Two Swipes Will Have You Hooked and Ready For Pancakes! The Tarte Awakening Cheek Stain Rallies Brunch Enthusiasts, 5-Minute Makeup Fans and Blush Scaredy Cats

Published in: Face, Makeup, Product Reviews, Tarte

Tarte Awakening Cheek Stain

Viva la brunch! Here I’m wearing Tarte’s Awakening Cheek Stain ($30), available now at Sephora and online, and thinking about pancakes and coffee…

Blueberry pancakes, eggs, hash browns, refill after refill of piping hot coffee (with extra cream and a teaspoon of sugar)…

Oh, man… My muffin top just quivered with delight. It’s only Thursday, and I’ve got Sunday brunch on the brain! It’s all Tarte’s new $30 Awakening Cheek Stain’s fault.


There’s just something so right about going out for weekend brunch or breakfast noms wearing minimal makeup, ya know? I usually lack the coordination/motivation to do a full-on look early on a Sunday morning, so out come my five-minute minimal makeup routines, like this one here: brows, tinted moisturizer, under-eye concealer, mascara, gloss and barely-there cheek colors like Tarte’s Awakening, a nude pink gel blush that’ll leave your brunch buddies wondering whether you’re wearing any blush at all.

Being a part-time lazy girl, I love this thing. I swipe the stick twice on each cheek either directly on bare skin or tinted moisturizer. Then, I blend in the edges with my fingers and bam! — pinched, flushed cheeks that look like I just finished a brisk walk.

Awakening gets the whole “no-makeup makeup” thing totally right. Just enough color for perky cheeks, and I think the slightly shiny finish, with its faint hint of shimmer, keeps it from looking fake or flat.

Tarte Awakening Cheek Stain closeup

Tarte Awakening Cheek Stain packaging

Tarte Awakening Cheek Stain swatch

Tarte Awakening Cheek Stain

Raising my mug to weekend brunch!

I bet low-key Awakening could also be a fantastic starter blush for gals/guys a little afraid of wearing color on their cheeks (it won’t leave you looking clownish). Next time I see my friend Cindy — who’s a total tomboy when it comes to makeup — I plan to put a bit on her in the hopes of converting her to the dark side, mmmwahahahaha! πŸ™‚

Really, really great job, Tarte! Now if you’d be so kind as to knock a couple of bucks off the price…

PRICE: $30
AVAILABILITY: Available now at Sephora and online

Not Tarte related, but…

If you plan to be in the SF Bay Area later this month, Saks Fifth Avenue will be hosting a Bobbi Brown master class on Thursday, March 28, with Marc Reagan, Bobbi Brown’s Manager of Artistry for North America.

Master classes are so much fun! I’ve attended ones hosted by MAC and Chanel, and they’re great ways to pick up new tips and tricks.


For the Bobbi Brown class on March 28, it’s $100 to reserve a spot, which is then redeemable toward the purchase of products.

Two 2-hour-long sessions will be held, one at 2 p.m. and the other at 4:30, and you can reserve a spot by calling the Saks Bobbi Brown counter at (415) 438-5488, or by e-mailing Alexandra, one of the friendly Bobbi Brown artists, at

I’ll be at the 2 p.m. class. If you’re able to make it, I’d love to meet you while you’re there. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 27 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Now that’s a great no-brainer blush shade! I used to love Tarte Cheek Stains a lot-might be time to renew that love I say!
    Tracy@Beauty Reflections recently posted … You HAVE to check out the ob For Shu Uemura Collection For Spring 2013!

  2. Lauren says:

    I should start taking more classes like that. I feel like I need to branch out more with application :-/
    Lauren recently posted … Review Tarte Cheek Stain in The Perfect Rose

  3. Mary says:

    I love the color, but I just can’t get behind the fact that Tarte’s increased the price of it by 100%. Their other cheek stains are $30 for 1 oz; this one is the same price for .5 oz.

