As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m a big research nut. If I have the time to read reviews and compare items, I will. A well structured spreadsheet or list gets me so excited! Post-its are my favorite things ever. All that being said, I did very little research on this set. I was in the market for “glossy sticks” à la the Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Sticks or the Sephora Glossy Lip Pencil Set. I like the idea of glossy sticks since they give just a light sheen without being goopy. By now, y’all know my distaste for chubby sticks, but remember my exception! They’re cool if they aren’t meant to be lipsticks! A quick, glossy color is a-ok!
The Tarte set caught my eye because it offered both glossy and matte pencils. And two traditional glosses that I had zero interest in. But $34 for 8 decently sized pieces was hard to pass up.
I’ll talk a bit about formulas and packaging before breaking it down with swatches. I’m not a big fan of Tarte’s stylings. The purple and gold and filigree just look a bit tacky to me. Not to say that I hate cutesy or out there packaging (like Sugarpill) but these just don’t look nice. The tubes and caps feel like cheap-y plastic. Another issue (with most chubby pencils) is that the product doesn’t twist all the way into the tube. So, when you take off the cap, you run the risk of nicking the product. I’ve already done that more than once. You need to be extra careful about that.
The matte formula is pretty interesting. The color payoff is very strong, and that’s a huge plus. I didn’t have to layer it on to get an impact. It leaves a great minty tingle on the lips, but no plumping effect. Which is…interesting? I always assumed those two went hand in hand. I’m not big on plumping though, so I love that I can get the tingle without the plump. The matte finish is a tad strange. It looks a bit chalky to me. It’s not drying and the product applies easily, but it still manages to look chalky. It’s more noticeable with the lighter pink. The wear time is pretty decent at a few hours without heavy food or drink. The darker shade left a very faint stain.
The non-matte shades also look great and wear wonderfully. The colors aren’t very exciting, but that’s personally what I was looking for. Just a bunch of everyday lip colors. There’s no minty tingle with these, unfortunately. But the ease of wear more than makes up for it. The gloss is very light and it’s a breeze to layer these up. These don’t last as long as the matte shades but that’s to be expected. I got maybe an hour or two out of them, which is on par for a balm type product. They feel great on the lips too!
The glosses. Where do I begin? They are fucking awful. The formula is thick and sticky. No matter how thinly you try and spread them on, your lips just look lacquered in this stuff. The “shimmer” one has bits of glitter in it. Like, actual bits. You can feel them when you rub your lips together. These make me very sad.
On to the swatches! (You can click them to make them bigger)
1. LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint in “Fancy”: This color is described as a “plum berry” and that describes it pretty well. I’d say it’s less plum and more berry. Because of the chalkiness I mentioned above, the color doesn’t pop as much as you’d expect. It’s still pretty, just a bit dull.
2. LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint in “Eternal”: This one is a pale pink. It leans a bit towards the nude side as opposed to a baby pink. I feel like, with the chalky finish and the pale color, it could run the risk of looking terrible. BUT I liked this one. It’s a very sweet color.
1. LipSurgence Lip Tint in “Dainty”: This color is described as “pink” on the Tarte site. I would agree that it is, in fact, pink.
2. LipSurgence Lip Tint in “Innocent”: This one is a pink leaning nude. Very warm and very pretty.
3. LipSurgence Lip Tint in “Alluring”: This is a pinky-mauve color. These first 3 colors seem to be pretty universal so I imagine they’ll be flattering on a variety of skintones. Odd side note about this one…it’s misprinted. It says it’s a matte, but it’s not. The texture of the tube is the same but the text is wrong. Not sure if that happened in all the sets or just a few.
4. LipSurgence Lip Tint in “Dreamy”: This one is obviously the standout. It’s a very lovely raspberry color that reminds me a lot of “Winterberry” from the Bite Beauty Lip Set I reviewed awhile ago.
1. LipSurgence Lip Gloss in “Kiss”: I mentioned above, this is pretty terrible. The formula is goopy and the glitter pieces are, well, glitter pieces. The name is a lie. Don’t kiss anybody while wearing this or you’ll get punched. This gloss looks and feels like a toy gloss as opposed to something from a mid-end makeup company. If you are my 8 year old niece, you’ll probably like this.
2. LipSurgence Lip Gloss in “Belle”: The lesser of the two gloss evils. No glitter! The color (another raspberry like “Dreamy” above) is actually quite pretty. But the formula ruins any chance this had at being a wearable product.
The products are decently sized at 0.56oz each (0.5oz for the glosses). I’m a huge sucker for lip sets so I tend to be a bit forgiving when not every piece is a winner. I’m on the fence as to whether it was worth the full $34. I bought it with a 10% discount and that made it feel right. The colors are great but there isn’t much variety. If you’re looking for a wider range I’d try the Sephora set I mentioned at the beginning of this review. If you want a handful of trusty, everyday shades then this will do the trick!