How Do You Feel about the Tarte TEN Palette?

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

tarte ten palette swatches review

It’s true, your honor. I’m horribly, terribly guilty — of abusing denim.


Especially in the late ’80s.

I guess I was just copying my friends. First, it was that pair of cheesy Guess overalls… You see, I wore them with one strap up and one down. Yeah, I should have known it was wrong, but I was just a kid then.

And that wasn’t the worst of it, either. Soon, I graduated from overalls to cropped jeans jackets. They were bedazzled, with golden studs.

That was probably my worst crime…

To help you understand — not that I’m trying to defend my actions — this all happened around the time my parents forced me to get a boy’s haircut.

Simply put, I was a bedazzled, denim-wearing mess who looked like a tween Filipino Elvis.

Then, just when I’d thought I put those days behind me forever, I saw the Tarte TEN Limited-Edition Collector’s Palette ($44)…

And the purple packaging triggered a flashback, an acid-washed trip back to my fashion-challenged days (NOOO!).

Tarte released the refillable TEN palette (you can pop the pans out of the magnetic base) earlier this summer to commemorate their — SURPRISE! — 10-year anniversary. It comes with 10 limited edition powder shadows, a dual-tipped pencil eyeliner and a small tube of Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara.

For me, the stars of the show are the shadows. I like the variety of neutral, smokey and jewel-toned shades, all of which are fairly easy to blend, as well as the mix of matte and shimmery textures. They also last all day long with minimal creasing, which is nice.

I’d characterize the pigments as somewhere between light and medium (similar to Clinique shadows). If you’re a lighter lovely who’s had trubs with shadows appearing too stark/harsh against your skin, these pigments should be just enough for you.

If, however, you’re tan like me, or darker, you may have to really pile ’em on. I had to use a lot of product, particularly with some of the darker shades (like the teal in these pics), to achieve a look I liked.

NOTE: Having to apply so many layers, I experienced considerable fallout with these shadows. Not as severe as the fallout I’ve seen from Stila’s Backstage Palette, but still enough to nip at my heels nerves.

tarte ten palette swatches review closeup 1

tarte ten palette swatches review closeup 2

tarte ten palette swatches review eyeshadow guide

tarte ten palette swatches review liner

tarte ten palette swatches review liner closeup 1

tarte ten palette swatches review liner closeup 2

tarte ten palette swatches review eyesahdows 1
Eyeshadow swatches from left on NC35 skin: Matte Soft Beige, Shimmering Violet, Shimmery Silver Gray, Matte Almost Black, Vivid Shimmering Gold

tarte ten palette swatches review eyesahdows 2
Deep Shimmering Forest Green, Vibrant Shimmering Copper, Deep Shimmering Chocolate, Vivid Shimmering Amethyst, Vivid Shimmering Teal

tarte ten palette swatches review liner swatches
Eyeliner swatches


tarte ten palette swatches review eue
Wearing Vivid Shimmering Teal on the lid, Vivid Shimmering Gold on the brow bone and black eyeliner along the lash and waterlines (I wish I’d blended out the lines a bit more… le sigh)

As for the other products in the palette, the mascara’s been great for glossy lash looks; the full-size shadow brush is surprisingly soft, and I like using it to add color in the crease, to blend on the lid, and to smudge along the lashline; and I think the eyeliner’s just okay. It’s rigid and tugs at my skin, but it wears well on the waterline.

