I've been gone for a while, but I return bearing makeup news!
I'm taking two gym classes right now and have been pretty sore so I decided to treat myself and go on a makeup extravaganza! Mostly I just stocked up on some staples (Make Up For Ever Face and Body in 32, Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in Vanilla, Clinique moisturizer, a new Beauty Blender and some Tarte Clean Slate Poreless Primer) but as I was grabbing my stuff from Tarte, I obviously looked around and I was just drooling.

First off, let me just say that I love Tarte. They are a cruelty free, eco-friendly line and all of their products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, and synthetic fragrances. So they work nicely on my sensitive skin and I feel good when I buy them. I love their Maracuja oil, their Lip Surgences and their Poreless Primer. Most of the things I buy from them end up becoming staples in my makeup routine. I actually bought the 2012 Carried Away Collection and loved it so much that I went out and bought three more to give as gifts for my sister and best friends. Because even though it was pricey, EVERYTHING in there was amazing!

So I decided that since it was a Treat Yourself day, I would try out a bunch of new stuff and see how things go. I didn't want to try out new foundations as they only had BB cream type stuff and full coverage foundations. I buy my BB creams from Korea through Amazon and nothing I've tried in the same price range here in the US is even close, and I refuse to spend more when the product I already have is phenomenal. I also don't like full coverage foundation, as usually I feel like my face is suffocating, even if I apply lightly. I did see that they had a new mineral powder line that is supposed to go hand in hand with a new brush, a very soft and fluffy foundation brush (made for their full coverage Amazonian Clay liquid foundation), an eyebrow mousse and their EmphasEYES waterproof shadow/liners. I went all in and bought them all. I shall now review for your pleasure!

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First up, The Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation and coordinating Airbuki Bamboo Powder Foundation Brush! I decided to buy both of these together. I have super dry skin, so I've stayed away from mineral powder foundations before and thus never really felt the need for brushes designed to pack a lot of powder onto the face. I usually don't even wear powder over my foundation at all. I'll top off with a micro finish powder from Make Up For Ever or Tarte if I get a little shiny or if I'm going to be going out bar hopping with friends, other than that I try to keep powder as far from my face as possible. I wanted to try something faster than my normal foundation routine though, and mineral foundation is supposed to be super healthy for the skin.

Tarte claims that this medium-coverage talc free powder is "moisture rich", waterproof and is designed to last for 12 hours without settling into lines and wrinkles (Ok, here is a note. Tarte keeps calling this full coverage everywhere but in the description for it by itself. It is for sure medium coverage powder. Consistency would be nice). I don't know about you, but for me those are some big claims for a powder of any kind. The brush is made from "sustainably harvested bamboo and synthetic bristles" and is also cruelty free. Tarte claims that using this brush will allow me to apply this foundation flawlessly. With those claims in hand, this stuff better look freaking amazing.

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The packaging is very smart, I must say. The screw top lid has a stopper that juts out and sits directly over the sifter when closed. This means that no powder slips out anywhere, even if you shake it or drop it. So you can carry it in your purse or book bag and not have to worry about powder leaking out the sides or exploding all over yourself when you go to reopen it later. Very mess free which also means waste free, I like. The sifter is not made of plastic or metal, it is actually a very stretchy piece of mesh similar to pantyhose. This allows you to just dip your brush directly onto the sifter and press down gently to get the product. There is no need to shake anything around and worry about how much or little you got out. It's all nice and contained. I thought that was very cool.

Since it's medium coverage, I did put on some primer and applied concealer under my eyes and on some pimples and mosquito bites (grrr!) before applying. Once I did apply (with the coordinating brush) I noticed right away that it is definitely medium coverage, but a very solid medium. It covered most of my face to perfection. I had a nice soft glow, but it all looked very natural. I did not have "powder face", which I despise. I did have some residual redness on one cheek (damn you mosquitoes!) so I did something I never do and added another layer to that area. BAM! Full on instant full coverage and perfection in the area! It blended very nicely with rest of my face, which is really good. This means you don't have to apply a second layer to the entire face, which allows you to conserve product. My face didn't tighten or get stiff at all, even later in the day. To the look and touch, it just looked like I had some really nice skin (with an almost dewey finish even!). I did not get any shine or oil buildup, but I never do anyway. I thought that looking dewey might mean that this was just for people with dry skin, so I looked up reviews on YouTube, and a lot of girls with very oily skin tried out this product ad loved it! I actually wore this product for a full 12.5 hours, with the last hour and a half being a gym class. I did get sweaty and wiped some off on my towel, but I still finished looking pretty ballin'. I give this product an A+! I am actually going to purchase another jar as a backup later in the week.
(PS - that blemish looking thing on my right cheek is not a blemish. It is a pretty deep scar from chicken pox. Nothing can cover that. So yes, it did cover my pimples and bug bites completely! These pix were taken this morning after a fresh application. I purchased the second lightest shade: Fair-Light Neutral.)

