We admit it, we were a little confused at what the Tarte Frxxxtion Stick was exactly upon first sight. With its gold cap and accents, it looked too pretty to just be a cleanser. Plus, with a similar packaging as Tarte’s Lip & Cheek Tints, we thought it could be makeup. That is, until you twist the cap open to find a black solid.

tarte frxxxtion 1

It’s described as an “exfoliating gel” — all of which you’ll mostly understand when you use it for the first time. Good luck going back after you do.

tarte frxxxtion 2

What it is: An exfoliating sea algae and charcoal cleanser in the form of a solid stick that is activated to a gel when applied to wet skin.

What it does: Uses charcoal powder and microexfoliants for a light scrub and cleanser that helps draw out impurities in the skin. To use, wet face, then rub on face directly until evenly applied. Use fingertips to massage on face then rinse off.

What we liked: It was easy to apply, and even though it melts to a gel upon use, there’s fairly no mess. The microexfoliants scrub without being harsh and the charcoal helps to absorb oils and other impurities (charcoal is known to absorb about 200 times its weight in impurities). The cleanser has no strong discernable scent and also doubles as a mask if you leave it for a couple minutes. The result is a shine-free, dirt-free finish. The cleanser is also compact and solid which makes it good for travel and those on the go. Plus it looks pretty on our bathroom counter.

What we didn’t like: The balm can’t get into the inner corners or around the nostrils upon contact but you can also use your fingers to wipe around those areas. And although it’s gentle enough to use everyday, we don’t recommend using any granule product more than 2-3 times a week!

Who it’s best for: Good for all skin types, and people who usually carry around their life in their bag (we see you, Jetsetters).

Price: $22

Availability: tartecosmetics.com

Fun fact: Tarte is launching in the Middle East on October 27th! Get excited 🙂