It may boil down to your skin tone, and to how much you’re bothered by fallout, but I think TEN’s a balanced eyeshadow palette with a good mix of colors that POP particularly well on pale beauties and light-skinned lovelies. Available at Sephora stores and online at Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

You might like the Tarte TEN Palette if…

  • You like shadows with light-to-medium pigmentation
  • You’re looking for a palette with a nice mix of colors for both party and work looks
  • You don’t mind a little fallout

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 45 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. ahh, overalls. i wore them one strap up, one strap down too! and my 2 other girlfriends and i wore them on the same day. it wasn’t coincidence, we actually coordinated. oh, the horror! and we don’t even have the 80s as an excuse.

    anyway, not that inspired by the e/s colours but the plum eyeliner is gor-jois!
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … BathTime Diaries- Volume 1 – Lush Dorothy Bubble Bar

  2. Lindsay says:

    Very pretty FOTD! Boo to fallout though…
    Lindsay recently posted … MAC A Tartan Tale Holiday 2010 Collection

  3. Ah yes, one strap up, one strap down. I was never guilty of that particular fashion atrocity, although I’ll totally throw my sister under the bus and say that she did it. I did, however, wear dark, dark overalls for my SENIOR PICTURES. I thought they were the coolest thing ever. I believe I’d seen them in Sassy or some such.

    Anyway, I quite like this palette, but not to the tune of $44! Nice colors, though.
    Principessa Grassa recently posted … Kids These Days

    • Karen says:

      THAT IS SO AWESOME! Do you have any pictures of you wearing the overalls while standing next to the big plastic numbers of your graduating year? I have one of me standing next to an oversized “93.” LOLOLOL!

      • No, but now I wish I did! I wore them with a black and white striped shirt underneath and thought I was just the COOLEST. They were, like, engineer overalls from Sears. I like to think I’ve improved style-wise since then, but I’m probably deluding myself.
        Principessa Grassa recently posted … Kids These Days

  4. Trisha says:

    Oooh, those colors look awesome. And I love that the eyeshadow tins are removable. Pretty much no other brand does that. Yay Tarte!

    Also, cropped jean jacket with gold studs! Holy moly, Karen! That almost beats my black stirrup pants and oversized solidly colored bright t-shirt. With stirrups showing!
    Trisha recently posted … A Funky Time With Wet N Wild Nail Polish for Halloween

  5. Tracy says:

    Hahaha-like in the music video Come On Eileen-remember that? They had the one strap up, one down thing going on!
    I’m not too keen on Tarte’s eyeshadows-love almost everything else by them though!
    Tracy recently posted … Josie Maran Argan Lip Treatment

  6. Danielle says:

    I definitely wore the overalls with one strap up one down. I almost bought this but I’m glad I waited. I read the reviews on Sephora and they said it didn’t work well with darker tones. Pity, the colors are pretty.
    Danielle recently posted … What is your favorite starbucks drink

  7. kate says:

    You’ve mentioned it twice now and I’m just dying to know. Why in the world, would your parents force you to get a boy’s haircut!?!

  8. knownever says:

    Teal? Where are you teal?
    knownever recently posted … Warrior Culture- Ch 4- Halo Reach

  9. Nina says:

    I like Tarte … but they show up better on my sister who is way fairer than me. Lucky her LOL — shes gotten several Tarte (and Lorac) stuff for birthdays and Christmases.

    I want this for me though … im thinking a vibrant base will help with the pigmentation. That packaging is cute! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Ooh, have you gotten her any Clinique? I bet she’d like that too!

      Good call on trying out a base with this. How about Benefit Strut?

      • Nina says:

        Strut is probly my most fave-st Creaseless Cream — that will totally be pretty!!!!

        She likes Clinique but I know she hasnt bought any in a while. I might get her a palette or a lipstick for her birthday … its coming up in October!

  10. Nina says:

    I like the look of not blended lines.

  11. Mai-Huong says:

    I love the colors, but I absolutely hate fallout 🙁
    I used to wear bright green shorts overalls with pink flowers embroidered on the front. I was also seven years old, hahahaha.

  12. Madelynn says:

    I have to let you know, I read this blog not only for the beauty information, but to read your writing. You’re so very talented and clever. :]

  13. Rae says:

    Sheesh, what is it with these HE companies releasing such fall-out-y palettes recently!? *scolds Tarte and Stila* That’s no way to win over consumers!

