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The Perfect Marriage

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: August 31, 2010, from the September 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

For Tarte’s 10-year anniversary in 2010, CEO Maureen Kelly turned to celebrity and runway makeup artist Tina Turnbow, left, for her fashion expertise before launching the Flower Child Limited Edition Collection.

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“Tina embodies the essence of our ‘high-performance naturals’ motto,” Kelly says. “It was really the perfect marriage: natural cosmetics brand meets green celebrity makeup artist. As a natural brand creator, I appreciated her commitment to green beauty and her passion for efficacious, ‘good-for-you’ cosmetics.”

For a meeting of the minds, Kelly invited Turnbow to Tarte’s offices in New York. Amid couches in the brand’s signature purple color, lit candles to stimulate mood, and fresh flowers, Kelly and her team brainstormed a new makeup collection with Turnbow. “I was there to help guide with the color end of things,” Turnbow says. “The way people have played with color throughout the decades has always fascinated me—the way shading is done and how browns and neutrals came in with the natural look in the 1970s. I also love the pops of color that became popular in the 1960s and 1980s. I wanted a natural hippie vibe, and Maureen and her staff ran with it. They also knew I love flowers, so they included them on the packaging.”

Turnbow’s bohemian fashion influences are visible in the silk-screen flowers imprinted on Tarte’s Flower Child cheek stain, the flower décor on the eye shadow palette and the rich earthen hues dispersed among subtle pops of color, evoking spring flowers reminiscent of the time period. Drawn to greens especially, such as her favorite shimmering Tarte jade eye pencil, Turnbow says she chose a diverse palette of warm and cool tones for the Flower Child Collection that could be blended for different looks. “Having dual tones in this collection, it will be a fun for women to play with a smoky purple, a deep green, navy or gray,” Turnbow says. “All the colors mix well together. For instance, when the navy blends into the pink, it makes lavender. You can also make a smoky, bronzy brown eye with the colors available. The wide variety gives you the opportunity to play with color but mute the look with neutrals.”

As the first makeup artist collaboration for Tarte, Turnbow’s insight into the Flower Child Collection stems from her previous experience working with eco-conscious cosmetics and clients. Before joining forces, Turnbow says she was already regularly using Tarte’s original cheek stain. She was introduced to the brand during her four years as a spokesperson for out in the beauty industry in 1998, Turnbow’s first job in New York was assisting makeup artist icon Pat McGrath on a Calvin Klein ad with model Christy Turlington. Since then, she’s taken on celebrity clients, including Mary-Louise Parker and Keri Russell, on whom she hopes to try Tarte’s new color cosmetics.

“I work on fashion shows and beauty editorial shoots with ladies who keep fresh with fashion and style,” Turnbow says. “I’m constantly inspired by my clients. I make them feel better about themselves, while they help me hone my craft. I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and create a season, because in this business, we all work so hard to please the consumer.”