Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette Review


When it comes to being a beauty blogger, perhaps the most difficult type of product to hold yourself back from splurging on is a gorgeous looking makeup palette. I mean, let's be real. Makeup palettes are flippin' pretty. Whether it be eyeshadows, face powders, or some combination of the two, there's nothing that makes a makeup junkie's heart sing like a sleek compact full of different colors and textures to play with. Realistically though, if you aren't a professional MUA, you've only got one face to work with on a day to day basis, and probably can't justify buying every pretty palette that you encounter. Do I own more than the average person would consider necessary? Yes. But as someone who makes it a hobby to test and review beauty products, I try to be pretty selective about the palettes I invest in.

Enter, the Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette. As crazy impossible as it may seem, I realized that my collection was completely lacking a full-face palette for travel. Sure, its a lot of fun to experiment and create new looks with that gorgeous 20 pan shadow palette, but it's not always the most practical when you're trying to pack a suitcase. On the other hand, this sleek little number has everything you need to create a beautiful everyday look, including 6 coordinated eyeshadow shades to play with. It strikes the perfect balance between variety and practicality, and would be a great little addition to any makeup collection (even one as ridiculous as mine).


Just from looks alone, there are lots of things that drew me to this palette. First of all, the packaging is amazing. It's got a really nice heft to it, so you feel like you're getting something quality that won't fall apart or break easily in your bag. The round design is super sleek, and while faux snakeskin isn't my favorite texture in the world, the purple-on-gold accents still manage to look classy. Inside you'll find 9 perfectly coordinated powders - a blush, bronzer, highlight, and 6 eyeshadows - as well as a very sizeable mirror. I usually don't care much for mirrors in single product compacts, as they're usually incredibly small and not all that practical to use. However, you can comfortably see your entire face in this mirror, making it perfect for applying makeup on-the-go.

Now, quality-wise I expected the products in this palette to be decent, as I've generally been happy with things I've tried from Tarte in the past, but I didn't realize how absolutely blown away I would be. The eyeshadows are unbelievably buttery and pigmented, the blush has just the right amount of intensity, and both the bronzer and highlight blend out seamlessly. The shades are also perfectly harmonious and incredibly wearable for both daytime and evening looks.

From Left to Right: Park Ave Princess, Champagne Pink, Fame, Showstopper Copper, Go for the Gold, You're a Natural, Steel the Scene, Rose to the Top, Dim the Lights

Starting at the top is the Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer in Park Ave Princess (top left). This powder is really silky and blends out incredibly well, making it easy to create a natural looking contour, or to add some warmth to the face. It's slightly on the redder side, but I didn't find that it made my light to medium complexion look too muddy. I don't know how waterproof the formula is, but it does seem to wear well throughout the day.

Next to that is the Amazonian Clay Highlighter in Champagne Pink (top right). This powder adds some serious glow to your face, minus any chunks of sparkle or glitter. It's got a slight pinkish tinge to it that I think is oh-so-pretty when it catches the light. In addition to getting your strobe on, you could also use this powder to brighten up the inner corners of your eyes.

In the center of the palette is the absolutely gorgeous Fame Amazonian Clay Blush. It's a warm peachy pink color that adds a beautiful flush to your cheeks. The formula on this blush is outstanding. The pigment is pretty concentrated, so you only need to pick up a tiny amount on your brush, and it will seriously last all day.

The true stars of this palette, however, are they eyeshadows. The formula on these is so smooth and buttery that they're an absolute dream to work with. Starting on the left is Showstopper Copper, a warm, medium copper with a satin sheen finish that would be great for adding depth to the crease. Next is Go For the Gold, which is a very wearable, light champagne gold color that looks great all over the lid. You're a Natural is a matte nude that is perfect as a base or to blend out transitions. Steel the Scene is the one slightly more cool toned shadow in the palette, with a silvery taupe sheen. Rose to the Top is a stunning Rose Gold shade with an almost metallic sheen that's another gorgeous color to wear in the crease. And last is Dim the Lights, a matte brown-black with subtle flecks of coppery shimmer. This was the only shade that swatched somewhat patchily, but still applied well to the eyes. When used as a liner it's really easy to build up the pigment or to smoke it out.


Truly I've been wearing this palette non-stop since I got it. Even though my intention was to use this for traveling, it's honestly also perfect for everyday. When it's 7:00 in the morning and my brain is not in full thinking mode, I can easily reach for this palette and create a pretty look, minimal effort necessary. The Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette retails for $40, which is actually pretty reasonable as far as mid-range palettes go. You're also getting quite a bit of product, which means you're saving money compared to buying individual versions of each powder. For example, the blush pan in this palette is actually ever so slightly larger than the solo compact which retails for $28, and the bronzer is about half the size of a full sized pan, making it worth around $15. These two products alone mean you're getting your $40 worth.

Final verdict? The Showstopper Palette was a purchase well made. I think I'm going to get a lot of use out of it both for travel and the everyday. If you love the design and concept of this palette, but want colors that bring a little bit more drama, I highly recommend checking out the Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette, which incorporates more moody plum-toned hues.

On that note, I was thinking about doing a post or video showcasing my palette collection with mini reviews of each and what drew me to them. Let me know in the comments below whether or not that would be something you'd be excited to see!

What is your favorite palette to travel with?

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