Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The return of the Swamp Queen Eye & Cheek Palette by Tarte and Grav3yardgirl...

Back in June cosmetics brand Tarte collaborated with popular YouTuber Grav3yardgirl [Bunny Meyers] on a eye & cheek palette, which was pre-launched on the Tarte website [with no warning for people who don't follow Tarte on social media platforms] where it sold out in two hours. It was then re-launched on the site (where it again sold out in hours), and was released in Sephora, Ulta and Macy's stores - where it still proved to be so much in demand that it sold out everywhere within weeks.

But now due to high demand from the hundreds of thousands of international Grav3yardgirl fans who were unable to order the Swamp Queen palette on it's first run [Sephora was the only other retailer that shipped internationally - and they only ship to around half a dozen countries], it is back for another limited sale on the Tarte website (as are both of the Grav3yardgirl liquid lipstick shades), as their site ships worldwide. 



Tarte and Bunny say that when the range sells out this time, then that's it - it's gone for good. Therefore I want to show people who may be umming and ahhing over it what they would be getting, and giving honest feedback, to help you decide if the palette is something that you need and want...

The biggest plus is that all of the shades in the Swamp Queen palette are very easy to wear, which is a huge deal for me; in every other 9+ pan palette I own there is at least one shade that I'll only wear a few times a year when I'm feeling unusually daring, and then at least one more pan of product that I'll never get around to using, but every shade in the Swamp Queen palette is something that I'll wear regularly. I can tell that a lot of thought went into this palette; the shades are wearable practical-but-pretty 'everyday' shades, that are easy to dress up for night/free time. The shades can be worn on all skin tones and they actually compliment each other - this is one of the few palettes I own where I can say that I'll use every single colour regularly. 

You get a bronzer, pink blush, golden highlight, and nine eyeshadows [all vanilla-scented powders] + full-size eyeshadow brush. 

The Sweet Tea bronzer and Does This Thing Really Work? blush are highly pigmented, but tapping excess of the brush softens them enough for me to be able to wear them on my fair skin. Even though it is wearable on my cheeks, I do prefer using Sweet Tea as a eyeshadow as it's a bit too warm-toned for me to be fully comfortable with - but as long as it's being used, rather then just sitting there in the palette untouched, I have no complaints. Does This Thing Really Work? is a universal shimmery pink - I think it'll work on every skintone. The neutral champagne Gator Wings highlight is a glowy wet-look base, filled with shimmer and microglitter - very light-catching and super vivid.


Sweet Tea, Does This Thing Really Work?, Gator Wings

The mix of matte, shimmer and microglitter eyeshadows are very easy to pair together for looks; you can pick and mix from anywhere in the palette, but going in a line vertically or horizontally is an easy option if you feel a bit overwhelmed when you first get it. The shades perfect for my tastes, and work well with my neutral/cool skintone - lots of sepia-warm takes on neutral tones to brighten my face (the orange/brown shade Dogman is my favourite), and a lilac & darker purple for when I want to switch my look up a notch. I've found some of the shadows in other Tarte palettes a bit hit or miss, but everything in Swamp Queen is very good; highly pigmented, easy to blend & build up, plus crease resistant. Being highly pigmented and easy-to-blend does mean that the shadow is soft, so there is some kick-up when I dip my brushes into the pans - not a dealbreaker for me, but worth remembering to avoid any mess.



 
 #SFS (rose gold shimmer), Natural Peaches (matte peachy nude), Dogman (burnt sienna microglitter)

Big Baby (matte cream), Sassy Bun (copper peach shimmer), Sippy Sippy (dark brown microglitter) 


Haunting (lavender microglitter), Uncommon (purple slate shimmer), Mancat (matte deep plum)
*The purple swatches do not photograph accurately. See colours in the pans for representation

My only niggle is with the Gator Wings highlighter and Sippy Sippy eyeshadow - they are both very shimmery and glittery, and the heavy shimmer/glitter particles fall out and spread over my face quite a bit. The blush, bronzer and several of the other eyeshadows also have faint specks of tiny microglitter in them, but nowhere near as much as Gator Wings and Sippy Sippy do, and I haven't had any of the fallout mess with any of those. A bit of the problem is that the heavy amount of shimmer/glitter in Gator Wings and Sippy Sippy means that the powder isn't as tightly packed into the pan, increasing the mess it makes. If you take extra care tapping excess from your brush when using Gator Wings and Sippy Sippy most of the heavier shimmer falls straight out of the powder, so I can still use the products without major problems. But why put so much glitter into the products in the first place? I can tell that if I'm in a rush to get ready and forget to take care, then things could get messy. 
However as this niggle is fairly easy to avoid, so I still do highly recommend picking up the Swamp Queen palette - just don't apply your makeup whilst sitting on a bed, which has light bedding on :)



Order Swamp Queen here for £33 [plus tax].

The Tarte website offers free shipping when you spend £48, so you might want to check out the two Grav3yardgirl lippaint shades, which can be bought here for £14 each.



 I bought this palette back in June [US launch on Sephora], but it arrived smashed [but usable], the one in photos is the replacement I got from eBay a few months later. So yeah, I've been wearing everything enough that I feel confident about sharing my thoughts. However [as mentioned in my last two palette reviews] between overtime and sickness, I haven't had the chance to sit down and create any of my usual demo looks I do for the blog recently - I hadn't bothered taking any photos back in the summer as I didn't feel that it was fair to show off something that you could no longer buy. However; now that it's back I don't want to waste any more time in getting this review posted, incase it sells out quickly again.
This picture isn't the best quality as it's a candid shot during a night out, but it is me wearing the Swamp Family lippaint - lippaint's are like matte lipglosses. Not as long-wearing as traditional liquid lipsticks, but not as drying and they don't wear-down as unevenly either. 


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