Ummm…wtf..? | Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette I VS II | Comparison Swatches & Conspiracy Theories 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🕵🏻‍♀️

Hello everyone!

I’m here today to answer your Clay Play questions! Some of you may know that Tarte has come out with a second Clay Play Face Shaping Palette. I would be completely unsurprised if you didn’t know. There has been literally no advertising for this palette, that I know of… weird (more on this later).

You should know, that I am absolutely in love with the original Clay Play. The formula of all of the powders is impeccable and blends like no other. Additionally, it has all of the neutral shades that you would ever need, including light shades, multiple tones of transition shades, and a black for deepening eye looks. It also has multiple shades of bronzer/contour that should work for a variety of skin tones. Lastly, all of the powders are VERY pigmented. For example, if you are doing an all matte look and want a cream or lighter colour on the lid, this palette has the best ones to use! They go on basically opaque, with no building required. This palette is a total banger, and if you have been watching any favourite products of 2017 videos from beauty Youtubers, this original Clay Play palette has been included in a lot of those!



When I first saw that there was a Clay Play Face Shaping Palette II on Sephora, I was so excited and surprised. 

  1. Excited, because I love the original and the colours in the second one looked so beautiful!
  2. Surprised, because I had no idea it was coming out. And I get post alerts from @trendmood1 on instagram, and had never heard anything about a second one coming out. And she is very on top of new releases. So this was strange… But I thought nothing of it at the time…

The next day after I saw that it was available on, I went to my local store to track it down. They had only gotten one in, and had none open available to swatch. So I had to buy it on faith, because we couldn’t even open this one that they had because it was sealed, so I couldn’t even look at it. Usually that would be no problem, but…

I really feel like something shady has gone down here… so let’s get into it…


The packaging of these two palettes is literally the same. When I saw this second Clay Play appear online, I thought maybe the packaging colours of the palettes were slightly different. No. They are exactly the same. The only way you can tell the two apart is by the small gold sticker on the back.

Who thinks they decided to discontinue the regular clay play, but had too much outer packaging left over?? The only thing that is different about the second palette is that they have slotted some different pan colours into the palette. And when I say some, I mean some




Do you see what I see? Take another look at the two palettes.

Yes, that is right, 7 out of the 12 shades are exactly the same in both palettes!

The only new shades are the three metallics in the eye trios, and the blush and the highlight.

And not only are there only 5 new shades in a 12 shade palette, all of the shades in Clay Play II have the exact same names as Clay Play I! Yes, this might make sense for the carry-over shades, but for the new shades that were slotted in, the same old names are still there! Who thinks of the name “Smoke” when looking at a light, cool, glittery gold eyeshadow, let alone “Onyx” for a bronze! Like what the heck…

Can you see where I am coming from with this whole situation being just too weird?

I know what you are thinking: “Are you sure that all of those shades are the same?”

Let’s swatch the truth!


First I am going to show you the full swatches of each palette. Then, I have done swatches that compare each palette shade for shade. Solstice I pertains to the shade Solstice in Clay Play I, whereas Solstice II pertains to that shade in Clay play II.

Clay Play I


Clay Play II


Eye Trio One (Left)


Eye Trio Two (Center)


Eye Trio Three (Right)


Cheek Products (Left to Right)


So, it is indeed true that 7 of the 12 shades are exactly the same. You can see it, right there before your eyes.

Quality of Clay Play I VS II

Clay Play I. Like I said, the quality of Clay Play I is unparalleled. The eyeshadows blend themselves, and all of the shades are gorgeous. For the face products, “Terracotta” is a warmer shade, so I use this as a bronzer, and “Desert” works as a contour (although I do prefer ABH “Fawn” over it, because it is even cooler). Because I am light-medium, I cannot use “Timber” as a face product, but it works perfect as another deepening shade for eyeshadow. I don’t like to go from “Ember” (medium warm brown) to “Onyx” (black) when deepening an eye look, as those shades are just so different from each other. If you want a truly smooth blend, you want to use as many shades as possible to make a nice smooth gradient. Therefore, after using “Ember”, I apply “Timber”, and then if I want the look to be even more defined, I use “Onyx”. Moral of the story is, every single shade in this palette is super useful and high quality.

Clay Play II. While the quality of the 7 carry-over shades remain great, I have some issues with the newer shades, and the overall composition of the palette. Honestly, I don’t find any of the metallics to be really stunning on the eye. They do swatch really well, and they feel nice in the pan, but they just aren’t anything special. I also take issue with the fact that there are really no shades in this palette to really deepen your look. I think the final looks that I come up with do turn out well, but I am never satisfied when I am creating them. I don’t have everything that I need in one palette, and that is what these palettes are supposed to be about! I literally have to dip into the first palette to finish a look with the sequel.

While I have no issues with the blush shade, it’s a shade that is easily dupe-able, and again, isn’t anything special. You also have to be careful because all of these powders kick up a lot of power, including the blush, so you can get waaaay too much on your brush. This is not a typical problem with Tarte blushes (although they are very pigmented), because the ones that you buy as singles are usually pressed pretty firmly. This one is not, and I have more than once applied too much blush, and had a hard time blending it out.

Lastly, while the highlighter is an absolutely beautiful nude shade, it is chunky and very glittery. It gives you a very reflective and wet look on the cheek bones, which is nice, but it always ends up looking so artificial and like a solid stripe, no matter how hard you try to blend it out! Also, because it is so chunky and glittery, not only does it emphasize any texture you may have, it adds texture itself!

Just to get my point across, here are two swatches of highlighters. The top one is the chunky “Timber” from Clay Play II, whereas the bottom one is a finely milled highlighter from the Tarte Don’t Quit Your Daydream Palette, “Shine On”.


