Worth it? Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Tarte Shape Tape

Tarte Shape Tape, $25

Holy heavily-promoted-on-YouTube, Batman! I eventually bought Shape Tape to weigh in on it to see if it was ridiculous YouTube sponsored hype or a legitimately good product. This cruelty-free, apparently vegan product is evidently sold once every twenty-six seconds according to Tarte’s site.

Availability

When Tarte Shape Tape came out, it was basically out of stock in all popular shades, including mine, for what seemed like months. I suspect this is due to a bit of manufactured scarcity to pump up demand and hype. Eventually, I got my hands on a tube during a Ulta 20% Platinum Perk sale.

I didn’t realize this at first, but Tarte Shape Tape is only sold on tarte.com and at Ulta. I learned that Tarte seems to offer 20% off promotions more often than Ulta does, but then you lose your point/perk earning potential. Pros and cons, people.

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Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation, $36

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation…so refreshing to have a product with an absurdly long name! It’s been a while.

I’ve never been a fan of caking on product to hide problems. Even when I was in the throes of ridiculous skin woes, I wouldn’t do it. That doesn’t mean I’d go bare-faced…but troweling on Instagram-ready, drag-worthy makeup does not seem like a healthy choice for problem skin.

The Purchase

Over the holidays, I finally ran out of the powder foundation I was using on lazy (read: most) mornings where blending a cream or liquid product was out of the question. Armed with a 20% off Ulta Platinum voucher, I picked up Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation. I like the idea of mineral powder foundations; even though bareMinerals didn’t blow me away with its lofty claims, it is a decent product that is user friendly. My hope was that I’d find a better shade match and a similar level of user friendliness in this Tarte product.

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Worth it? Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner

Cinema Secrets Brush CleanerCinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner, $24 for 8oz

This was a legacy post that I gave a facelift because I seriously cannot tell enough people about this product. If you’re an artist? Lifesaver. If you aren’t, it means you can avoid buying thirty seven thousand brushes, because you can use the same one over and over in a look.

I’d seen this brush cleaner in blog posts and on YouTube. I was curious but…really, how good can it be? It’s a brush cleaner. I had come close to buying it a few times for myself but always talked myself out of it. My current system is good; why invest in another product – especially with that price tag? Fortunately, a wise friend sent this wee little spray-bottle of it to me.

I tested it that night, but was not prepared to record or demonstrate my findings. Spoiler alert: I was blown away and wondered how the ever loving hell I haven’t had this product in my life before.

Let me just show you.

Before

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Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper To Go Foil PacketDeborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go, $12

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift because it’s a neat product. Opinions are the same, but is formatted and edited for easier reading and flow.

I received a single Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go sample foil in a cadre of samples . I tend to use pure acetone to remove my nail polish these days – the silly additives don’t actually seem to help, and they just weaken the product. When I wear regular polish, I tend to wear shimmery and glittery colors which pure acetone removes far more efficiently  less glitter and shimmer these days, but still. More often, though, I wear gel nail polish – a bottle of Cutex is not going to cut that.

Giving it a Go

I happened to be wearing a fun bright green on my toes that was ready to come off (China Glaze I’m With the Lifeguard, mentioned in my May Favorites, if you’re wondering). Out of acetone, but having just gone though my samples I reached for my sample Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go. I glanced at the packet and noticed it was supposed to smell like lavender, and that it was a, “finger mitt.” What? I wasn’t sure what to expect here, but the packaging said that one mitt will remove polish from all ten fingers.

Ripping the Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go package open, I was greeted with the smell of acetone and something trying to be lavender. There was a little fabric pouch that with one rounded, closed end and a squared, open end. A-ha, a mitt. You insert a finger or thumb into it like so.

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go Finger Mitt

I found that Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go works better slipped over your thumb; you can, “scrub,” your nails more effectively.

Effectiveness

It worked OK for not being 100% pure acetone, and didn’t smell quite as harsh. I did have to work a little harder with it than I have become accustomed to; I’m not sure whether to attribute that to the formula or the mitt itself. The mitt was textured such that with the stronger product it would have made extremely quick work of the remnants of my pedicure.

Unfortunately, I could not remove all the polish from my toes before the product was spent. I wouldn’t say this is a bad thing; it advertises being able to take polish off ten fingers. Unless you have atypical digits, the combined surface area of your toenails is greater than the combined surface area of your fingernails.

I do not see this being effective for gel polish removal.

The Bottom Line

I thought it might be nice for travel purposes and found that it retails for $12 for six mitts. If it does remove all polish from all ten nails, that would put this product at $2 per removal. This is considerably more expensive than acetone and cotton balls. If you travel often and have to frequently redo your manicures, though, it might be a good (albeit costly) solution.

I do have a favorable opinion of this product compared to my initial perception of it as a gimmick. Unfortunately, though, my favorable opinion of the product does NOT outweigh its price. I still won’t be purchasing for myself unless I have extensive travel on the horizon.

The Great Lie: Gel Nail Cleanser

The Great Lie: Gel Nail Cleanser

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift because who doesn’t want to save money on manicure supplies? Opinions are the same, but is formatted and edited for easier reading and flow.

If you’ve ever gotten a gel polish manicure before, either salon or DIY, you know the final step consists of saturating a pad with gel nail cleanser and wiping off the tacky residue from the newly-cured nail surface. If you’ve done it in a salon, it might be in a nondescript bottle just like the lotions or scrubs may be. At home, it might be part of your gel starter kit. This is often the same solution used to clean the nail before the gel primer is applied.

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