Isn’t it pretty! But, you may say: the reviews were patchy on this and I agree they were. I read all over the place that the shadows were scratchy, that they blended muddily into each other. That they were more like the first Tarte palette rather than the second. I own no Tarte palettes, except for this one, fresh in from my first ever international Sephora order, so there will be no comparisons from me to other Tarte palettes, also no comments about the now infamous Bora Bora launch, just my pure unadulterated opinion.

tarteistFirst impressions: The design of the palette is beautiful. Nars type matte black (though matte plastic rather than rubberized) lid with a gold palette. A click to closure rather than a button, but still comfortable enough to open.The lid contains a large mirror that stays open without the need to prop it up.

The shadows are arranged in pleasing sensible quints and they smell very pleasantly of vanilla ice cream. You get 20 shadows at 1 gram each.

Application of the mattes with a brush is smooth. They kick up very little and I had no fallout. I tend to go in quite heavyhandedly (which is often a problem) so the even moderate pick up was well suited to me. The products with moderate application blend well. I did not find them scratch or buttery, somehow in between, but had no issues whatsoever with pickup. I had heard somewhere that the middle rows become muddy when blended, I did not find that to be the case. If I packed the product on they did become muddy when blended.

This is where I have a bit of a gripe with other reviewers. The ABH Mario Palette was lauded as being fantastic due to it’s butteriness and pigmentation, I however with my heavy hand unintentionally blended everything to mud and had to use an extremely light hand in order to get a good effect, but I read no where in any reviews that this be an issue, so somehow I find it a little unfair to complain about muddiness in this Tarte palette. The texture itself does not encourage product overload, and if the colors were evidently different they blended over quite well, over-blending two very similar colors of course makes it difficult to distinguish colors. I found this to be no worse than other palettes.

The shimmers apply with more pigment and are smoother than the mattes. Only one of them is duo-chrome with the blue having a brownish shift. The color selection is a nice selection of warm, neutral and cool tones making it a good option for good day and night looks.

Being a heavyhanded girl, I would really recommend this palette for anyone who has my weakness and also to anyone starting out in makeup as it is pretty difficult to make a mess of application. I am really pleased with this and think it would make a beautiful Chritsmas gift. The Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay Palette retails at Sephora for 53 USD.