Monday, November 4, 2013

REVIEW! tarte's "Gorgeous Getaways" holiday gift set

Hi everyone! (And hello to my fellow "tartelettes"!) Today my post in an in depth review of one of tarte's holiday edition gift sets. tarte's "Gorgeous Getaways" gift set was on sale at my local Ulta store and I just HAD to pick it up. I am totally late to the party when it comes to trying out tarte's eyeshadows and blushes. However, based on the products I do own from tarte, (which I absolutely love), I knew that this gift set was for me! (Yes...I bought myself an early present!) So, let's get to it shall we?

This "Gorgeous Getaways" gift set is exclusive to Ulta stores and their website (I did check tarte's website and this particular gift set is not sold on their site.) The cost of the set is $48 (and on the outer package it says that it's a $433 retail value). Included in the set are: 16 new full size Amazonian clay eyeshadows; 4 new full size Amazonian clay 12-hour blushes; 3 new full size maracuja lipglosses and a portable palette compact. For the amount of product that you are getting, $48 is an excellent deal in my opinion. 

The packaging is just beautiful. The box is a deep purple shade with a gold design covering the entire box. The lid lifts up to reveal a large mirror and 4 of the "portable palettes". Each palette contains 4 eyeshadows and 1 blush color. There is a drawer underneath that pulls out and, in that, you'll find the 3 full size glosses and the portable compact.

The compact is shaped like a bow and is a gorgeous metallic gold color with a golden accent plaque in the center stamped with "tarte". It is slightly padded, and the outside has a kind of leatherette texture and feel. On the inside is a pretty good sized mirror and a magnetized space in which to place the palette that you want to take with you.


The way to use the compact is very easy. In the top section of the box where the palettes are, there is a ribbon under each one. When you lift the ribbon, the palette comes out very easily and you just pop it into the magnetized spot of the portable palette. The magnet is strong and once the palette is in there, it stays there! It's very sturdy and you should have no issues with the palette "rattling" around or falling out of the compact.

Now, let's talk swatches! (Please forgive my swatch photographs...I put the swatches in the weirdest place on my arm and let's just say that trying to get a photo with a full-frame professional camera in one hand and trying to keep everything steady was a challenge!)  

For the sake of trying to keep everything easy, I am going to show the swatches of the palettes based on how they are arranged in the box and I will refer to them by the name of the blush color. There are two neat little features of this set that will make this even easier!  Take a look at these two photos below.

The back of each palette has a sticker that has the shade names for the eyeshadows and blush shades, and there is a see through plastic cover that sits over the top section of the palette that has the shade names written on it as well! (It may be difficult to see in my photograph, but the names of the shades show near the bottom of each shadow and across the middle of the blush.)

For all of the palettes, I swatched the shades by going left to right on the top row and then left to right on the bottom row and lastly, the blush. They are shown from left to right on my arm. They are swatched without primer. (Please keep in mind that I'm very pale and in some cases the colors don't show up as pigmented as they truly are.)

First, let's take a look at the "savvy" palette. (Upper left corner palette in box) .

The first shade "Taj Mahal" is what I would call a satin finish champagne color. "Grand Canyon" is a matte peachy/brown. "Big Ben" is a matte grayish taupe color and the last shadow, "Central Park" is a matte dark olive green. The blush "savvy" is a matte rose shade with a hint of peach. As you can see, the color payoff for this particular palette is quite nice and I think over a primer it would be even better. The shades are buttery and smooth and not flaky at all. They glide right over the skin.

This is the "spontaneous" palette. (Upper right corner in the box). The first shade is "Santorini Bikini" and is a light shimmery pinky/champagne. The next shade "Great Sphynx" is a shimmery mid-tone brown. "Pacific Sunset" is a very shimmery gold color, but not a bright gold. I would say it has a more "brass tone" to it rather than "in-your-face" gold. The last shade is "Belgian Chocolate" and it does have a little shimmer and is a deeper brown, but I do see some subtle plum tones in it. (Especially in the pan). The blush is "spontaneous" and is a very light true pink color and it is the only blush in the gift set with shimmer. However, the shimmer is very subtle.

