Tarte’s Lipsurgence collection review

Posted on Thursday, at bought • 2640 views

  • Manufacturer: Tarte Cosmetics
  • Availability: part of the regular line, through the Tarte webstore and channel partners
  • Description: 19 lip colors
  • Cost/Amount: USD$24 for 2.6 ml / .08 fl oz each
  • Would you purchase again: yes
Tarte’s Lipsurgence collection

I tried my first Tarte Lipsurgence when I received a freebie from Ulta (yep, this was during The Great Atlanta Shopping Trip.) I then got a three-pack of Lipsurgence colors: Pouty, Moody, and Envy. When I got home and tried them out, I added three more.

Lipsurgence has a lip stain component, so the color stays in place a long time. The pencil twists up from the base, so while it looks like a lip pencil there's none of the hassle of sharpening. Lipsurgence comes in three finishes: original (creme), matte, and luster (shimmer/light frost). The big ‘wahey' about Lipsurgence is that, with 28 days' continued use, they're supposed to “give you a 6000% increase in lips' moisture content in 28 days”. I really kind of think that the percentage is a bit bilgey - I worry when any percentage is that high, that's kind of absurd, and my inner vestigial statistician-gnome calls bullshit squared and cubed - but they do apply smoothly, the color does last a long time, and they don't dry my lips. I haven't used one for 28 days straight yet to see if the claims of increasing my lips' moisture-levels is true or not. They are formulated without any mineral oil, paraben, sodium lauryl sulphate, or phthalates.

This collection contained:


  • Amused — bright pink creme
  • Charmed — light pink creme
  • Enchanted — rose creme
  • Joy — golden peach creme
  • Lust — medium red creme
  • Moody — deep cool wine creme
  • Peaceful — tanned peach creme


  • Exposed — pinked tan matte
  • Envy — medium rose-mauve matte
  • Fiery — medium red matte
  • Lively — warm bright pink matte
  • Lucky — light dusty pink matte
  • Hope — warm rose matte


  • Adored — light pink shimmer
  • Buff — tanned peach shimmer
  • Fever — medium red shimmer
  • Frisky — bright pink shimmer
  • Glisten — golden peach shimmer
  • Pouty — berry pink shimmer

Compared to my other go-to lip pencil color, Bare Escentuals' Buxom Lip Sticks, these wear about the same, have about the same color range, don't provide the 'tingle' and don't claim to provide the lip plumping, are about as easy to store and use, and cost about the same. Tarte's Lipsurgence pencils cost $300 per fluid ounce, while the Buxom Lip Sticks cost $600 per fluid ounce - making the Tarte Lipsurgence pencils the better value, despite an individual Tarte Lipsurgence pencil costing 25% more than an individual Buxom Lip Stick.

Color payoff is the biggest difference. The matte Lipsurgence pencils have, by far, the best color payoff. The originals and lusters are kind of weak tea. The color payoff is there, but it's much lighter than the matte counterparts. The matte colors do provide good, even color that stays in place a bit longer than the original creme or lusters. If I want a little shine or dimension, I can easily top a matte color off with one of my lip polishes, and I'm all set.

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