Picked up this cute little trio from Tarte during their recent sale and I have to say, I'm really digging everything in it so far. It's called Gifts From The Lipstick Tree and it contains three full-sized Tarte products. All three products in this set are in the same warm pink shade called Achiote, named for the Achiote tree which produces the seeds that are turned into the pigment and food coloring known as annatto. You may recognize the ingredient annatto, as it's most commonly used here to give processed cheese its bright orange color.
What I liked:
- Very attractive packaging. A few details to note: the pretty vine that frames the Tarte logo on the blush compact, the floral print on the gloss pen, the shimmery finish on the LipSurgence tube and the fact that each item's packaging is color-matched with the product inside.
- The blush is pigmented, easy to blend and long-lasting. The color is a wearable coral pink, not too orange at all.
- The gloss formula is thick, not too sticky, and has more color to it than the last Maracuja Divine Shine gloss I tried. It's still sheer, though.
- Light mint flavor in the gloss is pleasant and it also gives a slight cooling effect.
- The Achiote LipSurgence Lip Lustre is awesome. It's my favorite one so far. The shade is flattering on my skintone, has a subtle shimmer, and it lasts a decent amount of time before it needs to be reapplied. It's my favorite thing in the kit.
- LipSurgence pencils don't require a sharpener; they twist up.
- The kit is a good deal. Each item in it costs around $20 individually, but the kit costs $42. It's like buying two items and getting one free.
What I didn't like:
- I hate the click pen design of the gloss. You have to click too many times to dispense the product, and it's hard to gauge how much product is going to come out. I would prefer a normal gloss tube with a wand, or even a squeeze tube.
- The gloss is sheer, it only adds a light coral tint and little visible shimmer.
- The blush pan spins in the compact. I don't know if it's going to fall out, but it does move freely whenever you touch it so it doesn't feel secure. It seems like it's magnetic.
- The blush changes color when applied to my skin, just like those 'self adjusting' pH reactive blushes that we've been seeing lately. I don't recall reading anywhere on the website or product description that this is a self adjusting/pH reactive product.
- The LipSurgence caps are prone to cracking and falling off. It hasn't happened with Achiote yet, but it has happened to a few of my other LipSurgence colors.
I ordered mine directly from Tarte's website, but Sephora and QVC also carry this kit. $42 for the set of three full-sized items.