March 13, 2019

Tarte High Tides & Good Vibes Eyeshadow Palette Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.
3 stars out of 5

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea High Tides & Good Vibes Eyeshadow Palette ($39) is a new, limited edition that includes contains eyeshadows and glittery gel toppers in aquatic hues. This is a pretty exciting release for Tarte as there are some bold blues and aquas that the brand hasn’t released before. It’s a refreshing change from their normal nude, neutral palettes that’s for sure.

I love a good turquoise eye look and this palette appeared to have quite a few options to create one not to mention some outstanding glittery shades that I had hopes would be as amazing as the ones in the Tarte Foil Finger Paints Shadow Palette.

Let’s check out my review and swatches below.

I swear Tarte must have blown their whole budget for the High Tides & Good Vibes Eyeshadow Palette on the packaging. Wow! What a weighty compact! This thing is heavy! You can hurt someone with it. Seriously, it’s one of the heaviest eyeshadow palettes I’ve ever owned. It feels really expensive. The reason the face plate has a snowglobe-like background with moving water in the background. When you shake it the water moves in little waves. It’s a rather cute feature. I actually thought it would have been even cuter if they moved the graphic of the turtle they have printed on the outer face plate and replace it with a cutout that would move within the water. None the less, it’s quite well made however, a little heavy for traveling around with.

The mirror is another outstanding feature. It’s massive and you can easily do your makeup in it. I don’t typically use the mirrors in my eyeshadow palettes all that much but this has a very generously sized mirror that will work great for application if you’re traveling with this palette.

Inside you’ll find eight eyeshadows which are 0.053 oz each and four Glitter Gel Toppers that are 0.06 oz each. These all lay on a super shiny gold mirror background. The contrast of the gold with the larger mirror makes the palette look lit up in the sun. Have I told you how pretty this packaging is yet?! Ha…!

As I said though, Tarte appears to have blown their budget on the packaging as the palette has some hits but quite a few misses too. First off the matte eyeshadows are very soft, silky, and buttery. They are powdery but not dry in the least! I did struggle with the light aqua shade called Surf’s Up. I applied it easily enough but it sheers away as you blend. Thankfully enough the issue is isolated to that shade. There are also three satins and one frost shade in the palette. The frost, Buried Gold, applied well and had a buttery texture with a creamy feel. The satin shades are a bit denser and almost cream-like on swatching but they apply rather harshly and a lot of blending is required to get them to look their best. Galapagos was the exception here as that applied flawlessly however, I experienced some patchiness with Dive In and Deep Blue. More is less with those two shades as they are very, very pigmented and they do require a lot of blending to get down just right. They aren’t necessarily dry but I do wish they were a little less firm and a little more powdery as they might be easier to work with. If you spend the time with them though they do blend out beautifully! It just takes some extra care to get them looking perfect.

Now, for the most disappointing aspect of the palette! The “glitter gel toppers” aren’t actually gel anything. I was hoping these would be as smooth and creamy as the Foil Finger Paints Shadow Palette formula. Or at least like the glitters found in Wet n Wild’s Fantasy Makers Palettes which typically launched around Halloween! They are not a creamy or a gel at all but a packed glitter. They are a loose glitter packed tightly into the well of the palette which means you’ll need glitter glue or some sort of cream base so they’ll adhere to your lid. They are quite grainy and gritty in texture but super sparkly. They don’t pick up well with a brush or a sponge application but do well if you dab your finger in them. Maybe they do have some sort of gel base because when you swipe at them they don’t fall apart and make a mess they do however, have some major fall out during application. I found the best technique was using glitter glue and fingers to get the best application as brushes proved useless to me and caused a greater mess with fall out everywhere. If I applied glitter glue and patted them on with my finger I had the best control with the lease amount of fall out. I admit, I was disappointed with this formula. I think they work best as an accent in the inner or outer corner of the lid or as a liner as all over the lid they look rather patchy as you can see in my look aqua look that I did using it all over my lid. There is a little bit of a learning curve to get them applied correctly but if you have patience, time, and use a gentle touch you can get a really nice look from them. But none the less as I said I was disappointed. They probably would have been way nicer and a heck of a lot easier to work with if they were a cream glitter formula of some sort. I guess maybe Tarte felt they’d dry out with a formula like that and went with a more traditional glitter but this also, makes them more difficult to use and also, harder to wear for daily looks as no one is going to the office with full on glitter on their lids. It’s more of an evening out or New Year’s even type of thing. But than again, Tarte’s demographic is pretty young so, this palette might totally be a Spring Break essential for someone younger than I am.

