Okay, so this isn’t technically called the unicorn palette, but today I wanted to review the “unicorn-inspired” MAKE BELIEVE IN YOURSELF: EYE & CHEEK PALETTE by Tarte. This palette retails at about $40.00, so it is a bit pricey, so it’s really a good or bad purchase depending on if you, yourself, want these types of shadows in your collection or not. It’s part of Tarte’s Make Believe In Yourself collection, which is basically a limited edition collection of different fantasy inspired cosmetic products, including things like a rainbow highlighter and Tarte’s take on unicorn brushes.
The first thing that I want to say is that I do not consider this an EYE & CHEEK PALETTE like the name implies. The set comes with ten different eye colors around the circumference, and then a larger pan of what’s meant to be a highlighter in the centre. For one highlighter, I wouldn’t really call this a cheek palette, especially with how that shade performs, but I’ll get to that in a bit. I want to talk about the palette, itself, a bit first. The packaging is gorgeous. The outside is really vibrant and lovely, definitely filled with the sorts of hues to be expected from the unicorn trend right now (Starbucks Frappuchino, I’m looking at you!). When you open it up, the inside has a metallic gold plating around it, with a nice enough sized mirror on the inside of the lid. Personally, I liked the Tarte mirrors more when they didn’t have such a thick border around them, like on the Rainforest of the Sea palette, but this one’s still nice to have when traveling or away from another mirror. It definitely looks like a nicer makeup item, so if you want something that feels higher end, but still fun, this definitely fits the bill!
It’s hard to tell in this picture, but it does have the name for each of the shadows written beneath them, around the white highlighter in the centre. Starting with the singular matte shade and going clockwise, the colors are myth, magic, wings, marvel, trance, fairy, mystic, dream, crystal, and pixie. The shimmer highlighter in the centre is in the shade believe. All of these names definitely fit into the theme, which I love! I’ve heard some people say that the colors themselves aren’t as bright as they’d hoped, though. Personally, I tend to go for nudes for every day, though. So I really love that this palette does have some fun colors to try that can still be workable for every day, sort of like a touch of magic while you’re going about every day life!
I did swatch these because I wanted to show the color payoff. Personally, I think it’s a really good payoff. These are all really pigmented shades. I know myth doesn’t look as pigmented on the swatch, but when it’s on the eye, it’s incredible. It is the only matte in the palette, which I thought was a bit odd to include a singular matte shade, but I like to use it as a base shade in my crease before I start playing around with colors. I wish there was a lighter matte to go with it, just to give everything a really good base, but I’ve managed to get along without it.
Moving down, pixie and crystal I was a bit disappointed with, because they looked like they would be a bit more pink and purple in the compact. When I think unicorns, I definitely have that bright pink image in my head, so I’m a little sad this palette didn’t include it.
However, dream and mystic really don’t disappoint! I haven’t really used blue eyeshadow as a habit, except for some radical stage show looks where I had to literally turn people blue, so I’m a bit tentative when it goes for using these shades. I’m still playing around with them, but I will say they are absolutely gorgeous on the eye. I could see a really great mermaid look coming together with them too, since neither of them are really a true blue, and they both definitely cross into more of a mystical aqua type territory.
Fairy is the color I was the most excited about, since I always love using a dash of purples on my eyes. It’s not as bright as I’d hoped, which makes it easier to work with when it comes to making an every day look, but a bit harder if you really want that bright pop of purple. Still, I do get a fair bit of use out of it since it’s definitely pigmented well, and can add a little bit of color to a more nude look to make it a bit more special.
Trance honestly surprised me. I thought it would be a purple I liked, but didn’t use a lot, since it is a lot more of a toned down lilac shade. However, the metallic on this one is absolutely crazy, and it’s just a really cool color. It’s probably the one I go to the most in this palette, if I’m honest, and I feel like it’s one that would work for any occasion if you worked it into a look right!
Marvel is honestly one of the stars of the palette for me. It’s not a bright overwhelming green or a green that looks more like mold then anything else. Instead, it’s this rich color that just screams spring forests and magic to me. I absolutely love it, and it looks GORGEOUS on the eye, however you use it. Honestly, I think it would be hard to go wrong with this color. It’s one of my favorites out of all the eyeshadow shades I’ve gotten recently.
The last two eyeshadow shades, wings and magic, are the two I really didn’t see myself getting excited over. Like I said, I go for nude palettes a lot, so I do have a lot of brown colors. However, the depth to these two is absolutely amazing. Wings, especially, is one of my new favorites to use around my crease. I love that sort of coppery tone, and it definitely makes my green eyes pop! Like trance, these are two I wasn’t sure what to expect, but ended up loving for an every day usage.
The last swatch was for the highlighter. Aside from the fact that, in my opinion, one shade does not a cheek palette make, I honestly didn’t think I would use believe at all. When I purchased the palette, I accepted that it would come with this giant white circle in the middle, but doubted I’d use it. I’m a highlighter fiend, so I have so many other highlighters to use, and the idea of a real white to use just seemed like it would make me chalky. Admittedly, I haven’t used this on my cheeks because of that, and because I just grab other highlighters more. However, I’m extremely surprised by how much I do use it. I really do think, now that I’m using it, that the palette needed it. It’s a bright, light shade you can use after you have the rest of the eye blended to go in and add some highlight to your eye and to brighten up the inside corner. I use it almost every day for that, even if I’m not using the MAKE BELIEVE IN YOURSELF palette for my eyes. I drag the whole thing out just for the believe highlighter, which is something I never really thought I’d end up doing.
In the end, is it worth it? I think so, for me personally. But again, all I really have are nudes, so I wanted a palette that could have some real color in it, and this lets me have that while still having shades that are extremely workable. If you’re looking for a true cheek palette, I would definitely think about something else, because I’ve never used this anywhere on my face but my eyes. Also, as you can see in the swatches, the shades are very metallic and very shimmery. Personally, that’s an eyeshadow goal right there, so I’m in love with the finish of the shadows. If you’re more of a matte sort of person, this palette might not be right for you. But I do honestly think this is an amazing palette. It has great color payoff, the shadows feel extremely soft and light on the eye without creasing or caking, and they’re all super blendable and workable into most any sort of look. I find this such a fun palette to work from, and while not in your face bright electric with the shades, it definitely puts a little bit of whimsy into my daily eye routine!