Eyeshadow (Discontinued)
Category:Makeup > Eyeshadows > Powder Eyeshadow
Last Updated:05.10.2012
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Each of these individual powder shadows is shimmery. Those looking for a matte option won’t find one here, but the sheerness of these shadows makes some of the lighter shades an option for a daytime professional look or for highlighting the brow bone. The darker shades are quite pigmented and best left for evening makeup. These eyeshadows blend easily and wear well for hours with no fading or creasing. The shade range is small, but if you want to try Tarte eyeshadows, these individual options are definitely your best bet.

Brand Overview

Tarte Cosmetics At-A-Glance

Strengths: Excellent foundation; great cheek stain and powder blush; superior pressed powder and eyelining pencils; good mascaras; unique, innovative, beautiful packaging; complete ingredient lists on the company's Web site.

Weaknesses: Expensive; some gimmicky products and claims; lacks matte eyeshadow options.

Tarte Cosmetics CEO and founder Maureen Kelly started Tarte in 1999, supposedly out of a need to create a cosmetics line that "would prove that glamour can be good for you." Well, to be honest, we didn't know that glamour could be bad for anyone, no matter who was selling it. In this case, good-for-you glamour is about the products being "natural." Of course, lots of women believe that natural ingredients are the only way to go because they're told, and unfortunately often believe, that the synthetic ingredients in cosmetic products are toxic and poisonous for your skin. That is a misguided belief!

Ironically, despite Tarte's attention-getting marketing concept, their products aren't any more natural or healthier than loads of other products. We take particular issue with the company's claim of being preservative-free, synthetic dye-free, and talc-free. Not only are these ingredients not a problem for most people, but also many of Tarte's products do contain them! What is that about? Didn't anyone at Tarte read their own ingredient labels?

We are beyond understanding how a cosmetics company can base their advertising on what their products do not contain, yet fail to realize, or just won't acknowledge, that their products in fact do contain them—the very ingredients they tell you are toxic or poisonous for your skin. We mean, really, if your products (in this instance Tarte products) do contain isododecane, imidazolidinyl urea, butylene glycol, parabens, PEG/PPG-18/18 dimethicone, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, that's the pot calling the kettle black. Whatever… if Tarte chooses to mislead and misinform the consumer it doesn't seem to matter, because many uninformed women won't notice the hypocrisy—they'll just accept Tarte's claims at face value.

Marketing hype and ingredient deception aside, the ingredients Tarte does leave out of its products are sulfates (though sulfates are rarely used in makeup products anyway, so it is a trait most makeup products share), phthalates, and synthetic fragrance (but "natural" fragrance isn't any better for skin). That's nice, but in the scope of things, not really all that special.

We appreciate that Tarte conveys their message without the "granola," antiglamour, or anti-elegance image that's characteristic of many "natural" lines. The trade-off is that you're going to pay extra for Tarte's glamorous image and packaging. Although there are a handful of products in the Tarte lineup worth the splurge, if you only shopped this line for cosmetics, your wallet would definitely be lighter—and there's no need to splurge to the point of incurring debt just to outfit your makeup bag with all things Tarte. After all, you aren't going to be applying the packaging to your skin.

Those who shop carefully should pay close attention to Tarte's foundations, blush options, eye pencils, and a handful of their innovative products. If you're looking for matte eyeshadows, however, you're out of luck. Tarte isn't as full-featured as several other makeup artistry lines (Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier come to mind), and Tarte doesn't outdo Rimmel or Sonia Kashuk at the drugstore, but their good products are indeed good.

For more information about Tarte Cosmetics call 855-968-2783 or visit www.tartecosmetics.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

Member Comments
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Paula - your information is incorrect

This product review says that Tarte’s eye shadows are (1) no longer available & discontinued and (2) there are NO matte options. This is simply incorrect! I’ve been wearing matte eye shadows from Tarte for a long time now. Plus I just reviewed their website today (2/14/13) and they DO offer eye shadows and they DO offer matte as an option. (Perhaps Paula likes to give negative reviews and she ‘caps’ on other brands for not being truthful, yet I have found SEVERAL occasions where Paula was not truthful either. This ruins her credibility and now I question almost everything she states to be either true or possibly NOT true.)

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Paula's Choice Research Team Response

Thanks for your feedback! We will take another look at this eyeshadow and edit the review if there are matte shades. Sometimes what others (including cosmetics salespeople and companies) label as matte isn’t really true matte. To us, true matte is absolutely no shine, not even a hint of shimmer. Our job as reporters is to call out when a company describes something differently than how we find it in stores, but if your definition of matte is more lenient, we can see why you’d believe some of Tarte’s shadows are matte. Again, we’ll revisit this product and edit our review if needed.

As for Paula not being truthful, we can assure you that’s not the case. What can happen once a review is published is that the product changes before we can revisit it (you can imagine the difficulty in keeping thousands of reviews updated when cosmetics companies can and do change products without notice). What can also happen is that a company representative confirms a product is discontinued, yet it either wasn’t really discontinued or the company changed its mind. And sometimes, try as we might, we’re given incorrect information. We do our best to report on cosmetics based on our team’s criteria, what we find at the counters and in drugstores, and what salespeople or company representatives tell us.

—Paula's Choice Research Team
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