tarte EmphasEYES cream eye shadow and liner review

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tarte’s Amazonian clay favorites go waterproof!

photos: we heart this

As a California girl I’m used to easy breezy weather all year round. And when summer officially hits and the temperature rises over 90 degrees, I start my search for sunscreen, shorts and makeup that won’t melt.

So it wasn’t hard to get excited when I received tarte’s newest Amazonian clay based wonders EmphasEYES waterproof shadow and waterproof liner to review, thanks wht!

I woke up the next morning eager to try my new waterproof lovelies. First, I dove into the waterproof shadow ($22). At 0.1oz (ouch) the product looked a little small. But, they say good things come in small packages, right?

And the lovely range of colors is very good indeed:
Pink, Slate, Beach Bronze, Moss

Shadow Pot in Slate

I received Slate, which is a beautiful bronze taupe colored cream shadow. This shadow was creamy; it glided easily and smoothly over my lids. I must say, Slate looked rather silky, ooh-la-la.

These QVC exclusive shadows give a sheer wash of color that can be layered for a little bit more pigment. The Amazonian Clay in the shadow helps reduce the oil on your lids and not only keeps the shadow in place but leaves the lids hydrated. So whether you have oily or dry lids, you’re sure to still get that smooth application, and extended waterproof wear time.

Shadow Pot in Moss

Shadow Pot in Pink

Shadow Pot in Beach Bronze

The clay also gives the shadow a richer and more appealing look. There’s nothing worse than a dry, cakey shadow slathered across your lid.

Despite a slight crease I encountered around hour 7 or 8, Slate stayed put and didn’t fade. I fixed the little crease and went about my day, I was impressed.

Waterproof liners in Brown, Black, Bronze, Green

Confession: I haven’t left the house without eyeliner since the 90’s, and I am not about to start now. This is where tarte’s Amazonian clay waterproof liner ($22) comes into play.

Available in six shades, I tested the classic liner shade, black. The same botanical waterproofing agent in the shadows is also used in the liner, and this blend of natural plant waxes protect against sweat, creasing, rain, and tears.

I was in love with the velvet consistency the moment my brush hit the pot. The liner applies like butter and the black color is rich with a good amount of pigmentation.

Waterproof liner in Black

Waterproof liner in Green

For me, when it comes to waterproof liners the burning question is always: does it stay put and not smudge? Yes, the liner lasted all day, but after about 5 hours I do notice a slight smudging.

Oh eyeliner smudges, why must you be the bane of my existence?

The product transfers from my lid to the inner corner of my eyes more when paired with a cream shadow, when worn over a powder shadow the smudges are lessened to almost nothing. Regardless of those pesky smudges the liner always looks good; it doesn’t look like you’ve been wearing the same makeup for 10 hours straight.

Waterproof liner in Brown

Waterproof liner in Bronze

wonderful consistency
color doesn’t fade
the Amazonian Clay minimizes oil and hydrates skin
paraben free

liner smudges slightly
eye shadow pot is a little small

The tarte Amazonian clay waterproof shadows and liners are hard workers. They will put in a good 8 hour work day, make it through happy hour, and even rummage through your cabinets for a pre-dinner snack.

We might all be nearly melting at this point in summer, but at your makeup can still be on point. we heartsters and Testers – have tarte’s EmphasEYES Amazonian clay shadows and liners helped see you through summer?

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.


  • Diane Lee

    Textbook Virgo. Diane is self-proclaimed beauty fanatic; she is always on the lookout for the newest products to make her black hair shinier, her pink lips pinker, and her pale skin flawless. She believes every woman deserves a cold cocktail after a long day.

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  1. I don’t own any of these (…yet) but I have tarte’s emphasEYES amazonian cream eye shadow in shimmering taupe from their Glow Your Way to Gorgeous kit. I’m in LOVE with that, and I had the same experience as you – slight creasing, but only MANY hours later. It’s one of my favorites out of my entire makeup collection.

    I agree that $22 is a bit much for a small pot, but a little bit goes a very, very long way. One pot will last for a very long time. I’m thinking I need to pick up the cream eye shadow in Moss and/or Pink! I usually stay away from cream eyeshadows but I love tarte’s.

    And, the liner in bronze looks so pretty :)

  2. I was the lucky tester of the liner in brown. I LOVE this product. It is a work horse and had stayed with me as long as 12 hours! I found it very easy to apply and my sensitive eyes had no problem tolerating this formula.

    The only con I have is for my pocketbook. (I want to have have this formula in every color.)

    5 stars

  3. I’ve been using the shadow pot I got in the Tarte Gift Set WHT featured not too long ago and I love it! I put it on with a brush and it sets well and has good pigmentation. I will definitely be purchasing more especially if they add more colors.

  4. I received the Tarte emphasEYES liner in Bronze to review. The color is gorgeous… although now I’m eying the Green too!

