Cosmetics, Reviews

Metamorphosis 88.0 – Tarte’s Take on True Blood, a Review

Some people are wine-snobs, some people are make-up-snobs, but many people would consider me a vampire-snob. I’ve read and watched more than my fair share of vampire lit and movies and I’ve come to organize it into three neat piles: genius, camp, and trash. I like things to be logical–if not downright clinical–so my “genius” pile mainly consists of vampires as non-human species, victims of blood disorders and viruses, and the occasional stroke of supernatural brilliance. Camp is reserved for those movies and books that are fun, maybe a little silly, but most of it falls straight into “trash”. I really, really wanted True Blood to be trash.

I’ve gotta be honest: I read the first book or two and hated them. I thought Sookie was annoying and I didn’t like the vampires–they weren’t quite camp enough to get away with the superstitious aspects Harris included. Needless to say, I didn’t watch the first season of the show. I didn’t watch the second season, either–until about half-way through, when something made me watch the entire series On Demand and realize I had been missing out on something pretty awesome.

I told myself it was simply because of my desire for a true, blood-red blush, but secretly I was intrigued by the concept of Tarte’s True Blood line and snatched the cheek stain and lip tint the day they hit Sephora.

The products themselves are not new at all: Tarte’s cheek stain has something of a cult following, and their LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint has been around for a while as well. They have, however, been repackaged in sexy-looking pewter-finish tubes.

Via Sephora …no idea why they’re in black in stock photos

If you’ve ever used Tarte’s cheek stains, this is exactly the same. The tube contains a jelly-like stick of colour that looks incredibly vibrant en masse but blends out to a very sheer wash. In this case, what you see in the tube is a bold scarlet with a smattering of gold microglitter. But good luck getting that vibrant red to translate–it blends out to more of a bright blue-toned pink. A retina-searing, holy-crap pink, but pink nonetheless. I’m not sure if the smell (a generic berry-like fragrance that reminds me of the Cupcake Dolls and Strawberry Shortcake toys of my childhood) is standard across the board or specific to this model.

Applied directly from the tube: bright red-pink with gold glitter

Blended out: bright blue-pink with gold microglitter

Applied over foundation and set with powder, however, this is a whole different animal. It’s actually incredibly wearable, and very much appropriate for all situations. I’ve worn this for about a week straight: it’s subtle for daytime, just enough for nighttime, work-appropriate, and fun for time off. It can be layered: for example, after wearing all day to work, I can take a dab of this on my fingers and pat it over my powder to deepen the colour without gumming up my makeup. Below is a typical on-cheek application, over OCC Tint and under MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural:

You may or may not be able to tell I’ve layered a dab over my powder on the apples of my cheeks: the result is a sheer wash of colour all over, with concentrated colour where I want. Please excuse the pore-craters and strange white triangle over my lip. I have no clue what that is.

Tarte’s LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint products are generally sheer washes of colour in a gel medium, packaged in a chubby pencil. I have never used one down far enough to see whether or not there’s more product hiding under the plastic. The formula generally applies smoothly, though many of them have a decent amount of glitter that can feel a little gritty. They all have a slightly-medicinal mint scent, thanks to the peppermint oil in the formula. I don’t mind it, but others might be bothered: mint fragrance, to me, says cooling formula. Which I look for.

The colour is described on the Sephora site as “iridescent red,” though I definitely see it more as a bold red with a very subtle golden shimmer.

Between this photo and the picture above, you can see it’s pretty vibrant. Again, excuse my face: the corners of my mouth are oddly irritated. You can also see, however, how some of the shimmery particles can grit-up.

All in all, I’m pleased with my purchase. Whether you’re intrigued by the kitsch-factor of the True Blood, vampire-inspired makeup or just looking for some bright lip and cheek colours, I’d recommend them. If you’re waffling, go ahead and get them. But if you’re not keen on gel formulas, go ahead and skip.

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine