universally flattering |yü-nə-ˈvər-səl-lē ˈfla-tə-riŋ|
1 A phrase which has come to mean “looks great on everyone,” but which more properly understood means “looks great on almost everyone” : I’m looking for a shade that’s universally flattering.
The idea of makeup designed to look great on everyone always gets me excited. What a cool idea, right? — products without boundaries or inhibitions; colors able to get along with everyone.
It reminds me of the time I walked in on a party to find a bunch of people in a huge drum circle. At first I thought, “Uh, oh. Not my scene,” but then I grabbed some bongos and started banging away. Before long I felt right at home.
Tarte must have had a world like that in mind (maybe?) when they developed the new Tarte NeutralEyes Eye Shadow Palette ($44). Like all of their products, it’s cruelty-free, which scores may-jah points in Tabs’ book. New for spring, the palette comes chock full of good stuff like…
- 10 shadows (eight mattes and two shimmers) with light-to-medium pigmentation in a cute, refillable case
- A full-size EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner in Brown
- A dual-ended eyeshadow brush
- A tiny bottle of Lifted Eye Primer
- Printed instructions for both a “Day Look” and “Night Look”
Tarte selected neutral colors they felt would work well on a wide range of skin tones, and I particularly like the darker shades — the matte deep teal, shimmering bronze, matte brown, matte plum and matte navy. I can can see them looking fab on pale and dark beauties alike.
The shadows apply smoothly, exhibit minimal fallout, blend like a dream and contain a healthy serving of pigment. They’re intense, but not so intense that I look overly made up with them on. The look has punch, but it’s still safe and work-friendly.
Now, I had a little trouble with the lighter shades… The matte beige, pink and taupe — the three shadow colors that come with special “Day Look” instructions — looked chalky on my tan skin, and at one point while using them I hit something I call the blending “point of no return.” That’s where the colors just start to run into each other and turn into a monochromatic mess. After my third attempt with them, I figured the beauty gods were trying to tell me something, so I scrapped the idea and tried a different look with the Shimmering Soft Peach and Matte Deep Teal colors instead…
Yup, if your skin tone is similar to mine (or darker), you may find the lighter colors in the palette a bit challenging to use.
As for the other items in the set, I like the way the dual-ended brush applies and blends shadows. I think it works pretty well and should come in handy for touch-ups. And the brown eyeliner, like the other EmphasEYES liners I’ve tried, holds on exceptionally well along the lash line.
So while the palette itself may not live up to the term, “universally flattering,” I still think it’s a pretty good deal, especially if 1) you’re looking for a selection of work-friendly shadows, and 2) you like that it’s cruelty-free.
AVAILABILITY: Online at tartecosmetics.com
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B+
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,