tarte achiote cheek tint and lip luster duo review

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Talk about a Giving Tree ~ we’ve discovered The Lipstick Tree!

photos: we heart this

Green Monday readers, we’ve got a treat for you today! As we learned last week, the array of tarte products soon to hit shelves is full of fab colors, smooth formulas and innovative products, but no more so then the amazing Achiote cheek tint and lip luster duo.

This perfectly pink duo is just the ticket to add a touch of honeysuckle pink to your face and lips during these final dreary winter months and the smooth formulas and long lasting, flattering shade will keep you wearing them well into spring and summer. Even better this QVC exclusive comes in eco-chic, super cute packaging and is full of the green, good for you ingredients you’ve come to know and love from tarte.

First, I must say that I adore the story behind these products. You know how every woman takes a few minutes during her day, no matter the situation, to get in some primping? I could be doing anything – running errands, on an airplane, or playing at the beach – and I’ll always find some time and space to apply some lip balm or gloss, fluff my hair and perform a quick pimple check. Even my Grandma, a woman with not a lot of use for cosmetics, kept a single vial of coral-pink lipstick in her kitchen cupboard next to her coffee cups. No matter how busy she was, she always had the time for a quick application before dashing out the door or greeting company.

These little beauty rituals are universal around the world and are the inspiration for these two new products from tarte. While in the Amazon researching and sourcing a signature tarte ingredient, Amazonian white clay, Maureen couldn’t help but notice the women taking a few moments to apply a mysterious pigment to their lips and cheeks giving them a lustrous pink glow. Her curiosity peaked, Maureen had to know what the local women were using in place of our Westernized cosmetics. The answer? The Lipstick Tree!

above images: wikipedia

The Achiote Tree, or as it’s fondly called “The Lipstick Tree” is found in tropical regions of the Americas and is known for its vibrant, blossoming fruits. Not edible directly from the tree, the spiny fruit contains red seeds inside, which when dried is ground down to produce a natural red-ish pink pigment known as annatto. Cool, huh?

Left: Achiote lip luster, Right: Achiote natural cheek tint

Even cooler is the universally flattering, buildable color you’ll get from the Achiote products. The pink hue has a peachy tint that seems to work with people of all skin shades and tones. The twist-up crayon lip luster, part of the moisturizing LipSurgence collection has a slighty deeper hue than the sheer cheek tint. The super creamy balm has a soft reddish pink shimmer which deepens the hue and adds just a touch of shine.

The cheek tint has a softer, golden shimmer that adds a dewy look to the face. As a fair skinned gal, I needed just a touch for a natural rosy glow, but the blendable formula can be layered for more color for a night out or for those with darken skin tones.

Update: Soon after publishing our review, our readers noted that “achiote” is not listed in the ingredients of either the cheek tint or lip luster. We contacted tarte regarding the issue and soon heard back from Candace Craig, Director of Public Relations:

“Achiote is absolutely an ingredient; it appears there’s been a misprint (or lack thereof) on our packaging. Moving forward this issue has been addressed and updated packaging will reflect this information. Can you please extend our apologies to your community. Again, we’re so sorry and we appreciate you spreading the word!!”

Now on to the Pros, Greens and Cons!

Adorable packaging, including an Achiote flowered, mirrored compact and the bright pink (easily identified) crayon stick.
The bright pop of color that flatters all skin types.
Super creamy formulas; the lip luster has a light buttery consistency, while the cheek stain can blend into any canvas – clean skin, powder, foundation – and can also be built upon for more color.
The natural formulas produce long lasting results. I went all day without touching up my face, and my cheeks still radiated a happy glow. The lip luster lasts 3-4 hours before reapplication is needed.

All tarte products are free of parabens, petrolatum, phtalates, sodium lauryl sulfates and synthetic fragrance
All tarte products are cruelty-free
All packaging is recyclable and most product packaging is reusable. Additionally, tarte offers discounts to customers for returning used products – click here for details!
This duo is loaded with tarte’s signature skinvigorating ingredients, including vitamins C and E, and natural oils like jojoba and peppermint.

For now, the pieces are not available individually and can only be purchased as a set.

Honestly, that’s not such a con, since choosing between these two items would be a Sophie’s Choice of a beauty dilemma. As a green loving, beauty junkie I highly recommend this bright, flattering set – five stars each!

