May 26, 2017

Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette ($46) is a new eyeshadow slash contour palette all in one that I picked up against my better judgement and because I’m so damn weak. I honestly didn’t need this one because I have so many nude, natural shades. I’m also saying that about the new Tartelette Toasted Eyeshadow Palette but you know that I’m going to probably grab that too. Makeup junkie problems right?

This one packs in 12 Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow that you can use as eyeshadow or you can contour your nose and shape your brows with. I actually thought they were marketing it as a contouring palette as well as an eyeshadow one but turns out that isn’t the case. They recommend using the shades as eyeshadows obviously or you can use them as brow powders or to shape and contour your nose. Shrug…ok? If I’m honest, I’ll likely use them all as eyeshadow and not much else. I don’t use brow powders because hey, if you read my my experience at the Benefit Brow Bar you totally get it. And I don’t really sculpt and contour my nose…! Again, I’m shrugging my shoulders here mentally because it seems odd to market an eyeshadow palette for those things. Or maybe I’m just not that savvy a makeup user!

Anyway, I did in fact purchase this the day it launched. After I purchased it, no joke, the next day Tarte had 15% Off (use promo code DREAM15). Sigh, Sod’s Law right?

It arrived and I was disappointed because I thought it got damaged or something in shipment. The design has this weird scratched off faded look. I was all, “Wait, did this get damaged or did someone use it?” On certain parts of palette the design is rubbed away showing white. I realized after a little googling that was normal But I’m a little bit of a perfectionist and it bugged me. Aside from this the palette itself is well made with a very generously sized mirror inside and a weighty feel. Inside you’ll find 12 shades that range in size. 6 are 0.035 oz each, 3 are 0.070 oz, and 3 are 0.21 oz in size. The palette has a chocolate-y vanilla fragrance that disappears once the shadows are applied.

Shades include:

  • Journey (rosy buff)
  • Stone (rosy brown)
  • Solstice (ivory)
  • Terracotta (warm taupe)
  • Dunes (slate brown)
  • Smoke (coffee)
  • Sand (cream)
  • Desert (cool taupe)
  • Ember (amber brown)
  • Onyx (black)
  • Instinct (buff)
  • Timber (chestnut)

There are all mattes here not a single shimmer in the mix which can make it a very appealing if you love mattes or you’re looking for a work friendly palette. I was somewhat shocked to see the amount of smoky blackish eyes they had going on in the how to get the look guide that came with the palette. I had a moment of, “Wait, how did they create that with these brown shades!?” It was a little strange to see that…!

One thing is for sure I didn’t need this palette but I can’t deny the formula is good. There wasn’t a single shade here to rant about. All of them had very good pigmentation and a smooth, silky formula that blended well and adhered to my lid nicely without primer. They didn’t crease nor did they fade during the wear. It’s debatable whether you can dupe these shades across other Tarte palettes. Sure, there are shades that look similiar to past palettes but I’m going to go a little wild here and say they aren’t complete dupes of past shades. Shades like Timber, Terracotta, Dunes, Smoke, Stone, Instinct, all felt very unique to me.

Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Eyeshadow Palette Swatches (Ember, Onyx, Instinct, Timber)

Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Eyeshadow Palette Swatches (Journey, Stone, Solstice, Terracotta)

Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Eyeshadow Palette Swatches (Smoke, Dunes, Sand, Desert)

I actually like the warm chocolate-y tan theme going on in this palette and can see myself using these shades in a lot of my daily look. For some reason, the palette surprised me. I expected uneventful, boring, and a rehash of old shades. But what I got was some a round up of interesting shades that I’ll happily use as single color washes daily in some of my more natural looks. This isn’t to say the palette isn’t a LITTLE boring. I think we’re all conditioned to get excited about either a vibrant, bold selection of shades or a palette that contains a ton of sparkle, shimmer, and flash. Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette takes things back to the basics and I’m ok with that.

Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette is a little diamond in the rough. I expected to not be wowed by this palette and I wasn’t. But I can’t deny that I really liked it and I feel like I’ll be getting a lot of use out of it. The colors just work for me and the texture of the shadows was beautiful.

So, yeah, this one gets a nod for purchase. If you like mattes, I’d dive in and grab it.

Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette is available now at and at

Did you indulge?

Do share your thoughts!

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

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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  • Agona

    Muse!! I just got a Sephora email saying there will be a RotS III palette this fall!!

  • Kelli Rae

    This does look lovely. Ahh so many new things always being released. It’s an obsession. The look you did with this is perfect I may not be able to hold back. And the Toasted palette! Gah help us all!! LOL!!!

    • Isabella Muse

      aw thanks 😀 glad you liked the look! Ha I know! I’ll likely grab the Toasted Palette too 😀 can’t resist!

  • Tatiana

    Wooooow. Those look really good. I’m tempted even though I already have waaaaay too many neutral eyeshadows.

  • Dominique

    It’s 64$ CAD. As much as I’d like it, I’ll patiently wait for a markdown or the toasted one. Tarte prices are just offensive at this point ! But I agree, it looks very very nice !

