Since contouring became a trend in the makeup industry, I’ve been on the lookout for great contour palettes for dark skin. Recently one of my favorite makeup gurus from Instagram, @makeupshayla announced that she had a collaboration with Tarte cosmetics for a new contour palette. Upon seeing the swatches on her snapchat and Instagram, I became super excited because this palette was created for women of color, also to include those with darker skin. I always go crazy when any new makeup product for women of color comes out, because it’s a well known fact that such products are very scarce and women of color are highly underrepresented in the beauty industry. I love supporting other women of color, and I remember when @missylynn collaborated on a palette with BH Cosmetics, I purchased it the day it came out. The tarteist x MakeupShayla palette officially debuted on the Tarte website on June 19th and was sold out in minutes, so I had to wait for the arrival on the Sephora website. (You can also now purchase the palette at Ulta online.)


Upon receiving the palette, I already liked the packaging design. The front says tarteist x Slayla (which is one of Shayla’s nicknames) and the back has a short little bio with one of Shayla’s infamous glam makeup photos. One cute little detail they’ve included is a cartoon face of Shayla’s dog, Titus (who is featured in her snapchat story every day, he’s a really funny dog) with the writing “Titus approved” underneath. That’s just a little detail that really puts Shayla’s personal touch on the product.

In terms of palette design, this palette looks identical to the pre-existing tarteist contour palette, with the glamorous metallic gold case and nice big mirror on the inside. The palette features 6 shades:
1. Highlight – a light champagne frost
2. Correct – an off white/yellowish powder meant to brighten and set your concealer under your eyes
3. Contour – chocolate brown color
4. Contour – a deep chocolate brown color meant for darker skin tones, or if you just want a deep contour
5. Accentuate – a peach blush color
6. Glow – a light bronze highlight


Application: This is a powder palette, and all the powders have little fallout. When I first saw the correcting shade, I thought it would be way too light for me, but it actually works great and you can definitely see a difference. The key here is to just make sure that you don’t use too much product, because you don’t want the makeup to look powdery and ashy. Of the two contour colors, the lighter one definitely doesn’t work as a contour on really dark skin, but the darker shade shows up. One thing I found is that the contour appeared a little ashy too, so you have to be cautious when applying this and make sure to blend everything to take away that ashy look. The blush color isn’t great, took quite a bit of work to pick up product on my brush, and when I applied it to my face, I hardly saw anything. Both highlight colors work really well, with the champagne color showing up really bright on my dark skin, and the glow color was just that, a nice golden glow. For my dark skin ladies, make sure you don’t apply too much of the champagne highlight or that can appear a little ashy as well.

Overall, I’m on the fence about this palette. I love supporting other women in business, and I love how this palette was created for women of darker skin tones, but I’m not completely sure that it works for women with skin tones as dark as mine (for reference I’m NW50 in MAC). If you’re going to use this palette, definitely skip the blush color and use your own. One of my favorite blushes is Raizin by MAC, and when used with this contour kit, you can achieve the same glowy look that Shayla is known for.


Tarteist x MakeupShayla Contour Palette Ratings:

Pigmentation: 4/5, all the colors except for the blush color show up well, and depending on how you apply the makeup it can appear a tiny bit ashy. I still would give this a 4 because out of 6 shades only 1 color doesn’t show up.
Texture: 4/5, little fallout, a little creamy
Size: 5/5, each pan is a great size that should last for a few months
Price: $45, meaning each shade is about $7.50, which isn’t bad when you consider the price of each item separately. You can easily spend $38 on the corrector powder (i.e. Laura Mercier translucent setting powder), at least $15 each for blush, highlight, and contour color
Final verdict: Still on the fence, but I think I’m warming up to it. Just be careful with using this palette if you have really dark skin, because depending on the application of the product it can look ashy.

The Tarteist x MakeupShayla palette is available for purchase at Sephora and Ulta, for $45

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One comment


when i saw this palette was being released I scrolled right on by. I am happy for shayla, because as far as i know she’s the first black woman to get a cosmetics deal with a major brand, BUT, the colors are clearly only for folks her tone or lighter. it’s disheartening that a woman of color would exclude her dark skin girls. it’s a shame really.

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