I don’t know if you’ve noticed this about me or not, but if there’s one thing that I can’t resist when it comes to beauty, it’s the sweet allure of a much-hyped product. Yes, it’s true: I’m a sucker for rave-reviews!!! Tell me I need something and I will believe you! Sure, sometimes I might be a little late on the uptake–but sooner or later, I’ll cave. Which leads me to my review of the day: Maybelline Color Tattoo 24-Hour Cream Gel Shadows!!! (see? I told you, it takes me a while…these have been around for a while, but I like to be extra, extra sure before I purchase something–or a few somethings, in this case).
Described as having “ink technology [that] creates super-saturated color. Cream gel smoothes on for vibrant color that does not fade.” Now, like I said, I’ve read a lot of good reviews on this product–so I had some really high expectations of this product. The Color Tattoos are most often likened to MAC Paint Pots and Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams. So how did they measure up? Let’s start with the basics!! I must warn you, this is a picture-heavy post!
I got 6 of the 10 available shades: #15 Audacious Asphalt, #25 Bad to the Bronze, #35 Tough as Taupe, #40 Tenacious Teal, #45 Bold Gold, and #50 Edgy Emerald. Audacious Asphalt is a gunmetal-grey/silver almost-metallic-shimmer with extremely subtle brown undertones; Bad to the Bronze is a warm, metallic bronze; Tough as Taupe is a slightly-cool taupe (gray-brown) with a matte finish; Tenacious Teal is a vibrant medium blue with silver shimmer. I really wouldn’t say there was any teal to it at all, but that’s just me; Bold Gold is a medium gold shimmer; Edgy Emerald is gorgeous shimmery aqua-green.
Next, packaging. These come housed in a small glass pot–again, similar to MAC Paint Pots. They’re hefty and feel nice and weighty in my hand. I like that they’re glass and not plastic (like the L’oreal Infallible Eyeshadow packaging, for example). Some people may think they don’t travel well or are too bulky, but I like them and I’ve never had any problems carrying any of my glass containers of eyeliner/cream shadows around. The color names are on the black plastic lids, but the underside of the pot is clear–so it’s easy to store them upside down so you can quickly find whichever color you’re looking for.
The texture of these is very smooth. I am in love with the gel-cream consistency–it’s thin but not too thin and literally glides onto your eyelids like silk. Tough as Taupe was a lot thicker and creamier than the other colors. Most of the colors are quite pigmented (Tough as Taupe being the most pigmented), but Edgy Emerald, Tenacious Teal, and (to a lesser degree) Bold Gold and Audacious Asphalt really had to be built-up to get an opaque coverage. Bold Gold and Audacious Asphalt applied smoothly and evenly, but the color just wasn’t as intense/opaque unless you really layered it. However, Edgy Emerald and Tenacious Teal felt smooth but applied spottily–so I definitely had to layer these up, while Bold Gold and Audacious Asphalt could be worn with a single layer for a sheerer, shimmery look.
I found that you really had to wait for each layer to dry thoroughly before applying another one, because if you tried to build up coverage while they were still wet, it would just move the product around and cause patchiness. So, you can imagine that I did not have the easiest time trying to blend these out either (this goes for all the colors)–I just ended up with a patchy looking mess. And, it’s almost impossible to blend out once they’re dry, so either way it’s not happening. The good news is the shadows did set rather quickly and dried down to an even finish. It didn’t feel rough or cakey on my lids like some other cream shadows do.
Sadly, I can’t say the same for the wear of these. Let’s just say they didn’t last anywhere near 24-hours on my oily lids. They didn’t even hit the 6-hour mark (like Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadows do on me)! No, without a primer, these guys lasted less than an hour on my lids before they had creased! Tough as Taupe hung on for an hour before it started to crease on my inner corner. After another 30 minutes, it had creased completely all along my crease and had begun to fade everywhere else. I’m not sure if the other non-shimmery color from this collection (Fierce & Tangy) will have similar results or not, but seeing as how Tough as Taupe was the longest lasting of the 6 I have and was the only non-shimmery shade, I assume the answer is yes.
I also applied each color on my lower lash line as a liner and had about 30 measly minutes of wear-time, after which each color faded unevenly and creased at the outer corners of my eye. Overall, I was extremely disappointed. When it comes to the all-day-long-wear claims that many companies make these days, I try not to get my hopes up and always go in expecting to be disappointed–but this was just ridiculous.
Over a primer, these shadows staged a drastic comeback–clocking in at about 10 hours before showing some so-minor-it-was-almost non-existent creasing at the very inner corners of my eyes. Over a primer and set with a powder shadow, they lasted all day til I removed them. The swatches on my arm, however, lasted all day and into the night without help from a primer or powder. They were also smudge-proof and fade-proof (I performed my rub test on them and these suckers are virtually indestructible! I really let them have it, too!), so those with dry or normal eyelids shouldn’t have a problem with these shadows staying put.
Verdict? I don’t hate these, but they definitely don’t make good on their 24-hour claims–at least not without the help of a primer or powder shadow on top. Most cream shadows don’t even come close to lasting a full day on my lids and I don’t expect them to. But a lot of them do last at least 6 to 7 hours on me, so it’s pitiful that the Color Tattoo’s couldn’t even hold on for a mere hour–especially for a product that’s touted as having 24-hour wear. Still, I think this is a good quality drugstore product. I do think that people who don’t have a problem with oily lids like me will appreciate these a lot more and will probably get at least 12 hours wear-time from them, no problem. Those with oilier lids might find that this product works best as a base for powder eyeshadows, but I would still apply a primer underneath just to be on the safe side (or if you have super oily lids).
Pros: gorgeous, unique colors available; nice, thin, creamy consistency; applies very smoothly; affordable; can be used as a quick wash of color, a base for powder shadows, and an eyeliner (though those with less oily lids will see the best results); sets quickly
Cons: Edgy Emerald, Audacious Asphalt, Bold Gold, and Tenacious Teal all had problems with pigmentation; not easily blendable; a larger selection might be nice (one that includes a few more mattes and neutrals); doesn’t hold up to the 24-hour wear claims, nor does it even come close; color is not easily buildable for some shades
»»Pricing: $6.99/0.14 oz. (4 g.) *prices may vary from store to store
»»Recommended for: those with dry to normal lids
»»Overall Rating: C