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Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Eyeshadow in Tough as Taupe

I recently purchased one of the new Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Eyeshadows in Tough as Taupe, and now that I've used it several times, I'd love to share my thoughts with you.

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Eyeshadow in Tough as Taupe
(retail: around $7, 0.14 oz)

I've heard many people compare these to MAC Paint Pots. It's been a long time since I've owned a MAC Paint Pot, so I don't feel comfortable comparing the two. But if you're curious, I've heard everything from that they're "nearly identical", to that they're "almost as good" and I've even heard a few people say they "prefer Color Tattoo to Paint Pots".  If you own both, I'd love to hear YOUR take on how they compare.

Tough as Taupe appears to be a nice, medium-toned true taupe in the pot.

When viewed at an angle, it looks like there MIGHT be a slight sheen to this shadow but, once on the skin, it's actually a true matte with no visible sheen or sparkle.

As Elvira pointed out in her review of this very same shade, there's a little surprise to this product. Once you "break the seal" on the surface, you'll find that the true color of Tough as Taupe is actually darker than how it appears when untouched:

So instead of a true, medium-toned taupe, this actually becomes more of a darker greige matte. This wasn't a big disappointment to me, because I find the color to be the eyeshadow version of the ever-popular greige creme nail colors we've seen for the past few years. Seriously, if you love Revlon Stormy on your nails, then you just might love Tough as Taupe on your eyes.

The above swatch was taken after patting my finger on the surface of Tough as Taupe (I find it better to pat than swirl with this product given its thick, tacky and dry consistency) and gently running it along my arm.

Since this product sets (dries) pretty quickly, I thought I'd show you what it looked like when I tried to blend this color after it had set for about 30 seconds. The color becomes spotty and inconsistent, so my biggest advice is to blend IMMEDIATELY after application. Do not wait.

Next, some before-and-afters:

The above three photos were taken just minutes after I applied my makeup. I used nothing else on my lids other than Tough as Taupe, applied to my lids and blended (quickly) upward with my finger. I did NOT use an eyeshadow primer before applying Tough as Taupe.

The following photos were taken after eight hours of wear:

There is some visible fading, but I didn't find it terribly dramatic. I checked in the mirror a few hours after these photos were taken and there was a bit more fading and creasing, so even though this product didn't pass the 24HR test, it was still impressive for a drugstore cream shadow--especially on my super-oily skin.

Even though I can definitely wear this product on its own for a subtle, matte look, I've found that my favorite way to use Tough as Tough is to "beef up" my weaker taupe eyeshadows (and I have a lot of those). Check it out:

In the above photo, I wanted to show you what the taupe shade in the Physicians Formula Nude palette looks like on its own. But look what happens when I apply it over Tough as Taupe. I LOVE how intense this shadow becomes using Tough as Taupe as a base.

In the above photo, I layered the taupe shade from the new Revlon Siren Quad on top of Tough as Taupe, and I love how it intensifies this color and really brings out its cool tones. In fact, I wore this combo on my eyes for 12 hours the other day and my shadow looked vibrant and crease-free for the entire day and well into the night.

Texture, Pigmentation and Blendability: as mentioned, I find the texture of this product to be thick, sticky and a bit on the dry side (is it not one of those slick and creamy shadows). You must work quickly to blend this once it's on your lids, otherwise you'll run the risk of spotty and inconsistent color. I find it better to pat your fingers on the surface of the shadow rather than swirling your finger to pick up color. Also, blending with quick strokes seems to yield the best results. This product feels sticky/tacky once on my eyes, making it ideal as a base for powder shadows (it really grabs and adheres to powders). The pigmentation of Tough as Taupe is quite good, although over time (eight hours for me) it does lose its vibrancy a bit. One more thing: I haven't tried this shadow with an eyeshadow brush yet, because I've been pleased with using my fingers so far.

Staying Power: As illustrated in my photos above, the staying power of this product is impressive for a drugstore cream shadow--especially on my super-oily lids. When worn alone, I can go about eight hours before I start to see fading and creasing, so it does not live up to its 24 hour claim for me. However, when used as a base for my powder shadows, I think I could probably get 24 hours of wear from this product (I've gone as long as 12 without seeing any major fading or creasing).

