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Review: Tarte Aqualillies Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette – I Don’t Think So

  • Posted on June 15, 2013 at 12:22 am

Tarte Aqualillies Collage

I typically love Tarte cosmetics, so I was immediately drawn to the Aqualillies Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette.  Summer = Focus on Waterproof Makeup  for me, as you can tell by my recent posts.  I have seen YouTube videos raving about this palette, and read comments on the Tarte site about how wonderful it is.  I was incredibly shocked at the polar opposite reaction I had to it after swatching it and testing it for transfer and it’s waterproof staying power.

 

Aqualillies Palette1

 

 

Tarte Aqualillies Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette – The Claims

  • Waterproof
  • Fade-free, flawless finish
  • Lasts up to 12 hours

 

 

 

True Beauty Junkie Assessment

In a word – NO.  It’s just that simple.  I didn’t find any of the claims to be true.  In fact, they didn’t even come close!

I’ll start with the swatches from the palette.  Normally if I do swatches I try to just do one pass at the color so that you can see the minimum color payoff you would receive using the product.  I had no lotion or primer or any other product on my arm, just bare skin.  With this palette I had to go over, and over, and OVER just to get the colors to show up on my arm – and I am still sporting my winter white skin, no tan in sight yet.

Aqualillies Palette Swatches1

There is nothing exceptional about the colors in this palette, especially when swatched.  The pigmentation is horrible, there are three very frosty shades that are so close to the highlight color it’s really a waste to include them, and the one color that I was hoping would be a beautiful pop of turquoise in the otherwise neutral palette (Poolside) barely showed up on my arm.

I would normally show you swatches after a rub test and then after running them under water, but in this case the swatches didn’t even make it past the rub test.  If I were to show you my arm after lightly rubbing over the swatches (after letting them sit for a few minutes) you would just see my bare arm with a little sparkle left over.  Literally nothing stayed in place.  On a separate occasion I didn’t rub them but went straight to the water test  and they still completely disappeared.

 

Bottom Line

I generally love Tarte, so it pains me to give them a negative review.  This palette is not waterproof, not fade-free and certainly not going to last 12 hours on your skin.  Skip it.  Use the $38.00 somewhere else – anywhere else would be better spent than on this palette.

** I can’t reiterate enough that this review applies only to the Aqualillies palette.  Tarte has so many other awesome palettes and products that are worth checking out.  They just really missed the boat with this one. 

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 HR Eyeshadow Review

  • Posted on June 5, 2013 at 3:32 am

“Eyes are your most important feature; they draw people in.”  ~Andrea Walmsley

Maybelline Color Tattoo IntroYou may have noticed a trend in my makeup posts lately – waterproof, waterproof, waterproof!  Summer is here, and with it is some much needed sunshine and warm weather, pool parties, and days at the beach.  Unfortunately it can also mean sweat, raccoon eyes and general face melting.  I think I can handle my foundation disappearing a bit in the heat, but my eyes are another thing.  I want my eye makeup and mascara to stay put throughout the day, regardless what I have going on.  I don’t want to go to the bathroom and see my eye makeup has migrated to my cheeks – never a good look.

 

 Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 HR Cream Gel Shadow

I have heard nothing but good things about this shadow, so I picked up a few colors that I thought I would get the most wear out of this summer.

 

The Claims

  • 24 hour wear without creasing or fading
  • Ink pigments for intense color
  • Cream-gel texture

 

True Beauty Junkie Assessment

Let’s start with the colors I selected:

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Swatches

Barely Branded is a beautiful champagne color.  When I first swatched it on my arm it reminded me a lot of The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer highlight, only in cream form.  Not glittery or chunky, it glides on easily and works as an all-over eye shimmer base, a highlighter for your brow bone or the perfect shade to brighten your inner eye corners.

Purchase: Maybelline Color Tattoo – Barely Branded

Bad to the Bronze is a warm brown with subtle bronze and gold shimmer in it.  This is the color that I will be reaching for the most over summer.  You can sheer it out or pack it on for a more pigmented look.

Purchase: Maybelline Color Tattoo – Bad To The Bronze

Tough as Taupe is a matte cool brown mixed with gray.  In the pot it looks much more gray, which worried me because gray is not an eye color I gravitate towards.  It tends not to work well with my eye and skin color.  When I swatched this I was happy to see that there is enough brown there to make it wearable for me.  I love that it is matte, and I find myself wearing it as a base and warming it up a bit with other shadows.

Purchase: Maybelline Color Tattoo – Tough as Taupe

 

Testing the Claims

 

24 Hour Wear – No Fading

After I swatched all three colors on my wrist (just the shadow, no primer underneath), my family and I headed to the pool.  Yes, you know you are a true beauty junkie when you walk around in public with makeup swatches on your arm.  :)   I swam in the pool, soaked in the jacuzzi, occasionally rubbing on the swatches to see if they were going to shift at all.  They did not budge!  I was thinking that I wouldn’t need to even take a second picture of the swatches at the end of our pool day, because they looked the same.  Then I tried rubbing them off with my towel, and finally there was some fading.

Now, I have to say, I was really happy that even though these faded after being scrubbed with my towel, the fading wasn’t a bleeding out all over the place.  The color just faded over all.

Swatches After Tests

 

Creasing

My lovely sister reads my blog, and after my original posting of this one she texted me asking “What about creasing?!”   I had forgotten to add this piece in.  She is the best quality control editor.  :)   Thanks Becca!

