Friday, May 27, 2011

Tarte EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner

Lest you think that I fall in love with every product I come across, I decided to show you something I don't love.

This guy.  Tarte's EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner in Plum.  $18 for a pen, 0.003 oz.

Let me start off with a caveat - I don't really like gel liners, in general.  They smudge in a few hours, no matter what kind of primer I use, and I just don't like the look of them.  For a smudgy, smokey effect, I prefer pencils, and for clean lines, you can't beat liquid liners.  I've tried just a couple of gel liners (L'oreal's HIP and Smashbox's version) but I didn't like them, and this was the last shot - I thought perhaps the pen form might suit me better.  Not really.
The problem is, this is still a gel liner, even though Tarte has tried to shape it into a pen.  You get a nice chiseled tip to start off with, but the pen tip is so soft, a single use will smoosh it down.  Yes, smooooosh.  Tarte warns you not to advance the tip too far out (yes, it will break) but even when you creep the tip out just a millimeter or so above the rim, it's gone, rubbed flat in a single use.  And, with gel liners in pots, you can use a thin angled brush to get nice, thin lines, but this will go on thicker than a flat pencil tip.  Not good.
Flat tip, see?  As soon as you press down with this, it'll smudge out - I think I must go through two or three turns of the pencil in order to line both eyes.
It does feel amazing going on - kind of cooling, and very soothing - but it's so hard to get even lines (it's like a crayon, really; I have to use a thin brush to smooth them out, and even then, it's still pretty messy), and the color payoff isn't great - it's kind of a dull purple.
See how product clumps together in spots?  And yes, I make my faces without noses.  Noses on smiley faces look weird to me.
It tends to wear off on me by the end of the day, even with primer underneath.  I also think it's really pricey; $18 would get me a Urban Decay pencil liner that would last forever.  Yeah, it's not a gel liner, but it doesn't smudge on me and it comes in a wider range of colors.

So, if you're a gel liner person, I'd stick to the Bobbi Brown pots or the Stila smudge pots or all of the other popular gel creations.  I really can't see this one working for anyone.  Let me know if you've had better luck with it - this one generally sits unused and unloved in my case.