tarte’s Tartelette (Review and Swatches)

Matte eyeshadows get a bad rap. They’re, more often than not, called chalky, patchy or too sheer with poor colour payoff.The all-matte tarte Tartelette eyeshadow palette was pretty hyped up when it released more than a year ago because it was an all-matte eyeshadow palette. 



Y’all know I’m a glitter queen who loves metallics and sparkles (I’ve been wanting a Bedazzaler for years but can’t find one). But there is something about an all-matte look that is sophisticated (not to be confused with mature!) and chic.

Good quality all-matte palettes are few and far between, so when you do find one, put it in your cart and checkout!

So far, Becca’s all-matte Ombre Nudes and Ombre Rouge palettes have been winners for me but the Tartelette palette has a wider selection of shades because the Becca palettes have five shadows each while tarte’s Tartelette pallete has 12 eyeshadows.

When I first looked at the Tartelette palette, I thought it looked boring AH! You know I have no filter and I was like ‘Huh, WT*?, (Substitute * with H or F, your call)

Tarte says about this palette ‘ Embrace you inner tartelette with this all matte pallete featuring 12 exclusive Amazonian clay eyeshadows inspired by real women, just like you’ “ Real women” What does that mean? It’s something I can never get my head around but moving on . . .

This palette is geared towards women (in my opinion men and everything else in-between, just saying) who like playing it safe with neutrals (no shade), going bold with shades of purple or rocking out with some smokiness.

This was my first meeting with tarte’s Amazonian Clay eyeshadow formula.

If you were wondering what the formula is about, here it is, according to tarte.

This nutrient rich clay is extracted from the banks of the Amazon River where the nutrients are at their highest concentration. As nature’s most perfect ingredient, this multitasking and total skin balancing clay has been known to remove surface oil and mattify skin, nourish all skin types and give skin an overall smooth and even appearance.

Moving on . . .



The cover of the palette has a lilac to purple gradient. This ombre effect runs through the arrangement of shades inside. The tarte logo is at the bottom of cover while the name of the palette is emblazoned across the palette in gold lettering. The logo is also on the mirror in purple.

The purple and reflective gold backside (I couldn’t think of another word, sorry) of the palette has regal appeal, so go on and find your scepter and crown.


It’s compact and slim making it great for travel. It doesn’t have a magnetic closure but snaps shut. A great feature is the high-quality, self-standing, full-sized mirror, which will surely come in handy when traveling and you don’t have your vanity to do your make up. Anyone have that problem in hotels? Let me know in the comments section.

The arrangement of eyeshadows, like I’ve mentioned, runs from light to dark (left to right)


The top row is a mix of warm neutral/brown.

The second row is a mix of soft mauve/purple.

The third row is a mix of cool-toned taupe/ black.


Free Spirit is a light, pale yellow-toned beige. It’s quite sheer. If you have pigmented eyelids. This is especially true for dark skinned beauties or those beauties who have veins popping on their eyelids. If you use a clear eyeshadow primer like the Smashbox 24-hour primer, this shade will not show up or cover those streaks of blue and green. You will have to use a coloured eyeshadow base such as MAC Soft Ochre paint pot. Despite its sheerness, the colour is true to pan.

Force of Nature is a light, warm-toned brown. It has a silky texture and the colour is true to pan. It’s good transition shade.

Dreamer is a dark, warm-toned brown. I found that I had to build up this shade to get a good colour pay off when I used it to define the outer v of my crease. It blended seamlessly once I was happy with the intensity.

This shade is great for defining the crease or even on the lid.

Multi-Tasker is an espresso brown. It’s very opaque, blends easily and smudges easily on the upper and lower lash line. This makes for eyeliner. Use all four shades in the top row and you have a soft, neural brown smoky eye.



Caregiver is a pastel pink that is slightly chalky. On the lid, it looks more like a light mauve. It is a great shade for a brow bone highlight. Despite being a bit powdery, it applied easily and smoothly onto the lid.

Natural Beauty is a pinky-taupe. It has a great colour payoff, but, like Free Spirit, is on the sheer side. It’s easy to blend.

Best Friend is a muted, dark purple. It works best as an all-over lid shade but works well as a transition shade or defining the crease. It blends and applies easily.

Bombshell is a blackened purple. It didn’t swatch as pigmented as it looks in the pan but on the eyes, the colour pay off is exceptional and the shade is quite unique.


Super Mom is light beige with subtle warm undertones. It has great color payoff and it not as sheer as the palest shades in the other two rows. It works well as a brow bone highlight and is opaque enough to highlight the inner corners of the eye.

Wanderer is a light-medium brown pulling slightly warm. This is a great transition shade that is opaque. It applies easily and blends smoothly. This works well as a transition shade.

Power Player is a taupe with a finish that is more satin than matte. It has good color payoff, applies and blends easily and is great for defining the crease.

Fashionista is a rich black that is super pigmented, so use a light hand. It doesn’t apply patchy, which many matte black eyeshadows do. It blends easily. It makes for great eyeliner. Smudged on the lower lash line for a sultry smoky eye, this is a true rock star shade.


Overall thoughts

All matte eyeshadow palettes are a good investment, especially when you need good matte transition, highlight and diffusing/buffing out shades. The dark shades in the tarte Tartelette palette work well as eyeliners. The texture of the eyeshadows is on the drier side so I had virtually no fallout. No brownie points lost in the texture department. This is a phenomenal beginner-friendly palette. I love that you can use the first three eyeshadows from each row to create a subtle neutral eye look with colours that compliment each other. If you’re feeling bold, you can live life on the edge by using the darkest shades to create sexy, smoky and sultry looks to stop traffic. Of course, there are no rules to make up, so mix and match to your heart’s content. It’s makeup, it washes off. The eyeshadows are also long wearing and I didn’t have any issues with drastic fading.

In my opinion, this is a must-have palette (despite the name, you know what I’m talking about!)

Where to buy: www.tartecosmetics.com (tarte does ship to South Africa)

Price: R816.50 (Price correct at the time of publication. This excludes shipping.) Now, now, pick your jaw off the floor, it’s ssssssspensive.

Will you buy an all-matte eyeshadow palette? Do you think it’s an investment or do you like a metallic and shimmers in the mix? Let me know, down below.

 Until next time

Stay blessed and beautiful

Love you all, whether you’re a Wanderer, Free Spirit, Supermom or a Tartelette (I don’t judge!)



Beauty Bugle



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