Any time Tarte releases a new shade of their famous Amazonian Clay Blush line I get excited. The formula is perfect for me- plenty of pigment, great staying power and oh-so-smooth on the skin.

I was quietly browsing my local Sephora store and came upon a new shade I hadn’t heard of before.

Tarte Captivating Blush

The shade is called Captivating and so it was. It came home with me right away.

Captivating is described as ‘warm peach’ and I’d say that’s right on the money. It’s bright, but not garish. It’s easy to apply and, despite being very pigmented, is actually hard to overdo. It looks natural on me and it’s nice for the summer as it pairs well with a good bronzer.

I knew right away I would have to compare it to the other Amazonian Clay blushes I owned…

Tarte Captivating Blush Comparisons Dupes

Clockwise From Bottom Left: Tarte Blissful, Tarte Tipsy, Tarte Captivating, Tarte Achiote

Captivating is definitely less pink than Blissful and Achiote, and more peach than Tipsy.

Tarte Captivating Blush Swatches

Swatches L-R: Tipsy, Captivating, Blissful, Achiote

If you love the Amazonian Clay line already, this blush will be a great addition to your collection. If you’ve not tried it and just love peach blushes I have a feeling you will get a lot of use from this one.

Tarte blushes are cruelty-free and formulated without parabens, sulfates or synthetic fragrances so if you have sensitive skin I would highly recommend checking the line out. The blush retails for $26. I bought mine from Sephora, but you can also find them on Tarte’s website and QVC.

 

Tarte recently reformulated and re-released their very famous cheek stains. Along with those they released a new set of lip pencils called power pigments that are smaller in size and much more pigmented than the LipSurgence line. Both of the releases have shades that correspond directly to the Amazonian clay powder blushes- color me excited!

*press samples*

Tarte Exposed Products

Tarte Exposed Suite: Amazonian Clay Blush, Cheek Stain, Power Pigment

Tarte Blissful Products

Tarte Blissful Suite: Amazonian Clay Blush, Cheek Stain, Power Pigment

Tarte Tipsy Products

Tarte Tipsy Suite: Amazonian Clay Blush, Cheek Stain, Power Pigment

Tarte Cheek Stains and Power Pigment Swatches 2

Swatches L-R: Tipsy, Blissful, Exposed

The cheek stains and power pigments for Tipsy, Blissful and Exposed were very much like their powder blush counterparts. The power pigments are impressive. They have excellent pigmentation, feel cushion-y on the lips and actually moisturize. I did lip swatches of all the shades back-to-back and they didn’t dry them out, not even a little!

The Tipsy cheek stain was less pigmented then I would have expected. The new formula is definitely an improvement from the older version, however it’s worth noting that you do get less product and the price remains the same. It’s frustrating when brands reformulate and repackage an item (usually making it smaller) and then keep the price the same (or in some cases charge more). It’s a sign of the times I guess, as it’s becoming more and more frequent. It doesn’t mean that consumers don’t notice, because we do. Sometimes we overlook it because a product is that good- but it’s a hard pill to swallow nonetheless.

Tarte Exposed Power Pigment on Lips

Wearing Power Pigment in Exposed

Tarte Blissful Power Pigment on Lips

Wearing Power Pigment in Blissful

Tarte Tipsy Power Pigment on Lips

Wearing Power Pigment in Tipsy

Tarte True Love and Fearless

Tarte True Love and Fearless Cheek Stains and Power Pigments

I don’t have the corresponding powder blushes to these (sad face!) but these new colors are a welcome addition the to Tarte lineup.

Tarte Flush Products

Tarte Flush Suite: Amazonian Clay Blush, Cheek Stain, Power Pigment

Tarte Blushing Bride Products

Tarte Blushing Bride Suite: Amazonian Clay Blush, Cheek Stain, Power Pigment

Tarte Natural Beauty Products

Tarte Natural Beauty Suite: Amazonian Clay Blush, Cheek Stain, Power Pigment

Tarte Cheek Stains and Power Pigment Swatches

Swatches L-R: True Love, Natural Beauty, Blushing Bride, Flush, Fearless

The biggest surprise in this group was Blushing Bride. The cheek stain is actually quite different than the powder and lip versions and I adore it! It was my clear favorite of all of the new cheek stains. It’s bright, face-brightening and very pigmented. Fearless is a peachy-coral and True Love is a reddish-pink. Both of the shades really impressed me. Flush and Natural Beauty both look very similar to their powder blush relatives.

