Review! Tarte Amazonian Clay Skinny SmolderEyes Eye Liners

I can admit without shame that I sort of have an obsession with eyeliners. To me, there's nothing that quite completes a nighttime look like a sophisticated, sexy wing, and even on an everyday basis, I never quite feel like my makeup's done until I've slicked a thick dark line across my lashes. But eyeliners are also a tough thing to buy. I know you know what I mean when I say that while a good eyeliner can "make" a look, a bad eyeliner can "break" a look in minutes flat. No one likes to look like a raccoon.

So it disappointed me to no end when I quickly realized my new Tarte Amazonian Clay Skinny SmolderEyes eyeliners - I got a set of 5 around the holidays with "limited edition" colors - were just that kind of eyeliner that, applied without extra care, would slink off my eyes into every eyelid crevice until I looked like I'd been punched.

It's a problem I've noticed with a LOT of eyeliners lately - for a while I was using Urban Decay's famous 24/7 Glide-On Pencils - and it seems that in a brand's effort to create a product that doesn't tug at your eyelid (because who wants premature wrinkles in that sensitive spot), they create liners that are so buttery soft that they feel great going on, but simply don't stay put. At least in the case of Tarte's liners, they admit in the name that they're meant to be smolder-y and smokey, but in the same breath they try to pass these babies off as waterproof, which makes you think they'll stay in place way more than they do.

The best way I've found to apply this product is to smudge a decent amount right in the center of my upper eyelid, then use an eyeliner brush to drag it across the rest of my lid. If you try to apply it across your full lid, you'll find that the soft product deposits WAY more than you actually need, and if you THEN try to blend it, it really does turn into a sad mess. If you apply too much and DON'T blend it, well, good luck not crying eyeliner-colored tears the moment your eyes water. I generally avoid these liners on my bottom lashes, unless I really am going for a super smoked-out look.

One more thing about the softness: See that beautiful point on the green liner in the picture? Well carve it into your memory when you buy one of these, because you'll never see a point on these babies again. Even with the most gentle of sharpening, these liners never reach a point, which makes applying them in a precise line virtually impossible.

The bright side? Firstly, the products are actually made of decent ingredients, so it's something you can use without guilt. While they do have PEGs, which I know a lot of natural beauty users strictly avoid, they rate as a 1 on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database, and per Tarte's mantra are free of all parabens, phthalates, sulfates, mineral oils, etc.

Also, the colors are quite beautiful, particularly the Bronze Agate, which is a golden brown with a subtle sparkle and sheen to it. While that color was "limited edition" (as were the other colors in my collection, which are called Periodot Green, Plum Tanzanite and Smoky Quartz - the black Onyx shade was not LE), the Sunstone Brown or Aztec Gold shades both seem to be pretty close dupes, and I couldn't tell you the different between my purple and their Deep Amythest shade. Unfortunately, they don't have a gray or green that match the colors I purchased.

All in all, although I'll continue to use these babies up, I'll probably try a new eyeliner pencil next time, continuing my never-ending Goldilocks quest to find one that's the perfect texture - not too soft, not too hard, but juuuuusttt right.

Do you have a favorite pencil eyeliner that you think meets the bill? Let me know in the comments below!


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