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When I was little, I loved my 64 count box of Crayola crayons, the one with the little sharpener in the bottom of the box. I would carefully take them all out of the box and organize them by color, so I could always find exactly the crayon I wanted. And I loved the names of the colors: Purple Mountain’s Majesty, Cerulean, Macaroni and Cheese, Robin’s Egg Blue… When the 128 count box came out, I thought I would explode with excitement! I neeeeeeded to have every shade possible. I pleaded and pleaded with my mom to get it for me, but to no avail. She said it was too expensive and that I didn’t need that many colors.
In denying me that 128 count box of crayons, I’d been left with a void that could only be filled with color. Eventually, that void was filled…with eyeliner. Yes, eyeliner became my new, grown-up “crayons.” The colors, shape and enticing names just make my inner child shriek with joy. So of course I was thrilled when I received the new tarte EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner in Bronze.
Although the product is called “aqua-gel eyeliner,” it is actually an automatic eyeliner pencil that claims to combine the pigmentation and staying power of a gel eyeliner with the ease of application that comes from an automatic eyeliner pencil. I’m a huge fan of gel and cream eyeliners for those very reasons, so I was curious to see how this pencil would stack up.
With eight sleek shades, tarte has a while to go to match the choices of my box of crayons, but the colors offered deliver the deep and rich pigment they promise. A mixture of dark neutrals (Black, Brown, Charcoal) and vibrant pops (check out the Teal!) means there should be a Aqua-Gel Eyeliner for everyone.
The first plus of this liner is the pen application – if you lack the steady hands and/or time to use a pot and brush, this tarte invention may be your answer. The pen shape makes it so much easier to apply. The tip is on the medium to thick side, so if you want a very fine line this may not achieve that.
With this formula, tarte truly turned a gel into a liquid – it’s super smooth and slick and leaves a cooling tingle on the skin. When I first applied it, I loved how it just glided onto my eyelid. And that Bronze color was gorgeous – highly pigmented with a hint of shimmer. And the cooling sensation (where I’d used the liner) was surprisingly pleasant. So far, so good!
But an hour later, I was less enthusiastic about it. As I was walking from the car to my workplace, my eyes began to water a bit from the cold. After I dabbed at the corner of my eye, I noticed that the eyeliner had come off. I was a little disappointed, because gel eyeliners can usually withstand a bit of tearing up. Fortunately, I didn’t have many problems with it in subsequent trials. But it not sticking, stuck with me.
The tarte EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner retails for $18 for 0.003 oz, (which is the same price as many other automatic pencil eyeliners, but for about a third of the product.) The pen applicator, colors and smooth, cooling formula are big pluses, but I would like to see a bit more staying power.
we heartsters and testers, how do you feel about tarte’s EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner? Did it fulfill your crayon fantasies?
Marilyn is a makeup maniac and slow but stubborn runner. She loves color coding her day planner, reading celebrity gossip and drinking good wine. Marilyn blogs about makeup and fitness over at her blog, Lipgloss and Spandex.
Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.