Review: Tarte Be a Mermaid and Make Waves Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Be a Mermaid Palette

I recently went into my local Sephora to return an item, with no intention whatsoever of buying anything new. Raise your hand if you’ve ever done that and walked out with a bag filled with new products like I did! Honestly, the new Tarte Be a Mermaid and Make Waves Eyeshadow Palette wasn’t even on my radar. I typically don’t get roped in by the latest makeup fads or advertising schemes such as unicorns, peaches, and now mermaids. At the age of 42, it’s just not my thing, and it’s obvious that companies doing this are targeting a much younger market than I fall into. I was pretty satisfied with my existing collection, 98% of which I’m never able to even use because I already have way too much eyeshadow (and other makeup products in general). It would take Urban Decay Be a Mermaid Palettemultiple lifetimes for me to use all the products that I own. Of course, it didn’t help that Sephora had this new palette on display as you walk in and out of the store. So, as I’m walking out, I glance over at the palette and thought…. “hmm…. those are some pretty shades.” I thought I would swatch one or two shades and continue walking out the door. Yeah, that didn’t work out the way I had planned. I swatched one, then two, then all of the shadows and then verbally shouted out loud “Oh my gosh!” before realizing that everyone had turned around to look at me. Ooops. I quickly picked up one of the only remaining palettes and made my way to the checkout counter.

General Product Information

The Tarte Be a Mermaid and Make Waves Eyeshadow Palette retails for $42. It contains 14 shades total. Only 3 shades are matte and the remaining shades are shimmers or what I consider to be foiled shadows.  I will discuss more information related to the shades shortly.

Each shade weighs 0.8 grams, which is much smaller than a standard shadow pan in most palettes but pretty normal for Tarte palettes (especially the round-shaped palettes). The price comes out to $3 per shadow and $3.75 per gram, which is the most objective way to measure the cost of a product. This falls into the same price range per gram as the shadows in the Natasha Denona Sunset Palette and the Viseart Theory Palettes (which are standard, full-sized shadows).Urban Decay Be a Mermaid Palette

The palette is in a stunning, beautiful almost-holographic blue shell design. When you open the palette, it contains a mirror on the top half with a shiny gold interior. I love the fact that the shade names are actually printed inside the palette next to each shade.  That is something that many companies have stopped doing recently, or else they insert a removable plastic insert with the names on it, which most of us throw away or lose.

First Impressions and Swatches

As soon as I got home, I ripped open the package and immediately started swatching all of the shades again and taking photographs. My mouth literally dropped in awe at how beautiful these shades were. They’re not just beautiful. What really caught my attention about this palette is how soft, buttery, and highly pigmented they are. Contrary to many Tarte fans, I typically don’t find Tarte eyeshadow palettes very soft and pigmented. I have a couple of them stuffed in the back of my drawer that I never use because they feel so dry to the touch, and I have too many other great eyeshadow palettes to use instead. However, this one is completely different than any other Tarte palette that I own. The swatches shown in my photos were made with one swipe of the finger. I can’t emphasize enough how soft and stunning they are.Urban Decay Be a Mermaid Palette

I believe that a swatch is just a tiny consideration of the quality of an eyeshadow palette. Most of us learned that lesson after the ABH Subculture palette, which swatched like a dream and showed the best pigmentation ever when on the arm, but the shades didn’t blend together or apply on most people without serious issues. With that in mind, I created a look on my eyes to see how they would apply and blend with other shadows, and I was impressed. They are just as stunning on the eyes as they are in the swatch photos. They lasted on my eyes all day without smearing or disappearing. I do use an eyeshadow primer, even when testing, because of my age and I have severely discolored eyelids. Some people prefer not to wear a primer, so please keep this information in mind.

Full disclosure…. I should say that this is mostly a “first impressions review” for the most part.  It is my initial thoughts after swatching it on my arm, creating one look on the eye, and wearing that look for one full day. Most of my reviews are very in-depth and created after multiple days, weeks, or even months of wearing or using a product. I want to start publishing more First Impression Reviews on my website since I do this frequently on Instagram. If you’re interested in an in-depth review, please comment and let me know. Since it takes so much time to do in-depth reviews, I want to make sure I spend my time wisely on the products that you want to know more about.

I have just a couple of things that I consider negative for this palette. As mentioned previously, the palette contains only three (3) matte shades. They are Sandbar, Shipwreck, and Shore Thing. Shore Thing is a medium bright but not too bright pink shade that may work well on the lid, the outer v, a crease shade, or blended into another transition shade. Sandbar is a beautiful pinky peach shade that is perfect for a transition shade or just about any other purpose you can think of. It’s a beautiful shade. Shipwreck is a brighter pinkish/purple/burgundy type shade that can be used in the crease or outer v area.

