Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush ~ Swatches from Sephora, Star Hill Gallery

Occasionally, I will do random things like go into my local Sephora to swatch makeup like there is no tomorrow.

Sephora is fantastic for playing with makeup and their staff are always quite happy to let customers run free among their many testers and only offering assistance when requested. It’s such a casual and fun place to try makeup before you buy.

And, of course, we all know Sephora is about the only place in this country where we can get up, close and personal with the products from all those brands that were once only available online in Europe and America.

Anyway, I had only meant to do some quick swatching for my own personal benefit but then I got caught up in the whole excitement of playing at the Tarte rack and that inspired me to swatch their full range of Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes. So for your benefit, here are the fruits of my labour.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Swatches

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Swatches

This is by no means the full range of Tarte clay blushes but these were the shades available as testers at the time of swatching and it’s probably a good thing too as I was out of arm space.

Unfortunately, unless there’s a media function, our local Sephoras tend to frown upon picture-taking in their stores so rather than risk the wrath of their zesty security details I decided to haul my arm over to somewhere else to take this photo.

The available light at Isetan was sadly fluorescent and the image results aren’t fantastic but I do think these swatches will give you a fair idea of how these Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush colours show up on completely bare skin.

Contrary to what I was expecting, I found it very hard to pick up colour from the pan. Granted, I was only using my finger tips but it really did take a great deal of effort and numerous swipes to get any colour payoff.  Although it appears that I swatched very lightly, each shade here actually required multiple applications in order to build up a decent amount of colour for photography.

I apologise for the lack of consistency with my approach and I did try very hard to keep to the same number of swipes of the pan for each colour but there were a few of the lighter shades in there where it took more than an average number of applications before I could get results that were more equal to the eye.

Now, I don’t know if the reason for this is that these Testers have been exposed to air for some time but it wasn’t easy to get the colour onto my arm at all.

As a first-time swatcher of Tarte but an ardent fan of cream blushes, I don’t know that I am happy with the colour payoff of these baked blushes but in all fairness, I suppose that if you are wanting a more natural flush then the ability to build colour slowly and with more control might mean that these are just your thing.

Being a relatively late brand addition to our shores, I have not had the chance to play with a brand new Tarte baked blush before so I can’t say if a fresh compact would perform better in terms of pigmentation and payoff but these Sephora Testers did not impress me at all.

Below is a the publicity shot for the Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes by Tarte and you’ll notice that the colours appear much more vibrant in their pans but based on my test swatches the actual application to the skin is really so sheer that even the darkest of these shades appear quite lightly on the skin.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Collection Publicity Picture

The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Collection

According to Tarte, these blushes are naturally sun-baked and have been formulated with infusions of clay from the Amazonian River hence the name. They’ve also been designed to contain some wonderful nutrients from this natural source to help balance skin.

These blushes are also meant to be suitable for all skin types and will apparently act intuitively to meet the needs of your skin; be it oily, dry or combination, to deliver lasting wear of up to 12 hours.

One of the distinct features of the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes is the packaging. Conveniently, each compact’s casing closely reflects the colour of the blush inside making it easier for you to identify the right shade without fiddling around with a unit’s labeling or having to open the compact.

It might seem like a small thing but when you own as much makeup as someone like me, this convenience is a welcome feature.

Each sun-baked blush features a signature imprint unique to Tarte

Each sun-baked blush features a signature imprint unique to Tarte

These blushes come in a generously-sized compact and the brand’s signature imprint of a path meandering through shrubbery appears on every cake of blush and is a reference to the Amazonian forest origins of the active clay used in their formulation.

Notably, this stamp is a unique branding feature by Tarte and makes these products instantly recognisable and is a packaging feature that is popular with fans of the brand worldwide.

The good news, for those of you who care, is that these Tarte blushes are also free of all the following-:
– Parabens
– Sulfates
– Synthetic Fragrances
– Petrochemicals
– Phthalates
– GMOs
– Triclosan

Now, did my swatches last the full 12-Hours on my arm?

The truth is no and not by a long shot.

I was disappointed that they were mostly dusted off my inner arm before I could take a better photo of them at home. I did try very hard to keep the swatches as close to their original state as possible and aside from an extremely brief sojourn at Isetan after Sephora, I was pretty much home within the hour but they were already too faint to photograph.

However, before you take my word for it, I would advise you to consider my results with some perspective because applying blush to the face would obviously be a completely different thing to wearing blush on an arm for swatching purposes.

For one thing,you won’t need anywhere near the intensity of colour for daily wear on your face as I wanted for my arm swatches.

Secondly, women apply blush to their face and this is an area with minimal contact to surfaces unlike my arm where the swatches were more prone to being rubbed off accidentally.

Finally, a blush is almost always applied after some kind of base product such as a foundation and this process undoubtedly assists in the adhesion of the colour pigments to the skin so you could expect longer wear from this scenario.

Would I buy this product? Maybe.