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The brush is a little different. It is amazing and super soft and insanely adorable. I really love it and it fits perfectly into the powder. However, I don't think it's necessary at all to go out and buy the brush if you already own a decent brush. A nice kabuki or dense mineral powder brush would do just as good of a job. If you don't already have a brush, or are in the market for a new one however, then I strongly recommend this brush! It is amazing and really lets you buff the powder into your skin without letting stuff fly around (since the bristles are so short). It is so soft, it feels like I'm using my cats belly to apply the powder, which is always nice. You'd have to be an addict to have felt this and then gone out to buy another one for your other powders *coughmecoughsosadcough*.

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Next up is the Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush. I already have tons of brushes for liquid foundation. I have the fluffy ones, the dual fiber ones, the kabuki-on-stick ones, the dual fiber kabuki-on-a-stick ones, etc. They are all nice quality, but never really applied my makeup to my face how I wanted them to. I still preferred to use a damped sponge to apply my makeup. However! I have recently gotten back into using my Make Up For Ever Face and Body Foundation. That stuff is weird. It is a gel (completely and totally. You can see it jiggle and everything in the jar) but it dries really fast. It didn't work quite right with my sponge or any brushes I had (streaking), so I had been using my fingertips. I hate doing that. I know my hands are freshly washed and clean, but I feel germy and gross when I do it, and I end up with dirty hands. So I was on the market for something very dense and fluffy with a large surface area that would allow me to blend the foundation quickly, but without streaking. It was between this and a super cool looking Sephora brush, but this one won out because it was about 3.5x softer (which is crazy, because the other brush was super soft too) and just looked cuter in my opinion.

I believe the brush is designed to be used with the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12Hr Full Coverage Foundation. It is supposed to give an airbrushed effect. I figured that if it could do that with a heavy full coverage foundation, then my sheer foundation would be no problem. When I tried it out, I started off by pumping out my foundation, then quickly dotting it around my face. I whipped out the brush and just started blending out like crazy (very fast). It actually turned out freaking AWESOME! The foundation had never looked better on my skin and there were no ugly streaks anywhere to be found (and I am nuts about them). The brush was very nice and soft, and even though it is super fluffy it did not do that weird wiggle thing. It was so dense, so it held it's shape pretty nicely even with me going all crazy with it. It made the application must faster as well, so now I take my time and there is still no streaking.

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I have seen a similar looking brush from EcoTools (and a quick Google search confirmed it was a nice dupe) that is roughly the same size. It is much cheaper (about $13 compared to Tarte's $32). I have some EcoTools brushes and I love them, so if you do need a nice dense, soft, fluffy brush for applying liquid (or even powder) foundation, then I'd say just go with the EcoTools brush. Both brands are super nice quality and very durable. I do still prefer the Tarte brush, but that is based more on the look than the quality.

Next up is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse. It comes with the dual-end brush pictured.

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Normally I use the powder from the Urban Decay Brow box or the Benefit Instant Brow Pencil. I like the powder in the brow box, and I like that you can mix the two colors to get a perfect shade, but I don't like the wax. It just make me have wet looking eyebrows. It lasts a while, but if I get sweaty it just comes off. I don't like the Benefit pencil. It's too waxy and gives me a wet eyebrow look, but it does last a long time and I can sweat with it on without losing it.

I saw this and got excited. A mousse should dry fairly quickly and give me the look I want, and it claims that it's waterproof in the name itself, so it should be long lasting! After trying it out, I can tell you that I am in love. I am wearing it in the above pictures, but please excuse my brows. I'm growing them out to be reshaped so they are all wonky. Note that my brows look very dry and sexy though. Also, they survived a pretty intense gym class. The brush is also fantastic. The bristles are soft but still very firm. I also like that it comes with an attached spooly for blending. A+ in my book!

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Last but not least is the Tarte EmphasEYES Waterproof Clay Shadow/Liner (emphasis not mine). It's a silicone liner similar to Stila Smudgepots and Mac Fluidlines. I liked the Smudgepots at first, but they dried out crazy quick and I lost a lot of product. I like MAC Fluidlines though and I would say that this is very comparable in quality, if not a little smoother and more liquidy looking. So I was pretty impressed. The brush that it comes with is very nice, it has a long, thin tapered end for precise lines and winged corners, and also a short dense rounded side for smoky looks and smudging. The liner is also formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs and Triclosan. So people with sensitive eyes should be able to wear this with no problem. All of those factors, and the fact that it comes with a brush make it far superior to MAC's Fluidline in my opinion. It only comes in 6 shades though, so that's kind of a bummer. Hopefully they add more, but I don't know if they can without breaking their "no synthetic dye" promise.

And that's it! If you were interested in Tarte or had never heard of it before I hope this helped to show a little bit of the brand. I'm sorry it was epically long! If you were bored or lost interest, here is a Tom Hiddleston gif that I hope makes up for it!

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One HUGE edit:
I forgot to talk about the one huge draw back to Tarte that I really don't like. They do not have a very huge line of diverse colors in any of their foundations (powder or liquid). The powder has one dark shade that could work for some women of color, but it is just one shade and is not very deep at all. I think the same is true for the Full Coverage Foundation. Everything thing else tops out at a darker Medium. There are no true "Deep" colors.There are still lots of colors and tones for light skinned people, but this brand really excludes a lot for women (and men) of color. Hopefully they rectify this soon.