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.
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.
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.
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-:
– Synthetic Fragrances
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.
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.