My Tarte Custom Makeup Kit Unboxing!

Hey y’all! Happy Saturday!

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I initially intended this post to be shared last Sunday, but unfortunately the package didn’t arrive in time. Sooooo, instead, I’m doing two posts this weekend! Tomorrow evening at 7pm, I will be sharing the first segment of my three-part Holiday series: My Holiday Gift Guide! Stay tuned to find out what this week’s theme will be, and read all about my best gift suggestions for this holiday season!

But for this post, I’m going to be unboxing my Tarte Custom Makeup Kit for you! For those of you who don’t yet know, every so often Tarte releases their Custom Makeup Kits for 24 hours — they generally announce this sale in advance via email a few days prior. When the sale hits, it only lasts for 24 hours — but you get this time to pick 6 full size products +1 makeup bag for only $84 ($63 USD) with an overall value of over $200. While I’m honestly not too sure how often they happen/if they happen a set amount of times a year, I do know they’ve certainly done many of these releases before. Every time, I hit their website and create a kit, only to hesitate at the last minute. This time, though, I finally went through with it!

As many of you already know, Tarte is one of my all-time favourite brands. Their mascara, collagen super-serum, and primer are all part of my daily skincare and makeup routines (as well as more products that I haven’t even gotten the chance to share with you all yet!). Plus, as a brand, they’re 100% vegan and cruelty-free — and all their products are dermatologist approved and hypoallergenic. All this on top of being incredibly high-quality products. What more could you ever ask for from a brand?

The only thing that held me back from purchasing these kits in the past was the fear that the sale was incentivizing me to buy products I didn’t need. Every time I would make it through to the end, but before I would send in the order, I’d stop and think if I really needed most of the products — and the answer was usually no. While such a fantastic deal was hard to skip out on, if most of them were products I didn’t truly need, it DID feel like I was wasting money and makeup for no good reason. This time, however, everything aligned perfectly so that all the products I ordered were either things I adore, was running low on, or were products I own from different brands that I was looking to switch for something new.

There are seven steps involved in creating your own custom kit — their website takes you step-by-step through choosing a foundation, cheek product, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick and makeup brush before selecting a makeup bag for your products to arrive in. However, some of the sections have a little variation in what exactly you can choose, so if you’re not in need of, for example, a new blush, there may be other options that work better for you.

For my kit, I selected the:

  • Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation
  • Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
  • Clay Pot Waterproof Shadow Liner
  • Lights, Camera, Flashes ™ Statement Mascara
  • Color Splash Lipstick
  • Paddle to Perfection Foundation Brush
  • and packaged it all in the Glitter Half Moon bag!

Many of these products I’ve actually never tried before, so needless to say I just couldn’t wait for them to arrive so I could test them out and share my first impressions with you guys! So, without further ado, lets get into it! (And while we’re at it, can we just appreciate this super cute makeup bag? I’m obsessed.)

Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation

Honestly, I haven’t worn full-coverage foundation in YEARS, so I was both incredibly excited and a little nervous to try this product out. I’ve gone through multiple foundation stages in my makeup career — I started off with a VERY full coverage CC Cream by Peter Thomas Roth that was (rather unfortunately) matched quite poorly to my skin tone. However, since then I’ve mostly only ever used light-weight and low coverage products (MAC Face and Body, my current NARS tinted moisturizer, as well as a foundation-free phase). I’ve done a couple testers of full-coverage foundation here and there — but I often find heavy foundation looks cakey, tends to wear off and settle into fine lines. The last few I’ve tested all made me look worse — which is unfortunate, considering I do have relatively nice skin.

My first impressions of this foundation, so far, is that it is incredibly smooth an easy to apply — and it certainly is incredibly long lasting. It doesn’t have the heavy feel that many other full-coverage foundations have, which is also nice. It certainly covered up any blemishes or discolouration in my skin tone, though it did seem to somewhat amplify small flaws and other features of my face (ie. peach fuzz, dry patches, texture etc.). However, I’m starting to accept that may just be how full-coverage foundation is. Overall, I’d say I’m pretty impressed with this foundation — it won’t necessarily be my every-day go-to, but for nights out when I want a full-glam look it’ll definitely be exactly what I need.

Product: Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation in shade 16N (Tarte|Sephora)

Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

This one was a real blessing to find as an option for this kit as I’ve been DYING to try a new setting powder. I’ve been absolutely married to my Laura Mercier powder ever since the very first time I ever set my makeup, meaning I’ve actually never once tried another product. It was working for me, so I didn’t really see the point in switching — finishing powder is invisible, so what difference would it make? However, especially since I’ve begun baking my makeup, I’ve really started to notice how drying it can be — it can be rather unflattering as I already have skin that airs on the drier side.

