This year, Tarte came out with a new collection called Rainforest of the Sea, which currently includes 23 products. What sets this collection apart from their regular range is the inclusion of Tarte's Rainforest of the Sea complex: Antioxidant-rich algae is mixed into a "nutrient-rich complex of marine botanicals that have been preserved in coconut oil" to provide a formula that is "hydrating, brightening, and fights environmental aggressors" and "promote an all-over radiant complexion." The Rainforest of the Sea collection includes skincare, makeup, and tools. The Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette, which is described as "a highlighting trio palette with three universal shades for strobing and perfecting... featuring a versatile trio of silky perfecting powders, [so] you can filter and reflect light for a soft focus glow. The middle Filtered Light shade is your go-to setting powder in a universal matte sand that brightens and corrects any darkness under the eyes. Paired with two full-size, luminous perfecting powders, they're perfect for illuminating the contours of the face for a natural-looking glow that flatters all skintones." It is housed in a gold rectangular mirrored compact with a teal-blue water design spanning the lid. Each Skin Twinkle Lighting Palette contains a total of 10.5 grams of product, and retails for $50 CAD online and in-store at Sephora and online at Tarte.
Sunlight is a light warm brightened champagne gold with champagne shimmer-sheen in a frosted finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled, almost buttery texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is darker and more muted than MAC Double-Gleam, cooler and more muted than Becca Champagne Pop, more gold than Becca Moonstone, more muted than Anastasia Beverly Hills Summer, darker and more muted than Anastasia Beverly Hills Sunburst, and brighter and more frosted than Hourglass Brilliant Strobe Light.
Filtered Light is a light-medium warm yellowed beige in a soft matte finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a lightweight, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has low-medium pigmentation and sheer to semi-sheer buildable colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is similar though more matte than Hourglass Diffused Light, more yellow than MAC Light Plus Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, cooler and more beige than MAC Neutralize CC Powder, cooler and more beige than Ben Nye Banana Powder.
Moonlight is a light-medium warm peachy beige with champagne-silver shimmer-sheen in a frosted finish. This is a permanent shade. It has a soft, finely-milled, almost buttery texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is more muted than MAC Soft and Gentle, more beige and less metallic than MAC Beaming Blush, less pink than Anastasia Beverly Hills Crushed Pearl, more muted and less frosted than Becca Opal, more muted than theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, lighter and more shimmery than Hourglass Euphoric Strobe Light.
When this collection first rolled out and reviews of this palette started creeping up online, it had really mixed reviews. But after playing with it for some time, I'm starting to think either Tarte fixed any production issues with it (I bought this one in the summer, and it originally launched in February or March) or people just don't know how to use this palette properly. First things first, the two frosted highlighters in this palette — Sunlight and Moonlight — are both incredibly smooth and finely-milled, with great pigmentation and full colour pay-off. They have a beautiful pearlized finish but they're not as bright or metallic as Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfectors, or MAC's Mineralize or Extra Dimension Skinfinishes. I'd say they're more in line with Anastasia Beverly Hills' Glow Kits, where they're not as creamy as the Becca ones, and they're softer than MAC's offerings (which are baked, so they don't have that buttery texture to them). Either way, they're easy to build up and easy to blend out, and they leave a lovely radiant illumination on the skin that isn't too blinding but isn't as subtle as, say, the Hourglass' Ambient Lighting or Ambient Strobe Powders. Both shades will work well on fair to medium-dark skintones, but I do think they will start to look ashy on dark to deep-dark skintones.
I think the issue most people have with this palette is the matte highlighter, Filtered Light. I've read that some people think it's too dry, too sheer, too stiff, too chalky, etc. And some people don't give it any love because they don't know what to do with it. I will agree that it is powdery — there is some kick-up and dustiness — but I have no issues with actually getting the product on to my brush, even after swatching it with my fingers (e.g. the powder didn't hold on to any oil to form build-up). I actually find that it works wonderfully as a soft undereye brightener and a great all-over face highlighter (especially for those who are oily and want to highlight their T-zone without adding more shine). People have to understand that it is not your standard "highlighter" — it works the same way as a colour correcting powder. It's sheer and is meant to add natural brightening and highlighting to the face. And because it's not as yellow as many colour correcting powders out there, it is actually a lot more universally flattering than many other similar products. I didn't find it to look caky or heavy, either, and it sits well on oily skin without creasing or fading. I've found myself reaching for this palette a lot, especially when I'm on freelance jobs. It really deserves more attention; I don't love all of Tarte's products, but they did really, really well with this one.