The Sample: Maybelline Color Tattoo 24-Hour Cream-Gel Shadow (Review, Swatches & Photos)

21 May

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!

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge


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.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge


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.

Bold Gold in the sun

Bad to the Bronze in the sun

Tough as Taupe in the sun. Apologies for the appearance–I didn’t realize when I bought these that Tough as Taupe was missing it’s seal and had a little dink in it. I disinfected and wiped down the entire surface just to be on the safe side

Audacious Asphalt in the sun (I dinked this one myself)

Edgy Emerald in the sun

Tenacious Teal in the sun


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.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge


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

»»Availability: (now on sale), Target, Walgreens, Ulta (buy 2 get 1 free promo going on right now), CVS, and other drugstores

»»Recommended for: those with dry to normal lids

»»Overall Rating: C

23 Responses to “The Sample: Maybelline Color Tattoo 24-Hour Cream-Gel Shadow (Review, Swatches & Photos)”

  1. dani@callitbeauty May 21, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    That’s too bad about the wear… And I have oily lids, too…

    I think we just need to not trust any long-wearing claims :p. The colours are super gorgeous, though!

    • becca May 21, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

      I know huh? Then, we won’t be disappointed anymore!! Stupid beauty brands getting my hopes up…

      I must say though, these cream shadows are really nice–especially for a drugstore brand. If I didn’t have such oily lids, I would LOVE these. They still perform really well–but only if I wear a primer underneath. I guess for the price it’s a nice option and since I have primer I can use, it’s worth it. But if I had to go out and buy a primer specifically to use under these, I would just forget it.

  2. Tracy@Beauty Reflections May 22, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    I don’t really like these-especially the glitter ones. I find them hard to blend out and the ones with glitter fall out all over my face. Andy yeah-they don’t last without a primer on me either. That 3 strikes for me!

    • becca May 22, 2012 at 1:53 am #

      Oh, you too Tracy? Do you have oily lids? Yeah, I had read SO many good reviews, I was convinced they’d perform better despite my oily lids. And I’ve read reviews saying they “blend like a dream” or something to that effect–but I had no such luck. Bummer! The colors were so pretty too

  3. Larie May 22, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Your photos are gorgeous! I’ve been wanting to try these, but I think I’ll skip – I hate things that don’t blend! Who has time to wait around for things to dry, too?

    • becca May 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      Aw, thanks Larie! Yeah, I was pretty disappointed with these. They work great as a base, but then so do a lot of other cream shadows–plus they stay put a lot longer than the Color Tattoos. Either way, I think it’s a great option for those that don’t have oily lids!

  4. Shivani May 23, 2012 at 4:23 am #

    wow, we have such differing opinions on it. :)
    I love these – while the pigmentation may be sheer on some of these, I agree – its buildable, so I don’t hate it for that. Also, these don’t crease on me :P

    I am sorry they didn’t work out for you, but its always nice to see how a product works so well for some of us and not that great for others.

    • becca May 23, 2012 at 4:41 am #

      You’re lucky! I REALLY wanted to like these because they were SO smooth and the colors were beautiful! Oh well, I’m glad they worked for you. :)

  5. svetlana May 28, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    for some reason, anything with the word “cream” in the title makes me nervous. i don;t really have lids and no matter WHAT i try, to no avail does the shadow stay. cursed? yes?

    • becca May 29, 2012 at 1:53 am #

      I used to feel the SAME way!!! Have you tried the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadows? I have gotten great wear with those. Also, Make Up For Ever makes some good ones. And honestly, these Maybelline ones are not bad at all–especially for the price. But like I said, you do have to make sure to wear a primer underneath–especially if you have small lid space and/or oily lids

  6. Sunny May 30, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Aww I’m so sorry to hear these don’t last on you! They last well on me even without a primer. As a matter of fact, they’re the most resistant cream products I’ve tried. Better than even Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill! Rumor has it that they’ll finally make it to Belgium this summer, and I can’t wait to check them out! I hope they’ll add some neutrals to the range too.

    • becca May 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

      Wow–well, I’m definitely glad they work so well for you, Sunny. I had been hoping for similar results, but I guess my lids are just too oily :/

  7. Megan June 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    I love these things! I have a few the blue, green and golden one! I use the green one all the time! Great review, if I wasn’t sold I’d be sold after this review!

    • becca June 8, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      They’re great…with primer! lol without it my oily lids eat these things up in an hour flat. Majorly disappointing :/

  8. Vonvon June 8, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    I have the gold, bronze and teal one. The last one is called something Turquoise in the UK, which I find it to be more appropriate, than teal. Like you said, there is no teal in it.

    The bronze and turquoise ones are quite pigmented and last almost all day on my slightly oily lids, meaning about 7-8 hours.

    The gold one applies as a sheer wash of color and I do notice the gold one has some tiny chunks of glitter. And it creases after a few hours on my lids.

    • becca June 8, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      I’m glad you got much better results on your oily lids than I did with mine. It was a bummer–I had read so many good reviews too! At least I have a great primer that helps with the wear of these…

  9. Amanda June 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    I have oily lids also and wear mine with a primer. I get a good 6 hours wear time before they start sliding around. Bad To The Bronze and Pomegranate Punk are my faves.

  10. Beauty by Linde June 23, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    These have just became available in the Netherlands, and I’ve heard so many people rave about them that I was só excited to try them soon! But now that I read your review I’m not so sure anymore about everyone else’s .. Maybe I’ll just test them in store and see how long it takes until they wear off. Thanks for giving your honest opinion :)

    • becca June 23, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

      Let me know how it goes for you! I wouldn’t be too worried unless you have very oily eyelids like me. On my arm, they were almost indestructable! But on my eyelids….well, you know. Do you have oily lids, Linde?

      • Beauty by Linde June 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

        Not extremely oily, unless it’s very hot outside. I think wearing them with a primer would be a must for me.

        • becca June 23, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

          Then I think *most likey* you should be fine–but of course, it never hurts to add primer before putting anything on your eyes. I never go without it! Do you have a favorite eye primer that you use?

  11. Yessie July 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    great pictures! I love Bold Gold and Bad to the Bronze!

    New follower! I’m also from So Cal:)

    • becca July 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      Aw, thanks Yessie! I’m glad you like it!

      Where from So-Cal are you from??

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