Like the Yeti of my makeup dreams, I thought the lipstick tree was a figment of my imagination. Many, many times I’ve dreamt of having one strategically placed outside my bedroom window (right next to the money tree, of course), so I could easily pluck a tube off its branches whenever I wanted a new color.
Funny thing about dreams — sometimes they come true, albeit indirectly in this case. It turns out there really is a lipstick tree! It doesn’t sprout lipsticks (DAMN!), but bright red fruit instead.
Apparently I wasn’t paying close attention in upper division botany, because today I found out achiote is a small tree grown in tropical regions of the Americas and Southeast Asia. It bears spiny fruit which contain bright red seeds used to color food, body paint and lipstick, hence its nickname, “the lipstick tree.”
That’s achiote, yo!
I owe this new beauty wisdom to Tarte’s Achiote Cheek Tint & Lip Luster Duo ($35). A two-piece QVC spring exclusive, Tarte packed it with a cream blush and a sheer lipstick, both in the shade Achiote, a shimmery reddish peach.
Did I mention that I love this color because it looks like a universally flattering shade that could work on light, medium and dark skin?
Swatches of Natural Cheek Tint in Achiote on the left and LipSurgence Natural Lip Luster in Achiote on the right with the flash
Without the flash
Natural Cheek Tint blends easily on top of both foundation and powder, and I get about three hours before I need to touch up the color again. Lip Lustre, with its light mint flavor and scent, feels non-sticky and slick on my lips. It wears for about three hours, too.
AVAILABILITY: Exclusively at
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B+
Anybody else feeling like Tarte is on fire this spring? They’re quickly becoming one of my favorite brands.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. I hope you had a great Tuesday! I’m just about out the door, because I’m heading to San Francisco for dinner (I’m going to an Italian comfort food place called ) . What are you up to tonight?