by Katelyn Masters

One of the benefits of signing up for Sephora’s Beauty Insider program is that you receive a free birthday gift each year, regardless of how many points you have racked up.  For the past several years there have been two options to choose between: a skincare option and a makeup option each containing about two deluxe samples of a product. 

Last year, for example, I went home with the skincare-oriented set which featured Fresh Soyface Cleanser and Rose Mask.  The year before that, I chose a Benefit kit which included samples of their Watts Up Highlighting Stick and They’re Real Mascara.  

                        Sephora’s marketing for this year’s birthday gift featuring Tarte.

This year my choice was a no-brainer.  Tarte is one of my favorite cosmetics lines and I immediately zeroed in on their special edition birthday kit.  The kit includes an Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in the shade Paaarty and a Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit.  The shades are exclusive to Sephora but are also available in full size if you love them enough to repurchase, which I might just end up doing with one of the two.

I actually already own one of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes from several years back in the shade Dollface, and honestly I wasn’t that impressed.  The color payoff wasn’t that great and the shade was just ehh.  This sample of Paaarty, however, blew me away.  The tiniest bit of powder on my brush showed up vividly on my face creating a very natural looking flush.  Nothing fancy, just a deep flush.  I understand that this shade may not suit everyone, but it is a really flattering shade (or even a bit deep) for my fairly pale NC20-NC25 complexion. 

The wear seems to be pretty great too, easily making in through a 9-hour work day. All-in-all I would seriously consider repurchasing this shade as I have a hard time finding blushes that I actually want to wear.  Half the time I just skip it all together in favor of a bit of bronzer.

As for the mini Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint, I probably wouldn’t purchase in a full size, but I am glad I got to test out the formula.  I found it to be not as long wearing as other matte liquid lipsticks I have tried, but the wear is decent.  It never dries down completely, instead leaving a bit of a slippery feeling on your lips.  The color Birthday Suit looked to be a bit Mauve-y in the tube but went on more nude on my complexion.  Not a bad look at all.  In fact, it is very similar to my actually lip color, just a few shades darker. 

Are you a Sephora Beauty Insider yet?  If not, you should probably sign up immediately.