Review & Swatches: Tarte Cheek Stain in “Awakening”


Tarte Cheek Stain in Awakening

Availability: Sephora, ULTA, Tarte
Price: $30.00

Company’s Description

Tarte Cheek Stain is a water-based gel cheek tint that gives you a natural flush—exactly like someone just pinched your cheeks! This formula is alcohol-free so it won’t dry your skin and it’s also oil-free so it won’t clog your pores. Plus, it contains Skinvigorating™ ingredients like a T5 Super Fruit Complex™—pure water to help skin retain moisture, and mineral-derived pigments known for their soothing and softening properties.

Awakening is the newest addition to Tarte’s famous Cheek Stain line. This new color is described as a sheer glowy nude with a pink undertone.

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Packaging: 8.75/10

Tarte’s Cheek Stains come in cylindrical, plastic tubes that have twist-off caps. The product can be pushed up by pressing on the base of the tube. The tube is a bit bulky, and given that the product only occupies about 1/3 of the packaging, Tarte could certainly make this packaging more sleek. The tube for Awakening is also different from the Cheek Stains in the rest of Tarte’s line, with the tube decorated in stripes of pink and purple.

Quality: 7/10

Tarte’s description for this shade isn’t accurate. Awakening is more of a sheer, nude, rose with hint of rust as opposed to a “glowy nude with a pink undertone.” The color leans more red than it does pink. It leaves a glossy sheen to the skin, making it great for those with dry skin but unflattering for those with oily skin.

I noticed that the product in the tube is softer than with most of the other Cheek Stain shades I’ve tested. It deforms under pressure more easily.

I don’t hold it against the product that the color is sheer. It takes quite a bit of layering for Awakening to have the strength of color you’d expect out of the other Tarte Cheek Stains, but the company describes this shade as sheer, so this effect is to be expected. What I do hold against the quality of this product is how short-wearing it is. After just a few hours of wear, the color had faded significantly, leaving almost no pigmentation on my cheeks behind.

My other major criticism of this blush is the very noticeable, sweet scent it has. It’s such a big pet-peeve of mine when companies add fragrance to a cosmetic product, especially one that goes on your face. Fragrances irritate the skin and should absolutely be left out of makeup and skincare products.

Ease of Use: 8.5/10

The slight tackiness in the formula means you will need to use a bit more pressure to blend out this product than with some other cream blushes. If you are wearing this blush with a liquid foundation, apply it after your foundation is on. If you are using a powder foundation, apply the blush first and in multiple, strong layers. The color is sheer so any powder you put on top of it will make the color even more sheer.

Price: 9.5/10

For $30.00 you get 1 ounce of product. Josie Maran’s Argan Color Sticks cost $22.00 but contain about half the product. Clinique’s Blushwear Cream Sticks cost $21.00 and contain 0.21 ounces. Even though $30.00 is on the high side of price-points, you get more product for your money with Tarte Cheek Stains.

Final Grade


Tarte Cheek Stain in Awakening


Tarte Cheek Stain in Awakening


Tarte Cheek Stain in Awakening


Tarte Cheek Stain in Awakening Swatch


Tarte Cheek Stain in Awakening Swatch


Tarte Cheek Stain in Awakening Swatch


Propylene Glycol, Aqua, Nonyl Nonoxynol-150, Glycerin, Sodium Stearate, Laureth-23, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Fruit Extract, PVP, Parfum/Fragrance (Natural). (+/-): Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499),Carmine (CI 75470), Red 33 (CI 17200), Red 40 (CI 16035), Yellow 5 (CI 19140, Blue 1 (CI 42090)

This sample was provided for consideration purposes by the brand or a PR company. Reviews are always honest and never paid for.

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3 Responses to Review & Swatches: Tarte Cheek Stain in “Awakening”

  1. Solangel says:

    How do you apply these? I’ve had one for a long long time and only recently found that a stippling brush works awesomely. I find them a bit hard to blend with just fingers.

  2. This sounds like a great product, but too bad that it’s not long-lasting.

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