Beauty Find: Tarte Cheek Stain
The first time I actually came cheek-to-cheek with Tarte was in the bathroom of my London-based beauty editor friend back in 2007. Actually, let’s call her International Beauty Editor, to borrow the parlance of Real Housewife of Melbourne Jackie-My-Husband-is-an-International-Rock-Star-Gillies, because that’s exactly what Ms B is.
Ms B has worked as a beauty editor for around 15 years, most of that time as an editor in New York and London, on one of the world’s most acclaimed beauty magazines. She’s passionate and extremely knowledgeable about the science of skincare and make-up, and when it comes to her own personal grooming, Ms B doesn’t muck around.
I’d heard about Tarte Cheek Stain before, back in my own days of magazine editing, as it had achieved a cult-like status since it first launched 15 years ago. But the brand wasn’t available in Australia back then, so I didn’t actually have any first-hand experience until I laid eyes on it in Ms B’s Notting Hill flat.
That’s when she told me that Tarte Cheek Stain really is the shiz. It’s her daily go-to blush. And it works.
Back then, I had my own blush favourites, always preferring a light gel or cream formulation to get a nice hit of colour – and most importantly, natural glow – on the apples of my cheeks.
Fast forward eight years and I haven’t looked back, or departed from my Tarte Cheek Stain daily routine. And I reckon my 41-year-old cheeks are all the better for it. The lightweight formulation allows my natural skin texture and tone to shine through, and unlike powder-based blush, it has a sheer, natural gleam that flatters and bounces light off my face.
When applying the cheek stain, smile broadly and pop it smack-bang in the middle of the apples of your cheeks. It’s the bit that pops out the most! Right there. Blend outwards and upwards slightly (don’t take it anywhere near your nose!), but try to keep it mostly on the apple part of your cheek.
You really can’t go too wrong with Tarte Cheek Stain, as it’s ridiculously easy to use. Just don’t try to use it to contour under your cheek bones. Contouring products are entirely different to cheek stains, and you’re better off with a matte powder-based product, which I might talk about at a later stage (if you’re interested!). For a fully made-up, contoured look, you can use a cheek stain as well as contouring blush, but remember that these two products have completely different purposes.
I’m cheered that Tarte is formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, and synthetic fragrances. And Cate Blanchett is also a long-time fan, stating in several interviews that Tarte Cheek Stain is her daily favourite:
“I’ve been using this blush. It’s Tarte and it’s a stick. A friend of mine who is a film makeup artist was using it on me when I wasn’t meant to look like I was wearing makeup. We put it on lips, too. Everywhere.”
These days, I switch between three different shades: Blissful (a warm peach) and Cate Blanchett’s favourite; Tipsy (a sheer coral) and Flush (a sheer berry).
Tarte Cheek Stain, $30, is available at Sephora.