    The pigmentation is really quite nice, and the lasting power is great. I love the smooth gel-like texture and how easily it’s applied. I haven’t had any problems with flaking or smudging or fading. I’ve worn this to the gym and out in the heat, and in the shower, so I’d say this is definitely sweat proof and waterproof. The packaging is good and seems to be keeping my eyeliner from drying out. I was super excited to see that this eyeliner comes with a dual ended brush (for fine lines and bold lines). However, the brush is a bit scratchy, especially given Tarte’s usual awesomeness in the brush category, in my opinion. Getting both the brush and the liner for only $22 is quite the steal though. I’d give this 4.5 stars (I put four though).

  5. I was lucky enough to test out the EmphasEYES cream shadow in Moss. It was a happy coincidence because I had been coveting that shade for a while. I adore cream shadows and I was looking forward to testing this one out. The shade is a golden green shade with some shimmer—a perfect shade for my green/yellow hazel eyes.
    My first impression is that the pot is TINY. The kind of tiny that makes it hard for me to justify the expense. That being said, they include a very nice shadow brush with this and it applies a perfect and yet miniscule amount, so I can see where this would last a very long time. I’ve been using mine almost daily for over a month and there’s hardly any dent in the product. You only need the teensiest amount to get full coverage. This applies smoothly and sets quickly, so you need to apply it quickly.
    Once on, this stays on for me for about 4 hours before it creases. It’s totally gone after about 8 hours of wear. If I use a primer, it only extends wear for an extra hour. That being said, the color is divine, my oily lids are pretty content with 4 hours of uninterrupted wear, and this really does lovely things for my hazel eyes.
    I’m giving this 5 stars because I think this is a great addition to my cream shadow arsenal. Love it!

  6. I love everything about tarte, but a waterproof cream liner AND shadow makes me swoon a bit. Even though the price is more than I’d like to pay for eyeshadow, I’d still cough up the $22 because I know, for me, cream shadows last FOREVER.
    My only problem is those colors are SO gorgeous, I’d wear every one of them…

  7. Oooo! Pretty! Is QVC the only place to purchase the cream shadows? Also, does anyone know if you have to buy the brush every time? Or can you just buy the shadow?

  8. Tracey – As for now, it does look like the cream shadows are only on QVC. And yes, it’s packaged with the brush, not alone. But it’s kind of nice to have a brush for each color!

  9. We heart tarte! Beautiful, good for you AND the earth products? We’re all over it.

    I love, love, love the emphasEYES liner. I tested it in green, which is this perfect rich khaki. It is SO creamy. Seriously, just dipping the brush in it – you notice it right away. And because of that consistency, you don’t have to fear that it will dry to quickly and flake when you go over it again. You have time to add to it, making the line thicker, more cat-like. Really, the formula is a dream. And I get a full day’s wear from it.

    Which I can not say about the cream shadows. This disappeared on me pretty quickly, about 4 hours. I also thought they felt a bit dry. And yes, the pot is teeny. I also felt like the pigment was kind of lacking. I put the Moss on, check out my eyes, then covered them in a loose pigment because they really kind of lacked oomph. One plus on them? I love the brush they come with! But otherwise, sadly I’m not a fan.

    My love of the liner (5 stars, without a doubt) meets my lukewarm feeling towards the cream shadow (3 stars), to give a solid 4.

  10. Outstanding reviews ladies! I’ve been looking for a new cream eyeliner/shadow for a while now to replace my Benefit creamshadow in Busy Signal, which is a bronzy brown. I’ve been using it for years and its easily my favorite eye color probably ever, but since its more of a cream shadow I don’t get the crisp line I’d like from it. I think I’ve found the perfect product to replace it with.

  11. loving these reviews! especially for the liner, I have never tried that one before. they look magnificent and super pigmented!

    Like Kirsten, I have this shadow from the QVC Glow Your Way to Gorgeous kit called shimmering taupe. I didn’t expect too much pigment to come out of this for some reason. Yes, it’s sheer but it’s really gorgeous for those who don’t wear a lot of colors on their lid to begin with. It’s gorgeous and I think it’s a flattering shade. Pick it up if you like a versatile taupe shade :) (I know we all do)

  12. I would love to try these…I used Smashbox gel liner pots before and loved them. I’m really fond of Make Up Forever’s version of shadow pots (theirs stays put no matter what…a tough act to follow!). These colors are so pretty, too.

  13. I got to test the liner in green. And I have to jump right on to the band wagon. This stuff is wonderful. I am the worst at applying eye liner. But this liner applies like a dream. I also feel like it is unique in how it provides natural definition to your eyes. The green makes my brown eyes really pop without looking like a hooker! LOL

    BTW-The brush is equally great that comes with it. 5 Stars from me!

    I agree with @stef about the cream eye shadow. I received some with my last qvc set. It is not so great. I found it somewhat difficult to work with and blah! 3 stars for that from me.

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