Review & Swatches: Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Eyeshadow

Here in Southern California, we have these epic windstorm events called the Santa Anas, and sometimes they get pretty bad. Last month, our power was out for over 13 hours because of them, and some of our neighbors to the east went without power for a week. Aside from modern-day inconveniences, these winds kick up my allergies something FIERCE. And ever since the winds started coming and going this season, my eyes have paid the price! They’re frequently very watery, red, and itchy—making it nearly impossible to keep eye makeup on lately. Pretty much the only thing that stays on my eyes during times like these, are cream shadows. I’ve had the perfect excuse the put these new Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Eyeshadows to work, their arrival time couldn’t have been any more perfect!

Available in drugstores next month, you’ll find a collection of Color Tattoo cream shadows in 10 shades; five of which are pretty neutral, while the other five are high-impact fashion shades. These are like a hybrid of Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams and MAC Paint Pots at a fraction of the cost. I don’t know about you, but this is music to my ears.

Shades Available:

Tough as Taupe — dark satin taupe
Too Cool — frosty cool white
Bad to the Bronze — metallic bronze
Tenacious Teal — shimmering bright teal
Painted Purple — vibrant shimmering violet
Fierce & Tangy — shimmering tangerine
Edgy Emerald — pearly bold green
Audacious Asphalt — metallic midnight grey
Punk Pomegranate — darkened metallic plum
Bold Gold — metallic yellow gold

Maybelline promises us that they’re long-wearing, and I most definitely agree. I put some of the shades to a 24 hour challenge, even sleeping in them. And guess what? Even though my eye look didn’t stay 100% intact, I woke up with plenty in place—and it still looked great! Also, during the day, Color Tattoo is standing tall against my watery allergy eyes. How they managed to do this at a mass level without sacrificing quality or pigment payoff, I have no idea, but you can bet I’m sure grateful.

You can apply these with a fingertip or with a small, flat synthetic brush; and I’ve even used some of the bolder shades as liners by applying them with a slightly stiff angled liner brush. Color Tattoo is very apt in the multi-tasking department—you can wear them as a liner, alone as shadow, or as a primer for powdered shadows. Pretty neat, huh? As a side note, my swatching arm is still a little stained from swatching the brighter colors over 24 hours ago. Believe me, I’ve scrubbed!

More photos and swatches…

There’s great news in the dupe department too—several of the Color Tattoo shades were very close matches to some of the MUFE Aqua Creams I own. I’m sure there are more dupes than just the colors I own, but three right off the bat is a good start, right?

Audacious Asphalt is slightly lighter than Aqua Cream #01, but fairly close.

Pomegranate Punk is a great dupe for Aqua Cream #17.

Too Cool is slightly brighter than Aqua Cream #04, but so close!

Bottom Line: Color Tattoo passes the test with flying colors due to its longevity, versatility, and quality pigment payoff. The hardest thing about these will be deciding which colors to buy!

Price & Availability: January 2012 (out now in some areas); $6.99 each, drugstores and mass retailers.

An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine our opinion of the product in this post. Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding our policies for using editorial samples.
  • Tina B

    I can’t wait to buy a few of these, I love Maybelline shadows anyway and these look especially awesome. I will be taking advantage of the B1G1 50% off at Ulta for sure!

  • Diana

    Wow, thanks for the swatches and showing the dupes too! I must get my hands on at least two. =)

  • Jessica

    i need your opinion. i like to wear a natural eye, and i cant decide between bold gold and bad to the bronze. help? please? :/

  • Amber

    Hey Jessica, I would go with the bronze!

  • Jessica

    Thank you so much1 (:

  • Stasia

    Hello, I just wanted to put in my two cents. I would say this collection consists of 6 neutrals and 4 bright fashion shades (I’ve been a Makeup Artist since the late 90’s, have worked for many companies, and I definitely see 6 neutrals). The fashion colours I see are the blue, orange, purple, and green. I’m trying to figure out which one we disagree about?

    I do agree, these are fantastic. I’ve been waiting for shadows like this since a company I worked for long ago had a great cream shadow but discontinued them in 2001. I hope they extend the line and offer at least 25 colours. These are now my favourite shadows, and I very rarely use drugstore brands.

  • Tridevi

    Probably pomegranate punk. A burgundy shade is not neutral IMO.