tarte Maracuja Bronzing Serum

This serum is flat out amazing. Revolutionary. A must-have gradual self tanner to achieve the most convincing  tanned look for your face. Below is me before and after just one application. I used a few drops before bed in place of my usual skincare and I woke up with subtle but noticeable color. Maracuja Bronzing Serum is a light oil that absorbs right away and leaves no scent behind,  it’s also streak-free (and has been every time I’ve used it since) and didn’t leave any color behind on my white pillowcase. It’s a self-tanning serum disguised as skincare that’s so gentle you can use it nightly. It didn’t break out my sensitive skin and the color becomes more rich with each application but not overly bronzed or unnatural. It really is amazing stuff.


I will of course review other self-tanning products for the face in the future, but this is the one I will continue to buy and tell all my friends to do the same.


(More) Stuff I Buy: tarte

Even I fall into a makeup rut from time to time. For years now I’ve worn slightly varied looks that start with a nude shimmery shadow on my lid and then some other boring brownish shade. Zzzz. I’m so over this shimmer and I’m tired of browns so tarte’s be MATTEnificent colored clay eye & cheek palette caught my eye on a recent trip to Ulta which is quickly passing Sephora as the makeup and beauty destination. (And no I don’t know the company, I really think that because they sell drugstore  and hard to find brands like NYX there too.) Although the colors appear sort of similar they’re unique enough to create different looks and they’re each really pretty and wearable so my whole palette will get used. Unless (and this is a big unless) you have skin that’s darker than a typical medium olive tone. Then I don’t think this palette is for you because the colors are pretty light and probably wouldn’t pack enough punch to really show up. But If you have a lighter skin tone these colors will compliment your complexion without overwhelming it. The cool plums are a nice departure from browns and the pale rose blush is gorgeous on. I’ve also been using the black and brown powder liners- so much easier than a fussy gel liner which I don’t use very often anymore because it takes me too long to make a straight line. For $36 I think I got a great deal, it’s everything I need  in one easy palette.


I was out of concealer too and wanted to try something new. After circling Ulta three or four times I decided I’m too picky to try something random and too busy to bring something back. Tarte it is!


Ok so I’m of course loving their maracuja creaseless concealer but the consistency took a little getting used to. It’s on the tacky side so it feels different from typical concealers but it works really well because those with a consistency that’s too moisturizing tends to crease and slide while something more drying doesn’t spread or completely blend into the skin. This pigment dense, waterproof formula melts into the skin hiding discolorations and even dissolves completely into fine lines hydrating those dryer areas using their signature maracuja oil.

I put a coat of it around my eyes, nose and over any other redness but I don’t blend it in right away. Next I apply my foundation then spray my whole face with my Caudalie Elixir. This way the concealer has some time to warm into my skin so when   I press it in using my Beauty Blender everything is perfectly concealed- even my dark circles. Not a hint of discoloration shows through.

You might have to play with it a little to achieve invisible coverage on your skin but once you get it right it’s so worth it.

Then I sort of impulse bought Amazonian clay full coverage airbrush foundation because I thought the name and packaging were both awesome. I’m always on the hunt for a good powder foundation because of how easy they are to apply and this one had a light constancy and good coverage (on my hand from the tester but not my face because I’m a germaphobe like that.) Side note: When I worked at Nordstrom a million years ago, some sicko came in to get makeup to cover some weird skin problem she was having but like 5 of us at different counters wouldn’t touch her (because you’re not supposed to, duh) and we basically told her to see a doctor. But then we looked over to the Lancome counter and there was this equally weird girl who worked there for like 1o minutes who was all- sure I’ll help you. The rest of us were like SMH which turned into a WTF the next day when the Lancome girl came into work with the SAME RASH. It took about an hour for someone to pipe up and tell her to be on her way (which was strange because she called in sick all the time, but when she had an actual problem, there she was!) But the damage was already done because she, the initial weirdo, and now most of the Lancome girls all had Impetigo, a really gross and highly contagious oozy skin rash that has to be treated with antibiotics. We all had to disinfect what we could salvage at our own counters, but several tester units were thrown out which was expensive and a huge mess. So lesion learned: Don’t use testers on my face and also don’t try to disguise some red weeping sore- treat it with actual medicine.

Anyway- I’ll try my very own clean and new powder foundation this weekend and report back.

Amazonian clay full coverage  airbrush foundation

Makeup Before and After: Coverage and Color From tarte

Of all the BB Creams I’ve tried so far, tarte’s is the only one I’d be able to actually use in my kit. Most BB’s are skin-enhancing, so they give some coverage but not nearly enough to get skin looking great for a long day and tons of photographs. Kelly, is the bride below whose trial run for her upcoming wedding I photographed for a before and after. I used tarte’s latest foundation on her and we were both thrilled with the results. Her skin looked so great that very little concealer was needed and it looked invisible both in person and on camera.

On her cheeks I used tarte’s airblush maracuja blush, which is my new go-to for an easy flush, and then their LipSurgence lip luster on her lips for a finished look that isn’t thick or heavy.



... And After

… And After! There was a slight change in the natural lighting, but the photo isn’t re-touched at all.

tarte bb cream

tarte bb cream

tarte airblush maracuja blush

tarte airblush maracuja blush

tarte lip luster in achiote

tarte LipSurgence lip luster in achiote

Easiest Blush to Apply: tarte’s Airblush

Forget eyeliner, I think the most difficult thing to apply is blush. Take a gander around your office and you’ll see women with heavy, streaky, or under-colored cheeks. It’s hard to nail the perfect flush. Technique accounts for a lot, sure, but so does the right blush. I’ve been using tarte’s Airblush Maracuja Blush for a few weeks now and I’m so impressed. It’s one of the easiest cheek colors to apply because of its consistency- not a powder but not overly creamy. You can use your fingers, but I use just a regular blush brush that captures and disburses the color softly and evenly. Don’t let the bold looking shades fool you either, they’re so sheer and buildable that you can pile on the color without overdoing it.

tarte airblush maracuja blush

tarte airblush maracuja blush

My 5 Minute Beauty Routine

In the 7 months since Harper was born, my morning beauty routine has evolved and now takes about 5 minutes. Besides foundation (or concealer if you need it) and mascara (an essential that needs no recommendation), adding color to my lips and cheeks and a little brightness and depth to my eyes is all I do for a running errands or low key days. Tarte, one of my very favorite lines, has the best Cheek Stain out there in a round deodorant looking stick that sweeps across the apples of your cheeks where you need a pop of color. It’s a sheer stain that’s easy to apply and blend. Color on the face is so important, it’s typically what’s missing when people ask you if you’re sick and you’re not. Universal Lip Liner is a touch deeper than a basic nude. I quickly line and fill in with it before adding a lip balm on top to blend both together. It isn’t glossy or thick so it makes a perfect light casual color. Side note: if you have a skin tone that’s deeper than a light/medium, check out LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint which will give the same effect and is available in a variety of colors.

For eyes I skip the shadow and line the top lash line with Skinny SmolderEYES in black. I make small dashes half touching my lid and half against my lash roots so it doesn’t look drawn on but still but adds depth. The last step I never forget is EmphasEYES Inner Rim Brightener, a flesh toned liner that when used along your inner rim (aka waterline) it makes my eyes look less tired and really bright. (Kim Kardashian always rocks a light waterline.) Since it works so well it went from being a sometimes thing in my routine to a must- it’s something you have to try if you ever have tired looking eyes.


That’s the extent of what I do most days. How about you, any essentials you think I should try? What are your tips for looking put together in a hurry?