Monday, June 13, 2016

Product Review -- Tarte Swamp Queen Palette

I'm a pretty big fan of Tarte, so I'd say that, conservatively speaking, I purchase at least 75% of the palettes that they put out.

I'm also a big fan of supporting people in the YouTube/blogging beauty community, which means I was pretty sure that I'd pick up the Swamp Queen Palette that Tarte put out in collaboration with grav3yardgirl from YouTube.

However, what really sold me on the palette was the colors -- it's an interesting combination of warm peachy, reddish tones and some pretty purple-y, taupe-y shades, all of which are right in my wheelhouse.

I was fortunate enough to snag the palette when Tarte had their pre-sale a couple of weeks back, and I know that since then, the palette has sold out on the Tarte website. However, from what I understand, the palette will be available on both the Ulta and Sephora websites sometime in the coming weeks, so I figured that it still made sense to do a review.

First of all, the palette knocks it out of the park with its packaging. The palette comes in a sturdy cardboard case that is designed to look like wood. There's adorable alligator artwork on the lid, as well as gold embossed writing, and even better, the interior of the palette has the names of all the shades printed on the palette itself instead of those annoying plastic sheets that often come with Tarte palettes.

Tarte Swamp Queen Palette

Tarte Swamp Queen Palette
There's also a good sized mirror on the inside, though it doesn't stay up by itself so you'll need to prop it up against something to do your makeup. Tarte includes a medium sized flat shader brush as well, which is actually pretty good quality so it's totally usable.

You also receive an insert with instructions for two different eye looks.

Tarte Swamp Queen Palette

Tarte Swamp Queen Palette's brush

Tarte Swamp Queen Palette's look card
Inside, you get three face colors and nine eye shadows: Sweet Tea, a muted bronze with orange undertones and gold shimmer; Does This Thing Really Work?, a plummy pink with gold micro glitter; Gator Wings, a pale white gold with chunky gold glitter; #SFS, a shimmery light peach; Natural Peaches, a matte muted orange; Dogman, a reddish brown with subtle gold shimmer; Big Baby, a matte beige; Sassy Bun, a metallic light copper; Sippy Sippy, a dark brown with gold glitter; Haunting, a satin-y light mauve; Uncommon, a shimmery taupe with slight purple undertones; and Mancat, a matte deep plum.

Tarte Swamp Queen Palette
As I mentioned above, I'm a big fan of the color palette. I love warm peach, copper, and rusty shades for my blue eyes, so #SFS, Natural Peaches, Dogman, and Sassy Bun are all favorites.

I also love Haunting, Uncommon, and Mancat, though, because I wear a lot of taupe and purple shades as well.

From l. to r.: #sfs, Natural Peaches, Dogman

From l. to r.: Big Baby, Sassy Bun, Sippy Sippy

From l. to r.: Haunting, Uncomon , Mancat 

The shadow formula is similar to Tarte's usual offerings -- they're well pigmented, smooth, and easy to blend. They do tend to kick up a lot of powder, though, so I feel like I'm always having to clean up the palette after I use it. But that's not a deal breaker for me.

The bronzer shade, Sweet Tea, is a little too orange for me to use for contouring or bronzing, so I've actually been using it as blush, with a dusting of a peachy blush over it. It has a really nice, creamy texture too, so it blends into the skin very easily.

Does This Thing Really Work? offers a lovely flush of color, though with my fair skin, I have to use a light hand because it's a fairly deep shade. This blush feels a little drier in texture than Sweet Tea, though I didn't have an issue with the application.

Gator Wings is a pretty traditional gold highlight, though it has very chunky gold glitter in it, which I'm not a fan of because it tends to fall all over the face. It's strange because the base shade has a nice creamy texture that is really marred by the glitter chunks. I can still use the highlighter, though -- I just use a very small amount and blend really well so I don't look like a disco ball.

From l. to r.: Sweet Tea, Does This Thing Really Work? Gator Wings
All in all, though, I really love this palette. I've been using it pretty much every day since I got it and feel like I'll continue to get a lot of use out of it this summer.

But I wouldn't necessarily call it a must-have, given that none of the shades are particularly unique and the formulas aren't necessarily the world's greatest -- if you like the shades in the palette or are a big fan of grav3yard girl, then definitely pick it up if you can. If you're not really feeling either, I don't think you'll have to worry about thinking that you missed out.

It retails for $45, and should be available at Ulta and Sephora at or a little after the time of this posting.

Have you tired the Tarte Swamp Queen Palette? Are you a fan? Which shades are your favorite?


  1. I really like this palette (except for the bronzer) - people were so excited about this. Did you get the lipcolours too? I was really tempted to get that taupey colour but that one was sold out when I treid my luck.

    1. I didn't get any of the lip colors -- I wanted that taupey one too, but I told myself that I already have too many similar looking shades ... and for once, I actually resisted. :)


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