You can find this fantastic duo exclusively at QVC for just $35! (the items retail for $24 and $25 each – saving you $11 ). Click below to shop and watch tarte founder Maureen introduce the Archiote duo on air – you’ll learn more about the magical Lipstick Tree and see both the lip luster and cheek stain in action:

tarte’s Achiote cheek tint and lip luster duo exclusively on QVC

we heartsters – are you ready to pick some Achiote fruit from the Lipstick Tree?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • tyna

    Tyna is a former editor of we heart this that worries about becoming a crazy cat lady, reads at least a book a week, checks in at a Flyers fan forum every morning and is forever organizing her closets and drawers. skin tone: NW 20/25 skin type: combination favorite beauty product: eye shadows and lip balms


  1. @tyna – the swatches are so pretty, and I love the story behind these products. And I think your “con” is a pro because it will give me the excuse I need to buy both!

  2. I’m loving this because I ADORE universal colors. It can be such a pain to match my skintone, so it’s so great to see a product that I could buy sight unseen and still be happy with.
    And I think the compact is just about perfect. So cute and portable. This is next on my list to buy!

  3. I’m like Alyssa, I love that it’s a fairly flattering universal color. That would be a great blush color for me. I’m definitely going to have to check this one out.

  4. These colors are so pretty, and they look so wearable. This looks like the perfect set to get your through a long day at the office and then transition to happy hour. I’ll certainly be looking to add these to my growing collection of tarte products.

  5. I love Tarte and I can’t help myself when it comes to cream blush…I think I pretty much NEED these :)

  6. Those colors are so pretty. They look like they could work on any skintone too. I’m bummed that these two products aren’t available individually, but $35 is such a steal!

  7. These are gorgeous! And wasn’t Dana (@dwj1 ) just telling us that honeysuckle was the color of the year?

  8. I just bought a tarte lip tint last week and love it! Not too opaque nor too sheer. I didn’t get the color I wanted (a bright fuschia called “Amused” that I–and apparently everyone else–was fauning over) but was happy with my more naturally red/brown “Moody.” I love Tarte.

  9. That compact is beautiful. I’m easily sucked in by reusable, pretty packaging. This set looks adorable over all.

  10. That’s right @melinda – Honeysuckle is the Pantone color of the year!

    Ok, they had me at the packaging of the cheek tint. How sweet is that compact? But the love is only strengthened after trying the products. I would imagine they truly are universally flattering. I can’t imagine this pretty reddish pink not working on anyone. Maureen said they really could only make one shade with it, with the highly pigmented seeds – you get what you get!

    Like @tyna mentioned, the lip luster is a bit more pigmented, and the reddish pink shimmer only helps to deepen the shade. I love how minty it is too. The kind of product that makes you feel fresher with it on your lips!

    But if I had to pick, the cheek tint is the favorite of the duo for me (and bonus, it can be used on your lips too!) I love the subtle golden shimmer it has, love the layerable sheer color, and love the formula – it’s like a creamier version of their cheek stains.

    The best thing about having both products is that the colors are very similar, but not identical. You match, but not too much.

    I can’t give these anything but 5 stars. A sweet and subtle spring set!

  11. This set looks amazing! The packaging is adorable and the colors are beautiful. I think that I would especially love the cheek tint as I am already a fan of their cheek stains. The story behind this is really great too. I am really excited to order this from QVC!! The price seems pretty reasonable as well. I love TARTE!!

    Great piece @tyna~I really enjoyed it! :)

  12. What a fantastic duo! I don’t want to jump the gun, but from eying those swatches, I think those two shades will be perfect for me! And I’m already a huge huge fan of those lip prods…but that shade just looks ultra flattering. I might have to get this duo!

  13. Awesome duo is right! Nice swatches @tyna! Who wouldn’t love them? I love the story behind the colors too.. The Lipstick Tree- better known as the Achiote Tree is super pretty too just to look at.. Women all over the world are amazing- always finding ways to inprove on everything.. down to the make-up we wear!

  14. I have a question, why isn’t achiote listed on any of the ingredients? All I see is red dyes but nothing that says achiote.

  15. @Lisa – Direct from tarte:

    Achiote is absolutely an ingredient; it appears there’s been a misprint on our packaging. Moving forward this issue has been addressed and updated packaging will reflect this information. Can you please extend our apologies to your community?

    So, thanks from both us and tarte for bringing this up!

  16. Thanks so much! Makes me feel 100% better!!!

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