the most important question now is this: is Witchery perfect?

Is it the UFC-champion, gold-medal-winning tube of lash crack I’ve been looking for since, like, forever?

No, I wouldn’t say that. I don’t think it’s the world’s greatest mascara for lash curl or lift, or for increasing thickness at the base, although I do think it does some of that, but it’s a wizard when it comes to enchantingly dark, super separated lashes.

Witchery comes in two shades — Midnight, the deep black I’m wearing here on both my upper and lower lashes; and Golden Darkness, a dark auburn. They’re $29 each.

Rouge Bunny Rouge is sometimes still tough to find here in the U.S., but a few stores do carry the line, and they’re also available online at

Rouge Bunny Rouge Witchery Modelling Mascara in Midnight

Rouge Bunny Rouge Witchery Modelling Mascara before (left) and after two coats (right)

Before (left) and after two coats (right)

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The Tarte Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette: When This Snake Bites, It’s Good for Your Skin

Published in: Eyes, Face, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews, Tarte

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

Wearing the new Tarte Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette ($38) on my eyes and cheeks


Freak out, man! SNAKES! They’re all over Tarte’s fall collection, including the Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette ($38), which is kind of like the star serpent of the nine-piece release slithering now across Tarte counters and online.

The collection includes both limited edition products and new pieces bound for the permanent line, with the After Dark palette being one of the limited edition items.

The palette houses nine powder products — six eyeshadows, a bronzer, a highlighter and a blush — in colors inspired by the deep orchid hues of a rainforest at dusk, and in true Tarte fashion, the whole enchilada is cruelty-free, and made without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate or gluten.

Like many of Tarte’s products, this one is designed to deliver skin benefits which, in a way, I’m kind of conflicted about…

I mean, I love that whole idea — the idea of makeup that doubles as a skin care product — but I’m just not sure how well it works.

With serums and moisturizers, I can actually see and feel them being absorbed into my skin, but with makeup, it’s kind of just sitting right there on top, ya know?

Is it doing anything? I don’t know, but I figure it can’t hurt.

The secret ingredient in these is something Tarte calls colored clay, a super absorbent clay able to auto-magically color correct and address your specific skin and complexion concerns, and these powder definitely do absorb oil well.

Might be something to consider if you have very oily lids and/or cheeks.

The colors — plums, tans and golds — are all fairly neutral, and not too cool nor warm, making them good fits for a wide range of skin tones.

It’s hard to really mess up when using the eyeshadows, too, no matter how much I pack on, because they aren’t crazy pigmented (I’d say they’re about a medium). They blend out beautifully without looking too heavy.

I do notice a little fallout, but it’s not a big deal. Just tap off your brush first, or work it into the back of your hand.

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

In terms of performance, the eyeshadows put up major points. In a perfect world, though, I might darken the darker shades a bit.

As for the blush, wow, so beautiful. That matte plummy tone sure looks natural on the skin, but the Park Ave. Princess bronzer? Eh. I think that one’s just OK. Probably better suited for lighter skin tones than mine.

Oh, about the gold highlighter and gold eyeshadow — holy highlight that, man! We’re talking really, really shimmery.

All and all, I’d say it’s a lovely palette — perfect for gals/guys who like natural looks with a kick.

I usually prefer a little more oomph from my eyeshadows, but I still see a lot here I’m sure I’ll wear this fall.

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

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