- Jill Brooks
Battle of the Liquid Liners
There are few techniques in the beauty world that can withstand the test of time in the way that a gorgeous winged liner look can. A cat-eye look is arguably the most *classic* beauty trend of all. A slight flick of the wrist can give you anywhere from a "no makeup makeup" look to a uber sultry theatrical one. Remember Cleopatra? Who would she be without that dramatic black-as-night kohl eyeliner? She's identifiable to many by her makeup alone. Fast forward..... From Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Priscilla Presley to Amy Winehouse, Lana Del Rey, Adele, and Taylor Swift. No matter your age, style, or setting, winged liner will always be appropriate. To recreate these looks, you'll need some eyes (check. check.) and some eyeliner (check. check. check. check. check. check....). NOT ALL LIQUID EYELINER IS CREATED EQUAL, and I'm here to help you find your perfect fit. *PS: I'll cover liner pencils, gels, etc. in a future post. For now, the focus is on liquid liners (the only way to go for a perfect cat eye!)
Alright. You ready? Here we go.... Cult-favorite Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in trooper ($20) Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner in black ($22)
Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner in black ($8-10) L'Oreal Paris Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Liner in infallible black ($6-8) elf Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in black ($2-3)
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in trooper is one that is favorited by the masses..... and for very good reason. This 12+ hour highly pigmented formula glides on smoothly and is buildable so you can easily enhance your look from daytime to night. With no flaking and a quick-drying formula, KVD's Tattoo Liner finally gives those with hooded eyelids a wearable liquid liner without risk of transfer, smudging, etc. One of the major highlights is the high quality microbrush tip - this allows for perfect precision for any look, no matter the weight of the liner you want to rock! FINAL THOUGHTS: If you haven't already, jump on that bandwagon! Just make sure that you close the cap tightly to prevent drying. (Note: There is often confusion between Kat Von D's liquid liners. The Tattoo Liner is a Sephora exclusive and is ONLY available in 2 colors. The Ink Liner is offered in several different shades & is a vastly different formulation than the Tattoo, but isn't as popular among consumers, stylists, and beauty experts.)
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner in black is no joke - the blackest black, 5-star pigmentation with a TON of product inside the pen, lasting 2-3x longer than most of it's competitors. This 12-hour smudgeproof formulation is great for those of us with oily eyelids or undereye. (*ProTip: For oily lids, start your eye makeup prep by buffing on a few thin layers of translucent powder right on your eyelids prior to liner application to help reduce oil and prep your lid for all-day wear.) The strong felt tip allows for perfect winged liner with just a simple flick of the wrist. FINAL THOUGHTS: Great bang for your buck. Definitely worth the $22 simply because of the excellent pigmentation & abundance of product in this pen - something that MANY companies skimp on simply because they can due to packaging. My mom has watery eyes (thank you, Tennessee allergies!) and this is the ONLY liner that she can count on for all-day wear without worry of smearing and smudging.
Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner in black started off amazing. It was everything I wanted in a liquid eyeliner - soft felt tip, very pigmented formula, and glides on extra smooth... for the first week or so. After that, my felt tip started to wear down. It became more of a marker than an eyeliner and a good "flick" for the winged look was simply out of the question. Shortly after, I felt the tip start drying out and losing moisture. The once ultra-black pigment became more and more translucent with every application... and you can just forget building. If I attempted to apply multiple layers, it removed the liner completely in some areas and smudged others. Complete disaster..... I will give it credit that the liner seemed to have all-day wear (of course, the liner that goes on ugly will stay put all. day. long.) FINAL THOUGHTS: Hard pass. Cheaply made and it definitely shows.
L'Oreal Paris Infalliable The Super Slim Liquid Liner in infalliable black is my current go-to liner. It stays in my makeup bag for several different reasons. First of all, the micro-sized felt tip point is PERFECT for everything from tightlining to full-on Adele winged liner. Even after several weeks of daily use, the point stays sharp and accurate. Secondly, it lasts FOR.EV.ER. (!!!) There is SO much product in the tube AND somehow it doesn't get caught up in the fibers of the felt tip making it impossible to to get alllllll of the product out, doesn't dry out, and one pen will last me a minimum of 2-3 months! (*ProTip: Toss eyeliners after they've been OPENED for 3 months. Like medications, cosmetic ingredients expire too!) Third pro - low price point. You simply can't beat that $6-8 price tag. Con: It isn't COMPLETELY smudgeproof, but on the plus side, it doesn't smear... so you can touchup/reapply without looking like a raccoon. FINAL THOUGHTS: Yes. Just yes. Pros absolutely outweigh the Cons. So go.... now.... and get it. You won't regret this purchase.
elf Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in black is a good "starter" liner. You can't beat a $2 pricepoint - so I love to throw this baby in my purse for quick touchups or in my carryon bag for traveling. I also love recommending this product to my beginner clients while they're learning the ins and outs of liquid liner. Perfect for teenagers! Unfortunately, it dries out pretty quickly, but what can you honestly expect from that price? The tip does lose some of it's strength, but again, you can replace more often with the low investment. FINAL THOUGHTS: Lesser pigmentation allows room for error.Crazy low price point and large selection of colors enables you a little more flexibility to experiment with various liner colors and styles.Won't last long, but great starter option for a newbie to see the look and feel of liquid liner. FINAL FINAL THOUGHT: Splurge: Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner in trooper Save: L'Oreal Paris Infalliable The Super Slim Liner in infalliable black
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