Unfortunately, my first impression of this powder is that it is, sadly, even more drying than my other one. That being said, I’ve only been able to test it out once. When it came to baking, not only did it seriously dry out my under-eye area, but the excess powder stuck right on and took a whole lot of effort to wipe away. Even once I thought I got it all, I stepped into the dimmer lighting in my room I realized there was still a load of powder stuck to my concealer. Overall, sadly, my first impressions weren’t great — but I’m going to give it another shot, and I’ll be sure to update this post if anything changes!

Product: Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder in shade White (Tarte|Sephora)

Clay Pot Waterproof Shadow Liner

This was also a godsend find as I’ve been really needed a good gel liner. I’m going to be covering this a little more in future posts, but as I’ve been getting back into doing winged liner I discovered (by suggestion from my friend Amanda) that winged liner is much easier to apply with a brush than it is with a felt-tipped pen. After struggling to draw wings on well with one of my old high-school favourite products, Amanda mentioned how she could never do winged liner (which she wears nearly every day) with a pen — brushes really help to create a smoother line and draw on a lot more easily.

Now, I’ve only used this liner once, but I’ve got to say — I was pretty blown away by it. It’s smooth, dark, and applies super easily — I got my wings drawn in in record time. The only downside is it seemed to be a little thick, making it hard to apply in delicate areas. However, for the actual winged part of may liner it was incredibly easy to use (and I just drew the other areas I struggled with in with a felt tip liner pen). As well, this may just be a bit of a learning curve for me and less so a flaw in the product, so overall I’d definitely have to recommend this liner to anyone who loves their liner winged out and extra AF.

Product: Clay Pot Waterproof Shadow Liner in shade Black (Tarte|Sephora)

Lights, Camera, Flashes ™ Statement Mascara

Okay, we all know how much I love the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara. I could go into it all over again, but I think you guys have heard me rave about it enough. While it was an option in this section, I decided to branch out to a different mascara for once, which I know I mention I often regret — but considering the deal I was getting in this package combined with the fact that it’s just a different version of the same product, I felt pretty safe trying something new.

Since I actually just bought a brand new mascara only a month ago, I’ve actually decided to save this one for a little and test it out at a later date as to not waste product. However, I can say with confidence it should work out just fine, considering it’s simply a modified version of one of my all-time favourite mascaras.

Product: Lights, Camera, Flashes ™ Statement Mascara in Shade Black (Tarte|Sephora)

Color Splash Lipstick

While I wasn’t in any sort of dire need for a new lip product, I’m certainly not one to ever turn one down. As well, I’m a huge lip gloss type of girl — its been a while since I bought a proper nude lipstick. I was THIS CLOSE to just getting another gloss, but I figured this was a staple I’d get more use out of — especially since I don’t really have many lip sticks.

I do have to say, I was really happy with the variety of products they offered here — there was matte liquid lip, matte lipstick, regular lipstick, gloss — and maybe more that I don’t even remember. This was great for me as I’ve never been too much of a matte fan (sometimes I’ll jump for a matte lipstick, but I’m awfully specific about the formula and would need to try it in person before purchasing). However, whether you’re a matte, gloss, or just plain lipstick fan — this kit had a product you’d be content with.

I’m glad I decided to switch it up and get a lipstick, too, because this lip stick is AMAZING. First of all, the colour is just perfect. As well, it’s seriously pigmented, not at all heavy or sticky, and incredibly long lasting. 10/10, could totally get me back into lipsticks.

Product: Color Splash Lipstick in shade Set Sail (Tarte|Sephora)

Paddle to Perfection Foundation Brush

This was another product I’ve just been dying to satisfy my curiosity on. I’ve been seeing these paddle brushes all over the internet for years now, but I’ve never gotten the chance to test one out. I absolutely love Beauty Blenders, and especially since I don’t ever use full-coverage foundation, I’ve never really needed a brush to apply foundation. However, both because this kit gave me the option, AND the foundation to properly test it out with, I’m finally getting the chance to give this brush a go!

Let me just say, if you don’t have one of these brushes in your life, go out and get one ASAP. This brush applied my foundation SO smoothly and seamlessly in a record breaking short period of time. It’s so soft and smooth too, it feels like heaven blending your makeup into your skin. I’m not 100% ready to give up on my Beauty Blenders just yet, but just trying this brush one time has me considering it.

Product: Paddle to Perfection Foundation Brush (Tarte)

Overall, I’m super happy with this kit and I’m so glad I finally decided to purchase one. At just $84, it would be pretty hard for it to be disappointing, but this kit introduced me to so many new products I will 100% be purchasing again in the future. While some of the products may not have had mind-blowing results the first try, it may just take some getting used to with stepping out of my comfort zone and trying things I don’t usually incorporate into my makeup routine.

