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Maybelline Color Tattoo Review

Latest posts by Rosie Greaves (see all)

If you’re anything like me, you LOVE experimenting with new eyeshadows. So, when the opportunity presented itself to review the Maybelline Color Tattoo, I jumped at the chance. While I was growing up, my Mom was a beauty therapist, and I remember when I was a pre-teen, her teaching me how to do my makeup properly – ever since then, I’ve been hooked. 

That’s enough preamble at me and my obsession with makeup; let’s take a closer look at what the Maybelline Color Tattoo has to offer!

Spoiler alert: I was pretty impressed!

My Bottom Line Upfront

All in all, I was a big fan of the Maybelline Color Tattoo! Although its 24-hour fade-proof promise didn’t quite live up to the hype, but it was pretty darn close. I reckon with a good setting spray, you could indeed enjoy 24-hour coverage. 

Maybelline Color Tattoo: What Makes It Unique? 

So the Maybelline Color Tattoo is a cream eyeshadow that promises to last 24 hours on your skin. Apparently, this is Maybelline’s most long-wearing eyeshadow, with it claiming to use ‘innovative pigment technology for a super-saturated color.’

What I love about this particular eyeshadow is that, apparently, all of its shades boast translucent pearl and metallic pigment to create a shimmering effect.

However, I have only tried one shade, so I personally can’t 100% vouch for that. However, if this is true, and based on my experience (more on this below), I think the Maybelline Color Tattoo range makes a great go-to if you’re looking for a glamorous evening look or a slightly more dramatic daytime aesthetic.

For those of you who are interested in this eyeshadow’s ingredients, I’ve listed the core components below:

  • Alumina
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Propylene Carbonate
  • Candelilla Cera / Candelilla Wax
  • Caprylyl Glycol
  • Magnesium Silicate
  • C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane
  • Calcium Sodium Borosilicate
  • Silica
  • Tin Oxide
  • Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate
  • Acrylates Copolymer
  • Paraffin
  • Cyclopentasiloxane
  • Isododecane
  • Polypropylsilsesquioxane
  • Ceresin
  • Cyclohexasiloxane
  • Caprylyl Methicone
  • Synthetic Fluorphlogopite
  • Silica Dimethyl Silylate [Nano] / Silica Dimethyl Silylate
  • Disteardimonium Hectorite

The marketing surrounding this product describes it as ‘melting’ onto your eyelids and promises easy application. Both of which I can confirm is true! 

All you have to do is put a small dot of eyeshadow onto your eyelid and gently blend it wherever you want it to appear. Then, you can either use darker shades to provide the finishing touches to your eye makeup for a smokey effect.

Or use the lighter hues as a base eyeshadow. For lighter complexions, I would recommend Crème De Nude and Front Runner for a more subtle daytime look. That said, I will use a middle-of-the-road beige-y color: ‘And On Bronze,’ to demonstrate how this eyeshadow looks as a base eyeshadow and add more definition to the corners of your eyes. 

There are 12 shades available, including:

  • And On Bronze
  • Crème De Nude
  • Naked Ambition
  • Permanent Taupe
  • Pink Gold
  • Pink Nude
  • Dusk Doll
  • Front Runner
  • Groundbreaker
  • Risk Maker
  • Socialite

The shades range from lighter sandy browns to beige to darker browns and a smokey black color. However, some digging around the web brought to my attention that there are also colored eyeshadows like pink and green! At this point, I think it’s worth noting that this eyeshadow is said to be waterproof, crease-resistant, fade-resistant, and transfer-resistant. Later on in this review, I’ll put these claims to the test. 

My Experience Using Maybelline Color Tattoo

I’m based in the UK, so I purchased the ‘And On Bronze’ shade for £4.49 from Boots.co.uk (at the time, Boots was running a three-for-two promotion on Maybelline products, so you better believe I made the most out of that!). I opted to pick the product up in-store to save on shipping costs. So this is the box it arrived in, which I have to say is pretty unremarkable :

maybelline color tattoo box
Photo by Rosie Greaves

This is what it looks like, inside the box; it’s safely packaged with some brown paper:

maybelline color tattoo packing
Photo by Rosie Greaves

This is what the eyeshadow looked like before I opened it:

maybelline color tattoo shadow
Photo by Rosie Greaves
maybelline color tattoo shadow
Photo by Rosie Greaves

