I know I’ve been gone for a while, again. But I have some time now and I’m going to talk a bit about gluten free cosmetics. As most of you will already be aware most major cosmetic brands have limited edition gifts sets they release this time of year. Last year I mostly purchased Too Faced cosmetics, but this year I bought tarte products exclusively. I’ve talked a bit about them in the past, about how they’re a 100% gluten free cosmetics company. I really like knowing that all of their products are gluten free, it reduces the risk of cross contamination and makes me want to buy from them even more. I also like the quality of their products. There’s also the variety they offer. For the last several years Too Faced has released nearly identical palettes. Well, let me rephrase that. They style the exterior of their sets differently, and they rename the shades, but they’re the exact same shades. I really feel like last years major palette and the one the year prior to that were super lazy. Simply because the eyeshadows were not just identical, but the layout was nearly identical. As a result I bought nothing from them this year. Sadly it’ll stay that way until I either use up all of my existing products from them, or they come out with something different. I do use their shadows quite a bit, and I’m sure I’ll run out at some point. But it’s going to be a long time. I’m not going to throw my money away buying eight of the same freaking eyeshadow just because it’s wrapped in a different box. They need to make something new or they’re going to lose all of their current customers.
So I was all tarte all the way this year and I’m very happy. I’m going to start things off with something that released in the fall and isn’t actually part of the holiday collections, but is still available.
This is tarte’s Rainforest After Dark palette. It’s limited edition and I’m really glad I was able to buy it before it was gone (I missed their BeMATTEnificent palette and I’m still so, so sad). This has gotten some mixed reviews, mostly saying the eyeshadows are fine but the blush has issues with stiffness, pigmentation, and blendability. I have not actually had any of those problems. In fact I merely touch my brush to the pan and I’m able to lift enough of their incredibly soft powder to get true to pan color. It blends like a dream too. Now I’m not going to say all the people who have reviewed this are lying, but I do think they might have just gotten duds. Or maybe I just got incredibly lucky. Who knows, all I know is I literally find myself reaching for this palette nearly everyday. I’m going to have to force myself to start branching out soon.
This is the Away Oui Go Portable Palette & Collectors Set. This one was an Ulta exclusive and I believe it’s sold out online, you may still be able to find it in stores though. This is similar in style to last years set, where you could pop ready made palettes into an included travel case. The layout and colors are different (as are the actual makeup shades) but the concept is identical. That set was also an Ulta exclusive. I think sets like this are great for people who aren’t sure what to make of those huge palettes with 30 shades in them. This is everything you need to do an eye look plus a matching blush, it really takes the guess work out of things. I haven’t used this yet as I really don’t have the space in my bathroom. I’d either have to pick a pre-made palette and stick to it, or open the entire box and have that sitting out. I just don’t have the countertop space, that and I usually have my son wandering around while I get ready and I worry he could get curious and knock the whole thing off the counter. It’d really hurt to see everything smashed so I try to limit what I have out at one time. Once we move I’ll probably depot everything here so I could put it all into just one big palette if I wanted, though I’ll probably break them up into favorites and “colors for when I’m feeling daring”. I do like most every color in this box so I’m really happy about the whole thing. I really can’t wait to start using it.
This is the Petite Treat 12 Days of Tarte Advent Calendar and was another Ulta exclusive. It’s also sold out online (last I checked) but my local store had dozens of them sitting on the shelves. This is a bit different than your standard 24 day advent calendar with only 12 days, but that was fine for me. I picked it up the other day and was able to open a few days all at once so that was fun. My son has been helping me and he loves this. His tiny little fingers have also helped in getting the product out of the holes, lol. I’ve started giving him a chocolate for each door we open and I promised to share the skin care products with him so he’s fine with not having one of his own. I have to say I’m really excited about all the products in this calendar. With any set like this there are bound to be products you wouldn’t care for inside but I love pretty much all of them. There’s also their lash extending primer in this (it’s the product I got tonight!) and I’ve really been looking forward to trying that, so now I’ll get the chance. It also had a deluxe size blush which is a bit stiff in the pan but is a lovely color just the same.
This is one I really wanted, but sadly I missed my chance. It’s their Chic To Cheek Deluxe Amazonian Clay Blush Set. I am holding out a bit of hope I’m able to find this one in store. But the one I visit most often didn’t have it in stock saying they sold out around Black Friday. It’s also sold out on Sephora and the tarte website itself. You never know though, I could get lucky somewhere. Even if I don’t it’s not the end of the world, it’s just blush. This is the first year they had a set where I liked all four colors, maybe I’ll get lucky and next year and I’ll like that set as well. I’ll be sure to buy early in that case!
This is another one I don’t own, but I’m still sharing it because I just love it. This is their Bon Voyage Collectors Set & Travel Bag and it’s a Sephora exclusive. I do love this set, I really do. But the thing is, it’s a $60 cosmetics set and I clearly have quite a bit of makeup already. So it’s not like I need more which makes it difficult/impossible to justify. There’s also the little issue of loyalty points. I’d really rather shop at Ulta because you can get actual dollars to spend on anything in their stores when you buy from them. With Sephora you get one point for every dollar you spend and you need at least 100 to get a trial size of something random and the better sets are usually about 500 points. I get trial sizes and travel sizes for free all the time from Ulta. That’s in addition to my points which I earn at a rate of 1.25, assuming they’re not having a bonus point promotion where I could earn as many as 5 per dollar spent. I feel like this is going to become a growing issue for me. Sephora is also the sole distributor of the Repetto perfume I recently fell in love with. But again, I really don’t want to spend the money when I’m, 1. Not getting any “real” benefits in return, and 2. I have to spend real money to purchase the product (as opposed to with Ulta where I have enough store credit to buy three of these sets). So I’ll be skipping this one this year. Maybe next year I’ll indulge in some of the Sephora sets. But for now I just can’t bring myself to do it.
That was a lot, but I hope all of you enjoyed this post! I hope if any new Celiacs find this post they look at these images and realize they can still wear cosmetics. That you’re not limited to indie brands you can’t see in person before you buy, or that come in boring packaging and boring shades. That there is a lot of safe stuff out there and major retailers are selling it! That you can take part in the holiday sets with the fun packaging and admittedly great pricing for what you’re getting in return. That blush set is $35, for four full sizes blushes that typically go for $26 each. The Away Oui Go set features all full size blushes and eyeshadows, and only the glosses and mascara are half size. The last set has all full sized eyeshadows and the lip products are full sized as well. With most of these even if you only like half of what you’re getting it’s still a phenomenal deal. They also make really great gifts. I personally like the Away Oui Go set for anyone, but especially teens or people who are new to makeup because of the foolproof palettes. And the blush set would make a great stocking stuffers and you could totally break up the set since they’re all full size.