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I’ve been a fan of Tarte since the days of only being able to order it online here in Canada, but generally haven’t had much experience with the lip products until recently. With the new Rainforest of the Sea Collection, there were several lip products released but two of interest to me were the LipSaver – a primer/treatment, and the Quench Lip Rescues – a tinted balm. After giving them both some testing, I’ve come to a 50/50 split: One product I like, one I don’t. Keep reading to find which is which, and why…
Since I like to leave on a high note, let’s start with the product I just didn’t get on with, Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Lipsaver Treatment Primer*. Marketed as a two-in-one primer and treatment, I had really high hopes for this. The claims were a coconut oil infused formula that disappears into the lips to smooth and improve the look of your favourite lipstick. It can also be worn as a soothing overnight lip treatment that will help boost the firmness and elasticity of the lips. Pair that with the convenient squeeze tube applicator, and I thought for sure this was my answer to wearing matte lipstick without my lips looking like a raisin you found in the couch cushions.
I sadly, found none of these claims rang true for me. Worn on its own it dried down to a flat, chalky matte that dried into slightly crusty white residue. Not only was this not pretty, but it also wasn’t hydrating in an way – on the contrary, it left my lips feeling drier than before application!
So naturally I moved on to the other claim – as a primer for underneath lipstick. I tried it under several formulas – cream, sheer (that was a hot mess!) and liquid lipstick, the formula I imagine most would use this primer for as it claims to help smooth out lines and the look of dryness. The thing is, the number one complaint of liquid lipstick is that they are drying, and this as a primer makes them feel dry before you even apply the product. I felt like my lips looked even worse when wearing this under!? Sadly, it’s a two thumbs down for me on this one folks.
No moving on to a product I did like, the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Quench Lip Rescue*. These are tinted balms that promise to leave a hydrated, sheer tint to the lips with a radiant and dewy finish, and that is exactly what they do. I got the shades Opal, a sheer almost clear pink, and Nude, a warm rosy neutral, and as you can see in the swatches below they leave a lovely glossy finish.
These are very soft in texture, and leave a nice hydrated balmy feel to the lips. They are sheer, Opal so much so on my pigmented lips that it barely shows up, but Nude leaves the perfect everyday swipe on and go ‘my lips but better’ look. I think some might complain about the sheerness of these forgetting that they are meant to be this way, but I’d urge you to take a look at the Quench Lip Rescues if you’re not normally the type who likes an opaque lip, or someone who loves the look of gloss, but not the tacky feel of it.
The packaging of these is super cute, and something Tarte has done in the past with their colourful cardboard tubes with gold foil accents. While it is totally adorable, a word to the wise: this isn’t the most durable of packaging, especially if you’re the type that likes to toss your lip balm in gym bags, the bottom of your handbag, sweaty pockets (no judgement, just saying moisture+cardboard=ick). While I do get why brands do the cardboard packaging thing (Stila namely was probably the first, Benefit does it with their box powders and Urban Decay brought it back with their original Naked Palette) it doesn’t always mean the product inside stays as protected and grub-free. Snaps for pretty factor though!
Overall, it was a mixed bag for me today. I don’t normally like to write out and out negative reviews, but when I can’t really see any redeeming quality in a product then it is what it is (heck, unless you suffer from lips that are TOO hydrated, plumped and smooth…. actually if that’s the case then we might not be able to be friends…). I’ve heard good things about the other lip products from the collection, the Rainforest of the Sea Drench Lip Splash Lipsticks so perhaps I will give those a try, but until then the Quench Lip Rescue gets my vote for this new collection from Tarte in terms of lips!
I also have reviews coming on the Rainforest of the Sea Foundation and Aquacealer, as well as the skincare coming soon, so stay tuned for those! Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried either of these, or anything else from the range, out and your thoughts.