Prior to purchasing this vegan antioxidant-infused beauty set, I had only tried one other product from the brand (a lip stain that claimed to change colors per mood, which was actually quite lovely, even if it was solely based on temperature). After reading about some of Tarte’s most popular products and their vegan philosophy, I noticed the product seemed perfect for sensitive skin, and was free of any parabens or sulfates, and formulated with high quality ingredients infused with antioxidants instead.
Whenever a cosmetics company infuses products with skincare boosting ingredients, the product starts on a good note for me, as so many cosmetics products can be highly irritating to the skin, causing potential breakouts or redness, in the same way skincare can trigger skin. The set contains a sheer colored lip balm, setting mist, and highlighter palette, and makes a lovely gifting option as well as a gift-to-self, or a way to test out some bestselling products from the line at a discount to retail value, for first time clients. Fans of naturally based vegan cosmetics would also likely enjoy this set, and those who have tested out the line prior will find further variety and a way to try out different products.
The products are all free of any parabens and have been dermatologist-tested and approved. Even with quite sensitive and dry skin, which is also prone to breakouts, I did not notice any issues with using any of the cosmetics included, and would say it’s quite suitable for all skin types.
This review covers some main features of the set, as well as briefer reviews on the included products, as well as some positives and negatives, based on both personal testimony and a general consensus formed via other reviews, noting differences in skin type, and varying concerns, as well.
The Main Features
Tarte’s Hydrate, Illuminate, and Glow Beauty Essentials Set includes one full-sized “Rainforest of the Sea” Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette (the colors are Sunlight, Filtered Light, Moonlight), one 30 mL “Rainforest of the Sea” 4-in1 Setting Mist, and one 2.8 g “Rainforest of the Sea” Quench Lip Rescue in Buff (a nude color). The trio provides a luminous, dewy aesthetic following use and nourishes the skin, using naturally based vegan formulations that provide the added benefit of supporting skin health, as well as radiance for a wide range of complexions and skin tones.
Founded by a female CEO, the New York City based company is a transparent brand offering healthy, eco-chic beauty products that yield actual results and efficacy with use. The company mission is based in providing products that are free of any cruelty to animals, safe for the environment, and are fully vegan in formulation and properties. The pure ingredients in product formulations are hypoallergenic, and do not contain any parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, and synthetic fragrances. Fans of naturally based products who want to support cruelty-free and environmentally friendly companies will likely really enjoy the products, which work for all skin types sans any redness or irritation. In fact, I definitely felt an enhanced glow and luminosity, which is rare to find in cosmetics formulations.
I would definitely repurchase the products and recommend the brand to anyone seeking healthy cosmetics with high quality formulations, particularly if you like vegan beauty or simply have very sensitive skin. Here is a look at the included products and some key benefits with continual everyday use:
“Rainforest of the Sea” Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette
This product is a full-sized version and lasted for months even with continual daily use. It was my favorite product included in the set and provides a natural matte finish and dewy aesthetic, free of any shimmers or glitters. The colors are versatile and worked for my fair complexion, but I can certainly see them working for other complexions are tones as well. You can use a small, precise brush to apply “Filtered Light” onto the under-eye area to correct dark circles, and to brighten the area, creating a more refreshed aesthetic. You can also use the palette to illuminate the high points of the face, by applying “Sunlight” or “Moonlight” onto the top of cheeks, nose, and brow bones. Lastly, you may opt for an overall natural, dewy look and can use a larger brush with a fluffier texture to blend any of the shades all over the face, or on to cheekbones and the upper forehead. I enjoyed the versatility in using the set, and would definitely recommend it. It offers both a matte-finish and improved radiance because it’s formulated using ingredients that are both effective in treating and hydrating the skin, and quite soothing and calming.
“Rainforest of the Sea” 4-in-1 Setting Mist
I love the versatility of this product, and while I mainly used it as a setting spray, it offers tons of variety and multi-use functions. It can be used to refresh the skin throughout the day as a mist, it can be used as a primer to prep skin before makeup application (following a skincare routine), a setting spray for long-wear and all day makeup hold, or a spot type treatment for smaller color-rich areas, such as a pigmented cheek following blush application.
“Rainforest of the Sea” Quench Lip Rescue in Buff
This lip balm was very soft and did not require frequent reapplication. It was perfect to toss in my purse and physically quite lightweight. The texture following application is also quite lightweight, but delivers moisture with a great hold throughout the day. The balm has a slight tint of color in a nude shade, and adds to the natural yet pretty aesthetic achieved via use of the palette. All of the items in the set truly compliment one another and work in tandem for a final sleek aesthetic. While I loved it in the set, this is likely the only product I would probably not consider purchasing again, but only due to the nature of the category being extremely crowded and rich with formulations that are effective but come at quite low costs. With that said, I don’t often use tinted lip balms, and I really enjoy the natural finish after use. I will also add that I’ve seen products in the category at higher price points as well that are actually the same, if not less, valuable with respect to both moisture hold and benefits to daily use.
