Lately Maybelline has been coming out with a lot of innovative, ground-breaking products at a drugstore price. Not sure what changed but I've truly been quite a happy customer since the release of their Color Tattoo Cream Gel Shadows. Those are just plain awesome – ridiculously pigmented with incredible staying power. So when I heard about their new extension to the Color Tattoo line called Pure Pigments, I was pretty excited and I had really high hopes for them. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that they were going to be yet another excellent product.
I picked them up at a local drugstore. They were being displayed quite nicely on the shelves but when I was looking at them closely I knew something was off. It wasn't something I saw right away and I was trying to find what was wrong with it – then it hit me. The word “UP TO 24hr“. Some of the colors do have this word printed on the packaging, while the others have it canceled out. So what is it Maybelline? Did they find out later that some of them did not last 24 hours but the products were already launched and this is somehow just a quick fix? Whatever it was, it irritated me, not much, just a little bit, since you all know how extremely important product packaging is to me (can't help it). But I moved on. Because I really wanted to try them. We are not really putting the packaging on our eyes right, it's supposed to be the product itself that counts.
The Color Tattoo Pure Pigments are basically loose powder eyeshadows. They come in these small clear plastic jars with twist on lids. There is a nice sifter inside that dispenses a perfect amount of product for each application. There is also a sticker with a pull tap to cover the holes and I suggest you keep it so the pigments don't come flying out of the holes when you travel with them.
Maybelline made 12 “explosive” shades of these ranging from neutrals to brights. Each shade promises “powerful color intensity that stays put up to 24 hours”. Pretty bold claim and while it may be true for some of the shades, the four that I picked up certainly did not last 24 hours.
The 4 shades I picked up are:
- Improper Copper
- Never Fade Jade
- Potent Purple
- Downtown Brown
These 4 shades alone already gave me a general idea of the Pure Pigments in the sense that they do vary from shade to shade in terms of pigmentation and blendability. I found Improper Copper to be the most pigmented, followed by Downtown Brown, Never Fade Jade, and Potent Purple. When used dry, these pigments are so sheer and in fact, that was my true first disappointment because I was expecting them to be anything but sheer. However, the colors are buildable except for Potent Purple in which no matter how much product I packed on, as soon as I started blending, the pigment would move around so much that by the time I finished blending, there's barely any color left on my eyelids. And this was on primed lids, too, not on dry, bare lids. I was so beyond disappointed of its poor performance. I even switched from a regular flat eyeshadow brush to the one with sponge tip to help the color stay on better and to build the intensity but that didn't help much. The other three shades didn't perform as bad but they all still have this dry, patchy, and blotchy feel to it. The lasting power was a joke. It didn't even last through lunch time before I started noticing some serious fading. No creasing, though, which is a plus, but a major fading.
However, if you try them foiled, then it's another world. Use a damp brush or fingertip to apply the color and wow, what a difference it makes. The color gets intensified by a lot and now you can actually see them being “explosive” colors. But then it comes with serious caveat, especially for those with hooded eyelids, because this method will make the color transfer to the area where your eyelid folds.
I found the best method of application to be applying these over a sticky cream base. The cream base will provide a sticky canvas for the pigment to cling on to and will intensify the color. In the swatches below, you will see each color applied by itself and over a cream base which I used Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Gel Shadow in 20 Waves of White. The color intensity was definitely much, much improved over a cream base. It goes on better, it applies and blends better, and it stays on a lot longer than applying over a regular eye primer. It will even help reduce the amount of fallout as well – not that it was a major issue to begin with.
I'm glad I found a way to make it work because I really wanted to like these pigments. They are so affordable and come in a variety of colors. Quality and pigmentation obviously varies from shade to shade but over a cream base, their finely-milled pigments blend much more beautifully and truly last all day. Of the 4 colors I have, my most favorite is Improper Copper since it's the most pigmented and easiest to use and it's a neutral color that goes with everything. Potent Purple is my least favorite since it lacks color payoff when used dry and while its performance is improved over a cream base, it's still not as spectacular as the other three.
Never Fade Jade
Not really a completely glowing review but we have to all applaud Maybelline for at least trying to offer something different to the mass market. We don't see a whole lot of pigments being sold at drugstores but Maybelline took the chance and while the formula of these pigments need some serious work, they are still a fun way to experience loose eyeshadows especially for those who haven't tried them before. I'm not sure if I would purchase any more of these since I'm not too crazy about loose eyeshadows in general – they just require more work and I'm not one who likes messy application.