Tarte Fearless Power Pigment on Lips

Wearing Tarte Power Pigment in Fearless

Tarte Blushing Bride Power Pigment on Lips

Wearing Tarte Power Pigment in Blushing Bride

Tarte Natural Beauty Power Pigment on Lips

Wearing Tarte Power Pigment in Natural Beauty

Tarte True Love Power Pigment on Lips

Wearing Tarte Power Pigment in True Love

Ultimately the new packaging and great pigmentation make the cheek stains and power pigments a hit with me. The fact that they match my beloved Amazonian clay blushes makes them that much easier to fall head over heels for. The cheek stains retail for $30 and the power pigments are $24 and they are both available at Sephora or directly from Tarte.

My overall picks? All of the power pigments are AH-mazing, but Fearless, Exposed, True Love and Blissful are my favorites. For the cheeks stains I’d start with Blushing Bride, Fearless and Flush.

I mentioned in my recent video that I had finally picked up Bobbi Brown’s rather famous blush in Pale Pink. A reader asked if I would do some swatches comparing it to a few other colors in the same family. As I love doing a good swatch-fest I happily obliged (thanks Shayna)!

Hot pink blush is something I have a hard time resisting, as you will see below. It’s just a fun, face-brightening shade that no one should be scared of- no matter how eye-searingly bright the color in the pan may seem!

Hot Pink Blush Comparison

The contenders, clockwise from bottom: MAC Pink Swoon, Illamasqua Nymph, Tarte Amused, NARS Desire, Smashbox Radiance, Stila Custom Color Pink, Bobbi Brown Pale Pink, Milani Delizioso Pink

All of my hot pink blushes are matte. I’m not sure if this was intentional or if hot pinks are really catered to that particular formula. In any case, all of these are beautiful in their own way and some are more similar than others. I believe Smashbox Radiance I have owned the longest and Milani Delizioso Pink is brand new.

All of the swatches below were done with the same brush on unprimed skin.

Hot Pink Blush Comparison Swatches Sun

Swatches L-R (in direct sunlight): Milani Delizioso Pink, Stila Custom Color Pink, Bobbi Brown Pale Pink, Smashbox Radiance, NARS Desire, Tarte Amused, Illamasqua Nymph, MAC Pink Swoon

The least pigmented is Pink Swoon and the most pigmented is NARS Desire, followed closely by Stila Custom Color Pink. NARS Desire is the most warm-toned of the group, along with Smashbox Radiance and Tarte Amused. Stila and Milani are definitely cool toned.

Hot Pink Blush Comparison Swatches Shade

Swatches L-R (in shade): Milani Delizioso Pink, Stila Custom Color Pink, Bobbi Brown Pale Pink, Smashbox Radiance, NARS Desire, Tarte Amused, Illamasqua Nymph, MAC Pink Swoon

The best texture goes to Illamasqua, Milani, NARS and Stila- all of which were smooth and soft. The biggest disappointment is MAC Pink Swoon. Although it looks nice when applied when swatched it loses a lot of it’s luster, especially when compared to some of the other standouts in my collection. Lasting power goes to Bobbi Brown, NARS and Tarte. I haven’t properly tested Milani so I cannot compare that one yet. I don’t have a problem with wear time on any of these blushes, but the ones noted above stood out to me as being particularly long-lasting .

My overall picks? NARS Desire, Stila Custom Color Pink, Bobbi Brown Pale Pink and Tarte Amused. If you’re on a budget the Milani blush is a great option. Skip MAC Pink Swoon. It isn’t as pigmented and the color in the pan isn’t exactly the color you get applied. Illamasqua Nymph is lovely all the way around, but it really isn’t hot pink as much as it is a bubblegum pink so I don’t feel right comparing it to the shades above.

I hope you found this helpful! What’s your favorite hot pink blush? Is there anything I am missing out on?!

Hot off the presses and newly arrived on my door step is the uber giftable Tarte Bow & Go Set. This set will be available on QVC for one day only- Tomorrow, Nov. 18th. For only $49 you get three gift-ready sets to split up or give as one value-packed kit. It even includes the gold bow to top it off!

