Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette II Review & Swatches

Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette Volume II or Tarte Clay Play Volume II Eye & Cheek Palette ($46) is an odd follow up the Clay Play Face Shaping Palette that released last May. I said odd because the original palette was created as a contouring tool for face and eyes where as Volume II isn’t really like that at all. In its defense though I would like to mention it has two different names. As Sephora lists is as Clay Play Face Shaping Palette II but the box reads Clay Play Volume II Eye & Cheek Palette. Not there is nothing about face shaping in Tarte’s own title so I suspect they haven’t created this as a multitasking contouring and eyeshadow palette at all. In reality, you wouldn’t be able to use any of the shimmer shades to contour with anyway.

But yeah, it’s a little confusing how they did a follow up palette that has a completely different idea compared to the original. The idea of creating a follow up is to bring back more of what users liked about the original. This palette actually keeps the same packaging as the original, almost the same name, but it gives you shimmers instead of mattes. It could easily be argued that anyone who hated the mattes in the original will love the new version which brings a lot more shimmer. This is basically the idea I guess as even the shade names are the same which isn’t a new thing as many brands have done a matte palette and followed up with a shimmer one with the same shades, Kat Von D Shade + Light Glimmer Eye Contour Palette comes to mind. But again, the original was created with all mattes because they intended for you to multitask with the shades and use them for both shading eyes and contouring your face. Not that I ever did this but I feel like Volume II lacks that multitasking benefit should you have wanted it.

Anyway, here’s the deets, review, and swatches on the Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette II.

To me this feels like a lazy release. There wasn’t anything terribly unique about the original either but I liked it a lot and felt like I made a good deal of use out of it since I don’t have a lot of mattes in my stash of makeup. This particular palette seems to have a lot of rerun shades that I like already own from in some other palettes not to mention they didn’t even change the packaging of the palette!? And hey, many of the shades aren’t even new and are already available in the original!

The outside box has a pretty palm tree design but its like they suddenly ran out of money to create a matching design on the actual palette or maybe something went wrong with production and here we are with the same zig zag design as the original. Hmmm….!

When purchasing this keep in mind not a lot has changed from the original palette aside from the fact there are a few shimmers mixed in here as well as a blush shade which was lacking in the prior release.

In the first trio of shades Journey and Solstice remain matte where as Stone is now a shimmer. In the next trio, Dunes and Sand remain matte and Smoke is now a shimmer. And finally, in the last trio Ember and Instinct remain matte and Onyx is now a new color (it was black previously) as well as a new finish of shimmer. One thing I noted about the shades that remained the same is they seemed a tiny touch warmer compared to the ones in Volume 1. It just seemed like the shades aren’t exact dupes and looked a little more warmer toned but maybe I’m imagining things.

Terracotta makes an appearance here and again remains matte and is a dupe for the original shade. Desert seems much darker and pigmented in this palette with a duskier rose pay off compared to lighter shade in Volume 1 plus it seems to work great as a blush where as it didn’t show up as much for me originally. Timber is a completely new shade. This is a champagne highlighter where in the prior release it was a dark brown bronzer/contouring shade.

Tarte Clay Play Volume II Eye & Cheek Palette Swatches (Journey, Stone, Solstice)

Tarte Clay Play Volume II Eye & Cheek Palette Swatches (Ember, Onyx, Instinct)

Tarte Clay Play Volume II Eye & Cheek Palette Swatches (Dunes, Smoke, Sand)

Tarte Clay Play Volume II Eye & Cheek Palette Swatches (Terracotta, Desert, Timber)

After comparing the two palettes it almost felt like the new version is more of a highlighting palette versus the contouring one and perhaps Tarte thought the two palettes would work together as a pair. Although, the fact I only technically got four new shades (five if you count Desert being so much darker this time around) was disappointing.

On that note I will say the shades all performed well. The mattes were as silky as the originals and the shimmers had a nice creamy texture with an easy application. The face powders were also lovely with Terracotta and Desert having a nice, silky texture that blended easily and Timber a creamy, velvety consistency with a highly frosty finish that gives skin a nice luminosity but can easily be overdone if you have a heavier hand. The shades are all powdery and quite softly pressed but this didn’t make them chalky or dry in my experience.

Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette II is a very confusing and uneventful release. They should have just kept the original palette which appears to be gone from their permanent collection after it being on sale quite a bit over the course of the last few weeks. I wouldn’t be too surprised if this goes on sale within the next three weeks or less. This is a odd release that lacks creativity and comes across as a ploy to get fans to purchase yet another palette they don’t need. I just calls them as I sees them. Sadly, I can see a younger demographic falling for that type of marketing technique.

Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette II is available now at sephora.com and ulta.com.

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