When you are applying these to your eyes, if you are using a synthetic brush to initially place the shadow, you should then go over it with your finger and press it into your skin to smooth it out.  You don’t want a thick layer of the shadow on your eye all at once.  If you want to intensify the color just apply it in layers, always remembering to use your finger to press and smooth it into your skin between each one.

Like any cream eye product, if you don’t apply it correctly it will crease up on you the minute you blink, settling into the lines of your eyes.  However, I haven’t had any issues with these colors creasing on me, applying them as I described above.

 

Intense Color

The formula allows for buildable coverage.  I found the shades I chose to start off with a great base color.  The initial swatches I took are just single strokes of the cream shadow, no primer, no additional layers.  I was able to pump up the pigment as I wanted when I was applying these to my eyes, so that I could use just one of them to serve as an all-over lid color as well as a smudged out smokey crease.

 

Not So Honorable Mention

It appears that the formula can vary between the colors, as everything else I’ve tried.  I purchased the Tenacious Teal and was truly disappointed with the pigmentation and staying power.  It applied slightly patchy and milky, certainly not as the bold color it appears to be in the jar.  It was mostly gone after just a little water from the faucet and rubbing it lightly.  I returned it.

 

Bottom Line

Once you place these specific cream liners where you want them and let them set for a few minutes they will hang with you all day.  I was truly impressed with their staying power.  They aren’t even marketed at waterproof, and yet I was able to swim with them, soak in the jacuzzi, and they were exactly where I put them when I finished my day.  The colors are beautiful and pigmented and apply easily with your finger or a synthetic brush.  Just be aware that not all of these will wear like the gems I picked above.

**

Let me know which of these you have tried.  How did they work for you?  How do you like wearing them?

The Balm: Bronzers and Highlights

  • Posted on May 31, 2013 at 7:40 pm

“I always wear bronzer because I love the way my skin looks when it’s tan.”  ~Lauren Conrad

Part Two of my The Balm Cosmetics shopping spree included picking up their bronzer, contour and highlight products.  I was so excited to try these out, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you.

The Balm Cosmetics

The Balm Cosmetics

Bronze and Contour

Bronzing and contouring your face can turn into a hot mess, depending on the product you use and how you use it.  Knowing that The Balm tends to have highly pigmented products, I was a little nervous about purchasing their bronzers.  In the end I just couldn’t resist.  Let me walk you through what I got, and what I think about them.

 

Bahama Mama – Bronzer and Contour

Purchase: TheBalm Bahama Mama Bronzer

Bahama Mama is a matte finished multi-tasker.  You can use it as a bronzer, a contour shade, or an eye shadow.  It looks very dark in the pan.  Like scary-dark for someone with my fair-medium complexion.  I was surprised to find that I was able to apply it sheerly enough to work for me, and build it up if I wanted to.  As with all of The Balm cosmetics – a little bit goes a long way!

I love that it is matte; I am not a fan of bronzers with any kind of shimmer, glitter or sparkle to them.  I feel they tend to look odd on the face.  When you’re contouring or bronzing you’re looking to add shadows, depth, warmth to the face, not turn into a tanned, sparkly Twilight vampire chick.  Once I started using Bahama Mama it quickly replaced the others I had in my collection as my go-to product.

Application:  The key to applying this is to lightly touch your brush to the product, tap it off, and then blend.  DO NOT swirl your brush around in the pan like there is no tomorrow.  It won’t be cute.

The Balm: Bahama Mama Swatches

The Balm: Bahama Mama
Swatches

 

Betty-Lou Manizer Bronzer and Highlight

Purchase: TheBalm Betty-Lou Manizer

I realize that not everyone agrees with my opinion that bronzers should be matte.  Betty-Lou Manizer is certainly NOT matte.  This product has shimmer galore!  It’s not something that I would reach for to use as a bronzer or contour; it just doesn’t do it for me in that capacity.

I do however love that I can use this as an eye shadow.  It has a warm copper glow to it, which I love on my eyes more than the glitter party that a lot of eye shadows with sparkle tend to be.  This is also a great highlight for darker complexions.  Gorgeous!

The Balm: Betty-Lou Manizer Swatches

The Balm: Betty-Lou Manizer
Swatches

Highlight

I am constantly trying out different highlights.  I think the right highlight can bring a youthful glow to your face, make your cheekbones appear more defined, and really finish your over all look.  The wrong highlight can accentuate every fine line, wrinkle, and pore that is on your face.  That’s never a look that I’m going for.  I picked up The Balm’s highlight for fair – medium/tan skin to see how I would like it.

 

Mary-Lou Manizer Highlight

Purchase: The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer

This is a champagne highlight that has definite shimmer to it.  It is finely milled so that you’re not seeing glitter pieces on your skin, but you can definitely apply too much rather easily and get out of hand.  I use this with a soft hand on top of my cheeks for a beautiful glow.  I have also used it under my brows and around my tear duct to brighten my eye area.

Additional Application Trick: If you happen to use mineral makeup, like Bare Minerals foundation, you can apply some of the Mary-Lou Manizer on your skin UNDER that foundation (along the top of your cheekbones and the center of your forehead).  When you swirl your mineral foundation on top of it, it diffuses it enough to give your skin a ‘lit from within’ quality that can be quite pretty.

The Balm: Mary-Lou Manizer Swatches

The Balm: Mary-Lou Manizer
Swatches

The Bottom Line:

While some of these won’t be products I turn to on a daily basis, they are all quite lovely.  There are multiple uses for each of them, and with the amount of product you get in each… I will be bronzing and highlighting with The Balm cosmetics for a long time.