To kick things off, here are my thoughts on the new tarte for True Blood Natural Cheek Stain.
What Sephora & tarte say:
What it is:
Show your true colors with Tarte’s limited-edition, sparkling red cheek stain inspired by the hit HBO® series True Blood™.
What it does:
Have you spent eternity in search of an everlasting glow? Meet your maker. Inspired by the hit HBO® series True Blood™, this sparkling red cheek stain blends on smooth and lasts from dawn to dusk and well into the night. One drop is all you need to create a crave-worthy natural luminescence for all skintones and types. Like all Tarte products, this lusty natural stain will do good things to you thanks to natural mineral pigments and fruit extracts. Tune in to the new season of True Blood™, Sundays at 9/8c. Only on HBO®.
What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Synthetic Fragrances
The tarte for True Blood Natural Cheek Stain is available at Sephora for $30 but I had the great honor of receiving it for free. Makeup411 held a giveaway last month featuring items from tarte’s True Blood collection. Three random winners were chosen, and I was one of those selected. Yay! I had originally thought that all the winners would each be receiving the entire collection. But since the cheek stain was actually the only product from the collection I was interested in, I’m still happy. I believe the other two winners received the limited edition eyeshadow palette and lip pencil.
I owned a tarte cheek stain in Flush way back in 2001. At the time, the cheek stains cost $23 and it was a relatively new product. While I loved the berry colored stain, I hated the scent and the sticky feeling it left behind on my cheeks. If there’s a scent I can’t stand, it’s raspberry and the Flush cheek stain was intensely raspberry scented.
Another huge issue I had with the Flush stain was that it oozed something awful. I always kept my apartment at a pretty cool temperature of 74 Fahrenheit; nevertheless, there was always a lot of condensation gathered along the edges and top of the blush, which would eventually ooze down the sides of the packaging and collect in the grooves where the cap screwed on. It was gross and a pain to keep clean, and eventually I just stopped using the cheek stain altogether because I didn’t want to deal with the mess.
When I received news that I had won the True Blood cheek stain giveaway, I was really excited because I figured that in the time since then tarte must have improved the product. I know that there are many, many fans of the cheek stains so I was willing to give tarte another chance to impress me. It surely couldn’t get any worse, right?
Well, yes and no.
I’m happy to report that the scent of the True Blood cheek stain doesn’t leave me feeling sick. I’ve heard some people describe the fragrance as rose, but I completely disagree. I don’t think there’s anything floral about it. Other people say that it’s berry scented which would make more sense since it’s supposed to contain acai and goji berry extracts. However, to me the True Blood cheek stain reminds me of the slightly bitter scent of citrus peel, as in marmalade or grapefruit zest.
Another pleasant surprise is my new cheek stain doesn’t sweat and ooze like some mutant creature the way my old 2001 cheek stain did.
Sadly, the True Blood cheek stain still leaves that unpleasant, sticky residue on my skin. But since I don’t tend to touch my face throughout the day, it’s not a deal breaker. What is the deal breaker, though, is the boatload of golden glitter plentifully sprinkled throughout the blush. It’s straight-up chunky, gold glitter, yo!
The sparkles are so unfortunate because without them the True Blood stain could’ve been really pretty. The sheer red base color is gorgeous.
I’ve tried a few ways to apply the cheek stain and the best way I’ve found to get the sheer red color with a minimum amount of gold glitter is to dab the cheek stain directly onto the skin with a light touch. If I try to swipe it on, I end up applying too much pressure and get an abundance of sparkles. I experience the same problem if I use my fingers to pick up some product and then apply to my cheeks; too much pressure picks up a whole lot of gold sparkle. Also, when I use my fingers to apply, I can really feel the grittiness of the glitter. It’s not pleasant. I really didn’t want to attempt to use a brush with this product simply because I knew it would be a pain in the butt to clean/remove the glitter from the brush bristles afterward.
Overall, I can’t say that tarte’s won me over with their new True Blood cheek stain. The cheek stain’s not the oozy mess I remember which is good but I think tarte took what could’ve been a good product and made it super tacky with all that gold glitter. I personally don’t think it’s a very wearable color (I don’t think very many people can pull off wearing that much gold glitter in the daytime), and it’s not exactly an easy to use blush. I can’t really slap this on and go; I have to take a little care with it so I don’t look like I took a bath in fairy dust. Just to be clear: this is not a dewy blush. Or rather I should say it’s not just a dewy blush because I love dewy, moist finishes. The True Blood stain goes leagues beyond dewy, glowy or even shimmery; it leaves hugely obvious gold glitter on the cheeks.
ETA: Just a side note…
I’m a huge fan of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries/Sookie Stackhouse novels. Go Team Eric! But I’ve never watched the tv series.