Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Why did no one tell me that Maybelline Color Tattoo in Vintage Plum sucks so much?

Disclosure: Affiliate links.
Maybelline Color Tattoo in Vintage Plum

I picked this up semi-impulsively at CVS a few weeks ago. By which I mean that I'd thought about buying it before and then once CVS had some kind of sale, I grabbed it without doing any further research. I remembered reading mostly positive reviews of the Leather collection of Color Tattoos, though some reviews mentioned that a couple of the shades were a little streaky. Really, I should have looked up reviews before I bought this, but in this case, I don't think it would have saved me much grief. Most of the reviews I have subsequently found are rather glowing ("must have!"), though if I had encountered this particular review of Vintage Plum, I might have given it a second or third thought. Because this eyeshadow is straight up garbage.

Either there are variations in the quality of Vintage Plum, other people have magic powers, or . . . I won't say, but you can probably guess what I think the real reason for the positive reviews of this crap is. It's so streaky that it's utterly impossible to use. I don't think it would make a lot of difference whether you have a different skin type, because it's almost as streaky swatching on my arm, which is not oily like my eyelids--but I'd be interested to hear if anyone has made this work.

Swatches of Maybelline Color Tattoo in Vintage Plum and Tough as Taupe

I read some suggestions that Vintage Plum is similar to Tough as Taupe, but it's really not, either in color or in performance. Vintage Plum looks almost pinkish-taupe in the jar, but when you apply it, it's a greyed-out purple that's patchy as fuck. Tough as Taupe, even from my pot that is a couple of years old, is a smoothly-opaque taupe. It may look a little uneven in the swatch, but it's easy to blend out evenly on my eyelid. Vintage Plum, however, is a nightmare. Below is as good as I could get it to look. The photo was taken within minutes of application; it's not that the eyeshadow has worn off like this. This is how it went on.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Vintage Plum

This eyeshadow has a creamy texture in the pot, but becomes terribly patchy and streaky when I try to apply it. There's no way to make it work. The photo above is applied over primer, but it was the same without. It dries very quickly and then flakes, so it's hard to blend--when I try, it rubs right off. Yet despite setting quickly, it nevertheless disappears in patches after it dries like some overly creamy products do. If I try to just apply a light wash, it's still streaky and it balls up when I blend it out. If I try to add a second layer, it removes the first layer and gets even more patchy. I suppose some people might use this as a base for other colors, but really what's the point? I don't want to cover it up. And I already use primer to intensify my eyeshadow, so an additional layer is unnecessary.

SO FUCKING FRUSTRATING.

It's especially frustrating, because I love love love the color. Many purples are too red for me, but this is very greyed out, while remaining definitely purple, not taupe or pink. If I ignore the mess, the color is really flattering on me. Of course that means I'm searching for dupes and having a hard time finding anything comparable. Urban Decay Cult looks like a real possibility, but it's discontinued. As is MAC Dove Feather. The taupe in my Wet N Wild Silent Treatment trio is not purplish enough. Laura Mercier Plum Smoke is too warm/brown. I guess Kryolan Dusk might work, but I don't know if I am ready to gamble $22 (with shipping) on an eyeshadow single. Help??

27 comments:

  1. NOOO. That's tragic! When the leather collection first came out, I almost bought Vintage Plum myself, but luckily I came across a bad review (can't remember where) that dissuaded me. The Color Tattoos are so unpredictable! I have a Bad to the Bronze that's still wearable after three years (!), but most of the others I've tried either performed like Vintage Plum or dried up within a year. I think the metallics are better quality than the mattes in general.

    I promise I haven't started shilling for ColourPop, but their darker mattes are pretty good quality and they have a few that look similar to Vintage Plum, if not identical.

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    1. I've had a few other than Bad to the Bronze, all shimmery, and I got rid of some of them because the colors didn't work, but the formula was fine. I think you are right about the shimmery ones being easier to work with. Tough as Taupe is much stiffer than they are, but still not hard to blend.

      And good call, thanks! I always forget about ColourPop. I'll take a look. I looked at every eyeshadow in CVS today, and all the purples were reddish-plum, pinkish-lilac, or sort of royal purple. I want that grey!

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    2. You need to use a flat concealer brush to apply, and spray the brush first with rosewater or some kind of fix spray... It works amazing that way.

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  2. Oh no! I hate wasting time and money on crummy products. I hope you return it and get your money back.

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    1. Yes, already did! There was just no salvaging it.

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  3. That's a shame! Especially since that color is so pretty!

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    1. I know! And more unusual than it seemed.

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  4. I have this one along with the taupe and black Color Tattoo Leathers. Good thing I picked them up for 99 cents. I'll have to see if Vintage Plum is patchy on me, too.

