Feb 8, 2011

Tarte EmphasEYES™ Aqua-Gel Eyeliner - THOUGHTS and SWATCHES...

Tarte EmphasEYES™ Aqua-Gel Eyeliner - THOUGHTS and SWATCHES...

A revolutionary long-wearing eye liner that contains intensely rich mineral pigments in a 50% water concentration. This ultra fine liner easily fills gaps in the lashline and glides perfectly on the inner rims of eyes. Our patented silicone system creates a super creamy, long-wearing formula specifically designed for the sensitive inner rim so it won't fade or run and its dermatologist tested, so it won't irritate the sensitive eye area like traditional wood pencils.

This revolutionary EmphasEYES™ Aqua-Gel Eyeliner captures the high-pigment concentration and staying power of a gel pot in an effortless pencil, no brush required! Even more unique is the proprietary formula which suspends rich mineral pigments in a 50% water concentration. By a process of hydrous pigmentation, cooling and refreshing pure water absorbs into the skin to hydrate and replenish the delicate eye area, leaving behind an intense, long-wearing, and pigment-rich color. Fortified with vitamin E, cucumber, and aloe this soothing Aqua-Gel Eyeliner maintains moisture balance in the skin while treating with healing free-radical fighters.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petrochemicals
- Phthalates

What else you need to know:
EmphasEYES™ Aqua-Gel Eyeliner contains Skinvigorating™ ingredients like pure water that suspends mineral pigments while delivering and retaining moisture to replenish and hydrate skin, aloe leaf extract known for its soothing, healing, and antiseptic properties, which maintain moisture balance in the skin, vitamin E, which acts as an anti-inflammatory emollient and fights free radical damage, cucumber extract, which is rich in vitamins A &C and helps soothe skin, and mineral pigments, which have been known to soothe and soften the skin.

Due to the unique nature of this formula, do not over advance the tip. A little is all you need to achieve rich color intensity! Make sure to always securely replace the cap to prevent dry out.

Size: 0.003 oz
Price: $18

Black (jet black)
Brown (dark neutral brown)
Navy (navy blue sheen)
Availability: Ulta, Tarte, Sephora


My 4 Ps

Each pencil costs $18 for 0.003 oz of product. Yes...you read that right...ONLY 0.003 oz! But how does that really compare to other eye liners? Let's see...Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liner Pencils are $18 for 0.04 oz....more than 10 times the amount in the Tarte pencil. MAC Eye Pencils are also more than 10 times the size, 0.04/0.05 oz for $13-$14.50.

So quite frankly I think these are a terrible value for your money without even going into the other P's. Tarte is more of a medium end brand and these pencils are priced way of of their league. Even Dior, Chanel and Guerlain eye liners are cheaper per oz. than these.  For shame Tarte!

The Tarte EmphasEYES™ Aqua-Gel Eyeliners are housed in plastic retractable pencils. The pencils are  very thin with an even thinner inner tube for the actual eyeliner product. This seems to be based solely on necessity since the product is extremely soft and unable to keep a sturdy solid form.

The pencils themselves are very flimsy and break easily which is an added deterrent for me. If you drop them they will break, if you handle them roughly they will break...almost anything short of leaving them in the package will cause them to break. Needless to say...the packaging is done poorly.

The pencils come in 8 different colorful and neutral shades which are all very muted and subtle. The product itself is creamy and smooth and is reminiscent of a gel eyeliner (as is the intention). They glide onto the skin seamlessly with great pigmentation is a single swipe.

The product actually feels slightly cool and wet once applied which is an interesting feeling from a pencil eyeliner.

These pencils are not meant to be waterproof or smudge proof but are touted as long wearing.

The eye liner takes a little while to dry and the cooling effect will make it seems wet for longer. I was able to get about 4-5 hours of wear out of these before I noticed any fading of the color on my upper and lower lashline. I was not able to get full color on my waterline since the product didn't transfer well for me. The eye liner is very moist and soft and I require a drier product in order for it to adhere to my waterline.

EDIT: We got a heads up from one of our gals here in the blog community - Taylor. There seems to be some issues with the liners and sensitive eyes. Please be weary when/if testing these out and keep your receipt in case you have an adverse reaction. Personally I do feel a cooling effect which can come off as tingling and burning when the product is applied too closely to the eye. So watch out!

These are meant to be gel eyeliner in pencil form which is a good concept but it is executed poorly. For the outrageous price versus quantity I would expect superior results but that wasn't the case here. These are not exceptional in packaging, product or wearability so I cannot say I recommend these at all.

The only thing I can appreciate from these products is that they may be great for sensitive skin based on the unique and natural formula.  But I am very sure you can find another similar product with similar or better results and for sure BETTER price/quantity ratio! See EDIT. These may not be the best for sensitive eyes either.

Tarte definitely missed the mark with these. I am NOT impressed.


  1. Oh goodness...at first I did not see that additional "zero". Pigmentation looks great but otherwise not a good product I'm guessing.

  2. Some folks with sensitive eyes should be weary of this product. A Sephora associate suggested it to me when Stila's smudgeproof liner in Stingray was out. I don't know what it is that's in it but it burned my eyes terribly (to the point I had to pull over while driving to wipe the product off). I know I have sensitive eyes, but I've seen others review this product and complain of the same thing. For anyone trying it out, I'd say hang on to your receipt.

  3. Yes girl Ribena! Like a pinch of product in the pencil...seriously! It's decent but not for the price.

    Oh no Taylor! Thanks for letting me know. Can I add your comment to the post as a warning? That sounds awful and I want ppl to be aware. OUCH!

  4. Sure! Feel free to. I wish I knew so I didn't fork out the money on it ahead of time. I don't know that it's common but a random look through Sephora comments, I wasn't alone. I wish I could figure out what ingredient it is so I could look to avoid it in future cosmetic purchases. In all honesty after that I've avoided Tarte all together.

  5. Perhaps you shouldn't have bought so many emphaseye liners at one time, maybe you wouldn't have been so disappointed, #justsaying

    I purchase only the black one, and im loving it <3

  6. Sorry Gloop...I don't follow ur logic at all. Buying just one doesn't change the price and packaging. Not worth it at all to me but that's my opinion. U may love them and that is great.


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