August 20, 2010

Tarte EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner Review and Swatches

I’m going to see 30 Seconds to Mars in September and I can’t help but wish I’ll find my night in shining manliner in the audience somewhere or if I’m lucky grown up Jordan Catalano might spot me in the crowd and sweep me off my feet.

Speaking of manliner or in our cases eyeliner, Tarte has a brand new Aqua Gel Eyeliner that may appeal to not only Jared Leto but the rest of us looking for the next best thing in our eyeliner lives.

Check it!

A long-wearing eye liner with intensely rich mineral pigments in a 50% water concentration.

Tarte created their new EmphasEYES Aqual Gel Liners as a way to capture the idea and staying power of a gel pot in an effortless pencil format. So you may already love gel liners or you love them but you’re a bit clumsy with application, that’s where these come into play because they mimic the same concept as a gel liner but in a pencil format.

Formula is incredible! They are crazy cool pigmented and have an amazing glide that doesn’t tug or need relining to achieve the best results. The rich pigmentation is definitely appealing but I think I was most impressed with the texture of the pencils as they have such a super soft, melty formula that feels so buttery smooth and glides easily and flawlessly onto my eyes plus they smudge out like a pure dream. They are probably, in terms of both pigment and formula, some of the best liners I’ve tried in a very long time as in better than Urban Decay 24/7. The formula is simply that great. I could be crazy but I thought they felt like they had a certain cooling sensation when I applied.

The formula is made up of 50% water and I honestly I didn’t think I really needed water in my eyeliner? But it allows the product to not only apply easily but also feels very hydrating, keeping the liner very fresh throughout the day without flaking off, crumbling, or looking stale.

Although not waterproof the formula seems to stick around all day even in the humidity however I did notice some smudging on my bottom lid after 7 hours of wear.

I tried four of eight colors which were Bronze (Golden Bronze-y Brown), Plum (Deep Purple), Black (Jet Black), and Green (Olive Green).

Tarte needs to seriously get on board with these and create more shades. 8 colors that they do have cover a nice range of shades but I definitely would love to see more because I’m in lust with the formula!

I’ve been trying to track down information about the liner being waterline safe but its proved fruitless so far (have to contact Tarte about this soon) because I tried them on my waterline and they STUNG like crazy. This really saddened me because I really do like lining my waterline with a great liner and these are wicked awesome.

Sadly, they break off extra easy particularly the tips due to the soft formula. First try with a brand new liner and the tip instantly broke off as I applied which kinda irritated me since I like lining with a sharp tip.

Sadly, no sharpener is included and if you don’t have access to one of the tiny sharpeners some other liners come with, you’ll be stuck with a blunt pencil.

  • Anyone who has trouble lining with a gel liner in a pot form and wants the experience of using one (this basically mimics a gel liner but it’s in a pencil format for easy application!).
  • Anyone who wants richly pigmented eyeliner!
  • Anyone who wants a super soft, super melty, easy glide eye pencil!
  • Anyone who loves MAC Technakohl (these are better!)

  • Anyone who wants a liner with a precise point!
  • Anyone who wants a liner that’s easily sharpened (I have my Laura Geller E-Care Sharpener but if you don’t have access to such an item, you’ll have a stubby tip quickly with these).
  • Anyone who likes their lower waterline (these sting a fair bit and I can’t confirm if the formula is waterline safe).

I’ve very happy with these and also slightly disappointed. The rich colors and incredible formula are a joy to work with and they really do give that gel pot feel to the liner however I was a little saddened I couldn’t work with them on my waterline and that the tip easily broke off. Ranting aside, I don’t think I’ve worked with such a lovely formula in all my lining days. These truly have such a lovely glide.

Worth checking out, swatching, and playing with your next trip to Sephora. I think you’ll like ’em as much as me!

Available now from

Have you tried Tarte EmphasEYES Aqua Gel Eyeliner?

What did you think?



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About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Marina

    You lucky chica! 30STM is great. I’ll pass on these. I like lining my waterline, and if I can’t do that, sorry–no thank you. Nice colors though.

    • the Muse

      I <3 them ๐Ÿ˜€ wanna come? hehe! they stung a bit ๐Ÿ™ I just emailed Tarte, curious what they will say, maybe I'm just sensitive?!

  • Nia

    Want one! The black one for starters.

    Just need to figure out where to get it.

    Have a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

    • the Muse

      hey nia ๐Ÿ˜€

      they are fab. Wish you guys had a Sephora sigh! Happy Weekend!

  • Wendy

    The olive is super pretty! But the purple is meh — why is it so hard to find a PURPLE purple eyeliner, ya know what I mean? lol

  • Lindsay

    That black is gorgeous, I love super rich black eyeliners!

    On a side note to Jared Leto, you can not rock eyeliner AND a beard! It’s just creepy.

  • Robyn

    30 seconds to mars in december WOO high five muse at least i think its december might be november whenever they are in britain anyways ๐Ÿ™‚

    i read this purely for that as i tarte dont do uk but oo that eyeliner looks rather nice

    i only really use pencil for waterline tho ive never ever had an eyeliner sting before that sounds scary scary

    • the Muse

      ^5 Robyn! yay! You’re going to see ’em too!? Freaking awesome wish we could go together ๐Ÿ˜€ Ohhhh maybe some day sniff! ๐Ÿ˜› I dunno if I was sensitive or what but it has this cooling sensation that my eyes did not love!

      • Robyn

        yeah so you can tell me how awesome they were before i go ๐Ÿ™‚ im wondering wheather they will be sterotypical like blink 182 who i saw last week

        “omg you guys eat haggis you are awesome”

        mega lol i loved it

        and i do intend to some day take a long trip to new york … i ll need directions to the nearest sephora lol

        • the Muse

          oh please god no. That would be awful if they had a blink 182 deal going on. heck I’ll carry you there ๐Ÿ˜€ we’ll go together.

  • leira

    I saw 20stm live this spring..XD
    It was great, I met 5 really HOT guys and stayed with them for the whole concert. And when the crowd got pushy I just kinda hugged them really tight as to not fall down… LOL I had a great time.
    The only bad thing was that the boys had coloured their hair black with some kind of spraycolour… and guess where that colour smudged off? On my face.

    • the Muse

      awesome leira! ^5! did they have their manliner in place? LOL! oh jesus lol you must have looked cute hehehehe!

  • Miss D

    These eyeliners sound nice…would be better if they didn’t break off though.
    I’m even more excited about the show you’re going to- awesome! You’ll have to do a “non-beauty” post about it, ok? Have fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Elaina

    Hey Muse!

    I have the Tarte emphas-eyes inner-rim eye pencil and it is LOVE!! My eyes are super sensitive & my allergies are bad year round. This pencil is designed specifically for your waterline, and it truly works. I also love how small it is, so its precision is amazing. No tugging, smearing or (yikes) burning sensations! :-p

    • the Muse

      hey elaina so glad you’re loving these…I dunno why I get the burn ๐Ÿ™ It’s only on my waterline no where else..maybe I need to retry ๐Ÿ˜€