December 23, 2010

Tarte The Jewelry Box Review, Swatches, Photos

This year’s variation of Tarte’s mega palette, The Jewelry Box, features a whopping 32 Full Size Eyeshadows plus other wonderful goodies. I kinda dub Tarte the founding sister of HUGE Holiday Palettes. While every other brand was doing gift sets or festive themed makeup, Tarte was busy releasing super sized palettes to sink our teeth in. Needless to say the rest of the makeup world soon caught the bug and started releasing their own versions of these monsters palettes but we should all bow our heads in respect that Tarte was the first brand to start this great Holiday tradition.

I believe their Holiday Palette is now in its fourth or fifth generation, I know I own at least three of these bad boys and I can recall a year or two I didn’t indulge. Go right ahead and correct me if I’m wrong. I haven’t really gotten tired of collecting them since they are 1. such a great value and 2. Tarte goes for the shock value every year and just when you think you’ve seen it all, they go and do something extra special which is what The Jewerly Box Palette felt like to me.

It was the same idea and design but it was a new as well with alot more packaged into one very tiny box! Who doesn’t like a palette that features everything and the kitchen sink and allows it to fit into a chunky little box about the size of a music CD? That’s awesomeness people.

Did you haul the Tarte Jewelry Box?

Jump ahead to hear my thoughts!

Alot of gorgeous Tarte makeup for a little price tag!

You’re looking at 16 full size shimmering Tarte Eye Shadows, 16 full size matte finish Tarte Eyeshadows, 8 Lip Glosses, Mineral Powder Bronzer, Highlighting Powder, and 5 long wearing eyeliners all housed in a lame gold box with a rather cool hanging necklace as a design. Sweet eh? Lots of makeup, little price tag! $52 will bring it all home to you which works out to as little as almost $1 per item! Deal right?

This comes in a flip top, swing open design. Flip open the top to reveal a full size mirror and a several rows of sixteen shimmering eyeshadows. Swing these open to reveal a full tray of the matte shades of shadow and pull out the stealthy little drawer below to reveal lipglosses, bronzers, and a highlighter, pull out the last drawer to reveal five eyeliners. The tier design makes the palette a rather ideal pick for traveling particularly if you’re heading on a cruise and want to have a ton of makeup available for various eye looks or if you want something you can easily pack in your bag for a trip abroad. I would be slightly wary of the palette breaking so a bit of bubble wrap around it prior to packing in your luggage might be a good idea but the sheer amount of product in this will insure you can have a ton of makeup in one very small place.

I’ve always been delighted with the Tarte Eyeshadow formula but this year for some reason the formula feels different. These new shades have a really lovely texture that’s silky and blends easily with little effort particularly the mattes which I’ve already raved about when I did the Royal Collection Palette review. I’m not a matte girl and you’ve heard me rant about them many a fine time but I will say these mattes are amazing and quite usable and workable. One thing I find about Tarte eyeshadow is some shades don’t play well together when blending so be careful which you chose to contrast with as some will appear a little muddy if you have a heavier hand during application. Aside from that I think the formula is fabulous for newbie makeup users since it has such a buttery soft texture that applies with ease on lids.

The glosses in the palette are incredible. Normally these larger palettes have a hard texture gloss but these are extremely pigmented with a very soft, glossy feel. I’d call them more along the lines of a lip cream rather than a simple gloss! Quite lovely.

The liners are all equally fabulous with a soft formula that glides on effortlessly sans tugging. You get a wide range of colors including traditional black and brown plus green, plum, and blue! Pretty much all the shades you’ll need for pairing up with the shadows in the set.

And finally the bronzer and highlighter are bother generous sizes.

The necklace that attached on the front of the palette can be unhooked and worn around your neck. At first glance I thought it wasn’t really my style but it’s actually quite a nice tier style necklace that looks lovely with a simple blouse or shirt! It’s a nice little extra that keeps with this year’s “jewelry” theme.

Sadly, I don’t think I’ll make much use of the bronzer or the highlighter powder. I wish they included the cheek stains like years past as this contains no blushes which I thought was sad. I also dislike the larger powders being so close to the gloss, major mess waiting to happen if I’m not careful!

  • Those starting out in the makeup world who want a good selection of high quality makeup for creating a ton of looks!
  • Anyone who loves Tarte!
  • Anyone who wants a green friendly makeup formula sans parabens and other synthetic and harmful ingredients!
  • Those who want a gorgeous pressie for friends or family!
  • Anyone who wants more for less (this ranges out to a buck or so per product and all are either full size or generous size products!).

  • Anyone who doesn’t who isn’t keen on powder and gloss formulas being housed in the same palette.
  • Anyone who wants alot of pop a la MAC eyeshadow (you’re getting a range of gorgeous shades but they are not incredibly BOLD or vibrant shades).
  • Anyone wanting a cheek, lip, and eye palette (this lacks a little in the cheek department).

I thought it was a fabulous deal and felt like the palette offered alot housed in a very small amount of space that was still very workable and user friendly. The entire palette just screams at beauty junkies to buy it and it creates some very nice looks and easy ones as well since I felt it was ideal for both advanced and new users alike. If you’re still seeking a last minute gift definitely head to Sephora for a pick at this, your friends or family will adore this if they love makeup!

Here are a few looks created with the palette! I just added my own blush and mascara but the eyeshadow, liner, and lipgloss is all from the palette!

The Tarte Jewelry Box is a Muse Approved item for purchase for a variety of reasons but most important the sheer value!

Did you buy it?

What did you love about it?

What didn’t you love about it?

Plans to buy it?

Do share!

Available from Sephora and online at

Note: I’ll update shortly with the matte swatches, they were left out of the review, apologies!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • courtney

    not sure about this, but the necklace is fabulous! Are you wearing the bella powder from the other day? Looks great on you, I just got mine yesterday. I LOVE it! Sorry, totally talking about another product!