This is the "ambitious" palette. (Bottom left corner of the set) And, I have to say, I was very disappointed with the shadow shades in this palette. The first shade "Serengeti Sand" is a matte cream color, but it barely shows up...even with a primer. The swatch of the shade is on the extreme left of the photo above, but it didn't show up at all, so I tried it over a primer (I actually layered the swatches on top of one another over the primer). Do you see it? Here's a hint...I placed my watermark directly above the swatch of "Serengeti Sand" I did over an eye primer. I have extremely pale skin, so that may be why you can't see the shade because it is a very light shade and almost matches my skin tone. This would probably be a good shade for someone with a darker skin tone than me. But, let's talk about the other shades. The 2nd swatch is "Buckingham Palace" and looks like a shimmery gray with maybe a bit of plum in the pan, but swatches as basically just a darkish gray. "Rocky Mountains" is the next shade and is a matte brownish/gray shade, but not especially deep. The last is "Bordeaux" which I was soooo excited about when I saw it in the pan. A very pretty shimmery deep plum color, but when I swatched it, that shade also came out gray. The best part of this particular little palette is the blush, "ambitious". A matte, very deep rose shade with excellent pigmentation. This is definitely a blush to use with a very light hand. And, just because I was so disappointed in how the colors swatched, I decided to do a quick eye look (with primer) just to see if they would come out on the eye with color more true to what was in the pan. Nope, sure didn't. The cream shade didn't show up at all and the other 3 colors looked almost exactly the same on my eye and looked as if I just put gray eyeshadow all over.

This is the last of the palettes - "lighthearted". The first shade, "Gold Coast" is a true gold with a high amount of shimmer. "Eiffel Tower" is a matte shade that looks like a plain gray, but when you look very closely, it is more of a mid-toned plummy/gray in the pan. "Space Needle" is another very shimmery shade, and it is a taupe with a bit of iridescence to it. The last shade, "Midnight in Paris" is probably the darkest shade out of all of the shadows as it appears in the pan, but it does go on a little more sheer. It definitely has a teal green quality in the swatch. The blush "lighthearted" is a matte shade that looks super bright in the pan, but sheered out, it is a gorgeous true pink color.

All of the shadows are very smooth and buttery and very easy to blend. And the blushes are super pigmented and the color range will suit many skin tones.

Last but certainly not least! The glosses!

You get 3 new full size maracuja lip glosses in this gift set. (From left to right) "When in Rome" is a beautiful shimmery peachy/pink shade; "New York Minute" is a true pink - if you want's pink! And "Czech Me Out" is a shimmery rosy/mauve shade. The shimmer in these glosses is not overpowering in any way, it's very subtle and "New York Minute" has no shimmer at all. The formula is a little bit thick and they have a strong minty scent. (I'm not sure if these are supposed to have any "plumping" qualities to them, but I don't notice any on my lips.) They go on a little more sheer than what you see in the packaging, but they still give off a good amount of color. Even though they are a little sticky, I don't find them to be annoying to wear and they do have good lasting power.

Here are a few pros and cons in my opinion of this palette:


  • Excellent value for your money. $48 for this amount of product is a great deal.
  • Outstanding quality of the products. The shadows are super buttery and easy to work with. The blushes are all gorgeous and incredibly pigmented and, the glosses are all beautiful to wear alone or over a lipstick or lipstain.
  • The little palettes are designed very well when it comes to the shade ranges as they all work well together (with the exception of the "ambitious" palette). There are plenty of matte shades, shimmery shades that aren't TOO shimmery and a few shimmery shades that are downright shiny! 
  • I hate to say it...there was a complete dud palette. "ambitious"  All of the shades show up the same color with the exception of the matte cream shade (which didn't show up at all). Obviously, you can work those colors into other looks, but as a "take one palette and be set for a getaway", that one would not be the one I choose to take with me.
  • I feel that there are too many gray toned shades in the set. I would have loved to see a bit more color, such as a burgundy or true purple, and a great deep black shade as well. The colors in the set are very neutral (which could be good or bad, depending on your preference or if you are giving it as a gift, the colors are all very wearable and will work with any skintone). *So, that's a Pro and a Con I guess.*
  • On the subject of the "take one palette for a getaway"...that depends on the length of the trip I suppose. I think that this concept would be great for a weekend trip, but not for a long vacation. To try to go a week or more with only one of these palettes would not really give you alot of options.

So, there you have it! A complete overview of the "Gorgeous Getaways" holiday gift set from tarte! In my opinion, if you love tarte products, especially their shadows and, don't walk to get your hands on this set. These are all new shades of shadows and blushes and I don't know whether or not any of them will become permanent. I'm super happy to have mine!

That's all for now my lovelies! I will be posting again soon! Follow me on Twitter @ReneeBruchPhoto, on Instagram @reneebruch and check out and "like" my Facebook page:  and on my official website


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