  4. Karen Lenz says:

    The blush looks like its right up my alley, I usually stick to one blush for day (Nars Sex appeal) and one for nigh (Nars Orgasm) but I am looking to switch things up a little, thanks for your great review… now when’s breakfast? lol

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen,

      Oh, I love both those NARS shades. I bet you could even layer this Tarte blush underneath Sex Appeal!

      I’m ready for breakfast too! Somebody, please make some pancakes, STAT. πŸ™‚

  5. Agata says:

    It looks very pretty. I have never used any of those sticks. The Bobbi Brown class sounds awesome, too bad I don’t live close.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Agata,

      They’re pretty cool. Great on top of tinted moisturizer or bare skin when you want to do minimal makeup.

      Are you still liking your NARS Tinted Moisturizer, btw?

      And yes, I wish you lived closer! We could go to the class and then have coffee. πŸ™‚

      • Agata says:

        I do still like it but I am trying to stretch my sample that I got from Sephora πŸ™‚ A make up class and coffee with you? That would be amazing!

  6. This is going to be THE first shade of the Tarte Cheek Stain that I have been curious to try for forever!! I am excited!! πŸ˜€

  7. Chelsea says:

    I was eyeing this on the Sephora website yesterday, it is a gorgeous color!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      It’s super pretty in person too! It might come in handy when you need to get ready in a hurry before class.

      Hope you had a nice Thursday. I’m ready for the weekend!

  8. Ah it’s gorgeous but for the amount? $30 seems a bit high. I’m going to cross my fingers and hope for a sale soon!
    Sarah @ MidwestGlam recently posted … March 2013 Julep Maven It Girl Box

  9. Shari says:

    Karen – I hope i dont sound presumptuous, but what foundation are you wearing and did you recently change skincare or something? You are glowing and look stunning!!

  10. Kim says:

    You know I love Tarte! How is the wear time on this? I’m not currently looking for a new blush, but you never know. πŸ™‚

    On a side note, I swatched the NARS Tinted Moisturizer last week and liked that it’s less shimmery than Tarte. I ended up staying with Smooth Operator, though, because I felt like NARS was a little too thick/dry and seemed to sit on my skin. At least I tried something new, though, right? πŸ™‚

  11. Jennifer says:

    I do love Tarte’s Cheek Stains!
    Jennifer recently posted … Fragrance Friday: Mariah Carey Dreams

  12. Alison M says:

    I love that last picture. Very punchy with “MMMmm. Brunch.” What is the wear time like on this one? I often avoid cream blushes because while they are lovely, they don’t last on my skin. Odd as I almost never have that problem with any makeup.
    Alison M recently posted … Fashionable Fridays: Going Violet for Spring

  13. Efrain says:

    Hi Karen, I’m the guy thata asked you about blush in twitter; do you think this Tarte stains will look good in my skin since I’m also a NC42?

    However Tarte isn’t sold in Mexico so I have to see how to buy it.

    Greeting from Mexico

  14. lara says:

    i got this one myself and ended up returning it because it didnt last very long. other tarte cheek stains lasted forever on me in the past but not this time. i usually dont have a problem spending a pretty penny on fun makeup stuff but since i didnt really get much of a result from this i took it back. i have fair skin with blonde hair and blue eyes so this nice neutral tanish pink should have worked on me but it was too subtle.

  15. Shanice says:

    Hi Karen, I was wondering which one of the Tarte Cheek Stains you’d recommend for somebody in NW35 – NW40? I’ve always been afraid of blush, to the point where I just refuse to use it lol. But this seems like a great starter. And would I apply this before or after highlighter?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shanice,

      You won’t regret getting on the blush train. I used to be scared if it, too, until I discovered MAC Blushbaby. From that point on there was no turning back!

      Okay, regarding the Tarte Cheek Stains, if you want an easy place to start, I suggest going with one of more natural shades, like Tipsy, Loving or Blissful. I would do the blush first, then do highlighter on top, since it’s a gel and you’ll want to get that on your skin before applying any powder products on top (I’m assuming your highlighter is a powder?). Let me know if you have any other Qs. πŸ™‚

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