If you got a Tarte Custom kit recently, I’d love to hear what you chose to add to your kit and how your products worked for you! If not, I hope this post inspires you to try out one of your own next time around.

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, and be sure to stay tuned for my new post tomorrow! I’m so excited to share it with you all!

Xo,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: November 7th

Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara and Tarte Light, Camera, Lashes! 4-in-1 Mascara

Happy Thursday everyone!

One thing I’ll admit may be a bit weird about my makeup habits is that I cycle through mascaras. I have three favourites, but I never purchase the same one after I’ve just used it up — and I kind of just decide based on what I like about each one and my needs when I’m repurchasing. I do branch out every so often, but honestly I always find myself regretting it. I’m going to share a post on my other favourite (waterproof) mascara in the near future — but this week, I’m going to be discussing the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara by Dior and Tarte’s Lights Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara.

I’m hoping that by comparing these two products, not only can I show you what exactly it is about them that’s so great, but also how they differ. With mascaras, although it can be clear when they’re either good or bad, it can sometimes be hard to differentiate much past that. However, when you compare two products side by side, the differences become a lot clearer.

First off, I’ll be discussing the last mascara I used — Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes. First off, the benefits: Tarte notes on their Sephora page that this mascara “This product is ophthalmologist and dermatologist-tested, safe for contact lens wearers, hypoallergenic, vegan, and formulated without mineral oil, triclosan, and gluten,” — which is already off to a great start.

This product, additionally, is both fantastic for volumizing and lengthening lashes. This mascara makes my lashes look incredibly long and thick — making this the perfect mascara for when you’re not wearing lashes. One of my favourite features is that it also conditions your lashes — so it helps keep them healthy and grow them out longer. (Seriously, I notice my lashes get longer when I use this product!).

My other favourite mascara is the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl. This product is fantastic for incredibly natural, curled lashes — and never clumps up. On the Sephora page, Dior notes that in market research users noticed 31-53% increase in volume and 33-111% increase in curl in their lashes with use. However, what I love best about this mascara is how completely natural it looks. Honestly, its as if you woke up with perfect lashes and didn’t apply mascara at all.

In terms of which one I go for upon repurchasing mascara, I personally find that Tarte’s product is better for when my lashes are a little sparse, in need of growing out and adding on all the extra volume I could ever ask for from a mascara. Dior, on the other hand, is best particularly for when my lashes are already looking healthy.

As well, Dior is FANTASTIC for applying with false lashes, as it doesn’t ever clump up or make your lashes look too thick. I find that this really helps with keeping false lashes looking fresh, natural, and blended with your real lashes. After all, the goal with false lashes is to have them look as real as possible!

Overall, both of these products are just amazing and I’ve sworn by them for years now. If you’re looking for lots of volume, lengthening, and soft, healthy lashes — check out Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara here! If natural, long and curled lashes are what you need right now, check out Dior’s Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara here!

I hope you’re all having a great week! Tune in this Sunday to hear all about my trip home to Toronto, and next Thursday for my latest product review!

Much love,

Meredith

Sephora Haul: August 18th

Samples At Sephora!

Hey everyone!

So, recently, I took a little trip down to Sephora (classic, I know). However, this time around I figured I’d do a little Sephora Haul post of everything I got and share with you some returning favourites, as well as some new things I just got to try out!

On top of all that, my list of stuff I want to try out from Sephora is both a) completely unrealistic to buy at once and b) expensive. I was going to include all the products I’m dying to try here before I got into my whole haul and realized that added my Wishlist was going to turn this into the longest post of all time, so stay tuned for that next week instead. I have a couple of products that caught my eye that I’m excited to try in the future — after I’ve used up whatever equivalent I’m currently using or when I can justify the purchase a little better. If you’ve tried any of them and have some feedback, good or bad, I’d love to hear it!

So, let’s get into it!

Returning Favourite: Tarte Creaseless Concealer!
Tarte Creaseless Concealer

I’ve tried out sooooo many concealers in my time, but this one is my personal favourite. I haven’t gotten the chance to make a Tuesday Favourites post about it just yet, but trust me, it’s coming. I suffer from some serious under-eye circles and while I’ve tried out many a concealer, none of them last all day and cover everything up like this stuff does.

New And Exciting: Biossance Squalene and Bamboo Deodorant!
Biossance Squalene and Bamboo Deodorant

Okay, maybe this is TMI, but I tend to be a pretty sweaty person and it’s the bane of my existence. I’ve tried out so many deodorants, from VERY all natural (read: Lush T’eo Deodorant, which sorry, I totally hated), to Dove aerosol spray, to men’s Old Spice (yes, seriously). While I usually go for Secret’s gel formulas (which are great since they don’t leave any obvious white residue) I sometimes find they don’t work all that well, especially around the end of the tube. On top of all this, I’d like to have something natural — we’ve all heard about the dangers of aluminum in deodorant, and since I’m a pretty frequent user, I’d like to limit the chemicals I’m applying daily. I saw this stuff at the checkout line and immediately grabbed it and threw it in my basket. Sephora offers a bunch of all-natural deodorants, but I love love love Biossance, so this one immediately caught my eye. Fingers crossed it works, I’ll be sure to update you all if it goes well!

