Review: Run Don’t Walk to Sephora for Tarte’s “Maureen’s Favorites” Set

By Voxy  

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I have a pretty serious crush on Tarte. Like, the blushing and stammering kind. The kind where I don’t want to be caught looking but can’t stop myself. The kind where I write “Voxy + Tarte 4Ever” in little hearts all over my notebook paper.

(I totally don’t do that.)

As is the nature of crushes, I find myself wanting to talk compulsively about the wonderfulness and magicalness of the object of my affections. Now, I am the first to admit that there have been some Tarte products I have not been too crazy about in the past, and their packaging still leaves me baffled on occasion (purple snakeskin condom mascara). And I am not too wild about their lip products for the most part. But nobody’s perfect! I mean, are you going to hold it against Dustin Hoffman that he once agreed to star in Ishtar?

Okay, yes, I am too, I admit it. Bad example.

Anyhoo, this new set, exclusive to Sephora and for Beauty Insiders only — and if you aren’t one already, for heaven’s sake join — is so perfect for me that I refer to it as Vox in a Box. (Well, it’s actually Vox in a Bag, but that doesn’t sound as good.) It’s called “Maureen’s Favorites” because the products are apparently the picks of Tarte’s founder Maureen Kelly. I first saw it online, but for once had the good sense to step away from the computer and check it out in person at a Sephora store before buying. And it is fabulous.

This package of delightfulness contains the following:

• Full size Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara (the purple snakeskin condom thing)

• Full size Natural Lip Crème Pencil in shade Peaceful (limited edition)

• Slightly-smaller-than-regular-size Lock & Roll Creaseless Eye Shadow Duo in shade Deep Amethyst (new, and also limited edition AFAIK)

• Deluxe sample size Natural Cheek Stain in shade Exclusive (limited edition)

• Deluxe sample size Mineral Powder Bronzer in shade Park Ave Princess

• a purple bag for putting things in, with a purple flower pin which they say you may wear out in public but about which I am HIGHLY DUBIOUS

So, lookit. The mascara by itself costs $19. The lip pencil by itself costs $24. So at $39, this kit is less than the combined cost of the two full-sized products, and you get the others basically for free!

I reviewed the Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara previously, and I still like the product very much, although I have not warmed up to the … er, wrapper … at all. I also reviewed the Natural Lip Crème Pencil previously, and although I was disappointed by its lack of staying power, that bothers me much less in a product that’s nearly nude to start out with. In the swatches at the end of this post you’ll see that on my skin it looks like quite a bold terracotta color, but lips are darker than skin, so on my lips it is a just slightly tawny nude.

The Lock & Roll Creaseless Eye Shadow Duo is a clever product that has a cream shadow on one end and a matching powder shadow on the other end (which comes out in a ROLLERBALL, which you know contributes to my giddy excitement). You put the cream shadow on first, then set it with the powder, and it’s supposed to last for 12 hours. Most of the permanent Lock & Roll shades are quite light, so you could use them on the whole eye. This dark amethyst is a gorgeous deep warm purple, so using it over the whole lid is out of the question, but near the lashline this will be a great accent color. The size of the product in the kit is 0.12 oz of cream shadow and 0.04 oz of loose shadow; the full-size version is only a tiny bit larger — 0.14 cream and 0.05 loose — and retails for $17.

If you’ve missed my previous posts on Tarte’s cheek stains, these are some of my favorite products on the planet. Most of the ones I’d previously accumulated (True Love, Berrylicious, Tickled, Blushing Bride) were red or rose-colored, with Blissful (apricot-peachy-red) and Tipsy (a less complicated apricot) being the exceptions. This new “Exclusive” shade is a perfect slightly brown neutral. For a no-makeup look, I can’t really think of anything better. I’ve only ever seen the Tarte cheek stains in two sizes: the full-size (1 oz) version, which retails for $30, and these smaller sizes (0.24 oz), which you can only get as parts of samplers or other combination packs. I have sample sizes of Blushing Bride, True Love, and Tipsy, and haven’t even made a dent in them, so I think this will last anyone a long time.

The last product in the lot is the Park Ave Princess Mineral Powder Bronzer. Confession: As a fair-skinned, slightly cool-toned girl, I am scared of bronzers. I have not found a one that has not made me look either dirty, orange, or both. So I looked up some reviews of this product before purchasing and found several from other fair-skinned women who said this was the only bronzer they’d ever been able to wear. So, we’ll give it a go. This is the lighter of the two shades of Mineral Powder Bronzer Tarte offers; on skin it does swatch out a pretty pure bronzy-gold color and doesn’t look orange.

Oh, yeah, and there’s a bag. With a purple flower pin. (I hate these bags that come with kits. Almost all the time they’re useless — and in fact, the last time I bought a Tarte combination set, it came with a bag that was so heinously ugly I kept it just so I could use it to scare off thieves, vandals, and small children. Dear cosmetics companies: Please stop making cheap bags that don’t hold enough product to make it worthwhile; it’s wasteful and adds no value to the package.)

Pics and swatches!

Left: Cheek Stain in “Exclusive”

Right: Natural Lip Crème Pencil in “Peaceful,” which goes on my lips as an almost invisible tinge of warmth

Lock & Roll Creaseless Eye Shadow Duo in Dark Amethyst

(left: cream shadow; right: powder shadow)

(still trying to figure out why skin on my wrist is differently toned in these photos than the skin on my arm; must keep working on photography skillz)

Bag, for those of you who like these things.


Tarte “Maureen’s Favorites” Exclusive Value Set: $39, exclusive to Sephora

Provenance: Purchased, gleefully.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Excellent! Fantastic!! Amazing!!!

Purchase again? I’d definitely buy individual components again, but I doubt I’ll be running out anytime soon (except for the mascara, of course, which I would repurchase).

(Have you used this set? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Be Sociable, Share!

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *