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WEEKLY MUST HAVE: Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush

By | weekly must-have | One Comment

Blush can really turn your entire face around. It literally can make you smile – without ever having to move your lips. While Tarte is known for their cult-favorite cream blushes and cheek stains, they’ve recently launched a powder blush made out of Amazon clay and it’s swoon-worthy!


Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush was inspired by their best-selling cheek and lip stains. I actually like them MORE because, applied with a brush, you get a very natural effect that you can build on from day to night for a more dramatic, intense evening look.

 natural beauty

And the 8 shades are so sensational, I literally want to wear each one day after day. But I do have a favorite (or two). Number One favorite has to be Natural Beauty – a perfectly red-hued girly girl blush. Number Two is Flush, a deep berry that gives you that seductive, flirty “flushed” effect. Other colors are light pink, bright pink (great for summer), even a coral and a nude.

A word (or several…) from the company:

“These solar-baked blushes are infused with Amazonian Clay, nature’s most perfect ingredient. These nutrient rich
and skin-nourishing Amazonian clay blushes restore harmony for a flawless finish that lasts all day.

The soft blush is great for all skin types:
Oily skin: Amazonian clay minimizes oil in and around pores to balance skin and keep product in place
Dry skin: Amazonian clay hydrates skin naturally to restore moisture so your blush wears better & longer
Dull skin: Amazonian clay improves the appearance of skin clarity and skin texture
Combination skin: Amazonian clay is completely intuitive; gives skin an overall smooth & even appearance”

The color lasts for hours (not exactly 12, but close enough) and, as with all Tarte products, the blush is made sans parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and petrochemicals.

Good for the environment = Good for your skin.

PRICE TAG: $25.00


I’M BLUSHING: tarte’s new Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Collection

By | makeup | 2 Comments
As I have written in the past, I have something of an obsession with tarte’s cheek stains. They truly revolutionized cheek color – making the dewy, flushed look foolproof for all who tried – and in a multitude of shades that seem to flatter every complexion. They were practically perfect in every way. Then, our good friends at tarte contacted me about their newest color collection. As if the gel and cream stains for cheeks and lips weren’t enough, eight of their fabulous colors – from dollface to tipsy to flush – are now available as blushes.
I’m really not big on powders, in fact, my powder blush brushes have had very little use for years. I passed on pressed compacts in favor of creams, gels, and liquid tints. But when these arrived, I eagerly pulled out those neglected brushes.

In packaging reminiscent of Lauderée macarons, these fabulous mirrored compacts hold Amazonian clay blushes baked by the sun. They’re eco-chic and created with solar power to boot. Like all tarte products, what are missing are the petrochemicals, the parabens, the synthetic dyes and fragrances, and other harsh chemicals (and the solar baking means eco-production, too!). Instead you’ll find free radical fighters Vitamin C and E, nourishing beeswax, colors derived from natural sources, and the skin enhancing benefits of Amazonian clay. The clay works its magic on all skin types. For oily skin, it “minimizes oil in and around pores to balance skin and keep product in place.” For dry skin, the clay “hydrates skin naturally…so your blush wears better and longer.” And no matter your skin type, these clay blushes soothe, brighten skin, and help skin tone appear more even.

They’re a powder without being cakey. And they really do have great staying power. As with most mineral pigments, a little goes a long way, so a light sweep of color is all you need. Or, if you’re like me, experiment using a bit of powder to set over one a cheek stain.

I swept a bit of the dollface blush to set over the dollface cheek stain. It looked perfectly natural, which is what made me such a tarte fan to begin with. The best makeup looks like you’re not wearing any, and these colors look like they radiate from the inside out.

From winter pale to faux tanning, I use different colors throughout the year. So, I was happy to see two of my warm weather faves, tipsy and flush, both part of the collection. In all, there are eight shades: dollface, flush, tipsy, amused, exposed, natural beauty, blissful, and blushing bride.
Brand new for their Spring 2011 Collection, all are available exclusively at Sephora – both online and in stores – retailing for $25. Enjoy! xo alex



By | favorites | 2 Comments

From the fabulous window displays to all the perfectly good excuses to get dressed up, this is my favorite time of year – even if the cold means I am applying Skin Food to my hands every five minutes.

Since there’s nothing better than sharing your favorite things with friends, here are my top eco-chic gift picks for the holidays. Whether for you or someone else (or both!), there’s nothing better than a gift that makes you feel good, makes you look good, and that you know is good for you. It’s a win-win-win situation.
With intense pigment that stays put and nourishing Vitamin E and Jojoba oils, these eye pencils are great for day or night. For the holidays, KORRES has gone above and beyond, putting together a limited-edition set of 10 FULL SIZED eye pencils – a $160 value! They’re perfect whether you wrap the box for one lucky set of eyes, or split up the set into multiple gifts. (Maybe tie up a set of three with one of these pencil sharpeners?)
I have something of an obsession with tarte cheek stains if you haven’t noticed, and this year, in honor of tarte’s tenth birthday, they’ve created a limited-edition color. The universally flattering pink is packed in a gorgeous aubergine tube emblazoned with a gold-studded TEN. I think I love the packaging as much as the product.
My favorite eyelash curler is all dressed up for the holidays. The best eyelash curler I’ve yet to try, tarte created an ergonomic, spring hinge design with silicone pads, so it’s gentle on your lashes – and it really makes your eyes POP (you can buy the bling-less, but just fabulous, original here). For those who normally don’t leave the house without mascara (me) it’s incredible what this little tool can do. In less than two minutes, I look like I’ve had ten hours rest. It’s the next best thing to gifting someone a good night’s sleep.
We’re big fans of KORRES Lip Butters here at BB, and this set includes three full-sized pots in pomegranate, wild rose, and jasmine. Made with shea butter and rice wax, the lip balms are super hydrating while giving you a bit of color and shine. Normally $10 each, this incredible set is flattering for all skin tones and perfect for keeping lips moisturized during the cold winter months.
For your most lash obsessed friends, check out this mascara trio from tarte. The set includes a trio of treasures: a deluxe size version of lights, camera, lashes!, the 4-in-1 mascara that is proven to increase lash volume by 424%; the nourishing rejuvulash, to get rid of clumps as well as freshen up your lashes midday; plus the ergonomically designed bottoms up lower lash mascara.  A $42 value.
There is an art to the smoky eye, and KORRES is happy to walk you through the process. This seven-piece set includes their Abyssinia mascara, a black liner, and four shadows to create a smoldering eye, and following the dramatic eye/subtle lip rule, they throw in their ridiculously moisturizing Cherry Oil Lipgloss in Beige Pink. The products are a $117 value. The step-by-step guide…priceless.
I adore Paddywax candles for their lovely, subtle fragrance blends – especially at the holidays. They smell amazing, without being overpowering, and they’re made with soy wax and all natural ingredients (no synthetic fragrances, no petro chemicals, no lead wicks). Light one of these pretty little blue spruce and cranberry candles while you’re getting ready to go out, or bring one as a hostess gift. 40 hours of eco-winter wonderland.
“Your generosity is only exceeded by your good looks (thank you)” is printed on this eco-friendly letterpress greeting card by creativity cards. White on white (no ink!) and made of cotton, it’s a paperless way to send a note of thanks for gorgeous the gifts you’ve received.
Have a beautiful holiday! xo a.

ENDLESS SUMMER: tarte Beauty in a Box for Sephora

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Although we can’t bottle up the summer sun for a rainy day, tarte has figured out a way to at least box up a bit of sun kissed beauty with their Sephora-exclusive Beauty in a Box: Bronze Smoky Eye ($45).
When I heard about the collection I thought it sounded like a great way to hang on to that summer glow just a bit longer. But when it arrived from our friends at tarte, I was thrilled to see it was also filled with some favorites suitable for any season.
All tarte products are free of parabens, phtalates, sulfates, petrochemicals and synthetics, and this set of six eco-chic products are all waterproof, water resistant or long-lasting formulas. The collection includes a deluxe-size lights, camera, splashes! – the waterproof version of their INCREDIBLE lights, camera, lashes! mascara. Also in a smaller, throw-in-your-luggage/purse size is park avenue princess bronzing powder that works well with all skin tones.
The other four items are FULL SIZE (this adds up to $112 worth of product for under fifty bucks). For a bit of fun, tarte has created a summer-inspired take on the traditional charcoal smoky eye by giving it a bronze twist. Following their step-by-step instructions, you can create the look using lock & roll 12-hour shadow in burnt bronze, and EmphasEYES waterproof shadow/liner in plum. I’m a bit of a klutz when it comes to the whole smoky eye look, but the ease of control with this shadow and liner makes it’s virtually goof proof. And it’s a fun take on the sultry classic.
The clean slate natural face primer, and rise and shine lip gloss and stain in nude are perfect day or night. The stain is essentially like their brilliant cheek stains only in a tube. Wear the stain alone for a hint of color, or add a layer of gloss for a bit more shine. And the primer is incredible and long-lasting without harsh chemicals.
The set is available for a limited time at Sephora stores and online at sephora.com
xo alex.

tarte turns TEN

By | makeup | 6 Comments
Happy, happy birthday to our amazing friends at tarte, who have shown women everywhere that eco-conscious beauty is more than skin deep. That going green doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice. That you don’t have to settle. And that sometimes less is more. Especially when the “less” means zero parabens, petro-chemicals, pthalates, synthetic dyes or fragrances. To celebrate their birthday, tarte sent me a party favor, two limited edition products to celebrate “a decade of high-performance natural beauty.”

If there is one tarte product that has reached icon status that’s the cheek stain. It was my first introduction to tarte all those years ago, and I have a bit of an obsession with them. I’ve yet to find a shade that isn’t flattering (though I am partial to flush, tipsy, and dollface). Enter the TEN cheek stain ($30). I don’t know what I love more: a pink that’s perfect from summer (faux) tan to winter pale, or the fabulous gold studded T-E-N that adorns the case. It might be a bit of both. What can I say? Just because I want my makeup eco-friendly doesn’t mean I don’t want it to look as fabulous as the less than eco products I’ve sent to the recycling bin. TEN cheek stain is available in stores and online, including tarte.com, beauty.com, Sephora, Henri Bendel and QVC.com.

While I hate to say I’d ever judge a book by it’s cover, the brass-studded case of tarte’s TEN collector’s palette is as beautiful as its contents. The set includes ten eyeshadows that you can use to create looks for day or night, from subtle to smoky. There’s a matte beige and a soft black, along with a variety of shimmering hues. (They even include a cheat sheet for getting a great smoky eye or jewel-tone lid.) The set also includes a great shadow brush, a double-sided liner in black and plum, and a travel-sized tube of lights, camera, lashes! (which first caught my attention when my friend B, who is truly a mascara connoisseur, first raved about it). The TEN palette includes $182 worth of product for $44, and is available exclusively at Sephora and sephora.com.
PROMO ALERT: The tarte generosity keeps going this week while they extend their Friends & Family 40% off sitewide discount to you! Shop tarte.com through August 9th and enter promo code FFAUG to receive 40% off and receive a free gift, too!

Happy tenth birthday tarte — can’t wait to see what your teenage years bring! xo alex.


By | Uncategorized | 38 Comments
My own interest in greening my beauty routine began about five years ago when I learned that there was so little regulation of what goes into our skin and beauty products. While I hated parting with old favorites, I’ve watched as companies worked to make cosmetics as eco-aware as they were luxurious — like the team at tarte who’ve been in the green beauty business for years.

I’m a huge fan, and when they offered to give Beauty Banter readers a few products, I couldn’t wait to share. Whenever someone asks me where to begin making safer choices at the makeup counter, tarte is one of the first names I’ll mention.