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    1. Let me know if it works for you!

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    2. I remembered to come back here after I tried Vintage Plum! I guess it must've been a bad product all around because it was also very patchy for me :( I tried to use it as a base for the rest of my eye look but it was meh at best. Oh well!

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    3. Thank you! Well . . . at least neither of us is imagining it?

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    4. Yep! I'm just glad I didn't pay full price for it!

      By the way, I love your blog. I really wish I found it sooner! I didn't come across it until I started blogging myself. I guess better late than never! :)

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  5. I rarely find a product so awful I toss it in the trash, but I did throw this away. I should have warned you LOL

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  6. I feel like this is one of those things that should disqualify me from beauty blogging (along with never trying anything by Mac, or Colourpop, and not really liking Revlon lipsticks) but I've never picked up a Color Tattoo. And I mean literally, I have never physically handled one in a store, never looked at one, never considered them. The colors that people seem to love (Bad to the Bronze, basically) just aren't my colors, and I am the ultimate cream shadow skeptic. Vintage Plum seems to perfectly encapsulate my cream shadow concerns.

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    1. I have just a few good cream eyeshadows, and then every other one I've tried is absolutely terrible. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. I think powders are a much safer bet. I've never tried any MAC or ColourPop either!

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  7. I love bad to the bronze but hate tough as taupe. It's so hard to blend. Love the color, hate the formula. Feels dry as shit!!

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    1. Mine is pretty dry too, but I remove the top layer every now and then and that helps. Definitely not as creamy as the shimmery ones, though.

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  8. Hey! This is a very general comment, since I was very recently in the US and experienced drugstore cosmetics firsthand. CVS has a hugeeeeeee markup. I know there are sales and BOGO and the CVS bucks and stuff, but is it not more worth it to buy stuff at cheaper retailers, say Walmart? The Maybelline creamy mattes were like $8 at CVS and $5.50 at Walmart. IDK about Walmart return policies and all that though.

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    1. Yes, for sure! I only buy things at CVS when they have good sales (which fortunately they often do, at least if you have their card). Another example like the one you mention are the Revlon lipsticks, which are $8 at CVS and $5 at Target (regular price). One consideration is that if you live in an urban center, the only Walmart/Target type stores might be in the suburbs, whereas there are often drugstores like CVS or Walgreens that are more accessible.

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  9. Holy crap, that's terrible! It seems like the leather collection was really hit or miss. Some shades had such amazing reviews and others were like vintage plum. As far as dupes go, check out Julep's Feels Like Velvet shadow duo in Moonlight & Starlight. I realize the first review for these shadows is a negative one for this particular duo, but I've never had any pigmentation issues with mine, and the purple shade seems like it would match what you're looking for. For a cheaper alternative, I think there's a shade in the Essence All About Roses palette

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    1. I guess this explains why I didn't buy any of them when they first came out. Thanks for the suggestions! I will look those up! I've never tried Julep or Essence eyeshadows, actually.

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    2. I gotta say, Julep's makeup line is surprisingly nice and doesn't get talked about all that much! I thought their eyeshadows would be a total dud, but I've gotten a few of them in my maven boxes and while they're a bit powdery, they're so damn smooth and easy to blend with decent pigmentation. And their eyeliners are hands down my favorite out of any brand I've tried

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  10. heyyyy so I'm getting here late but: I've seen some Mary Kay purples that might work for you if you're comfortable with the Mary Kay thing (I'm generally not but I got a light purpley-taupe cream shadow last year and it got me thinking). There's a cream shadow called Violet Thunder that looks pretty gray/not-warm, and I liked the texture enough to buy one after trying it. (Not that color though so I can't speak to the pigmentation.) Looks like it's $14. Not quite cheap but cheaper than $22...

    [I was pawing through my eyeshadows yesterday thinking about this post and I spotted some really vintage purpley stuff that not only is discontinued but the company doesn't even exist any longer (Garden Botanika) and I was going to try to offer them to you but now that I look at your photos and links again I think they might be too brown. It was the mid-'90s after all.]

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    1. Thank you for thinking of me! I actually just ordered something from Makeup Geek that I am hoping will work, but if not I may check the MK stuff out.

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  11. yes, I have this too and agree it's too patchy even to use, which is a shame. Though the shimmery ones are generally better (though they dry up way too fast), I do have Creamy Beige which is much better than Vintage Plum, used it as a lid/base color for a simple eye the other day and it went on fine.

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    1. Creamy Beige seems like it would be a useful one to have. Kind of like that beige MAC paint pot that everyone talks about (I forget what it's called)?

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