Truth: I’m very fortunate and companies send me products to review all the time. Another truth: Many so-called “value” sets are not really a value at all, usually tying together a tremendous best-seller with less popular ineffectual products.
So imagine my excitement when I recently received the tarte what has your makeup done for you lately? 6 piece high performance collection ($160 value, selling for less than $50 on QVC and QVC.com on July 13 only). The collection contains full sizes of each of the following:
- LipSurgence lip shine
- pure maracuja oil Rollerball
- brush! retoucher flawless finish bamboo foundation brush
- maracuja miracle 12-hour foundation with Broad-Spectrum SPF 15
- modernEYES waterproof creaseless shadow/liner
- gifted Amazonian clay smart mascara
The awesome news? There is not one product in this collection I would not buy on its own. For more, keep reading…
About maracuja oil: Great for Nighttime Moisturization and Fine-Medium Hair
Maracujá oil, derived from a passion fruit native to Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Paraguay, contains a high concentration of essential fatty acids, as well as a broad array of nutrients and phytochemicals including beta-carotene, flavonoids, xanthins, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and vitamin E (Prescription for Dietary Wellness, 2003).
In tarte Maracujá Oil, the seeded pulp is reportedly hand-pressed to guarantee the maximum amount of nutritious essential fatty acids and vitamins are preserved within the oil.
On the skin, I prefer Maracujá oil for use at night. This is because Maracujá contains a high concentration of lycopene (Journal of Medicinal Food, 2005). Although the studies are limited, it has been suggested lycopene may enhance UVA-induced damage to skin cells (European Journal of Nutrition, 2005). Now, don’t be alarmed: The studies are not only limited, but also only conducted in the mouse and on cells in vitro (i.e., in petri dishes). Still, to be on the safe side, I like to get the hydrating antioxidant effects of Maracujá oil predominantly at night.
The oil comes in a rollerball form in the gift set, making it difficult to apply to the hair. However, for the record, I recommend maracuja oil over pequi oil for fine to medium hair. The reason? In general, the heavier the oil, the better it is for frizzy, dry, or brittle hair. Linoleic acid in pequi oil is heavier than oleic acid in maracuja or argan oils (282 g/mol vs. 280 g/mol). So on the basis of science alone, I would recommend maracujá oil and argan oil equally for fine to medium hair, and pequi oil for frizzy, dry, or brittle hair.
Stellar, medium-coverage foundation
tarte maracuja miracle 12-hour foundation contains maracuja oil and boasts an SPF of 15. Considering that the average person applies only half – or less – of the sunscreen needed to get the SPF listed on the bottle, you still need to use sunscreen with it.
So why do I love tarte maracuja miracle 12-hour foundation? Two reasons: One, the texture of the product is medium coverage and gradually builds. While I normally prefer a lighter foundation, like a BB cream or something like Chanel Vitalumiere, I have started to take more photographs for the blog and upcoming video blog (hint, hint), and want something more substantial.
Second, tarte maracuja miracle 12-hour foundation is durable, but doesn’t look or feel like a mask on your face. The coverage lasts for a long time and looks dewy and natural, not dried or crusty, on the face. It may be a bit much for those with perfect skin, but for those of us with sunspots or blemishes here and there, it’s a miracle.
Amazonian Clay smart mascara: Volume-Building Formula, but Does it Really Increase Lash Growth?
If the foundation is the most wearable part of the kit, gifted Amazonian Clay Smart mascara is certainly the most interesting. The mascara contains a high concentration of rice bran wax, which the company claims increases lash growth. It’s certainly an interesting proposition: Rice bran wax has been used in hair conditioners for years, and conditions, fortifies, and as protects hair (Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society, 2009). tarte reports those that used their mascara increased lash volume by 406% over the course of 3 weeks, presumably due to this rice bran wax. I just started using it last Friday – I’ll let you know how it works on me. But as far as independent, peer-reviewed research on rice bran wax and hair/eyelash growth – well, that remains to be seen.
I rarely do this, but I’d tell anyone who loves tarte to pick up the tarte what has your makeup done for you lately? 6 piece high performance collection on Friday. I absolutely adore the foundation, foundation brush, dual eyeliner/eyeshadow, and mascara. I like maracuja oil, particularly for nighttime use for dry to normal/dry skin over a moisturizer that contains retinoids, peptides, and/or other antioxidants. I’m on the fence about the tarte LipSurgence lip shine- while I certainly love the collection, I wish it was provided here in a color other than the cool pink, which would look better on my blonde-haired friends. Nonetheless, 5 out of 6 ain’t bad, and I’m a huge fan of this set!
Product Rating: 10/10
- High or optimized concentration of proven ingredients: 3/3
- Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3
- Value: 3/3
- Sunscreen: 1/1
Ingredients in Amazonian Clay Smart mascara: Aqua, cyclopentasiloxane, oryza sativa (rice) bran wax, hydrogenated olive oil stearyl esters, stearic acid, cera carnauba/copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax/cire de carnauba, alcohol, propylene glycol, triethanolamine, candelilla cera/euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax/cire de candelilla, acacia senegal gum, VP/VA copolymer, phenoxyethanol, polyvinyl alcohol, panthenol, aminomethyl propanediol, ascorbyl palmitate, ethylhexylglycerin, kaolin, iron oxides (CI 77499).