Tarte Mermaid Palette Review & Swatches

If you are looking for a way to change up your eye shadow game, look no further! Tarte’s, “Be a Mermaid & Make Waves” Palette is a dream!

I’ll be honest, I wish I could get my hands on every eyeshadow palette out there.  However, with prices $40 and up, it simply isn’t practical. Basically, I’ve been surviving off a few mini palettes and my Urban Decay Naked2 for longer than I’d like to admit. One morning while desperately scraping out the last bits of “Chopper” and “Booty Call”, I decided it was time for a new palette.

I’ve been going back and forth for about 6 months between the Sweet Peach Palette, the Naked 3, Naked Heat and a few other mini’s. They all had their pros and cons, and spent time in and out of my Sephora shopping cart, but I just couldn’t find myself obsessed enough to purchase.

Fast forward to March 2018, and Tarte launches their “Be a Mermaid & Make Waves” Palette. Ummm, they had me at mermaid.

Let me preface this by admitting that I was obsessed with mermaids as a kid. Still a little obsessed… I didn’t want to be biased about the name of the palette, but then I saw the packaging. That clam shell though… ugh! Maybe I won’t like the inside? In a beauty world infested by unicorns, would these colors be a little too mystical as well? I just am not into bright fuchsia, violet and green eyeshadows. Nope! The colors are gorgeous!

The palette definitely has the warm, rose-gold vibe that we have all been seeing everywhere. However, there is a refreshing splash (see what I did there) of unique jewel tones and, well, mermaid colors. I haven’t felt drawn to a palette in a long time! I was in the market for new eyeshadows, sooo I had to have it! Add to cart. Purchase. Stalk UPS driver.

The palette definitely did not disappoint! Here is my honest review of the “Be a Mermaid & Make Waves” Palette by Tarte.

The Packaging – 


The palette itself is in a very durable, almost faux-leathery clam shell with threaded seams to further embellish the exterior. It is a little heavy for a palette, but it feels luxurious! Most importantly, it opens and shuts easily without risk of accidentally scraping a shadow. (I hate that!) That, and it is not magnetic which to me is a plus. (Magnetic cases just don’t feel secure enough to me)

First Impression – 


When I first opened the palette, the first thing I noticed was the fragrance. It’s not overpowering at all, but it has a sweet, vanilla-pudding, slightly citrus fragrance that smells so nostalgic to me! Remember the smell of a Barbie’s hair brand new out of the box? That is what it smells like to me! (Is that weird…?)

The colors are stunning in person! (I will go more further into detail below) Each shade includes 0.028 oz of product. To help put into perspective, Modern Renaissance’s shades are 0.02oz each. Both palettes have 14 shades and are for $42. So, you are kind of getting a decent deal here.

Aesthetically, this palette dominates all!

The Mirror – 


The mirror was an adorable little surprise! At the top it reads, “99% mermaid” with the Tarte logo on the bottom. I love how the mirror is large enough to see my whole face. Typically, palettes will have that slim mirror where you can only see your eyes while you apply the shadows. I end up reaching for a bigger mirror anyways. However, with this mirror it will be nice to see how everything is coming together once I apply makeup.

The Colors & Formula – 


There are 11 shimmery metallics and 3 buttery mattes within this palette. While all the colors look very similar to the rose-gold and cranberry shadows trending in other palettes, it’s really the jewel-toned mermaid shades that help this palette stand out. Plus, they all have adorable mermaid inspired names!

Personally, I love how I can create a neutral everyday look, but then I can also create fun summery looks. The warm tones really play up my blue eyes. However, these shades would look gorgeous with all eye colors!

The formula has a silky application thanks to Tarte’s signature Amazonian clay formula. They are quite pigmented, but not dramatically/dangerously pigmented like a Lorac Pro shadow. I found them very easy to apply and blend, which is good for this non MUA. I really have nothing bad to say about this palette!

I was a little nervous about the shimmer shades, but they aren’t flaky or glitter-chunked at all. They apply smoothly and have an almost “wet” shimmer look. The matte shades are velvety once applied. I typically have a rough time with darker matte shades, but these blended beautifully! Best of all, after a long day of teaching my eyeshadow is still in full effect. Extra credit: earned.

Here are the shade names and descriptions according to tarte.com:

  • nude beach (pale gold luster)
  • shore thing (sienna)
  • frosé (rose gold luster)
  • beach please (maroon luster)
  • mermosa (warm gold)
  • cavern (burgundy luster)
  • fin-tastic (antique bronze)
  • sandbar (milk chocolate)
  • salt water (pale taupe luster)
  • shipwreck (mahogany)
  • shell yea (bronze luster)
  • bubbles (lilac duochrome)
  • splash (turquoise luster)
  • lagoon (teal luster)



Swatches –


Left to right: nude beach, frosé, cavern, shore thing, mermosa, sandbar, shell yeah.


Left to right: beach please, fin-tastic, shipwreck, splash, salt water, bubbles, lagoon.

Favorites – 

This palette is definitely a small step out of most people’s comfort zones. At least it was for me! Prior to purchasing, I ensured that I could at least get everyday where out of the majority of the palette. After seeing the colors in person, I am certain that I could use this palette daily!

Nude beach and frosé are my go to lid colors. I am fair skinned, so I was even more ecstatic to see that a pale shadow would actually show up on my lid.

Shore thing is stunning as a crease transition shade! I’m usually not a matte shadow fan, but this shade has totally changed my ways!

I love wearing splash on my lower lash line. This warm-toned turquoise is the grown up version of the Caboodles turquoise liner from the 2000’s. I thought I left that “look” in 7th grade, but I’m glad it has slowly made it’s way back into my life. My students even complimented the look! They are 7th graders though… hmmm…

Bubbles! Ugh! I can’t take a photo that captures bubbles in all of its glory. In the photos it looks like it’s only purple. However, it is an iridescent, opal color with a mixture of mauvy purple, blue and pink. Best of all, it is wearable! It applies on the skin like an iridescent mauve. It’s gorgeous! I could probably get away with wearing this on my lid to work, but then again I work with middle school kids haha!

Wishes/Regrets – 

Honestly, the only thing I am a little bummed about is that there isn’t a shimmery white shade. I love a good inner-corner white shadow! I remember seeing the clam packaging and thought it was guaranteed to have a nice pearl inspired shade. Sadly, I was wrong. It definitely did not ruin the palette for me though! Now that I own it, I can’t really imagine where the white shadow would have been placed without looking odd against the other shades.

Worth it? –

I think if you already own palettes with similar shades, you probably don’t need this palette. Though, once you see the shade bubbles in person, you may just fall in love! If you are looking for a rose-gold/burgundy palette, but don’t want overly dramatic/sultry (like Modern Renaissance) this palette is perfect! I found that the other warm-toned palettes were too harsh on my fair skin. These shades are very flattering!

I hope you found this review helpful!

Best Wishes,



The Ultimate (13) The Ultimate (12) Copy of The Ultimate (2) Copy of Copy of The Ultimate (1) The Ultimate (11)

Share This:

Guitar & Lace