  • genevieve

    I agree with you Isabella with respect to your comment about us (in the beauty world) conditioned to expect unusual shades or a degree of shimmer in our palettes.
    However this looks to be a sterling effort by Tarte to deliver basic, workable matte shades that can be used in a variety of every day looks. You could use this palette as a companion to many shimmery palettes to provide depth and balance to your looks.
    It’s a shame that Tarte decided to put this little gem in such a shabby looking box – it could deter potential customers from looking inside and discovering how good it really is.
    I really like the shades myself and I would consider purchasing this one.
    Thank you for the review.

    • Isabella Muse

      Aw my pleasure 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the review and I agree! It’s a solid working palette for Tarte and def has some good shades that can be companions to shimmers should you like to go that way 😀

  • Lorraine E.R

    This is really pretty. I wasn’t interested at all before but getting a good look at it, I get it now. It is full of flattering looks plus the ability to do double duty as brow or contour powders is pretty great. It seems a bit like their version of shade & light by Kat von D but I think this one appeals to me more.

    • Isabella Muse

      agreed it does indeed look like Kat’s shade and light 😀

  • Dee

    It’s online at Ulta today and I’m going to get it. The colors are perfect for everyday and your review is good!

  • Isa

    These do look like very nice and creamy mattes, but I don’t think that’s enough for me to buy it. In some ways the palette doesn’t really make sense to me. What would I do with such a large pan of a shade as deep as timber? Yeah, it’s marketed also as a contouring palette, but most people would only realistically be able to use one of those large pans as a contour and probably won’t need such big pans of the other 2 colours.

    Also, I like the design of the compact, but I would not be happy about the white spots. Normal or not, it’s not pleasing!

    • Isabella Muse

      I felt the same about the larger shades, I likely won’t contour with these shades!

  • Starfish425

    Awesome review! Very informative and detailed!! I like matte shades 😀 so I’d like to try this out!! I usually use my Mermaid Makeup Brushes Set for applying any make up like this. Thank you for sharing this! Looking forward to your future post!!

  • TK

    I’m looking at getting a Tarte palette for some neutrals (I want to build on my UD Naked original) and I am lost! Would you say this palette is good enough or is there a need for the Tarte matte and in bloom palettes as well?

    • Isabella Muse

      If you’re looking for a good selection of nudes, this isn’t quite it. If you’re looking for some basic nudes this is great. You might want to explore the Too Faced Natural Love Palette for more variety! That might be a good way to build upon your Naked Palette 🙂 I like this palette a lot but it’s a basic selection of shades and not one you can build a collection on!

        • Isabella Muse

          My pleasure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a little limiting, I just think if you want to grow your stash of nudes you might want to go with something larger 🙂

  • Em

    Sephora has it for $64 here in Canada. Ouch. Think I’ll pass (for now).
    NB It is LE or permanent?

  • Adia

    Thank you for the review, I wish I could fight with my temptations haha

  • Georgia

    Yes, I caved! I first petted it at Ulta. Their price was $49 and I told myself I didn’t need another nude / matte palette. They someone posted about a Sephora deal and I caved. Sephora’s price was $3 less. Of course as soon as I hit “order” I received an e-mail from Ulta telling me there were 5X points on Tarte. Oh well. It was done and just arrived yesterday and I love it! “Dune” was the shade that snagged my eye, so of course I wore that today. There isn’t a good shade for red head brows, but I’m still experimenting. There will be a lot of Play Time with this one!

  • Angeline

    Which would you recommend? This one or kat von d shade and light eye contour? 😀

  • Angeline Tan

    Hi. I’ve read your review and i think i like this tarte better in terms of your description of the formulation 😀 i likequality eyeshadows. I plan to get this one and abh modern renaissance. I have the naked 1 palette and i want to get one more eyshadow palette to add to my collection what would you recommend for a starting makeup artist? Maybe a little more shimmer since this tarte one is matte 😀

    • Isabella Muse

      I feel bad you’re buying this now as it was 50% off at Sephora about two weeks ago during the weekly wows sale. 🙁 This is def all matte. If you want the Natural love one that has a wider range of shades and a variety of different finishes. If you want to go a bit more simple the Tarte one is a better option! Hope this helps!? 🙂

      • Angeline Tan

        Oh that seems sad 🙁 im planning to buy it from beautybay tho from the link in your website. Or are there any better places to get good deals? Im just visiting the US now for a short time that is why i probably cant wait for other bigger sales i’ll be here only until the 18 😀

        Oh by the way do you know how long beautybrands usually ship within california?:)

        Thank you so much for your help

        • Isabella Muse

          oh yes that’s right they have 20% off right now! They prob won’t be better ones (right now) but don’t quote me! I wish you were here longer as black Friday is coming and I’m positive they’ll be plenty of good deals at that point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They do indeed! My pleasure <3!

          • Angeline Tan

            Thank you very much!:) I want to know whether the black friday deals are like sephora’s vib discount on all items or it is a huge discount on selected items?:)

  • Angeline Tan

    By the way have you ordered from before?:D im a bit scared because there are bad reviews about the website.