You can see that “Timber” is CHUNKY AND TEXTURED AF, whereas “Shine On” is just a gorgeous smooth highlighter that looks amazing on the cheekbones, whether you are in direct light or not. I have also noticed that “Timber” looks ashy on me when it is not in the light, potentially because it is so reflective and glittery. So it’s a big no.

Final Thoughts – Do you need both?? And what the heck is going on??!

If you already own Clay Play I, I cannot recommend that you get the second one. Why waste your money when so many other good makeup products are always coming out?

If you do not own the original Clay Play, I still feel like I can’t recommend this second one to you. Maybe you will be happy with it, but this has all just put a bad taste in my mouth and has seriously biased me against it. Unfortunately, it looks like the original Clay Play has been taken off of both the Tarte and Sephora websites, so you may not be able to get it anymore. Why they discontinued such a popular item so quickly, I do not know. Apparently they do not want our money.

Since purchasing and testing out this palette, I have discovered more weird things just to add to this whole bizarre situation.

  1. I STILL have not seen Tarte advertise the release of the second Clay Play Face Shaping Palette anywhere. It is definitely not on their instagram feed. If I am incorrect about this, please let me know.
    • This is very weird, as the original Clay Play Face Shaping Palette has been a best seller and raved about by SO MANY influencers. Why would you not advertise the release of another potentially bangin’ product??
  2. This palette just kind of quietly appeared for sale at Sephora. And guess what, it’s not even on the Tarte website! Why would a Tarte product not be sold on their own website?!
    • Even products exclusive to one retailer or another, like Ulta or Sephora, are still sold on the original brand’s website. So why is this product only available at Sephora and Ulta?

With everything all put together, I have come to the following conclusions (that are sort of questions, lol):

  1. For some reason they saw it necessary to discontinue the original Clay Play. This is still a big question mark for me. They still carry so many products that are way older than the original Clay Play. What went down to make them get rid of it?
  2. Did they overproduce the packaging for the original Clay Play? Is this why the EXACT SAME packaging is used on this new Clay Play II?
  3. Because they wanted to use this leftover packaging, is that why all of the shade names were re-used, even though they no longer make any sense for the new shades??? So weird. And lazy. And confusing!
  4. Because they know all of this was and is sketchy, is that why there has been no advertising? Is that why they won’t even sell it on their own website???

Overall, this new palette has just left me, and a lot of other customers feeling totally gipped. There are comments on Temptalia and reviews on the Sephora website that mirror the same sentiments.

With that, I am going to leave you with some more comparison pictures, so that you can decide how you feel for yourself. If you decide you still want to get this Clay Play Face Shaping Palette II, go for it. No judgement, I really hope it works for you. But I will be returning mine.







What do you think about all of this? I am truly curious to know! Don’t hold back the conspiracy theories! LOL.

instatwitterpinterestScreen Shot 2017-08-17 at 4.20.11 PM


20 thoughts on “Ummm…wtf..? | Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette I VS II | Comparison Swatches & Conspiracy Theories 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🕵🏻‍♀️

  1. I think it is really weird that they used the same packaging and names even though some of the shades are completely different. If they had leftover packaging, why didn’t they just make more of the 1st palette if so many people liked it? Why make a “new” palette that is pretty much the same & discontinue the old favorite one? I don’t think they’ll be making much money off of the 2nd palette if they don’t sell it on their website & a lot of people like you are just going to return it. It’s a bad move for Tarte

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I totally agree with you on all points. I think they realize how weird and shady a move like this was, which is why they haven’t advertised it, haven’t put it on their own website, and haven’t sent it out in PR (that I have seen). I love Tarte but this has put a bit of a bad taste in my mouth!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, this is really, really strange. What is Tarte doing?! With the same packaging, reusing the names on different shades, and not really marketing the release of the palette…all very confusing.
    I hadn’t really looked into the Clay Play palette much because I already own too many neutral palettes, but both of them actually look really stunning!


    1. Yup, it is strange indeed! Yes, I also had literally no interest in the original clay play, but when it went on sale in October/November, I decided to pick it up and I am so happy that I did! It’s definitely the best neutral palette that I own 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know!! It’s so hard to not let this change your opinion of them as a brand.. Like it’s too weird to just be some innocent thing. If they were cool with keeping the packaging the same etc, wouldn’t they be advertising it? Wouldn’t they carry it on their own website?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, I thought I was the only one that hadn’t seen any advertising for the Clay Play Palette! I only heard about it from Casey Holmes, a YouTuber, who mentioned it a couple times. Sometimes I really don’t understand what brands are doing. Why is Tarte being so shady? It’s so strange.


  4. A lot of people also have problems with their previous eyeshadow palettes- so many shades are also always the same or similar in the eyeshadow palettes they come out with.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad you did this. I have both as well. For me it started out with clay play 2. I loved it and looked up the clay play 1 and said….oh I like those colors even better andnhit click and buy. Then couldn’t believe all the similarities/changes made. I was thinking I had gotten a dupe/fake or something. My go to is clay play 1 tho. Glad I am not the only one that questioned this

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it was just such a weird situation! I loved the idea of Clay Play 2, and the blush and highlight shade seemed so pretty, but it’s not worth it for so many of the same shades!


  6. I received the clay play volume one palette in my boxycharm this month. I can’t find it for sale anywhere online and am now wondering if this is just super old makeup. On boxy charm’s Facebook page, someone asked how they were able to supply full sized products for such a discount and they replied saying “that’s our little secret!”…… something is definitely going on.

    Liked by 1 person

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