Friday, July 29, 2011

True Blood Gets All tarte-ed Up

 Yes, even more than it already is. In keeping with their already inventive and particularly rewarding style of branding and merchandising, HBO has partnered with cosmetic company tarte to release three TrueBlood inspired products: An eyeshadow palette, a lip tint, and a cheek stain. I was lucky enough to get a hands-on demo (and cocktails!) at the Wired Cafe Oasis during Comic-Con, and was even luckier still when I got to take these products home. They're pretty stellar, and here's why:

Quality. HBO didn't try to overreach by releasing their own cosmetics. They turned to an edgy and reputable company with a popular line of bold colors and quality products and created something in tandem with tarte.

Presentation. A little bawdy but miles from gaudy (oh, we're rhyming now). The black and red leather case sporting eyelets and cord as if it were a corset being unlaced is racy and fun, much like the show itself, but doesn't stand out sorely in an otherwise innocuous bathroom. The drawer containing the primer, liner and mascara bears the words "Open After Dark" on it, a nice touch. The fact that the drawer is lined in red lends it a vaguely coffin-esque feel, which I'm not sure was intentional, but is still charming. The liptint and cheek stain come in sleek black and silver with red lettering, nothing stand out, but all the better. The packaging is clean and holds together in your purse while maintaining the color motif. Tra la.

Logic. It makes sense. The same way releasing a blood orange flavored soda made sense. HBO has gone out of its way with TrueBlood to generate merchandise that belongs in the world of the show and helps draw the consumer deeper into it. Bottle openers and mugs stamped with Merlotte's logo, handbags designed with the flare of Fangtasia in mind and the same shirts and hoodies branded with the vampire bar's name that can be purchased in the world of the show can all be purchased by its audience. Having a line of makeup now that feeds into the glamor of TrueBlood is a logical next step, and an inventive way to expand the brand. On their own, the products are highly purchasable- sexy colors and sleek packaging. That they are inspired by TrueBlood makes them... more special, a particularly intimate way to connect with the look and feel of the world of the show.

Admittedly, most of tarte's collections have something a bit more whimsical about them and aren't quite as dark as, say, a palette from Urban Decay, but the TrueBlood palette covers that gap in spades. The lip tint is a true red with the slightest bit of sheen, long lasting and not prone to bleeding past the lip line- a trait of all tarte's lipsurgence tints. If it's a bit too bold for your daytime look (which... I sort of hope its too bold for your daytime look, cuz damn) you can blot it and it leaves a very dark, rosy pink. Not as glam but still colorful. ($24)

The cheek stain is of the same ilk, a real red with not even the hint so much as the implication of sparkles. It can be used sparingly, spreads evenly and doesn't gravitate toward pores (I would know, mine are sizable).  It can be used for either a dark natural flush or a bright dramatic highlight. A little goes a long way, so this will last you for a long time.($30)

The palette is a thing of beauty. The centerpiece of the limited edition line, it looks and feels like a luxury item should, but it's not just a gimmick. In addition to the eye primer, aqua-gel liner, and lights camera lashes! mascara, it comes with 17 different shadows, each one named for a recognizable component of the show, whether a creature, cast member or location. They are, as described by Sephora (one of the two places the line may be purchased for $55, not counting ebay)

  • The Light (shimmering warm ivory) 
  • Fairy (shimmering pink)
  • Dusk (matte warm taupe)
  • Dawn (shimmering gold dust)
  • Werewolf (matte chocolate)
  • Waitress (sparkling pink champagne),
  • Nocturnal (sparkling deep indigo)
  • Charmer (sparkling burnt copper)
  • Glamour Me (sparkling deep plum)
  • Stake (matte steel)
  • Bayou (shimmering golden tan)
  • Telepath (sparkling warm rose)
  • The True Death (sparkling silver)
  • Immortal (sparkling midnight black)
  • Moss (shimmering forest green)
  • Legend (deep matte black)
  • "V" (sparkling crimson). 
The palette also includes in its packaging a quick how to illustration chart with four separate looks, including a fairy inspired look, a vampire inspired look, and my favorite, "Not Your Average Waitress". The how-to guides can also be found on tarte's website,  here.

When the fabulous Aline was done with me, I had a matte smokey eye that lasted me into the evening's festivities. Shazam! 

Note also: Fangtasia recreation complete w/deer head to my left (your right), and plastic cup of red liquid- TrueBlood inspired cocktails galore. None of the ones we created for the site, but a whole new batch of delicious, its-5-o'clock-somewhere justifying goodness. 

 Having now used the above products a few times and as a habitual and avid makeup user, I can happily recommend them all. As a big old Truebie nerd, I can say that the palette is now the centerpiece of my geek shelf and that I have never felt so stealthy in my geekitude as when someone complimented me on my eyes. Use this palette. It will be the closest you can come to glamouring someone without turning into a vampire.

I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire!
                                                        Bonus shot of liptint color: 


Chantaal said...


One day when I have a hundred bucks to blow on the entire collection, it will be mine.

Craig Taylor said...

Just want to say a total YES and LIKE IT!

Home Medical Equipment