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Tarina Tarantino For Sephora Collection — Playing Princess With Makeup

Tarina-Tarantino-for-Sephora-Gem-Gloss

Tarina-Tarantino-for-Sephora-Dollskin-blush

There’s something about Tarina Tarantino‘s charming tiaras, sparkly lucite earrings, puff heart pendant necklaces, and faux pearl bracelets that makes even the most adult woman feel like a wide-eyed, nine-year-old girl playing dress-up and pretending to be a princess. Her pieces manage to bring out that childlike sense of fascination and surprise, when even the smallest wonders, like a box of crayons or a book of stickers, can fill our hearts with wonderment. Her Hello Kitty, Barbie, and Alice in Wonderland motifs add to that innocent sense of whimsy.

Fittingly, then, the packaging for many of the color cosmetics in the Sephora.com features splashes of glimmering blush pink, clear rhinestones, and silver-colored bow illustrations. When you first open an eye shadow or a blush compact, then, you can’t help but wonder whether it’s designed for grown-ups, or whether you’re tinkering with a Disney Princess Castle Beauty Set. The good news: the pigments are 100% real, so no pretend play is necessary here. And in typical Tarantino fashion, the range of hues (particularly within the range of Eye Dream Hypershadows) features a wealth of shimmery, rainbow-ready pigments: from turquoise to lavender, plum, hot pink, moss green, beige, silver gray, yellow gold, and much more. The Dollskin Cheek blush shades and Gem Gloss lip gloss hues, meanwhile, focus mainly on the color pink, exploring nuanced shades ranging from cotton candy to vivid fuchsia, magenta, and purple-tinged cherry red.

When I first heard of the collaboration between Tarina Tarantino and Sephora, I was ecstatic. As a matter of fact, I was walking into Sephora stores nearly a month before it hit shades, asking, “Is it here yet?” with a combination of childlike impatience and shopaholic doggedness. Once I finally saw the collection in stores, however, I must admit I was somewhat disappointed. The packaging seemed adorable, but the cosmetics themselves didn’t look as refined as I had anticipated. I swatched a few eye shadow shades on my hand and founnd the pigments I tried difficult to blend and manipulate (even on my hand, which did not bode well for how it would fare on my lids). Still, I held on to some hope that perhaps I was jumping to conclusions.

And so, when I received a review sample of the Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek blush and of the Gem Gloss, I was curious as to what I’d think of these products after living with them for a bit and really getting a thorough feel for them. The final judgment? Read on, my loves.

Let’s start with the Dollskin Cheek powder blush. In particular, I checked out the Charm hue, which is billed as a “medium rose” shade but, in my opinion, translates to more of a salmon-y pink. If you were to apply this color onto your visage, you’d look a bit like one of those vintage rag dolls with perfectly round pink cheeks — which isn’t exactly a beauty coup.  Sure, you could theoretically blend and diffuse the color, so as to make it less harsh and, well, doll-like, but the pigment has this chalky texture (it literally reminded me of sidewalk chalk), which makes it difficult to sweep seamlessly atop cheekbones. All in all, I wouldn’t invest in the Dollskin Cheek blush — even if the packaging did initially tempt me.

Conversely, I found the Gem Gloss hue I tried positively charming. I checked out the My Pretty  shade, a sheer peachy pink with a copper-gold shimmer. The gloss doesn’t dry out lips, nor is it annoyingly sticky (which does tend to be a problem with many glosses), but instead boasts a pleasantly thin (yet not runny) consistency. If you want a really natural look, you can apply directly onto lips, but since it’s extremely sheer, I personally like layering it atop a creamy matte lipstick. This particular shade works nicely along matte nude or blush pink shades (I like how it looks atop the Cargo PlantLove Lipstick in Lola or Mariska and the Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in Nude Pink). Since it packs so much shimmer, I would recommend layering it atop a matte or semi-matte lipstick — that is, unless you’re going for a disco ball-inspired look.

The verdict: I’d probably steer clear of the products meant for the complexion (powders, blush shades, etc.), since you need the foundation of any look to be as strong as possible and hence it’s best to stick to the brands you know and trust. Experimenting with colors in eye shadows, lipsticks, and glosses, however,  is a less risky proposition, and it’s in this realm that the Tarina Tarantino for Sephora collection seems to deliver. That being said, since I haven’t tried the eye shadow shades beyond my impetuous experiments at Sephora stores, I can’t offer as thorough a review on those, but I can say the glosses do seem to hold their own. Are the shades revolutionary and boundary-breaking? Well, no. You’re bound to find shades like these from brands like Stila and Smashbox but, hey, they’re pleasant even if they don’t reinvent the color wheel.

For a better idea of what these shades look like on the skin, check out the photos below!

Check out a swatch of the Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek blush in Charm:

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Here’s a swatch of the Tarina Tarantino Gem Gloss in My Pretty:

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Tarina Tarantino Gem Gloss, $19, and Dollskin Cheek, $25. Available at Sephora stores and Sephora.com


**Press samples were received for review purposes and used when writing this editorial piece.

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