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Faking the Glow — Tarte Park Ave Princess Bronze & Glow Matte Bronzer and Cheek Tint AND Tarte Maracuja Rainforest Glow Instant Matte Waterproof Body Perfector



This summer has flown by so that I basically blinked, and it was mid-August — a frightening realization given that I’ve yet to set foot on a beach. Much to my chagrin, while many of my peers have been sipping Margaritas by the pool or frolicking around the Hamptons, I’ve been plopped atop my office chair confronting one deadline after the next. And, in true Murphy’s Law fashion, whenever I have contemplated a beach outing, the forecast has predicted massive thunderstorms and rain showers. In between my massive work load and the uncooperative weather, my pre-summer pallor has persisted, an enormous source of frustration since I spend all fall and winter anticipating the arrival of summer. As if my longing for sun-kissed cheeks weren’t enough of an ordeal, I find wearing short skirts and dresses can now be a bit embarrassing given that my legs look like they were carved out of alabaster. Needless to say, I’ve been relying on cosmetic bronzers to give me a faux glow — and, in turn, make my pallor-related insecurities dissipate.

One of the first products I tested out this summer belonged to Tarte Cosmetics’ Summer 2013 collection: the Tarte Park Ave Princess Bronze & Glow  Matte Bronzer & Cheek Tint ($32 at TarteCosmetics.com and Sephora.com) and the Tarte Maracuja Rainforest Glow Instant Matte Waterproof Body Perfector  ($36 at TarteCosmetics.com and Sephora.com).

I was most excited to try out the Tarte Park Ave Princess Bronze & Glow  Matte Bronzer & Cheek Tint ($32 at TarteCosmetics.com) since, as a long-time Tarte fan, I’ve long used the brand’s Mineral Powder Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess, and I was quite curious about how the color would translate as a cream tint. I love how natural the Park Avenue Princess bronzer looks in its powder form, so I hoped the same would be true of the Bronze & Glow Matte Bronzer & Cheek Tint.

Now, this is a 2-in-1 product that allows you to give your complexion a deeper tonality while also allowing you to give cheeks a flushed, just-pinched tint.

To use the bronzer, you’ll want to unscrew the cap on the tube of the Tarte Park Ave Bronze & Glow and squeeze a drop out of it. The product will look to be as liquid as a traditional foundation but, as you smooth it onto the skin, you’ll notice the texture is airy and almost mousse-like. Because of the product’s weightlessness, it doesn’t look like there’s anything atop the skin, making for an extremely natural effect. The maracuja oil in the formula is easily absorbed into the skin, making the product dry rather quickly while also infusing the skin with essential fatty acids that nourish and hydrate the complexion, softening any existing lines and smoothing the overall skin surface. The Amazonian clay in the formula, meanwhile, helps to maintain the skin’s premium moisture balance, so that the skin never feels dry, itchy, or flaky, nor does it appear greasy or oily. Skin, therefore, is mattefied but given a radiance boost.

Ideally, you’ll want to use this product on bare skin or atop a tinted moisturizer, BB cream, or liquid foundation since applying liquid bronzers or luminizers to a powder base tends to result in clumpy, streaky mess. Now, you can use your fingertips to apply it to the desired area (whether it’s on cheeks, along the hairline, tracing the jawline, or down the ridge of the nose) or you can even blend a tiny drop with your moisturizer and apply it to your entire face for an all-over bronzing effect.

To finish off your look, you’ll want to use the cheek tint located on the tip of the tube, molded into a domed shape. To use, you’ll want to unscrew the plastic cap and reveal the creamy but solid color, then holding onto the entire tube, you cam roll that tip over your cheeks. Finally, using your fingers, you’ll want to blend the golden seashell pink shade so as to create a subtle but irresistible flushed effect.

Sounds great, right? Well, yes and no.

I find that the matte liquid bronzer doesn’t have the golden tint that made the powder Park Avenue Princess bronzer so alluring. At least on my skin, the shade looked a bit too orange-y — a huge bronzer no-no since it lets the entire world know just how faux your tan really is.

Here’s what the bronzer looks like when smoothed onto skin. See that unfortunate orange undertone (or rather overtone)?


Now, the cheek color is absolutely lovely — it’s a peachy pink with a golden warmth reminiscent of seashells, and it’s sprinkled with golden pearl particles to create a refreshing dewiness.  The tint makes cheeks glisten beautifully, so that I find myself wishing all the more that the bronzer portion of the equation would have dazzled me, thereby making this truly a summer makeup must-have.

Check out these swatches so you can see for yourself how pretty the cheek color is:




I’m really torn about this product because, as I mentioned, the cheek tint is gorgeous and the bronzer does have many benefits —from its mousse-like consistency to its fast drying time to its skin-nourishing ingredients. But I can’t quite get past the orange-y tone it gives my complexion or the fact that, when I applied it, I oftentimes felt like my face looked dirty as opposed to having a bronzed glow. Personally, I’m sticking with Park Avenue Princess in powder form.

Moving on to the Tarte Maracuja Rainforest Glow Instant Matte Waterproof Body Perfector ($36 at TarteCosmetics.com), I have to say this has been a true saving grace for me this summer. See, while a plethora of companies have released bronzers for the face, few have concentrated on body makeup. Self-tanners tend to scare me, so I really do search for makeup bronzers that can be applied to skin and washed off with soap and water. Ideally, what you want is to coat your birthday suit with something you can later remove as easily as, well, a coat — not to apply any chemicals that might actually penetrate the skin and alter the production of melanin.

Having tried a ton of body perfecting bronzers, I can honestly say that few quality options exist. Some don’t quite hit the mark in terms of their tonality (too reddish or too orange), others glisten entirely too much and leave you looking like some glitter-obsessed raver kid, others transfer onto clothes and furniture, and others drip and streak if you perspire even the slightest bit.

I’m happy to say that the Tarte Maracuja Rainforest Glow delivers on all fronts. First, it’s richly pigmented and offers stellar coverage, making it a “Hallelujah!”-worthy product for gals like me who remain ghastly pale days before Labor Day. Second, it’s completely matte, which makes the effect more natural and subtle. And third, it’s waterproof — not so waterproof that you won’t be able to scrub it off when you shower but enough so that, on humid and sticky days, you can perspire and not find yourself having a Christina-Aguilera-at-Etta-James’-funeral bronzer malfunction.

Because of the fatty acid-rich maracuja extract in the formula, the quick-drying bronzer also works to improve the skin’s overall texture and even to firm it. The maracuja oil’s high vitamin C content, meanwhile, nourishes the skin and brightens overall skin tone so that, even when you rinse the product off, your arms and legs still look more radiant and youthful.

Best of all, this body bronzer only takes 30 seconds to dry so you don’t have to spend minutes ambling around in the buff before getting dressed. 

If, like me, you’ve been strapped to your desk this summer, pick up this product and create a fantasy tan that will make your colleagues and friends wonder when you’ve had the time to sneak off and hit the beach. Hey, we all have our secrets!


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