I haven’t gotten deeply into Tarte’s line, aside from panning a Park Avenue Princess a few years ago (no regrets!). A few weeks ago, distracted amidst an in extremis deadline, I found myself drawn to the release of the Tarte
Chicken Rainforest of the Sea Collection for no particular reason. A few of the products were surprisingly good, and others worth writing about in case you are thinking about them. I believe that these products are only available on Sephora and Tarte online at present.
Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Skin Twinkle Highlighter palette was the winner. Although I’m biased and falling in love with all highlighter’s lately, let em tell you about this one. There are two giant pans of a gel-powder (the left is warm, the right is slightly rose). Applied with a fan brush, these are absolutely gorgeous reflective beauties without the dreaded glitter. They’re remarkably smooth, easy to work with and given their giant size, I’m hoping I never run out. These two Tarte pretties are a touch more subtle than Becca Champagne Pop and the other extreme shiners we’ve seen over the past year. Yet it’s not at all shy–the reflectivity is really there, and I’m loving it.
The middle shade is a matte yellow powder that must be ignored. Inexplicably, it’s a hard pan of nothing that’s sitting between two elegant powders that will give you the upper cheekbones of an angel. This is packaged in a very slim, packable metal with a full-size mirror in the lid (no brush).
I bought the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Quench & Drench Lip Set ($9). This is a set with two mini lipsticks–the lightweight mint-flavored Quench formula in Nude ($19 for full size), and the creamy Drench in Cabana Boy ($22 for full size, available separately).
I became addicted to the Nude Quench shade–it’s super moisturizing and mint-tingly. Unfortunately, it’s packaged in cardboard and the formula is so soft it broke easily. It is lovely, super wearable and gives a pretty nude glow. But it might be better in a pot. The Drench Cabana Boy is a nice near-opaque shade in a somewhat moisturizing formula.
I had high hopes for the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette ($34). Who doesn’t love a neutral palette with the look of a shimmery metal, and a few good mattes? The palette is certainly nice, and provides countless options, for its price range. But I don’t believe that that higher-end palettes have much to worry about. That said, I found the shadows consistent–all were good, none were duds. But none were complete standouts, except maybe the taupe called “Wave.” All had excellent blendability.
To some degree, I’m glad that Tarte packaged this collection in metal, not cardboard. This is especially true for Skin Twinkle, as gel formulas are fragile. But for this eyeshadow palette, the metal adds a lot of weight. It gives the product a nice heavy, substantial feeling. But the weight takes away from the travel-friendly quality that other palettes have
I should note that I’ve sampled the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation in Fair-Light ($39/1 ounce). After wearing it for a few days, I’ve placed the full-sized version in my cart. It’s really nice, especially for dry or combination skin. It’s designed to add hydration, and it does leave my skin feeling and looking better after removal. It gave me 10-hour wear easily, without shifting or fading. It looks lovely, with a luminous satin finish all day long. It’s as good as any high-end foundation out there under $60. Definitely worth sampling if you are near a Sephora
Overall, the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea had items that–although I bought in haste–do not regret. I’m addicted to the Skin Twinkle highlighter palette (recommended!). The eyeshadow palette is nice, but in a field crowded with beautiful neutral palettes I’m not sure it’s unusual enough to put super high on your list. I love the Quench formula for its moisturizing and minty tingle, but the fact that it easily broke put me off buying any more.