I think their mascaras are some of the best eco-alternatives around. And while their lash hugger is my go-to mascara, I was curious to check out a brand new tube that arrived in the mail the other day. A new addition to their multiplEYE regimen, the natural lash enhacing waterproof mascara ($24) is a “waterproof, sweat-proof and budge-proof natural formula.” It’s a deep, black shade that creates incredible volume (in fact, their tests show a 526% increase in the appearance of lash length). Along with the mascara they also sent their picture perfect eyelash curler ($15) — it’s ergonomically designed with a bit of a spring to it so there’s zero pinching. The silicone pads are pretty genius, too…no fear that I’m going to squeeze too hard and end up with crimped lashes. It is a really impressive duo: the curler and the mascara. And you can see for yourself here:

Without any other makeup on you can see the huge difference it makes when I curl the upper lashes of one eye and add two light coats of the mascara. I instantly look like I’ve had ten hours of beauty sleep (sadly, I did not). Not only does it look great, but it really lasts — without parabens, petrochemicals and synthetics. Proof you can find great eco-alternatives without sacrificing quality.

You can find these tarte products online at tarte.com, beauty.com and dermstore.com, and both online and at Sephora stores nationwide.

Leave a comment in the comment section below with your name and email address (so that we can get in touch with you if you win). YOU MUST ALSO BE A SUBSCRIBER OF THE DAILY BEAUTY BANTER E-BLAST! To do so, enter your email address under the subscribe button to the left of the site and follow the instructions sent to your email. 
Contest open to US participants only, please.
Contest closes Tuesday, July 13th at 6pm Pacific time.

Good luck! xo a.


By | Uncategorized | 37 Comments
It goes without saying that I’m a big fan of tarte cosmetics. They were at the forefront of the eco-beauty movement, bringing green to the mainstream. So, I was thrilled when tarte contacted me to see if I’d like to give some of their eco-chic to our readers.

Summer has arrived in L.A. pretty late this year (we have sunshine 364 days of the year, I’m not complaining) and while I’d love to have the freckles and golden skin that I had as a kid, these days I get my tan from a bottle and slather on the SPF. Come summer, I put away the pale pink polishes in favor of corals, but I also make changes in my makeup as well. When tarte sent me their new park ave princess matte bronzer ($29), it was the perfect replacement for my usual cheek color . My sister, whose porcelain skin only knows how to burn, was curious to see if it could give her a bit of color. And it did (thanks for modeling, Mae). Applied gently with a kabuki brush across her entire face she got the flush of color she wanted. And it works with both of our skin tones (mine is more yellow, hers pink). Unlike the original park ave princess mineral bronzer, this powder is matte and it’s waterproof. Perfect in the approaching triple-digit weather.

While using SPF can prevent future suyn damage, tarte’s ReCreate anti-aging line helps to repair damage that’s already been done.  And they’ve added a silicone-free face primer ($32) to the collection. Ideal for acne-prone and sensitive skin, this primer is clinically proven to increase moisture (but is still safe for oily skin), decrease wrinkles, and increase skin firmness. And, when applied under the park ave princess bronzer, it helps to keep makeup from fading.

As always, tarte has formulated these products to soothe and nourish your skin without a paraben, petrochemical, synthetic dye or fragrance to be found.

You can find these tarte products online at tarte.com, beauty.com and dermstore.com, and both online and at Sephora stores nationwide.

Leave a comment in the comment section below with your name and email address (so that we can get in touch with you if you win). YOU MUST ALSO BE A SUBSCRIBER OF THE DAILY BEAUTY BANTER E-BLAST! To do so, enter your email address under the subscribe button to the left of the site and follow the instructions sent to your email.
Contest open to US participants only, please.
Contest closes Monday, July 12th at 6pm Pacific time.

Good luck! xo a.

P.S. You know what’s better than a giveaway? Two giveaways. Check back tomorrow for a little more love from our friends at tarte!