Returning Favourite: Lilly Lashes (Miami)
Lilly Lashes in Miami

Y’all already know I love lashes, and I promise a post on Lilly Lashes is coming soon. While I’ve already done a post on my other favourite lash brand, Sephora’s Luxe Lashes, these ones are a favourite for totally different reasons. They still look pretty natural, however I don’t find them as easy to apply or as flattering as the Luxe Lashes. The big upside here is that these lashes can last forever. Seriously, they are so well made — as long as I don’t lose them I can use them forever. While I tend to spring for the Luxe Lashes for specific events as I do like their appearance just a little more, these ones are also stunning and make a great lash for weekly use.

New And Exciting: Farsali Rose Gold Elixir
Farsali Rose Gold Elixir

If you’ve ever seen an Instagram makeup tutorial, like, ever, you’ve probably seen Farsali elixirs before. They’re super popular amongst make-up influencers for application under makeup, or even mixed in, for a fresh and dewey look. I’ve never been ready to commit to a whole bottle, as I wasn’t sure it was really something I really needed — but I was always curious. When I saw this sample sized bottle, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to give it a try!

Returning Favourite: Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes!
Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

Alright, you guys already know I love Tarte. This product has always been one of my favourite mascaras and frequently in my rotation. Mascara is one of those products that I actually switch up pretty frequently; I’ll admit I’m pretty married to most of my other makeup items and rarely stray from what I always buy. With mascara, however, I’ve always had a couple of favourites that I switch out, and I’ll try out new products that catch my eye every so often as they only last three months anyway. This one reigns as one of my favourites, as I find the brush a great shape and the formula pretty fantastic — as well as the added eyelash conditioning bonus. Be sure to stay tuned for a post on all my favourite — and least favourite — mascaras I’ve tried!

Returning Favourite: The Beauty Blender!
Blender Sponge by Beauty Blender

I won’t go too deep into this one since I’m sure most of you are at least a little familiar with it. I’ve never met a better makeup applicator, and have pretty much been married to this sponge since I bought my first one. I seriously can’t remember a time I’ve purchased a different sponge or foundation brush since.

New And Exciting: ABH Matte Lipstick Set!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick Set

Anyone who knows me knows I have never been a matte lipstick gal. From the start of the matte lipstick boom a few years ago, through its peak, it was never a favourite of mine. While I tried to hop aboard the trend, I always hated the dryness of it, how it looked when it wore off and was re-applied, and even the look — I just never personally never found it attractive. (This, along with straying from the bold-brow and contour trend, was actually a huge turning point for me in learning that I don’t always have to follow what’s trendy and a product’s popularity doesn’t mean it’s what looks best on me). Through and through, I’ve mostly stuck to gloss or non-matte lipstick through the years until they started to finally come back in style this last year. However, I occasionally spring for the occasional matte lipstick — I find at least non-liquid matte isn’t as drying and doesn’t give as extreme of a matte look which I indulge in sometimes. This product (and the surprising low price of it) caught my eye near the checkout, and I decided to give it a try as most of the colours have a shimmer and the sample size of them is fairly low-commitment. I’ve never tried ABH Lipstick but the brand is one of my favourites, so I’m sure these won’t disappoint.

Returning Favourite: Hello Fab Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer!
Hello Fab Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer

Okay, this product’s name is a bit of a mouthful. But this stuff is fantastic — it can double as a moisturizer even when you’re going out sans-makeup and has a lovely glow to it that illuminates your complexion. My skin is generally on the dry side, so I find this product works wonderfully to give my skin a little extra moisture before I start my makeup routine. While I’m not 100% married to it like I am with many of my other products, I’ve used it consistently as a primer for about a year now.

Returning Favourite: Benefit Gimme Brow Mascara!
Benefit Gimme Brow Mascara

I won’t go too deep into this one since I already made a whole post about it here. However, if you’re one for a more natural brow look, brow mascara is a product worth looking into — it helps define your brows while also holding them in place all day. Plus when it comes to brows, Benefit is one of the best.

And that’s all for my haul! Stay tuned to read all about my wish list of Sephora products — I have so many things I’m dying to try and I’d love any feedback before I go out and purchase them!

As always, much love,

Meredith

BONUS: Inside look at the Farsali Elixir — I’m already in love!