Thursday, March 23, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Tarte Make Believe in Yourself Palette

Photo: Temptalia 

Tarte, is seems, is rebranding. What was once a brand for "mature" women who wanted beautiful, sensible, and quality products is now a brand for teens and those in their young twenties. So, you know, the demographic who largely can't buy a ton of mid-range makeup items themselves. And my best guess is that Tarte was being left in the dust by brands like Urban Decay who started the palette trend and Too Faced who made bank off of creating and exploiting a gimmick. And Tarte seemed to be in a middle ground for a while. They still had best-selling blushes, but were starting to collaborate with YouTube personalities and send these same people to exotic vacations in exchange for shilling their products. And now it seems Tarte has jumped on the "if it's a unicorn or rainbow whatever it will be the hottest item!" trend. 

And with that came the Make Believe in Yourself palette, an "eye and cheek" palette with 10 shadows and one bigger pan of what I assume is highlighter. 

And I am not going to buy it. 

Here's the thing, guys. When I first saw this, I wanted it too. And I'm saying "too" because I think almost everyone who will stumble across this page wants to buy this palette. And I think it is worthwhile for me to be transparent and say that I wanted this palette. I think the colors are pretty, I like the shape of the eyeshadow pans, I think it looks pretty overall, I like the stupid unicorn theme, and this palette deceives me into thinking that it is unique. 

And I just think it's a good thing for me to acknowledge that I get tempted by the new releases. Because I do. And I strongly feel like this palette will get a lot of hype. Because the shadows look like they will be good quality. The Rainforest of the Sea palette has my favorite Tarte formula, and it seems like this palette may have that formula as well. And when the hype comes, that's when it's difficult for me. 

Toward the end of last year, I wrote a post about why I was not going to buy the Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario. And I wrote in the post that I knew people were going to blow out of proportion how great it was and that the hype was going to be ridiculous and that I was just going to have to sit back and take it because I knew deep down that I absolutely did not need that palette. And it's true! I didn't. And I have never once been sad that I don't own that palette. I know that if I had it, it would be sitting in my collection going largely unused. And when I did use it, I would create the same looks I can make with almost any palette or collection of singles. Even still. It was challenging for me to hear people exaggerate how great it is. 

But that is all that hype is. It's exaggeration. It's people who want to be included in the conversation and say, "Yeah, this is literally the best thing ever." But it's not. It's just eyeshadow. And there are so many great formulas out there that it is just another great formula in a sea of great ones. It's not that big of a deal.

And that's what I have to tell myself with this palette as well. Because I know why people are going to be sucked into it. And it's for all the reasons I listed about why I'm interested in it. But the main thing I want to touch on is that this palette is really not that unique, even though it seems that way.

Photo: Temptalia 

The first thing I would like to acknowledge is that there is only one matte shade, and that is at the top right. That means that this palette for most people is not a stand-alone palette and that a companion palette or companion shadows will be needed to do a complete look. And when you factor that in, take a look at all the colors and honestly ask yourself if you would buy each one of those colors individually. If each of them was $10 or more, would you buy each one of these colors? Or would you think you already had bronze, taupe, pink, purple, and orange shimmers in your collection; you already have a highlighter in your collection; and you already have a matte brown in your collection. You might not have a lime green, blue, or silver shimmer in your collection, but then you have to ask yourself if the reason you don't have those colors is because you wouldn't wear them or you don't like them enough to have already purchased them. 

I'll admit that when I first looked at this palette, I thought the color scheme was somewhat unique. But then I quickly realized it's not. 

Let's look at the colors as pigments without the design and packaging:

The colors look a lot less unique now, don't they? And you know what they remind me of?

Urban Decay Naked Smoky:

 After realizing this, I started finding more palettes that had similarities.

Like Urban Decay After Dark:

Photo: Temptalia

Urban Decay Spectrum:

Sleek Oh So Special:

Estee Edit Gritty and Glow:

Photo: Temptalia 

And some shades even look very similar to Tarte's Swamp Queen palette: 

In my opinion, the prettiest and most unique shade in the Make Believe in Yourself palette is Crystal, which is the shade to the left of the pink shade. But when I really looked at it, it looks a lot like Uncommon from Swamp Queen. And that's not surprising since they are both Tarte shadows. 

From my own collection, I own none of these palettes. But I can tell you that somewhere in my collection, I have every single one of these shadows. I have several of them a few times over. And I've already read people say that they "have to have" this palette even though they know they have several duplicate shades in their collection. And I have to say that that kind of mentality makes me sad. Because it tells me that consumerism is so rampant, especially in the beauty industry, that many people feel as though they can no longer make informed decisions because the pull to buy is too strong, as is the fear of missing out. 

But here is the honest truth. If you don't buy this palette, you will be missing out on this:

This is the palette's outer packaging. This is what you will not be getting if you choose to resist this palette. Because you very likely already have most if not all of what is inside. And if you're willing to spend $40 on this plastic case with a design on it, that is totally your decision. But that is all that is unique about the Make Believe in Yourself palette. That and all the hype that will last for a few weeks. Tarte will come out with more stuff, more brands will capitalize on the unicorn and rainbow theme, and they will all be filled with things you already own. 

I'll end this with one last honest statement. If this was a year ago, I would have purchased this palette without a second thought. Because it looked pretty and it didn't seem to be like anything else out there. And because there was one unique color and I knew I would get use out of the majority of it, even though those colors that would get use are already in my collection. I would have purchased it, used it for a bit, maybe even liked it for a bit, and then moved on to the next thing. So, if you are in that place, I understand. But I am presenting a different way to look at this palette. It is certainly nothing special and nothing that I need, so I won't be buying. 


  1. you know, something i realized about my compulsive buying habits is that i really liked the idea of "whole", like whole collections (and that's kind of the idea behind palettes). i've bought nail polish i would never use because of a concept behind a collection. so, seeing a palette like this makes me want to become a happy unicorn and wear nothing but it. since it's not happening, i'm sure i would hardly use the light yellow/green and the pink. in fact, some of the colors are just too pastel for me. pixie is very appealing, though.
    (and, like you, i'm not buying it)

  2. Hey Ellie! Thank you so much for writing this blog, it is definitely helping me be more discerning when buying palettes! Can you do a post on urban decay's Basquiat collection coming up the 20th April? It looks like **such** a gimmick.

  3. So over all the unicorn stuff. It was cute at first and Lime Crime have been doing it for years. But now everyone is at it. The less said about the dumb Starbucks frap the better