Positives and Negatives
Overall I really enjoyed using all of the included products and felt that the formulations improved skin quality in addition to cosmetics benefits, with a matte finish and a natural, dewy type aesthetic. It is difficult to pinpoint any negatives or downsides using any of the products, and the set also offers great value in comparison to retail cost, as well as formulations with high quality vegan plant based ingredients that are hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin.
Here are some key pros in to bear in mind, as well as a downside mentioned by another client who posted about allergic reaction:
- Cruelty-free company: All products are vegan and none are ever tested on any animals, and no formulations contain animal product, including beeswax
- Natural ingredients: the products contain antioxidant-rich marine plant extracts to enhance luminosity and improve overall skin health, it’s always great when these ingredients are present in your cosmetics, as well as your skincare
- At $35, while the product is not cheap, the price is moderate compared to value, and retail value is $73
- Longevity: products all lasted much longer than anticipated even with continual daily use, the palette lasts for months, which I have never found with the use of any other bestseller or starter kit package
- Excellent gifting option: particularly if the recipient prefers natural or vegan cosmetics, or if you’re looking for cosmetics that are fairly neutral, matte, and suitable for all skin types
- Lip balm provides hydration, a light but natural tint of color, and does not require frequent application, I would definitely consider purchasing this again, particularly because it provided benefits that exceed many competitor products at higher price points (on the other hand there are plenty of suitable lip balms that come at very low price points)
- The highlighters work well with a variety of skin complexions, and other reviewers with different skin tones have commented on the versatility of the product
- All products create a dewy, natural appearance, and a clean and even aesthetic (a la sun kissed glow)
- Highlighters do not contain any glitter or shimmer, and deliver a smooth matte finish
- The highlighter palette comes complete with a finishing powder (in the center)
- Products are all hypoallergenic and approved and tested by dermatologists
- Safe for very sensitive skin, including those with varying topical conditions
- Suitable for travel: portable products (not including highlighting palette regarding plane travel) that can easily be tossed in any gym bag, purse, and carried on with airplane travel (it’s nice to not feel weighed down by your makeup, and with smaller products you can generally make more space)
- The colors in the highlighter set are lovely and versatile, and offer a natural but attractive finishing aesthetic
- While I have not tried many products in the category and don’t typically use setting spray, this one is really great, it helped minimize the appearance of pores and kept makeup on and in place all day, I would be very inclined to repurchase this item
- Products contain coconut oil for antibacterial purposes and to provide hydration
- Products contain algae and marine plant extracts to help address signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and to smoothen and soften the skin
- While I used it as a setting spray, the 4-in-1 spray is a multi-use product that can also be used as a skin refreshing mist, primer (prior to makeup application but after moisturizers/skincare), and it can be sprayed on individual areas for a color-rich application (i.e. the cheek), and provides long wear that stays without slipping all day
- I actually did not experience any specific cons regarding using any of the products, the only other complaint I’ve seen mentioned was irritation caused by the lip balm, which contains mint oil, so as with any cosmetics product, you should always check ingredient lists to avoid any allergic reaction or potential for irritation
- Some reviewers felt the setting powder on the highlighter palette could use some work or didn’t work effectively, but I never use powders, so I did not use this feature, however- the powder is quite small in comparison the the highlighting shades
The manufacturer, Tarte Cosmetics, has a strong return and exchange policy that honors full refunds upon dissatisfaction or allergy, this policy favors the new consumer, and preexisting one. If you are dissatisfied with the use of the products, or if they do not work for your skin to provide suitable benefits, or you experience any product allergy or reaction to the formulations, you may elect to return the entire set. In this case, you will receive a full refund equal to the entire purchase price of the full kit.
You may also wish to exchange the product for an equal and full refund- or opt for a single product you prefer. One must bear in mind that you will need to return the entire set, as individual items within the kit are not available for return. It may assuage fears to know the product is formulated with safe, natural ingredients and is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for even the most sensitive skin, barring any specific allergy to an individual ingredient.
The Final Verdict
My final verdict after trying out this set is yes, this is certainly the best vegan skincare set at a great value compared to retail cost, and I would definitely recommend it free of any reservations. The money-back guarantee policy may help assuage fears, however prospective customers should bear in mind that the products are all hypoallergenic and formulated with ingredients that are quite soothing and gentle in their composition, so reaction is fairly unlikely, and the products are definitely perfect for a more sensitive skin type.
This makes a great gifting option, particularly for recipients who enjoy vegan skincare or have sensitive skin, but it’s also quite a treat to purchase for yourself, and offers benefits in terms of both cosmetics and skincare with continual daily use. It certainly feels like a luxury skincare item, but doesn’t break the bank and is sold for 50% less than retail value. I would definitely be likely to repurchase the products, and did not have any concerns or qualms in using any of them. The lip balm and setting mist, the latter which offers multi-use benefits and feels refreshing as a daily mist, are also suitable for travel and can save space for other cosmetics items in your beauty bag.
With that said, they both lasted much longer than anticipated even with daily use and frequent application, adding value to a product already found at a reasonable price. With all of that in mind, this vegan collection is definitely worth the hype and recommended!