This is what the eyeshadow looks like upon removing the lid:

maybelline color tattoo shadow.jpg
Photo by Rosie Greaves

This is what a color swatch of the eyeshadow looks like on my hand, with flash:

maybelline color tattoo eyeshadow testing
Photo by Rosie Greaves

Without flash:

maybelline color tattoo eyeshadow testing
Photo by Rosie Greaves

After ten minutes, I went to wash the eyeshadow off my hand using soap and water. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was pretty waterproof. You can see for yourself below:

maybelline color tattoo eyeshadow waterproof
Photo by Rosie Greaves

If you’re wondering how I managed to get it off, a cotton pad drenched in Garnier Micellar Water did the trick!

This is what this shade looks like as a base eyeshadow. I have taken pictures with my eyes opened and closed and with and without mascara so you can get a better sense of the full effect. 

maybelline color tattoo
Photo by Rosie Greaves
maybelline color tattoo
Photo by Rosie Greaves
maybelline color tattoo
Photo by Rosie Greaves

First, I prepped my skin by cleansing the eye area using Garnier Micellar Water and moisturizing using Olay beauty fluid.

I then applied L’oreal BB C’est Magic cream ann L’oreal CC C’est Magic cream. Also, because I have vitiligo (for those unfamiliar with vitiligo, this is a skin condition that causes the skin to lose its pigment), I have applied some concealer (in this instance, I used Maybelline New York Fit me).

I then applied the eyeshadow just using my fingers. However, if you prefer, you could use an eyeshadow brush. 

When it came to testing the eyeshadow for transfer resistance, I took a normal tissue and gently dabbed it on my eye; this was the result:

maybelline color tattoo testing transfer resistance
Photo by Rosie Greaves

I would say it’s pretty transfer resistant. With more vigorous rubbing, this was the result (and before anyone says anything, I’m 100% sure it’s not my concealer!). However, I still think this is pretty impressive!

transfer resistance testing
Photo by Rosie Greaves

I also decided to demonstrate what this eyeshadow would look like if you wanted to use it to produce a smokey effect. I used the PROFUSION COSMETICS NUDE BLISS eyeshadow palette to create this look. I used ‘canvas,’ which is a bit like a highlighter.

Then ‘doll’ as a base coat, best described as a light beige. Finally, I applied Maybelline Color Tattoo in the outer corners and a little bit to the crease of my eyelid.  

Please note: I needed a sturdy eyeshadow brush to achieve this effect. I wouldn’t have been able to have used my fingers alone, as I needed more precision. 

This was the outcome:

maybelline eyeshadow
Photo by Rosie Greaves

Then this is what it looked like 24 hours later:

maybelline eyeshadow
Photo by Rosie Greaves

The Pros and Cons of Using Maybelline Color Tattoo

Having discussed Maybelline Color Tattoo in detail, I’ll try and consolidate what we’ve learned into a quick pro-cons list:


  • These are small, individual eyeshadows rather than large palettes, so they’re the perfect size for traveling.
  • Upon first use, this eyeshadow feels relatively lightweight, smooth, and easy to spread on the eyelid without losing complete control of the cream so that it goes everywhere!
  • The eyeshadow is indeed water-resistant.
  • I like my shade’s ever-so-slight shimmer – it’s pearlized without being in your face. 
  • I like that depending on the look you’re creating, you could use this shade as a more dramatic base coat or in the corners of your eyes for a low-key, smokey look. 
  • The eyeshadow is indeed crease-resistant.
  • Unlike some eyeshadow creams, when applied correctly, this isn’t clumpy.
  • It is indeed transfer resistant.


  • I’ve seen some US customers online complain that these eyeshadows are hard to get their hands on in the states. 
  • According to some reviews, the Maybelline Color Tattoo starts to dry up quicker (within a few months) than alternatives like the MAC Paint Pot. 
  • This con isn’t specific to the Maybelline Color Tattoo. However, many users say that cream eyeshadows are harder to apply than traditional powder ones. So, you may want to bear that in mind. 
  • As with any cream eyeshadow, when applied, there’s a slightly sticky sensation, to begin with
  • I wouldn’t say that the shade I used was ‘super-saturated’ as described by Maybelline. However, it was undoubtedly more saturated than a traditional powder eyeshadow. Plus, if you layered it on thickly, I would imagine you could achieve a much more saturated effect if you wanted. 