The rest are all shimmers or similar to a foiled shadow. This isn’t enough matte shades to create a full multi-shade look. There are not enough shades to put in the crease or use as a transition shade unless you’re OK with using shimmers for those purposes (which you may be fine with). Most people will need to dip into another palette to grab some matte shades to coordinate with this palette unless you want to create an all-over shimmer look or 1-2 shade look using the shades included in this palette.

The only other thing that you may consider positive or negative, depending on how you look at it, is Urban Decay Be a Mermaid Palettethe packaging. How could a beautiful shell palette be considered negative?  I think It’s just a little bulky to handle and use. It doesn’t fit into my acrylic palette divider, so it will either have to sit on my desk or be put into a drawer where I fear I’ll forget about it.  This is really no different than many other Tarte palettes (especially the round ones), but it’s still a consideration.

I have a personal preference to de-pot most of my shadows and keep them together in a large magnetic palette, so I don’t have to reach for multiple palettes when creating one look every day. That’s not possible with this palette. Even if they could be de-potted, you wouldn’t want to destroy the beautiful shell casing. Also, the shape of the shadows is so odd (not round or square) that they wouldn’t really fit together very well into a magnetic palette even if they could be de-potted. This may not be a factor for you. Obviously, I knew all of this when I purchased it and purchased it anyway. I just hope it doesn’t end up tossed in the back of my drawer because I get tired of reaching for a bulky palette that won’t fit into my standard palette organizer.

Overall, based on my experience with this palette so far, I would definitely recommend it. The shades are stunning, highly pigmented, soft, and long-lasting. You may need to incorporate some matte shades from elsewhere, but not necessarily depending on the look you want to create. Don’t miss out on this one. Tarte’s Limited Edition palettes can sell out fast… or they may linger around a while. The problem is you never know how long they will last!


Price: $42

Where to Buy: Sephora, Tarte Cosmetics


Did you purchase this palette or is it on your wish list? Comment below or head over to my Instagram page, and let’s chat! 



  1. Marcella
    March 31, 2018 / 8:19 pm

    These colours looked so amazing and I loved hearing about their application and wear so I went right over to Tarte and ordered them! You were so spot on with your dry skin care regimes I knew that these would be fabulous! Btw after being on your dry skin regimes my skin is glowing. I tweeked it a bit mostly due to the difficulty in getting products as I live in no where’s ville Australia but I finally got there, you are awesome! Me and my skin thank you from the bottom of our hearts! I will let you know my thoughts on these new eye pallets as I have no doubt they’ll work out beautifully. Just curious, did you also try out their eye primer? I ordered that as well just to see if it helped any creasing due to my crepey lids, but they are on the improve scale as I splurged and bought Cosmedix Opti Crystal, a major dent to the pocket book but well worth it.

    • My Beautiful Flaws
      March 31, 2018 / 10:01 pm

      Ah your feedback means the world to me and has lifted my spirits during a very difficult time. You’re so sweet to say such things and it makes me so happy that anything I recommended would help. And definitely customize things to your own personal needs. My regimen may be helpful to some but we are all different.

      I have tried 2 primers from Tarte. They have released many over the past few years and discontinued some. One, the stick primer, was horrible for me personally and just an oily mess on my lids. Another was a creme and I used it primarily for the discolored eyelids. It worked well if I set it. I forgot the name so my apologies. I’m in the hospital now and can’t access my full internet history or supply at home. Let me know how it works out for you. I mostly recommend the Bare Minerals 5-in-1 eyeshadow / primer. They’re cremes that dry down. I wrote a review on those a while back if you’re interested and haven’t tried them yet. Ulta just ran a 1 day sale and had them half off, although you’re in Australia and the sale just ended. It must be tough to get stuff where you live.

      Thanks again for everything. I truly appreciate your feedback and support. It means everything to me.

  2. Marcella
    April 2, 2018 / 8:26 am

    Thanks heaps for the info! I’ll let you know how I go, now I just have to wait for the incredibly long time it takes to get stuff down here. It has been challenging to get quality skincare items but I’m pretty good at researching so I’ve found just about everything. It wouldn’t be so hard if I was in a capital city but alas I’m a 3-4 day drive away from the biggest city in Queensland but we live on the Great Barrier Reef so I can’t complain about the view! You look after yourself, being in hospital is no fun but often unavoidable, I’ve been there too. I had some very serious brain surgery in 2015 and I’m still in recovery phase so I completely get how hospital can be. I’ll send some positive sunshine covered energy your way!

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