EmphasEYES Eyeliner High Definition Inner Rim Eyeliner Pencil

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These ultrafine–tipped pencils are great for getting liner close to and in between the lash line and lashes. The creamy formula makes it easy to precisely line the eye or smudge the color for a smokier look. Despite the creaminess that enhances application, the color wears well for hours, with minimal fading. These pencils are only made more attractive by the fact that they never need sharpening. Tarte recommends using EmphasEYES for lining the inner rim of the eyes, but just for the health of your eye, that’s not a good idea on a daily basis.

Tarte Cosmetics CEO and founder Maureen Kelly started Tarte in 1999, supposedly out of a need to create a cosmetics line that "would prove that glamour can be good for you." Well, to be honest, we didn't know that glamour could be bad for anyone, no matter who was selling it. In this case, good-for-you glamour is about the products being "natural." Of course, lots of women believe that natural ingredients are the only way to go because they're told, and unfortunately often believe, that the synthetic ingredients in cosmetic products are toxic and poisonous for your skin. That is a misguided belief!

Ironically, despite Tarte's attention-getting marketing concept, their products aren't any more natural or healthier than loads of other products. We take particular issue with the company's claim of being preservative-free, synthetic dye-free, and talc-free. Not only are these ingredients not a problem for most people, but also many of Tarte's products do contain them! What is that about? Didn't anyone at Tarte read their own ingredient labels?

We are beyond understanding how a cosmetics company can base their advertising on what their products do not contain, yet fail to realize, or just won't acknowledge, that their products in fact do contain them—the very ingredients they tell you are toxic or poisonous for your skin. We mean, really, if your products (in this instance Tarte products) do contain isododecane, imidazolidinyl urea, butylene glycol, parabens, PEG/PPG-18/18 dimethicone, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, that's the pot calling the kettle black. Whatever… if Tarte chooses to mislead and misinform the consumer it doesn't seem to matter, because many uninformed women won't notice the hypocrisy—they'll just accept Tarte's claims at face value.

Marketing hype and ingredient deception aside, the ingredients Tarte does leave out of its products are sulfates (though sulfates are rarely used in makeup products anyway, so it is a trait most makeup products share), phthalates, and synthetic fragrance (but "natural" fragrance isn't any better for skin). That's nice, but in the scope of things, not really all that special.

We appreciate that Tarte conveys their message without the "granola," antiglamour, or anti-elegance image that's characteristic of many "natural" lines. The trade-off is that you're going to pay extra for Tarte's glamorous image and packaging. Although there are a handful of products in the Tarte lineup worth the splurge, if you only shopped this line for cosmetics, your wallet would definitely be lighter—and there's no need to splurge to the point of incurring debt just to outfit your makeup bag with all things Tarte. After all, you aren't going to be applying the packaging to your skin.

Those who shop carefully should pay close attention to Tarte's foundations, blush options, eye pencils, and a handful of their innovative products. If you're looking for matte eyeshadows, however, you're out of luck. Tarte isn't as full-featured as several other makeup artistry lines (Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier come to mind), and Tarte doesn't outdo Rimmel or Sonia Kashuk at the drugstore, but their good products are indeed good.

For more information about Tarte Cosmetics call 855-968-2783 or visit www.tartecosmetics.com.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
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  1. DANA M.
    Reviewed on Thursday, December 06, 2012
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    No matter what try black first I glow in dark & brown is too light
    • The product is a nice precision tip automatic inner rim-waterline eyeliner. I need to try it again however in black even though I am fair because the chocolate brown did not stay on even an hour. I had read on amazon that others also had this experience with this shade of chocolate brown. I wished I would’ve taken their advice & purchased the black. Besides the shade challenge the entire eyeliner part of the pen for no reason decided not long after purchase to come completely out of the applicator. I put it back in but now have to remember not to tip it down unless it’s on my skin or it will fall out. Not a sanitary situation so I pitched it. Note the color is going to fade a bit because it is applied on your inner rim-water line so I would recommend purchasing it in black first & if it doesn’t work for you then you know right away to move on. I have to another of Paula’s selections & have found two much better alternatives. 1st pick is Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof eye definer which received an Paula’s rating of BEST & comes with a built in sharpener even though this is an automatic pencil so you can obtain a precise tip. The other inner rim recommendation is Maybelline’s Unstoppable Smudgeproof Waterproof eyeliner in espresso, (not Cinnabar as it’s also too light for the inner rim-waterline & I am fair skinned). This product received an Paula’s rating of BEST. Both are retractable eyeliners that when applied to the inner rim-waterline didn’t burn but provided the desired effect for a more frugal price.

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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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