Testing out metallic palettes from Tarte and Too Faced

The holidays are almost upon us, which means one thing in the world of makeup: metallics. Metallic lips have been all the rage lately, but I’m a tried-and-true fan of a good foiled shadow. So when I saw that Tarte and Too Faced were both releasing foil/metallic palettes from their most popular lines—Rainforest of the Sea and the Chocolate Bars, respectively—I added those babies to my online cart faster than you could say “free shipping.”

I’ll say this right off the bat: One is worlds away better than the other. Read on for my full assessment on both.

Too Faced Chocolate Gold Palette

Described as a “duochromatic matte and metallic eyeshadow palette that’s infused with real gold and cocoa powder,” this palette has a lot in common with the Chocolate Bar, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar and Chocolate Bon Bons palettes from the same brand. It has that chocolate/cocoa scent, though it seems to be slightly less sweet than what I’m familiar with in the other Chocolate Bars. The packaging is metal with a good clasp and a luxe gold, reflective drip design on the front. Great for looking at, not so great for fingerprints. The mirror inside is huge and high-quality.

The shade range is pretty fabulous—you get 12 foiled shades and four mattes. The mattes (chocolate brown, light warm brown, beige and black) are great basics for building a look, and the metallic shades cover the gamut from easily wearable champagne, rose gold and bronze to the more daring emerald green, plum and hot pink. A couple of cool-toned silvers round out the offerings.

Pigmentation is fabulous, both in swatches and on the eye. The colors blend beautifully and easily, and have great pigmentation payoff; you can pat the foiled shades onto the lid with your finger for even more intense color.

I’ve worn this palette daily for the last week without repeating an eye look. I even sported a silver and emerald green eye look for my little sister’s graduation from Ohio University last Saturday—and got great compliments on it.

The Too Faced Chocolate Gold palette is $49 and available via the Too Faced, Ulta and Sephora websites, as well as brick-and-mortar Sephora and Ulta stores. It appears to be a permanent part of the Too Faced collection.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foil Finger Paints Shadow Palette

As a huge fan of the Tartelette In Bloom and Toasted palettes, I had such high expectations for this release. I’ll just say it: I was really disappointed. So much so that, even though I didn’t pay full price thanks to a coupon, I was compelled to return it. It’s described as a palette with “textured foil formulas that are so plush and pigmented, you can paint them on with your fingers.” What that means: Brushes are not gonna work out with this palette. That’s fine; I prefer using my fingers for foiled shadows anyway.

The packaging is really pretty—gold with a textured turquoise stone lid. The gold part does pick up fingerprints like crazy of course, and I found that the shadows themselves tended to leave smudges on the palette as well. The mirror is the full size of the palette’s lid and of a great quality.

You get three basic shades (one that’s described as champagne, but read more pink to me, plus a burgundy and a chocolate brown) and two “transformer” shades in light and dark silver. The transformer shades read like loose glitter in swatches and on the eye—this is especially true for the lighter color, which is probably the chunkiest glitter I’ve ever put on my lid. Personally, I don’t like chunky glitters, especially around my eyes; they’re too difficult to remove and in fact, I woke up the morning after wearing the silver shade with glitter on my cheeks, despite scrubbing my face the night before.

The three colors swatch pretty nicely, though I noticed that the formula tends to come loose in the pan, almost like it wasn’t pressed well. You can see that happening to the Gold Coast pink champagne shade in the photos above. The two silvers swatch, as stated, like straight glitter, and the lighter one reflects gold and multicolored instead of silver. Worst of all, it actually feels chunky—not velvety smooth as promised.

On the eye, I couldn’t get the same pigmentation as in the swatches; it seems that you can only achieve it by pressing really hard on application, which I don’t recommend for the eye. I tried these colors on my bare eye, with a primer (Lorac’s, if you’re wondering) and with a primer that’s been set with face powder (my standard method). Nothing helped, short of pushing my finger into my eye way harder than what’s comfortable. The Colourpop Super Shock Shadows at just $5 each—perform better than these hues.

There doesn’t seem to be much versatility in this palette, which is evidenced even in the “try these looks” booklet that comes with it—there were two looks, one of which consisted simply of smearing the light silver all over your entire lid and under your lower lashline. Hard pass for me on that.

The Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foil Finger Paints Shadow Palette is $39 and available for a limited time at Sephora.com (online only, though some shoppers have reported seeing it in stores) and the Tarte website … though I recommend steering clear, unless you want it simply for collection/decoration purposes.