Thursday, July 25, 2013

The search for the perfect black eyeliner (or a long list of life's failures)

Black eyeliner is my life.

If there is only one item of make-up I could have, it would be black eyeliner (and, mascara, since please, like I'm not getting two choices here).

I use black eyeliner nearly every single time I do my make-up. It's truly one of my great loves.

My go-to eye look is neutral browns with a cat-eye. Like so:

Sometimes I make it sluttier for nights. And then sometimes I regret making it so slutty, before I remember that smudged eyes make you look glamorous and mysterious, like you're the type of person who lies around on bread slices. (Yes, that was a reference to Miley Cyrus' latest video. Topical, I know).

And let me tell you, I have tried SO many different eyeliners looking for the perfect one. It would be wrong not to document my success and failures.


Cake eyeliner from The Make Up Store:

It is not an understatement to say this is the BEST EYELINER EVER. It goes on dark, smooth and sharp. One could even say this eyeliner started my love affair (it's serious) with cake eyeliners.

I found it while living in Sydney, Australia, where there was an actual Make Up Store near where I lived and I have NOT been able to re-purchase it living in Kansas as they don't actually sell their products on their website. (Because why sacrifice exclusivity for, you know, customers?)

Now I worry my glowing memory of this damn eyeliner has overshadowed its actual qualities, but it's completely become the one that got away. (You didn't think I'd go a whole post without a Katy Perry reference, did you?)

Amazonian clay eyeliner from Tarte:

This is my current favorite, since I can actually purchase it online.

It's creamy and dark and tends to stay put. It also smudges nicely if you get to it before it dries. And it comes with a brush! Which become increasingly unnecessary with each purchase, but hey, it's exciting the first time.

It also does not have a tendency to flake, unless you pile too much on or try to put more on after it's already dry.

I've repurchased this eyeliner, which is a big deal because I love trying new eyeliners. THAT MEANS I LIKE IT AND YOU SHOULD TOO.

Gel eyeliner from Lancome:

I'll be honest. This one isn't my favorite. But it works well enough to be considered a success.

And, really, it works pretty damn well. Stays put, goes on dark.

The only thing is that it dries rather quickly and it makes it hard if you don't get your cat-eye on the first try. (Because you know what? Some mornings I am just not with it and my cat-eye coordination sucks. You would think after doing it so many times, I would have the routine pat, but no.)

But it's good at not smudging and it lasts, though mine would sometimes flake off by the time the day was over.


Cake eyeliner from Clinique:

The very definition of "meh."

Billed as "natural black" this eyeliner is BORING. No thanks, Clinique.

I don't not want my eyeliner natural, I want it IN-YOUR-FACE-yes-bitches-I'm-wearing-eyeliner!

But it stays on well, so there's that.

Cake eyeliner from Laura Mercier:

This stuff works, but it's way too pricy for what you get. It also smudges. And is gone way too fast.


Gel eyeliner from Pixi:
The fact that I can barely remember how this eyeliner goes on tells me everything I need to know.


Cake eyeliner from Kryolan:


This stuff is worthless without the sealer, and the sealer gunks up your eyelashes, resulting in clumpy and gross mascara.

It's supposed to be stage make-up, so I had high hopes, but they were mercilessly dragged through the mud. Through the mud!

It's still sitting on my make-up shelf, so maybe one day I'll try it again. Or maybe I'll just keep ignoring it like a jilted lover.

I keep trying to find a cake eyeliner to replace my true love (mentioned above), but it never ends well.

Cream eyeliner from Lorac:
This might be better than I think it is, but the pot I purchased was dry as a motherfucker.

I got it for cheap from Haute Look, so maybe it came from the reject pile, but I was not impressed.

I'd be willing to give it another try if I wasn't already perfectly happy with Tarte's eyeliner.

Gel eyeliner from Bobbi Brown:


I've read the reviews and I thought I would find true love. And then I didn't and it was SOUL-CRUSHING.

Like the Lorac, I don't know if I got a bad batch, but it flaked and had no staying power what-so-ever.

I remember putting eye-drops in and it would absolutely disintegrate the liner I had on, so all I had left was a sad outline of what I had been wearing.

It could quite possibly be the biggest let-down of my life. The biggest.

Please let me know what liners worked for you or didn't!

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