Maybelline has released their popular Color Tattoos in several different incarnations, the latest of which, EyeStudio Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon, is a "chubby stick"-style pencil. This version did not perform quite as well as its predecessors due to some inconsistencies among shades but it definitely wasn't terrible. Keep reading to learn what we liked and where it fell short.
This fragrance-free eyeshadow pencil is housed in a thick tube featuring a twist-up, self-sharpening design, which is both convenient and economical—there is no need to purchase a separate sharpener (and no risk of waste due to manual sharpening). It's also free of any potential irritants, making it a good choice for those with sensitive eyes.
Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon is a multi-tasker because it can be used as both an eyeshadow and an eyeliner. It's creamy and applies smoothly as either, depositing somewhat initially sheer, yet buildable color without tugging. Unfortunately, this product's luck runs out there…
This creamy color sets very quickly, making blending near impossible. It's not all bad news, though, because that property helps it stay put. True to the "tattoo" portion of its name, this isn't a formula prone to smudging.
We did find an inconsistency among shades when it came to two different aspects of wear, the first of which was flaking. The more glitter the shade contains, the greater propensity for some minor flaking. We did not notice any flaking for the more metallic shades, however.
The wear-time of these crayons was also all over the place. None of them traveled once set, but some of them creased pretty noticeably after just a few hours in an oddly splotchy manner. Our staffers with greasy eyelids found that using a well-formulated eyeshadow primer helped minimize creasing. Then again, others (such as "Bronze Truffle" and "Audacious Asphalt") were much longer lasting, showing minimal creasing on even the greasiest eyelids after a full workday, regardless of whether or not primer was used. Whatever product is left at the end of the day removes easily with a standard makeup remover or cleanser.
We were also disappointed in what we suspect many will find to be a limited range of shades. Maybelline played it safe by including several different shades of gold, gray, bronze, and purple, but didn't include any deeper browns, blues, or greens. We're hoping that as with the original Color Tattoos, Maybelline adds more shades in the future (and we'd love some matte options!)
Overall, Maybelline's Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon isn't a bad product by any stretch. At worst it's inconsistent in its wear-time and tendency to flake among shades. It also provides a convenient option for a combination eyeshadow/eyeliner pencil. Because it's affordable, it's one worth checking out as long as you adjust your expectations accordingly, but you'll find better options on our lists of best eyeshadows and best eyeliners.
Maybelline New York At-A-Glance
Strengths: At least one excellent product (if not several) in almost every category; many excellent foundations; superior mascaras; inexpensive makeup brushes; some terrific concealers, powders, blush, and lip color options.
Weaknesses: Lips balms tend to be a letdown; a few of the Great Lash mascaras are surprisingly average compared to other Maybelline formulas.
Maybelline is one of the best-known and most recognized mass-market makeup lines in the world—it's available in 90 countries. Throughout its long history, which began in 1915 when T. L. Wilson founded the company and named it after his sister, Mabel, and Vaseline (which he combined with coal dust to concoct a mascara for her), the company has prided itself on bringing innovative products to the marketplace. L'Oreal purchased the company in early 1996, and that's when things really started coming together for the Maybelline brand.
Specializing in a large selection of lipsticks, nail polishes, and mascaras, there is a lot to love from this drugstore brand. Many of their foundations are exceptional, and their powders, several mascaras, pencils, matte-finish concealers, and Superstay Lipcolor collection impressed us by offering a high degree of quality for their inexpensive price point.
Maybelline's latest urban image is a positive step, as many of their latest launches have been innovative without resorting to "been-there, done-that" gimmicks. Smart shoppers will note the similarities of a few of Maybelline’s formulas to products from high-end brands that are also owned by parent company L’Oreal. That just goes to show conscientious shopping can really save you money—without sacrificing quality or performance.
For more information about Maybelline New York, call (800) 944-0730 or visit their interactive Web site at www.maybelline.com.
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