By | skin | One Comment
I may be as fair as fair can but one look at childhood photos reveals that if I spend some time in the sun I actually tan. My mother, who grew up in a house on the beach, does not. And it is a combination of genes and good luck that have left her with great skin. Still, she vigilantly slathered my sister and I with Bullfrog as kids and taught us early on that a good dermatologist is a must-have. May is National Skin Cancer/Melanoma Awareness Month and it’s also Mother’s Day, so I’d like to thank my mother for making me get out of the water and put on more sunscreen every few hours even if I wasn’t so appreciative at the time.
As part of this month’s campaign for skin cancer prevention, tarte is releasing three new shades of their 24.7 natural lip sheers ($16). I like to think of them as ChapStick for grown ups. The post consumer recycled tubes (printed with soy ink) look very much like the Bonne Belle Lip Smackers of my youth. Only these come in a dozen fabulous tints and include an SPF15. Just in time for summer, the three new shades will look perfect with my tan (in a bottle): dawn (shimmering golden nude), twilight (shimmering peach nude) and sunday (shimmering deep pink). I also love the original seven days of the week shades, monday being my favorite as it mimics the color of Cherry ChapStick. All 24.7 lip sheers have UVA and UVB coverage with just a hint of color. They’re super moisturizing, and petro-chemical free — the beeswax base is infused with mango butter, coconut and peppermint oils to hydrate and soothe. Check out tarte’s other sun shielding products, like smooth operator oil-free tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 ($36). They’ve created a Sun Safety Collection on their site here. PROMO through May 20th, get 20% off the collection using code SPFMAY at tarte.com.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends these tips for sun safety:
• Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
• Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
• Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
• Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours.
• Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
• Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
• See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
For a comprehensive list of the best and worst in sunscreens, check out the Environmental Working Group’s report here. And pick up tarte’s 24.7 online at tarte, beauty.com and both online and in Sephora stores nationwide. Have fun in the sun! xo alex.

EARTH DAYS: Tips, Tricks and a Green Giveaway

By | Uncategorized | 30 Comments

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao-tzu (604 BC – 531 BC)
Today is the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day. A day to respect and celebrate this great, big planet of ours. Fortunately eco-awareness has come a long way in the last forty years and for many the respect isn’t relegated to just one day out of 365. Yet there is still much change that needs to come for the health of this planet. And that starts with us. I know that change is hard. But I challenge you to use this day to take a step towards greening your beauty routine by eliminating one product that uses petrochemicals, hormone disrupters and synthetics that aren’t good for you or the earth. Doing so sends a message to the companies that they need to get green and promote those that already have. To take that first step, here are a few of my top picks to get you started. I encourage you to start reading the ingredients in the products you use and look out for the worst offenders. The Environmental Working Group has a great cheat sheet to print up and keep in your bag (click on the “Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics”).

lipstick: Jane Iredale PureMoist LipColour ($19) in Julia

lipgloss: KORRES LOVE YOUR LIPS Lip Value Set ($29) – includes three cherry oil glosses in Light Pink, Nude and Beige Pink and a Pomegranatae Body Butter. A $57.00 value.

lipbalm: eos Lip Balm Sphere Honeysuckle Honeydew ($4)

primer: KORRES SILICONE FREE 99% Natural Face Primer ($28 full sized; $10 travel sized)

tinted moisturizer: tarte smooth operator oil-free tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 ($36)

concealer: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Concealer Stick ($6)

blush: tarte cheek stain ($30)– for spring I’m loving TIPSY, a coral pinky hue

shadow : tarte individual shadows begin at $10 but I love Tina Turnbow’s Flower Child Natural Eyeshadow Palette ($44 an $182 Value) The refillable palette includes 10 shadows and a double-sided eyeliner, mini eye primer and double-sided eyeshadow brush.

mascara: tarte Lash Hugger Natural Mascara ($18)

butter London in Fash Pack ($14) a great gray neutral for hands and on toes, Zoya’s springy coral Elodie ($7).

face: California Baby SPF 30 + Sunblock Stick – No Fragrance, .5 oz ($12.31)

body: Burt’s Bees Sun Screen SPF 30 ($12.99)

If you’re looking to go green but don’t know where to start, Sephora carries a variety of natural and organic gift sets, the perfect way to try out new products without making a big investment.

