I'll admit that I was a bit of a skeptic when a brand who was first solely in the color category makes its voyage into skincare. I suppose it's a bit of a pessimistic outlook as it stems from the notion that you need to pick and own a lane in beauty, but truth be told, several brands have been able to produce quality skincare and makeup products, especially if their background is skin-focused (imagine a foundation birthed from the brains behind top moisturizers and serums).
One of the more recent brands to try its hand at skincare is Tarte. A color-focused brand since 1999, it's grown quite a skin category since 2016, including self-tanner, cleansing towelettes, and even deodorant. What differentiates Tarte from other makeup-turned-skincare brands is that each product is hypoallergenic and vegan-friendly. It seemed like a natural transition for the brand, though, which has constantly informed several of its makeup products with rainforest-derived ingredients like its signature Amazonian clay to treat the skin while you wear.
So while I'd never tried Tarte's skincare offerings up until this point, I was lured in by the Skin Win Hydrating Set, a collection that includes Maracuja Oil, Rainforest of the Sea 4-in-1 Setting Mist, Quench Lip Rescue in Shell, and Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost Moisturizer, all for just $18. I'm a certified hydration fanatic and compulsively layer on toners and essences like my life depends on it (I know my skin certainly does), so I was intrigued to try a collection of products devoted to feeding my moisture addiction. Below, I'll take you through each product.
I love that this moisturizer has a gel-cream consistency. Heavily emollient and rich moisturizers tend to break me out, so I'm always game for something a bit more water-based. This plumping and free radical–fighting offering is cool to the touch and immensely quenching—I could practically feel the hyaluronic acid at work. I decided to do two layers as the consistency is light enough to be a bit heavy-handed without feeling greasy in the slightest. On top of this, I dispensed a drop or two of the Maracuja Oil.
You know when you try a new product, forget you've used it, then catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and wonder what's different? Much to my delight, that was the case with this oil (and probably the combination of using it on top of the moisturizer). Looking in the mirror in the elevator of my apartment building, I noticed my skin had a serious glow happening. I first attributed it to my highlighter but, upon closer examination, noticed that my allover complexion was radiant… then face-palmed remembering I'd dosed my skin in Tarte the night before. I was so pleasantly surprised.
Lip colors in pre-packaged sets are usually such a grab-bag, but I was excited to open up a rosy-mauve color (which Tarte has dubbed Shell), my go-to shade. The color, a tinted balm, leaves a hydrating, Vaseline-like feel behind with a minty aftereffect. The color payoff is medium and buildable but tends to wear off easily, especially considering I snack and drink often throughout the day. Despite its lack of longevity, I appreciated that my peeling winter lips were being treated to an almost medicinal treatment each time I applied and felt increasingly softer as time wore on.
I love multi-use sprays, especially when they're friendly on foundation and help refresh without quite literally making you look like you just sprayed something wet on your face. With this ultra-fine mist, you can prep your skin for makeup, set said makeup, and refresh throughout the day, all while hydrating your skin, diminishing the look of pores, and reducing redness. I was a huge fan of its dew-inducing abilities while keeping my makeup intact.
All in all, I absolutely loved this set, especially considering how inexpensive it is. You're truly getting a huge bang for your buck. The only downside is actually the fact that it's such a winning combination—so good, in fact, that it's currently sold out. However, you can put your name on the waiting list to get an email when it's back in stock, which I highly suggest doing.