I’m reluctant to give up my cream blush addiction in favour of baked blushes and I worry that this might just end up untouched at the bottom of my beauty drawer but if I really were to consider baked blushes more seriously then these Tarte blushes would be a contender for conversion.

There are some great wearable colours in the Tarte range so I’m not surprised by their popularity. It’s a nice collection of shades that are all pretty and there is likely a colour among them to please most skin tones. My personal favourites are Tipsy, Natural Beauty, Achiote, and Blissful.

The fact that the colours go on quite sheer but are buildable mitigates the risk of accidental heavy-handedness during application and would be a welcome blessing for anyone wanting to avoid looking like a baboon’s back-end.

Personally, however, I’m still not completely sold on the idea of a baked blush for my very dry cheeks yet but I imagine they could deliver good wear with a proper amount of skin priming and a good brush.

I’ve heard that Tarte has some new releases for Spring 2014 so I’d like to wait and see what else might catch my eye before I consider taking the plunge with Tarte. It may be that I might decide to start with one of their creamier blush formulas like the Tarte Cheek Stains instead. We’ll see.

Tarte Cheek Stains

Tarte 12-Hour Cheek Stains

The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes and Tarte 12-Hour Cheek Stains are both available locally at all Sephora outlets for RM120 each which puts them on par with the Nars blushes in this country.

They are available for a lot less if you purchase them in the US because they run at almost half the price of what each one will set you back here but you’ll have to ‘fly and buy’ or order online with all the incumbent shipping and/ or forwarding charges and if you’re only after one or two, it might be feasible to purchase locally after all.

Sephora Malaysia Facebook

Tarte @ Sephora.com


Starhill Gallery

  • Jalan Bukit Bintang, 181, Bukit Bintang

Suria KLCC

  • Concourse Level, Lot C22, Kuala Lumpur City Center

Paradigm Mall

  • Paradigm Mall Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Sunway Pyramid Mall

  • Sunway Pyramid, Lot G1.132, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Gurney Paragon Mall

  • 163D-1-19 & 20, George Town, Penang


  1. I love this! It reminds me of the time I painted all my nails with Ciate polishes in store (by using “the time”, I’m pretending I don’t do this often).

    It’s a shame you didn’t find them to your liking because I’m quite a fan. I’ve never had an issue with the level of pigmentation, but that may have to do with the fact that I don’t like my blush to be too stark. Even so, I need to just tap my brush into the blush to get the right shade. Then again, the only blushes by Tarte that I own are in holiday palette form, which may make a difference.

    I’m starting to enjoy cream blushes as well at the moment. I recently picked up one of Chanel’s from the SS 2014 collection and it’s so gorgeous and pigmented that I can understand your frustration with these!

  2. @ Arpita, I’m pleased to identify a potential partner of ‘shime’ in you (i.e. shopping crime, as coined so fantastically by you) and we really should meet up and spend a full day in Sephora. We can take turns distracting the staff while we swatch their entire store.
    I think my bias against baked blushes in general stems from the fact that I’ve always preferred and used cream blushes so it’s not that I don’t think the Tarte blushes aren’t good – they’re just not what I’m used to. Colour payoff comes so easy to cream blush users and we tend to take it for granted.

  3. Hello Ladies… (waves at Arpita too) loved reading all the posts you two beauties put up while I was keeping house with the kiddos. Am glad they are finally off to school tomorrow..extended holidays and flu bugs are quite the way to start off a year.

    Tarte.. my take ..I have their Marajuca oil and Eye Cream – both of which haven’t been swatched or tested due to the fact that i don’t want to touch them till I’m done taking pictures.. which means it’s going to be a long while yet. But have tried their eye liner and that lil’ wonder is just that.. stays on for hours… have only heard rave reviews of both their cream blusher and cheek tint so will probably have to try one for myself to decide if they’re worth the moolah.

    Perhaps as SG mentioned, the open cases just dry up the blusher’s rendering them to the point of being terribly useless… Arpita, we might just have to have you swatch us the next time we see you to restore the Tarte ‘promise’ no?

  4. @ Sharon, big hugs for you and I’m looking forward to a new year with you!!
    For personal use, no one generally exposes any blush to air for an extended length of time so I am inclined to think that this might have something to do with the quality of my swatches. Tarte are so famous for this product that I am seriously thinking of getting my hands on a new one just to test this theory.
    That said, these Tarte blushes were extremely well-milled and silky with no visible chalkiness at all but I guess my commitment to cream blushes tends to prejudice me against powder blushes in general.
    As for Arpita, I’m sure she will be able to convince us we need this. I just can’t get over the fact that I just seem to want every single thing that she raves about. She’s contagious!

  5. @ Hi Sarah, I surprised myself with the results too but then I’m a cream blush girl so it may have something to do with my bias. There is a massive global following for these so I’d love to hear your verdict on these over at the SmallnHot blog when you do get a chance to get up close to them.

  6. @ Shivani, thanks beautiful! It’s so nice that we finally get to play with Tarte in person now that Sephora is finally stocking it. Go for it!

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