  • Nathalie

    I was sooo excited when it got great reviews from other bloggers that I went out and bought it the same day. But honestly, I was a little disappointment in the pigment of the shadows. I think I’ve just been spoiled by MAC and UD. It’s a nice palette, don’t get me wrong…but it needs a little more power.

    • the Muse

      it’s def NOT ud or mac nathalie ;-D I made sure to put that in my review ;-D the shades are more softer and velvety ;-D

  • Aimee Pan

    I purchased this already and it’s just so fun and fantastic! I can’t stop using it. I got both this and the Smashbox Eye Wish palette and I can never decide which one to use, every morning. Ahhh!

  • Rachel

    I bought it! Though sadly I think it’s gonna wait for some depotting and z-palettes before I get a chance to really play, part of me just doesn’t want to get attached to a color or look that I can’t travel with.

  • Heather

    Have you seen that Urban Decay has mood changing lipsticks?! I am totally curious as to see what these look like. Totally off the subject!

  • Shannon

    i bought this and actually returned it due to the ridiculously unwieldy nature of the box. everything seems oddly fragile, and i kept expecting either my finger to go in something (as I try to keep it open to get to the items), or I break something (as i try to access the pencil drawer), or just some other small issues here and there that ended up being the straw the broke the camel’s back.

    i also thought most of the shades are rather oddly chosen. i usually have no issues with picking out a shade or two that would work well together, but when iopened this, i completely drew a blank, and could find nothign that worked well together. :\ the one thing i loved were the pencils, but they were housed in a very crappy fashion. and just liking the pencil and a handful of the shadows didn’t really justify not only the moeny i spent, but also the space it takes up! lol so yeah…back it went.

    i ended up purchasing the day to night palette tho, after completely falling in love with it at sephora while swatching. i thought that one was a lot better coordinated with better formulation as well.

    anywayz, good review 😀

    • the Muse

      aw sorry to hear it shannon! the box can prove cumbersome when using it in the bathroom (as I do) however a little practice and I’m good ;-D I can forsake since the variety is amazing. I think tarte shadows are best used individually anyway which is why I wasn’t so bothered with the colors being mismatches ;D sorry you didn’t love this but happy to hear the day to night was more to your liking, that’s an equally fav palette!

  • xxreemey

    I really like both of the looks you did with this palette; they are both pretty, and they don’t look too hard, which is great because I just started getting into makeup!

    • the Muse

      aw thanks reemey ;-D you’re too kind. they are really easy to work with imho!

  • Kat

    Oooooh, me likey! Now I’m torn between this and the Smashbox Master Class! (unless Santa has a few gift cards for my stocking)

    Which do you think is better?

    Have a great holiday!

    • the Muse

      haven’t tried the master class kat, can’t really compare hun! Hope you got those gc’s though ;-D and had a great holiday!

  • lissa

    I love this and wish I didn’t already have too much makeup to justify it. Love the looks, what shadows did you use in the first one? love it.

    • the Muse

      hi lissa it’s a great one sadly don’t have names for the shadows (they aren’t named) but I used the rose shade, third row, second shadow in the shimmer finishes.

  • Risu

    I think this is fantastic for the amount of product you get and what you paid for.
    Having 32 different colored eyeshadows means it’s enough for pretty much any look. I think the colors are pretty good (pigmented and velvety) but they’re not THE best. There are a couple colors that swatched uneven for me.
    I really like the texture of the lip glosses; my only regret is that you can’t bring them out for touch ups and the powder from highlight/ bronzer can get in if you’re not careful.
    Anyways I do love love love this palette, it’s definitely the highlight of my x’mas hauls! =)

    • the Muse

      so far all the shades are fab for me risu but I find they don’t contrast well so its best that they are used individually in most cases ;-D true about the glosses le sigh!

  • sanja skobalj

    i didnt think the lip products would have so much pigment,it looks pretty and the necklace is fab just to bad there isnt any blush.

    • the Muse

      sanja same here was very surprised at them! they have a really nice formula too!

  • thatgal

    It’s such a nice color matching! All colors are sophisticated and intelligent. Never used anything from Tarte (the brand I learned about from your blog, lovely Muse;)). I wish I did but I live in Kazakhstan, where it’s not sold.

    • the Muse

      aw thatgal sorry hun ;( hate that it isn’t available on your wide of the planet grrr!

  • Jen

    I have to agree, it is quite a nice necklace…. usually I keep things very simple when it comes to accessories, but this one I can see myself wearing with a nice white blouse. 🙂

    • the Muse

      jen same here but and at first glance I was kinda meh about it but it’s actually really nice!

  • Johanna

    I debated between Tarte’s Jewelry Box and Lorac’s Box Office, and Box Office won. I love the smoothness of Lorac’s shadows. I actually liked the texture of their lipsticks, but none of the colors were flattering on me — too light and bright, even when I tried to mix them. I LOVE the blushes and the bronzer, however. I’m pleased overall.

    • the Muse

      I loved the box office as well Johanna but the lipsticks I didn’t love 🙁 sadly they were too hard 😛

  • Rabia

    Do you have the names of the lipgloss swatches. I love love love the first pink one.

    • the Muse

      hi rabia there aren’t any names sadly. Everything is un-named product in the palette.

  • caroline

    this palette is super cute, especially for the bonus necklace. gosh, badly want it!
    here’s the case : since both of this palette (jewelry box) and the royal collection are on sale, i wonder which one would value more? in your version?
    i’ve been staring at the swatches for each palette since this morning, mouth-watery.
    which one should i pick? please gimme a suggestion! i’d be very grateful if you help me. thanks 😉