*press sample*

Tarte Bow & Go Set

See how pretty it looks by the tree?!

What you get:

- Palette of 16 eyeshadows in an array of dazzling neutrals

- Set of 4 full size LipSurgence Pencils in shades Wonder, Promise, Thoughtful, and Precious

- Set of 2 full size Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara and 2 full size SmoulderEyes pencils in Brown and Fig

I didn’t have a chance to get swatches up (we had some seriously nasty weather this weekend!) but here is a close up look at the palette and the LipSurgence Pencils:

Tarte Bow & Go Eye Set  Tarte Bow & Go Palette 2

Tarte Bow & Go Lip Set

Tarte LipSurgence Wonder

Wonder

Tarte LipSurgence Thoughtful

Thoughtful

Tarte LipSurgence Promise

Promise

Tarte LipSurgence Precious

Precious

This set is too cute for words! If you like Tarte as much as I do, you won’t hesitate in snagging this set tomorrow. It’s an excellent value for everything that’s included (seriously, 16 eyeshadows PLUS everything else…all full size?!). Head over to QVC tomorrow and pick this up, but don’t forget to get two– you know, one for someone else too. It is Holiday shopping season after all.

 

Holiday offerings always leave me feeling giddy. It isn’t just the typical color palette of deep, classic reds and bright shimmering golds (though admittedly that combo is beautiful) that gets me- it’s the holiday sets. The value-packed kits that give you such bang for buck really have me jumping for joy- especially this year. The selection seems vast and full of options for every taste.

Enter Tarte’s latest eye collection contains plenty of value and plenty of holiday glam. It includes 2 of their amazing SmoulderEyes jumbo pencils in new shades as well as three skinny SmoulderEyes pencils and their new mascara, Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

*press sample*

Tarte SmoulderEyes Taupe

SmoulderEyes in Taupe

Tarte SmoulderEyes Rose Gold

SmoulderEyes in Rose Gold

I was of course drawn to both shades being that they are both my most obsessed over colors. I was also struck by how close I thought they looked to the colors included in a SmoulderEyes set released last year…

Tarte SmoulderEyes Comparisons

SmoulderEyes in Gunmetal, Taupe, Rose Gold and Gold

Tarte SmoulderEyes Swatch Comparisons

Swatches L-R: Gunmetal, Taupe, Gold, Rose Gold

In actuality they aren’t that close. Gunmetal is much more grey/silver and the Gold shade is much more…well…gold. All 4 are pretty shades but I have to say I like the shades from this year’s set better. :)

The formula on SmoulderEyes crayons is similar to others on the market. They glide on smoothly, have nice pigmentation and great lasting power. The two pencils included in the kit are full size.

Next up are the skinny SmoulderEyes pencils. I had not tried these before so I was excited to see three different shades included.

Tarte Skinny SmoulderEyes

Onyx, Purple Garnet, Azurite Green

Tarte Skinny SmoulderEyes Swatches

L-R: Onyx, Purple Garnet, Azurite Green

The formula of these is spot on. They are super pigmented (that’s just one pass you see above) and glide on like buttah. It’s hard to choose a favorite- the black shade, onyx, is a deep dark black. Sometimes it’s hard to find a black that’s not washed out or too grey toned. This is just right. It stays put for hours on my waterline. The other two shades are stunning. Perfect for fall and the holidays, they both add a touch of glamour to the eyes. I’ve used them as liners (they last all day) and I’ve smudged them out to use as a base and they perform perfectly in both instances. All of the liners are full size.

The last piece of the set is a mini size of their latest mascara, Lights, Camera, Flashes.

Tarte Lights Camera Flashes Mascara

The wand is rubbery and quite large (not as large as CoverGirl Lash Blast). The formula is a bit wet, but I think it will dry out nicely over time. I’m one of those who finds mascara is best after a few weeks of being opened and exposed to a little bit of air.

I liked the original Lights, Camera, Lashes as it gave nice volume and definition. The new version ups the ante ten fold. If you’re like me and enjoy lashes that are very black, volumized and lengthened….this is for you. I’m definitely buying a full size.

The Stop & Stare Set retails for $39 at Sephora. Might I suggest adding this to your list for their Friends & Family sale or perhaps your Christmas list?