FINAL VERDICT: Tough as Taupe is a keeper for me. I like the look of it when worn alone, but I REALLY love using it to intensify the look of my weaker taupe powder shadows. It really seems to bring out the best in some of my existing shadows, and I'm very impressed with the staying power when worn as a primer. I would definitely consider picking up the white shade to use as a base for many of my powder shadows.

Do you already own any Maybelline Color Tattoo shadows? If so, what shades do you own and how do you like them? Do you think they compare to MAC Paint Pots?


  1. I have this same exact shade and it creases like crazy on me! So dissapointing. I don't have oil lids but this product will not work for me.

  2. Katie: I'm really sorry to hear that! I have heard this from a few others, and was actually expecting similar results when I tried it for myself (because my lids are so oily). But I was very pleasantly surprised that it didn't crease for me, so I guess it just goes to show that certain products really react differently for certain people (body chemistry, etc.). I hope you kept your receipt for a return/exchange. :)

  3. If you get the white, I hope you'll review it. I'd be curious to see how it works as a primer base.

  4. In general I don't like Maybelline products, especially their eye products, but after all the reviews I saw I decided to give it a try. I got the Too Cool one mostly so my really light shadows would stand out a bit more. I have super oily lids so I put a powder on first and it creased within a couple of hours. I tried it again with nothing on my lid and it stayed until I took it off. So far it has worked well for me with nothing on my lid under it. Might even buy more.
    P.S. I have like 5 paint pots and it is as good as they are in my opinion.

  5. I just picked this up over the weekend and am still testing it. I was surprised by how gray it really looks. And my first test didn't yield very good results.... I got some creasing right away :( But my final verdict isn't in yet. Thanks for your review and swatches!

  6. I have this same shade and the pomegranite one, I LOVE them. I only use them with powder shadows over, not alone. I really hope they add a matte nude color to the line. A nice flesh tone one for a good base.

  7. I am really liking these and I think they are very similar to Mac paint pots. When I use them I use a primer bc of my oily eyelids. Overall I am very happy with this drugstore product. :) Thanks for doing this review :)

  8. Dang that is impressive for 8 hrs of wear sans primer! I love how it looks under your other taupe shadows.

  9. This weekend I purchased these shadows in Bad to the Bronze, Too Cool, Bold Gold, Painted Purple, and Audacious Asphalt. So far I really like them and like them even more used as a base or primer for other shadows. Been using them with the Loreal infallible 24 hour shadows and has been lasting all day with very little fading or creasing. Very happy with the purchase!

  10. O.M.G!!! I need 10 of these, ASAP!! I love taupes and way it looks, I need em. By the way, I had emailed you about the CVS in downtown. LOl. I have yet to go, but believe me, my haul will be huge if there is anything left!

  11. I have all the colors except two (the green and purple). I really like them all. One of them creased on my like crazy (I have oily lids) but like the previous reviewer said I used a primer. I used another without primer...nothing. So this week I'm trying them all without primers.

    Today I used Bold Gold and put L'Oreal's Infallible Eternal Sunshine on top and lined with purple eyeliner. No primer and it it still going strong. No creasing or fading after almost 9 hours. :O)

  12. I have this in pomegranate and love it. I wear it on my crease along with my MUFE Aqua Eyes. They're not as good (and only by a little bit), but a lot cheaper than my $22 MUFE Aqua Eyes, so when I'm out of those (hopefully a long time from now), I plan on replacing them with these.

  13. I got this about five days ago and I'm hooked already! I purchased "bad to the bronze", which is much darker on than in the pot.
    A lot of people do reviews of this product saying that they use it as an actual shadow and don't like it. The only reason i got this was so I could use it as a base. No creasing whatsoever.
    I do find that it does indeed dry fast, however, that factor doesn't affect it's ability to keep regular shadows in their places.
    Thanks for the review G, it makes me want to get a few more shades!
    p.s. Have you tried the new maybelline mouse foundation yet? I'd like to, but i haven't heard much about it, so I don't know if that's a goos thing or a bad thing ;)

  14. Oops! I mean "mousse" foundation! ;)

  15. I purchased the Pomegranate Punk and I really like the shade. I find it applies well using fingertip application over a light dusting of matte eyeshadow, then blend into crease with a brush. No visible creasing after 6 hours. I thought the shadow would feel a little more tacky, but it does have a slip to it and dries quickly. Of all the shades I thought the Pom. was suitable for everyday wear without being too boring or too flashy. :)

  16. I've been searching high and low for the taupe shade, but everywhere I go it's sold out! :( Looks gorgeous on you though!