    P.S. I have to agree with Madelynn. No one does reviews like you, Karen! It always feels like you’re writing to a girlfriend while doing something divine — sitting on a beach with Tabs and El Hubs, perhaps? 😉
    Rae recently posted … Paco Rabanne Lady Million- the fragrance

  14. Mrs. Kinne says:

    The funniest thing I’ve read in a long time? The phrase “bedazzled, denim-wearing mess who looked like a tween Filipino Elvis.” 🙂
    Mrs. Kinne recently posted … Make-Up Monday- Pacifica Solid Perfume in Bali Lime Papaya

  15. Ariel says:

    I love purple, but Tarte’s packaging is hit or miss. A lot of it is gaudy in my opinion. A few things like the lip glosses and tinted moisturizers are classy though.

  16. Heidi says:

    I’m about as pale as they come, so these shades are working out really well for me. The forest green and the copper are very nice fall colors.

  17. Advah says:

    (dude, overalls were GREAT. Growing up with a sister ten years older, I thought they were the coolest thing on earth..)

    Karen, I must ask – why oh why did your parents force you to get your hair cut??

  18. Ru says:

    “I’d characterize the pigments as somewhere between light and medium… If, however, you’re tan like me, or darker, you may have to really pile ‘em on. I had to use a lot of product, particularly with some of the darker shades”

    You hit the nail on the head, Karen! I have one of their limited edition palletes (Flower Child) and I’m very close to your skin color and expereinced little color payoff- and I found them to be a bit dull. I noticed it help to put a sheen base underneath (I use Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Flatter me)- it really brings some vibrancy to the colors and a little more pigment.

  19. Nice colors!!! 🙂 I love the last pic, very sultry makeup on your beautiful eyes! 🙂
    Stavroula Plag recently posted … Random Tip of the Day 08092010

  20. Kim says:

    The case is certainly bedazzled! It’s a testament to your excellent photography that I took one look at the eyeliner and thought “hmmm, looks scratchy”. 🙂

    I won’t list my fashion faux pas from the 80s…. because your server would crash! I will say that overalls, stirrup pants and everything rolled tightly at the ankle (with scrunched up socks that matched my SHIRTS) were among the most memorable. Then there’s always the spiral perm and sky-high bangs…..! 🙂

  21. Sydney says:

    Ooh I love the colors! So much veriety 🙂 I’m pretty pale, so I think I could rock this! Hopefully without too much fall out though….

    I totally feel your pain with the boy hair cut! My mom did the exact same thing. Cut it into the ugliest, most boyish hair cut I’ve ever seen, while I was in middle school (worst timing EVER!!). It was TRULY tramatizing. If her goal was to keep the boys away, then she succeeded. LOL eventually it grew back, but I still have a slight fear of hair cuts LOL!

  22. Let’s not even go to my 80’s fashion days–*shakes*. As for the Tarte 10 palette, normally I would leap at the mixture of shades but I can’t deal fallout any more. Old age I guess, or mayve fallout-phobia?
    Cindy (Prime Beauty) recently posted … Carrie Underwood New Ambassador for Olay Skin Care

  23. Christy says:

    I was looking at this in store, but I wasn’t loving it when I swatched it.

    I used to wear overalls…I had purple shorts overalls too. With the mini backpack and giant fluffed up bangs, I was one crazy mess! My mom didn’t put me through the boycut hair, but when we went to the Philippines, she made me get a perm with frizz everywhere. Gah, what a mess I was!!
    Christy recently posted … MAC Fabulous Felines Aristo-Cat Lipstick- Utterly Game and Pet Me Mineralized Blush Review &amp Swatches

  24. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    I have found the same problem with both Tarte and Stila shadows: the fallout issue. Plus, I never find that Tarte gives me enough saturation of color. Boo!!!

  25. Shaylene says:

    Hi , i know this is a really delayed post but i recently was able to get my hands on one of these palettes and while its being shipped I need to know does the eyeshadow contain bismuth oxychloride? Please respond back , thank you!

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