Maybelline Color Tattoo Alternatives

If you’re still on the fence about whether the Maybelline Color Tattoo is the right choice for your next eyeshadow purchase, below I’ve listed a few viable alternatives:

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot

mac pro longwear paint pot

As we’ve already mentioned, the MAC Paint Pot reportedly lasts longer than the Maybelline Color Tattoo, so if you don’t use your eyeshadows very often and you want to enjoy the best possible bang for your buck, you may find that the Mac Paint Pot is a better option for you.

That said, at £18.50 (again, from Boots.co.uk), it’s significantly more expensive than the Maybelline Color Tattoo. But, like the Maybelline Color Tattoo, users praise it for its long-lasting effect (up to 24 hours). Also, there are more shades to choose from (15 in total).

e.l.f. No Budge Cream Eyeshadow

e.l.f. no budge cream eyeshadow

This smudge-free eyeshadow promises to be crease-resistant with long-lasting staying power. Not only that, but it acts first as a primer, then as an eyeshadow and liner too. There are eight shades available – but, unfortunately, none are neutral colors, so if that’s what you’re after, you’ll have to look elsewhere. 

It has a velvety texture that’s simple to apply to your eyelid. You can apply it with a standard eyeshadow brush, liner brush, or your finger. The idea is to apply it once and then add as many layers as you like to achieve the look you’re after.

We also like that it’s allegedly suitable for all skin types, plus all e.l.f. products are currently free, vegan, and don’t contain phthalates, triclosan, parabens, nonylphenol ethoxylates, hydroquinone, or triclocarban. The brand advises you to use a waterproof makeup remover. You simply massage it in circular motions and then rinse it away with water.

This product retails at around $5, so it’s an affordable option for anyone looking for a 3-in-1 long-lasting primer, shadow, and liner. 

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Revlon ColorStay Creme Eyeshadow

revlon colorstay creme eyeshadow

Another long-wearing eyeshadow alternative is Revlon’s ColorStay Creme Eyeshadow. This product promises to give users wear for up to 24 hours. In addition, it boasts a choice of six shades in matte and shimmer finishes and has the advantage of a built-in brush that you’ll find in the cap. 

The brush is explicitly designed to make applying the eyeshadow easier and less messy. However, you can still use your fingertip if you prefer to apply and blend your eyeshadow. You can apply the product to your entire eyelid or just across your lash line (i.e., like an eyeliner). Alternatively, you can use it as a highlighter on the brow line. 

It has a creamy texture and retails at around $9.69. However, this eyeshadow isn’t chemical-free which may present a red flag to some users. 


Question: How can You make Maybelline Color Tattoo Last Longer?

Answer: As we’ve just said, some users complain that the Maybelline Color Tattoo will begin drying up within a few months, rendering it useless (or at least much harder to apply). 
Apparently, one thing you can do is add a couple of drops of mixing medium to revive your eyeshadows. However, this will only restore its creaminess for about a month.  

Question: How do you Apply Cream Eyeshadow?

Answer: First things first, ensure you’re applying your eyeshadow to clean skin. So, either once you’ve stepped out of the shower or after you’ve used your cleanser. 
Then, prime your eyes using either a primer or translucent powder. The latter might be better for soaking up any excess moisture if you have oily skin.
Then, you can apply your cream eyeshadow using either your fingers or an eyeshadow brush. Use a tiny amount – a little goes a long way. Finally, allow time for it to set!

Question: Maybelline Color Tattoo Cover Tattoos?

Answer: Unfortunately, not. The phrase ‘tattoo’ is used in the product’s name to describe its long-lasting effect- not because it can cover up tattoos. 

Maybelline Color Tattoo Review: My Final Thoughts

Overall, I think that the Maybelline Color Tattoo is an excellent choice for anyone looking for long-lasting cream eyeshadow. Although the eyeshadow definitely faded in slightly under 24 hours, there’s no denying that it lasted much, much longer than traditional eyeshadows. 

Plus, its texture is relatively lightweight, a little goes a long way, and it’s definitely crease-proof and transfer-proof. I also like the range of shades available and would like to experiment with different colors. 

That’s all from me, over to you! Would you try the Maybelline Color Tattoo? Or do you have any experience using this product? Either way, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below!

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