|If only you guys can see how this works in real life...|
What Sephora Says: The page for this product is not available at the Sephora site as of this writing. We'll go with the ad copy from the Tarte website instead:
The gel-based lip tint imparts a natural rosy glow that stays all day, while the lip-enhancing gloss gives the appearance of fuller lips, for a pout that's pretty and polished. So even after gloss wears away the lip tint remains!
First impressions: I worked with the tint first, which I thought would give me a nice, deep stain. (My standards for stains are pretty high: the first one I ever used was the original BeneTint, and that stuff really did a number on my lips and cheeks - and clothes, and teeth - for years.) This one, I found, was a little too timid; the color was perceptible, even on my usually stain-product-averse lips. So I thought, why not layer the red gloss on top of that? One swipe of the thick red gloss, and I was sold.
Texture: Shiny. Almost syrupy. And yet, not even a hint of sticky-tacky.
Color saturation: Here it's almost looks nude... but in real life? POW! Sheer maraschino red. (The fun part: I wore this one to work, too. Hello, students!)
Minty fresh factor: None.
Hydration capacity: Not exactly as super-moisturizing and creamy as the Vitamin Infused Lip Gloss, but my lips were certainly not dried out with this one - not even after three straight hours of lecturing, plus cracker-eating and water-guzzling.
This product will remind you of: "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)" by Garbage.
(Aside: I never liked anything else from Garbage after their first album. Shirley, Shirley, Shirley: love you, enjoyed you in Terminator, wish you'd hang out with Craig Ferguson more often... but I still think this song, and everything else, is weak sauce compared to "Stupid Girl.")
The person you'd want to smooch while wearing this is: Hard to say. Too sheer for the porn-star look; too shiny for the rockabilly type, too earthy for any period drama, especially after ranting about... Wait, did I just say period drama?
Should've thought about it sooner.
My recommendations: First, there's no two ways about it - the only way to wear this is with the stain AND the gloss, together. It's a lot of work compared to the swipe-and-go ease of other glosses, but trust me - the more effort you put in, the less corners you cut, and the payoff is definitely worth it. I would save my tiny tube for special red-lippy occasions, but I do recommend getting the full-size if you're looking for a sheer, user-friendly red that you can wear almost every day.