In other Earth Day news, Kiehl’s has created a Limited Edition Label Art series for their 100% natural and ECOCERT-certified organic, Açaí Damage-Protecting Toning Mist ($26). Artwork by Julianne Moore, Jeff Koons, Pharrell Williams and Malia Jones graces the bottles with 100% of proceeds benefiting the Rainforest Alliance. With the goal of raising $200,000 Kiehl’s teamed with the brilliant photographer David LaChapelle to capture the celebs and their creations. Locate a Kiehl’s store near you click here or go to www.kiehls.com to order online.

GREEN GIVEAWAY: In honor of Earth Day tarte is offering Beauty Banter readers the chance to win a fabulous giveaway. tarte lash hugger mascara ($18) is eco-friendly inside and out. Made with natural carnauba wax, mineral pigment for a great black tint, olive esters to nourish and rice bran wax to help lengthen lashes, it is also packaged in recycled aluminum tubes that may be re-recycled after use.

THREE lucky Beauty Banter readers will receive a tube by signing up for our newsletter (if you haven’t already it’s on the left hand side of the screen below) and leaving a comment along with your email. Contest is open to US residents and ends April 29th at 9PM Pacific.

AND DID YOU KNOW tarte also has a customer
recycling program with great perks?

Wishing you a fabulous Earth Day and look forward to learning about the products you discover while going green! xo a.


Get The Look: Keri Russell

By | celebrity looks | No Comments

The incredible Tina Turnbow has brought eco-conscious beauty to the world of celeb styling. Vera Farmiga, Claire Danes and Amanda Peet are fans, as are we at Beauty Banter. Tina recently collaborated with tarte to create the new Flower Child Collection. I recommend checking out her versatile Flower Child eyeshadow palette, with over $182 worth of eco-gorgeousness for only $44. Tina and tarte make for one fabulous duo.

Last Thursday, Keri Russell was aglow at the premiere of her latest film, Leaves of Grass, thanks to Tina’s makeup magic. Here’s how Tina prepared Keri for the big night.

Before makeup, Tina used the antioxidant packed multitasker The Solution by Envision Beauty ($79) to moisturize Keri’s skin. Then, “for a healthy complexion, I used a tinted moisturizer and created a peachy-pink cheek.”

Tina first applied tarte’s smooth operator oil-free tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 ($36) over Keri’s whole face and spot treated with tarte’s the eraser 4-in-1 natural concealer ($21).
She dusted tarte’s provocateur powder pressed mineral powder with SPF 8 ($30) to set the look and used a combo of tarte’s natural cheekstains ($30) in tipsy and dollface on the apples of Keri’s cheeks (I happen to love both these stains and layer them for a natural, healthy pinch of color).

For Keri’s eyes, Tina “wanted a soft, smoky charcoal eye with voluminous lashes.” Using her signature flower child eyeshadow palette ($44), she brushed on matte buttercup and shimmering peach in the crease of the eye and shimmering gray periwinkle on her lids. Tina then lined her eyes with tarte’s emphasEYES™ natural high definition inner rim eye pencil in charcoal ($18) and added a coat of tarte’s bottoms up ($16) on lower lashes.

Tina finished the look, with “a nude lip with a hint of pink sheen,” by combining applying the tarte’s pinky nude double-ended lipliner in dizzy blonde ($19) all over Keri’s lip and topping it with a shiny coat of tarte’s vitamin infused by BORBA lipgloss in om ($21).

The end result is quintessential Turnbow chic: made-up without trying too hard. Unfussy glamour that looks as fabulous for a Hollywood premiere as your own day-to-day life. And with her commitment to green beauty, the results are always as beautiful on the inside as outside. Thanks to Tina and tarte for making eco-beauty shine. And look for Leave of Grass in theaters Apirl 2nd. xo alex.


About Beauty Banter
Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.