On Monday, May 23rd, I was browsing Instagram and stumbled upon a post from Grav3yardgirl, aka Bunny, announcing the presale of her Swamp Queen palette collab with Tarte Cosmetics. I ferociously clicked away until I had the palette safely in my cart. I knew it would be an important part of my makeup collection because it was not only a beautiful palette, but it celebrated a strong female, whom I admire, making her dreams come true.
I’ve followed Bunny on YouTube for about three years. She is a major inspiration to me. From her message of self confidence to her exuberant personality, the Swamp Queen is making a positive impact on millions of subscribers following her social media. She has been consistent with her vlog series, always giving her honest opinions. Knowing she puts “it” all out there made me believe in her palette without hesitation.
Bunny has had many interactions with Tarte throughout the time I’ve followed her, so it totally made sense that they collaborated for this project. The color selection represents the facets of her life that are clearly meaningful to her. Named with her catch phrases like “Sippy, Sippy,” “sassy bun,” and “#sfs” (swamp family strong) the palette is a nod to her subscribers and her success as a YouTube star.
1. Bronzer, Blush, Highlight
The facial products in this kit are pretty well pigmented. My favorite is the highlight shade, gator wings. It is so sparkly and vibrant and it works well no matter the area you’re highlighting. It even looks gorgeous overtop a matte liquid lipstick to give an extra sheen.
The bronzer shade, sweet tea is ultra pigmented. A little bitty baby tap is all you need. It takes a fair bit of blending to make it manageable on my skin tone, but it will stick in place all day long.
Does this thing really work? Yes! This blush is a girly girl’s pop of pink flush. This builds up nicely, making it easy to control. I tap into the product pretty heavily and it does not go on heavily. A couple of taps in the pan will help you get the level of coverage you prefer.
The top row of shadows features a heavy shimmer, a matte transition, and a warm crease shade featuring a bit of sparkle.
#SFS is a direct nod to the swamp fam as it stands for Swamp Family Strong. Being part of the swamp fam obligates you to be strong within yourself, to embrace your quirks, and to live authentically. It also calls for a person to shine. This shade works as a perfect representation of Bunny’s light and energy. Whether it’s a shade for all over the lid or a highlight for the brow bone or inner corner, its radiance will bring out your brightness.
Natural Peaches is another versatile shade that is great for the lid, a crease transition or smoking out the lower lashline. Its warmth will help bring life and balance to your chosen look.
Dogman, a nod to her boyfriend, is a reddish brown shade that is HIGHLY pigmented. I love this shade! From the times he has been on camera, I feel like this shade compliments Dogman well. It’s warm, a little funky, with a hint of sparkle representing him looking at Bunny. Cheesy? Maybe! But you can tell how much Bunny and Dogman love each other. As much as I’m sure he supports her, it was so thoughtful to add a color just for him.
3. Big Baby, Sassy Bun, Sippy Sippy
Big Baby is an extremely pale base for a transition shade. I use this to set my eyeshadow primer to make later shadows glide on more smoothly. Darker skin tones will have some more versatility with this shade, but as I’m rivaling Casper at the current moment, it is pretty well undetectable on me.
Sassy Bun is my most favorite shade in the entire palette! It is a metallic gold that is just screaming to be noticed. So bright. So bold. I have used it dry and with MAC Fix+. I didn’t notice a change in the metallic- ness, which just testifies to the pigmentation of this shadow. The benefit to using the shadow wet is the massive reduction of fallout.
Sippy Sippy is the darkest shade in the palette. Be careful with this shade and apply slowly. It is easier to build it up than having to blend it out for days. This works well for the outer corner or a smudgy smoky liner on either the top or bottom lash line. There is a fine amount of glitter in the shade. It is not completely even in application, so you may have some glitter patches that are thicker than others.
4. Haunting, Uncommon, Mancat
Bunny’s favorite color is purple, so it is not surprising that an entire row is dedicated to different hues of it. I’m quite the fan of purple shadows, and this range is wonderful!
Haunting is a surprisingly dark shade on me. It’s a beautiful lavender shade that has a heavy sheen. I like to use this as a transition shade in my crease or as a lid color.
Uncommon is another favorite. It’s a deeper version of Haunting, making an excellent complimentary shadow. I love to wear this shadow all over the lid, fading it out with Haunting. The sheen is not too heavy, making this appropriate for both day and night looks.
Mancat is a deep violet shade that completes the row and the palette. The name alone is worthy of love. Like Dogman and Sippy Sippy this is imagined to go in the crease, as a liner, or for an outer corner pop of depth.
Overall, I’m very impressed with this palette. In the past there have been some Tarte shadows that I did not feel were pigmented enough, especially for the price. It’s not an overly expensive brand, but it’s high end enough that you expect quality color payoff. With the exception of Big Baby, all of the shadows are super pigmented. Again, if I wasn’t so incredibly pale, I would probably enjoy the shade much more.
The cons for this palette are the fallout and some difficulty of blending out the deeper shades. The fallout is pretty heavy, but thankfully it is easily swept away without coloring the skin in unwanted areas. Thus the fallout is not a terribly big deal to me. Easy clean up for the win! The blending is what gives me a bit of pause. Sweet Tea bronzer is such a pigmented shade that even a light sweep of it can be difficult to make the harshness of the application fade. Maybe I just need a different brush to apply it, but since this is for mass consumption it could be a little easier for every level of beauty fanatic to use. The deeper shadows also need a little bit more time to diffuse into the look and not stand apart from it.
Bunny and Tarte did an amazing job creating a quality product that is a solid winner. “Believe in yourself. Love yourself. Embrace your individuality.” Enjoy designing your eye looks. May creativity bring out your inner swamp queen!