Tarte High Tides & Good Vibes Eyeshadow Palette Swatches (Turtlette, Aquaholic, Champagne Beach, Beach Daze)

Tarte High Tides & Good Vibes Eyeshadow Palette Swatches (Galapagos, Dive In, Surf’s Up, Deep Blue)

Tarte High Tides & Good Vibes Eyeshadow Palette Swatches (Buried Gold, Aloha, Beaches, Beach Therapy, South Beach)

Something that did bother me was the fact that the promo images are SOOOOO misleading. Tarte’s website has some killer looks “using” the palette but they were impossible to recreate. For example, they have one look using Surf’s Up and what appears to be the Champagne Beach glitter but I tried doing it and it came out nothing like that look. There are quite a few looks they created that appear to have accents from other shades that aren’t included in the palette. The palette also lacks Tarte’s traditional get-the-look guide which sucked as I could have used a helping hand to create some looks using it!

Without Glitter

With Glitter

On that note, I’d also like to discuss the price tag. $39 was really super affordable for this palette! Which is why I’d actually recommend checking it out. If it was saying $45 or more I’d probably say, “Hey! Wait for a sale!” but at $39 it’s actually prices fairly well to play with if that makes sense. It’s not a perfect palette by any means but there’s fun to be had here and I think makeup should be fun! If you use a little patience and have some time you can actually great some very pretty, sparkly looks with it.

Tarte High Tides & Good Vibes Eyeshadow Palette isn’t perfect by any means but if you’re a fan of sparkly looks and you aren’t a novice glitter user this might be worthy of a pick up!

Tarte High Tides & Good Vibes Eyeshadow Palette is available now.

Where to buy

Sephora Tarte

Tarte High Tides & Good Vibes Eyeshadow Palette is a new, limited edition eyeshadow palette that contains eight eyeshadows and four glitter gel toppers. This palette is all about aquatic shades and quite different from many of the more nude, neutral palettes that Tarte typically launches. It’s priced at a very affordable $39 price tag. I did struggle a little with the formula on some of the shades especially the glitters which just felt like a loosely packed glitter to me versus a gel or cream formula. They had a good deal of fall out and did require glitter glue for application. The mattes were the best feature with a soft, buttery formula that was powdery but not dry! Some of the satins were gorgeously pigmented but a bit patchy and required extra blending to look their very best!


  • With time, patience, and care you can create some very pretty looks with this palette!
  • Quite affordable!
  • Gorgeously packaged!


  • Glitters are difficult and messy to work with with major fall out.
  • Eyeshadows are hit and miss! Good pigmentation but some apply to sheerly and some patchy.


Tarte High Tides & Good Vibes Eyeshadow Palette is a great pick if you LOVE glittery and sparkly looks!

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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  • Jujubes

    Oh dear, the glitter swatches look like a loose mess! The blues are very pretty on you though. Well a month from now it will probably be half price so maybe it’s good for summer! Lol

    • Carol G

      Yep. My thoughts exactly. If it’s on clearance next month it may be worth checking out.
      But I don’t own any glitter glue or any type of adhesive for those glitters so it would have to be dirt cheap for me to consider buying it.

  • Ann Marie

    The looks you created are lovely and the colors are right in my wheelhouse. I don’t like glitter, however, so I’m not sure the palette would be worthwhile for just the other shades, especially since you said Surf’s Up is problematic.

    • Isabella Muse

      Surf’s Up requires a lot of building! It keeps sheering away for some reason 🙁 so sad because it is a gorgeous shade!

  • kjh

    Finicky toppers? Hell, no. Floating turtle? Big missed opportunity. This is like Jessica Rabbit, in that all the thought went into the packaging. I’ll bet, even with glitter glue, the fallout and collapse of look are significant over time. And, yeah, you can see the patchy, knowing that you agonized over and Tim Gunned (make it work!) it. A- for effort, C palette. Not even at the Rack or HL for me.

    • Isabella Muse

      omg I laughed so hard “Floating turtle? big missed opportunity!” LOL ROFL!

  • Diane

    I want this because of the cover. Our wedding colors, turquoise and purple and sea turtles are like our animal..that’s a reason to buy a palette, right? I’ll never buy tarte at full price though. Things get marked down way too fast so I’m waiting.

  • Kish

    I was intrigued by this palette, I admit, even though I never wear blues. After your lovely review, I’ve decided that I’m far too lazy to deal with it. Lol. I have so many eye shadow palettes and thanks to my recent downsizing (I had to move in with my mom due to my worsening medical issues) I just don’t think I’ll have room for stuff that is just pretty to look at. **looks around at a million palettes**

    I will say, the looks you created are really nice and look awesome on you. I finally got home after spending an unexpected night in Dallas due to flight issues, and I’m catching up on your posts before catching up on some much needed sleep.

    • Isabella Muse

      haha! I don’t blame you! In my opinion, it takes some tender, loving, care, time, and patience ;-D Oh no I’m sorry to hear it Kish! Get some rest my dear and please send me your updated address! I have your box under my desk for about three months PSFFF! I suck!

  • Aging Ophelia

    Thanks for the review, I can now safely and happily give up my intentions for this palette, and that is good news. When I saw it yesterday IRL, I guessed that the silver etc. was packed glitter but hoped not. Knowing that, and seeing the swatches, makes my desire for the palette drain right away. Now I can go back to thinking about Winky Lux’s Cashmere Kitten palette instead.