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I don’t understand people who buy all their products from the same makeup or skin care line. I’ve never found a single brand that I liked enough to buy everything they make. Case in point, Tarte Cosmetics. I like them. Some of their products are quite good. But some of them are not.

I previously wrote about a since-discontinued foundation by Tarte (the Maracuja Miracle Foundation). It felt like I was wearing a mask, and I wasn’t crazy about the push dispenser—I always ended up with too much product.

tarte primerOn the other end of the spectrum, I quite like Tarte’s BB Tinted Treatment 12-hour Primer. It’s the perfect weight and amount of coverage for summertime, when it’s hot and humid. It’s no good for winter, at least if you live somewhere cold and dry. Another feature that makes it summer-appropriate is the SPF 30. I don’t wear it as a primer, rather, as a lightweight foundation over my daily moisturizer, but with nothing else on top of it. My face never feels heavy or mask-like, and it lets my skin breathe. A winner all around.

IMG_6029Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara is very hit-or-miss. For the first few weeks, it’s clumpy on your lashes because there’s so much mascara on the wand. Tarte seems to have serious issues with controlling how much of any given product is dispensed at any given moment. But after a few weeks, the amount of mascara on the wand calms down, and it’s a rather serviceable mascara. Tarte claims that the 4-in-1 properties are lengthening, curling, volumizing, and conditioning. I don’t know about all that. Maybe they should stop trying to multi-task and focus on the single most important mascara quality (to me, anyway): lack of clumpiness.

IMG_6026I have no complaints about their Amazonian clay eye shadow. It’s well-pigmented and lasts pretty much all day without creasing. It’s packed somewhat loosely in the compact—I find a lot of dusty residue after dipping my brush in a few times to apply it, and I generally have to give my face a quick swipe with a powder brush to whisk away any particles settling on my cheeks. (Okay, so maybe that’s one complaint!) But overall, it’s a solid product, and the color options in the palette I bought are quite good and highly complementary to one another.

tarte eye linerThe smolderEYES Amazonian clay waterproof eye liner pencils were a little difficult to work with because of the thickness of the pencil. I realize that the point is to create a smoldering eye, which generally requires a lot of eye liner, but they’re really only good for that. Forget about precision lining with these guys. That said, the quality of the eye liner is quite good. The Amazonian clay makes for a soft pencil that goes on easily and lasts all day. The pencils come with a smudging sponge on the opposite end to really accomplish the smoky, smoldering eye look.

Probably my favorite Tarte product is the lipstick, LipSurgence Lip Crème. I bought a set of four, and I find myself choosing one of them almost every single day. They are very pigmented—no sheers in this bunch. They go on creamy and last all day with bright, bold colors that all seem to look good with my skin tone. Not sure how they pulled that off.

Tarte’s product aren’t what I would call inexpensive. They’re significantly more than drugstore brands, but in line with department store brands like Estée Lauder and Origins and less expensive than premium brands like Chanel and Dior. Tarte has the advantage of being cruelty-free, and some products are vegan. They also don’t use parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, sodium laurel sulfate, or gluten.

If you sign up for their email list, they’ll send you a coupon for 15% off your first purchase. They also periodically email coupons and special sale items. All in all, I like Tarte as a company, and some of their products are great. I just don’t love them enough to forsake all others.