  17. I went out and bought these. Thinking there'd be a decent color as an eyeshadow base. Boy was I wrong! They're all very vibrant or dark. So I returned them. Now I'm thinking back about it and I should have kept them as eye liners (I bought 2 & returned them the next day). They'd work nice for that. Plus I think I might be able to use one to fill in my brows and keep it natural looking.

  18. Tough as Taupe is my favorite! I also love wearing it alone :)

  19. I had purchased the bronze and emerald versions a couple of weeks ago and was not impressed at all. On my arm they look awesome. They look awesome right after application too, but I applied these one day with ELF primer underneath only to come home to faded color and major creasing.

    I'm going to give it another shot with my UDPP instead, but so far I'm disappointed.

  20. Kimchi, have you tried these with NO primer? That is how i use it, And if you read some of the comments above, it looks like others have had the best luck with no primer too. Hope that helps!

  21. I just wrote a post on this! I got the teal one though. I think it's pretty cool. The taupe looks really nice on you, it matches well with the color of your eyebrows. :D

  22. Thanks G, I will definitely try them without primer too. Generally, my lids are oily so I expected creasing without primer. :)

  23. I wore this shade today and love it! It's just enough color w/o looking all crazy for work.

    These eyeshadows are FLYING off the shelves! I work at RA and on Sunday, I bought 2, and then bought 2 more on Tuesday. I grabbed the 2 color I wanted when I first came into work on Tuesday, and paid for them when I left. Good thing I did cause when I went back to look at the colors they were all gone!!! I hope they release more colors! Maybelline hit a home-run with these puppies!!

  24. Wow thanks for this. I've been looking for something to replace the Hip creme paints that I use as eyeshadow primer ever since they were discontinued. When I saw these I wondered if they would work - it sounds like they might. Now if Maybelline would just release a great pale flesh colored one it'd be perfect.

  25. i love this product! one question though, how do you get it off your eyelids without rubbing or tugging too much? this is definitely a problem with me. and this is WITH eye makeup remover.

  26. Do you think this could be used as a gel liner? Im looking for super bright gel liners for summer and just cant find ones bright enough.

  27. Based on all the rave reviews of "Tough as Taupe," I went and got it yesterday. It's much more gray than I thought it would be, as everyone said it is a warm, purplish brownish taupe. No, on me, it appears a dull, ugly gray. So sad. I dreamt of just putting/blending it on my eyelids, adding some liner or mascara and then leaving the house. No way. Instead, it has to be incorporated with 3-4 other eye shadows to make it work. I even stayed up all night watching tutorial after tutorial on youtube and all the ladies use this shadow as more of a base, piling on at least 2-4 additional eye shadows. I don't need a base; if I use just 3 eyeshadow colors, they'll stay on if I use primer or even just foundation with powder on my eyes. If anyone has a tutorial for how to make it work with just the Tattoo & liner or mascara, please share.

  28. I have 2 of this and I'm using it for 5 months already. However, I think it is dry now because I have a harder time putting it on unlike before.

  29. I know this post is amazingly old, but I saw a couple people mention on here that it could work for brows. I was looking for an Anistasia Dipbrow dupe and while I've never tried that pricey option, I can say that this works as an *amazing* brow product with a nice flat brow (or even eyeliner) brush. I have super faint brows and I'm not big on Pin-Up Girl brows, I just want my face to look put together and this definitely works for that. They look so much more natural than when I was using an expensive Clinique pencil.

    Also, I would like to thank you for the effort you put into finding sales and coupons and consolidating the list. I saved money today because of you!


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