Friday, March 16, 2018

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea radiance drops liquid highlighter review, swatches & TMO

Tarte's newly released extension of the Rainforest of the Sea line is their radiance drops liquid highlighter. My review of the Rainforest of the Sea foundation is here. I've been on a no buy (aspiring, in reality is a low buy / replacement only buy) but I have lots of unused Sephora points. I saw this as a 100 point perk and wanted to try it out!

If you're here for a TMO (talk me out of it!), just skim on down to the TMO header!

The Basics
  • Dropper style packaging - see the pooling right under the dropper and the residue smeared onto my hand from my fingers to behind my rings? Don't travel with this and be careful with the bottom of the dropper when you pull it out of the bottle. 
  • Super super runny liquid
  • Only available in one shade, a clear liquid base with gold
  • Pieces of shimmer not metallic sheen or natural pearl 
  • You MUST shake this aggressively, the clear base will somewhat come out of suspension with the shimmer particles 
  • $30 for 1 ounce / 30 mL


See that swatch dripping down the sides of my hand? I had about .002 seconds to take a photo before it dripped off onto my vanity...

Based on the internet and the packaging, I was expecting a pearly beige shade, but surprise, it's GOLD! In indirect light it looks almost like a cooler yellow gold, but in direct sun the gold flecks are very brassy/warm. On my cool toned skin, it looks bizarre in direct sun.

Let's compare it to a few other highlights I have.

For comparison purposes, L to R: NYX Away We Glow liquid highlight in Moon Glow (similar to Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl), Becca SSP in Opal liquid, Urban Decay Half Baked eyeshadow, Tarte Rainforest of the Sea radiance drops, and Becca SSP Opal powder.

Moon Glow is not at all similar, but is a cool toned brightened baby pink that shows how warm the others look by comparison. Becca Opal is a rosier gold than the Tarte. Urban Decay half baked eyeshadow is also very gold, but is a warmer gold. The Tarte drops cannot be built up to the blinding metallic place that Becca and Urban Decay get to with relative ease.

Please note that Becca opal, Tarte radiance drops, and Urban Decay half baked eyeshadow applied sheerly look very, very similar. I build up shades for swatches so you can see the subtle differences, but applied on your cheeks with a brush would be similar.

TMO: why you shouldn't buy it
  1. Golds are dime a dozen. I bet you that you already own a gold eyeshadow, powder highlight, or liquid highlight - they all look so so so similar applied sheerly. There is seriously no need to go buy a basic gold anything. 
  2. Do golds actually look good on you? I have fair, cool toned skin and golds do not flatter me, yet somehow I own 4 or 5 anyway. Gold can be fun to play with, but gold is a 'going out' color on me not a 'wear to work' color because it doesn't flatter my complexion. 
  3. The watery formula is a royal pain. For real, it is a watery liquid. You have to shake it, the dropper leaks, it will run off your hand or face, it is hard to build up because the base is clear but the flakes are gold, and it will absorb into sponges quickly. Cream or gel based liquid formulas are easier to apply, easier to blend, and easier to build up.
  4. Obvious shimmer particles. I don't like obvious, visible shimmer on my skin on a regular basis, so this is a going out / party product for me. Even for a going out product, it isn't as bright/metallic as many of the other options on the market. 
  5. Millions of highlighters and this one isn't different. It just isn't, it looks like a shimmery gold. 
Conclusion: I'll use it up as a summer body shimmer oil and for going out, but it isn't groundbreaking or special. Worth spending 100 Sephora points on, but not worth much more than that. 

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