Tarte Treasure Chest Limited Edition Palette Holiday 2009

So... I bought this during Sephora's Friends and Family last year and haven't posted it yet. There are a few reasons for that, one of which is that I was going to swatch all the colors individually but it seemed too big and daunting so I never got around to it.... Another reason is that I sorta forgot I had it until I pulled it out to use this week. Whoops...

Anyway, this is one of those 'Blockbuster' style palettes that tend to come out every year around Christmas. It has a large amount of product for a small price. After I used it for the first time, I realized why the price was so low, but let me post the pictures before I talk about the product:

Here's the front. I think it's pretty beautiful. A metallic silver pleather with large gems. Really does reinforce the 'treasure chest' theme. I like the box so much that I wish you could use it for other things, but sadly, you can't.

Flip open the top and you'll see the shimmer shadows, 16 of them:

From left to right starting at the top, you have: tan, brown, cranberry, black raspberry, dark burgundy with gold and silver glitter, light gold, deep smoky denim, medium aqua, pinky peach/gold duochrome, light rose, olive green, red-toned purple, smoky greenish-greyish taupe with glitter, periwinkle-lavender-gold duochrome, indigo and silver with glitter. All shimmer finishes. Really fantastic colors. A little washed out in my picture due to the lighting, though.

Flip open the side flaps to find the 16 matte shades:

Ivory, purple-taupe, light pink, warm blush brown, purple, camel, fuchsia, burgundy, peachy-pink, indigo, warm grey/taupe, white, reddish medium brown, neutral light brown, dark teal, deep grey. Again, a little washed out because of the lighting.

Then, underneath that there's a double-layer drawer that's constantly falling out which contains the glosses and the blushes.

Pull the drawer out fully to see the gloss:

Only halfway for the cheek items:

That's a lot of product, isn't it? That's why I bought it. I'm a huge sucker for those value sets, though I'm really hesitant to buy them any more because the quality tends to be watered down.

This palette was like that- allow me to explain.

First thing I need to discuss is the packaging. It's HORRIBLE. This has to be the worst palette design in history and I'll explain why. Let's start from the top. There's a lid flap (the part with the jewels) that has no clip or lock or magnet or any sort of securing mechanism. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but this palette has an obnoxious sliding drawer that opens/falls out every time you move the damn palette. This caused me to put a big gouge in one of the blushes before I even got a chance to use it. I hate that damn drawer so much that I kinda want to break it off and put it in its own palette.

The second design flaw is the top layer of eyeshadows. They are each on flaps that open like wings, but they're not entirely solid. This can cause the edges of the flaps to dig in to the shadows below, causing breakage and gouges and basically a giant powdery mess. The side flaps don't stay open very well while you're trying to use the matte shadows, which is also an annoyance. They also tend to flip out to the sides whenever you tilt the palette- there's nothing to secure them so once the lid is open you have a big floppy, flappy box of crazy with powder flying everywhere.

The palette itself is so floppy, large and unwieldy that it is almost impossible to use without scratching or breaking or accidentally putting your finger in something. It's too big to comfortably set on a vanity and use all the items- fully extended with the lid open and blush and gloss drawers open it's over two feet long. The fact that you can't stop that obnoxious mother effing blush drawer from opening is sure to cause uncontrollable rage by the second time you try picking up the palette. You may be overcome with the urge to throw the palette against a wall and maybe smash it with a fire extinguisher or shoot at it a few times.

Absurdly bad design aside, the products inside are hit-or-miss. I found most of the shadows to be rather chalky with fairly poor payoff and pigmentation. Some shades are better than others. The mattes were especially streaky and chalky but most of the shimmers were acceptable. The glosses are hard and sticky and come in really odd colors like brown and salmon and off-white. The gloss (or is it lipstick?) formula doesn't resemble any Tarte lip product I've ever used and they're not scented or flavored. The blushes are good and quite pigmented but they're also extremely shimmery and powdery.

The colors of the shadows are really great. The selection is amazing and the complexity of some of the shades is just spectacular. The problem is that they're not the regular Tarte shadow formula.

I have two other Tarte palettes- the A List palette which is the normal Tarte formula and the We Wish You Wealth palette which also feels the same as normal Tarte formula. It seems like this Treasure Chest palette was watered down in quality in order to justify such a low price. Tarte eyeshadows are usually silky and creamy, a lot like Stila or Urban Decay's shadow texture. The ones in this palette are harder, more powdery feeling and not as pigmented.

This may seem like a pointless review now that the product is unavailable, but I wanted to share my experience with it and see if maybe someone else felt the same way about it. This really would have been a great inexpensive palette if that stupid blush drawer didn't slide out every time you touched the palette. The packaging is beautiful, the colors are sexy and fun- it's the kind of palette you want to leave out on your vanity because it's so beautiful to look at. Makes me wonder if they even tested the drawer design before that manufactured it...

Okay, next makeup review I post has to be something I'm super in love with.

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