This post has been sitting in dust for MONTHS. Lol. I photographed them in a day, but took forever to edit the photos, another forever to finally place this on my priority list, and another 5 minutes to decide, okie this should be #1 on that priority list.
There are thousands of articles out there that do comparisons on the different forms of eyeliners – pencil, gel, liquid. I’m going to do one solely focused on liquid eyeliners and the different types of tips found on them.
My first eyeliner was a pencil. Everyone started with a pencil, right? It’s the most accessible form, sold in all cosmetics stores because they can be stored for a long time; most people think it’s the easiest to apply; and liquid/gel/cake liners sound too advanced for newbies. At least to me they did.
I went from pencil >> liquid >> gel >> liquid. I think I will stay a fan of liquid eyeliners for a long time. In this post, I’m going to do a comparison of 15 liquid eyeliners from various brands, categorized into 3 different types of tips.
What I look for in an eyeliner:
- Ease of use
- Lasting power
1. Liquid Eyeliner – Felt Tip (Dip)
My first liquid eyeliner was the felt tip kind, those you have to dip in and out of the little bottle to reload the tip.
Lancome Artliner 24H | Black — A long time ago, I reviewed my first Lancome Artliner, which I didn’t like. This improved version’s felt tip is sharper and therefore more precise, but still, it’s not quite what I want in an eyeliner. It makes my lashes stick together and harden them and makes mascara application a nightmare. I do like its opacity and elegant glossy look, but the mascara application hurdle is a turn-off.
1028 Visual Therapy Infinity Aqua Eyeliner — One of the not-quite-good-but-not-horrid kind of products. It’s just… so-so. It has a softer felt tip as compared to the Lancome Artliner, is less glossy and less opaque.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner | 14 — MUFE has a black version but I bought this one with a sprinkling of glitter for fun, so I guess it’s not a true comparison. It doesn’t make my lashes stick together, but the pigmentation is a letdown, way too diluted – not enough black, not enough glitter.
2. Liquid Eyeliner – Felt Tip (Marker)
Another kind of tip typical of liquid eyeliners is the marker-like, foam tip applicator. It is used like a marker and can be dual-sided but is more commonly single-sided. This is the type of liquid eyeliner I would recommend to beginners because the rigid tip provides great control and is more forgiving towards mistakes.
The common problem of felt tip eyeliners is that when they start to dry out, the tip will become less sharp, distort, and even fray out. That usually happens way sooner than should be legally allowed. HAHA.
Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner | Carbon Black — Highly raved by countless makeup artists and beauty bloggers. At one time, it was so sought after that I could not find any to purhase; it was OOS at all the Sephoras in Singapore! I was ecstatic when Sephora sent me this. Finally I was able to put to test its claims of being waterproof, smudgeproof, lash-enhancing, and super easy to apply. I’ve even seen Lisa Eldridge use it as mascara in her one of her videos. Well, my verdict is that it is pretty good, but not that fantastic. Perhaps overly high expectations killed it. Opacity is fine, but not up to mark in terms of smudgeproof and waterproof abilities.
Elianto Eyeliner Pen | Twilight Black — This was one of my favorites for quite a while! Reached for it everyday because it was long-lasting and quick-drying, and provided precision in drawing lines. I bought this in City Square, Johor Bahru. Elianto is not available in Singapore.
Maxigrade Eyeliner | SP: Another one of my go-to for a while. It seamlessly glides on and fills in spaces, without smudging or pulling. It also deposits just the right amount of color on the lids, guaranteeing an even line in just one stroke. I would have preferred it to be blacker though.
NYX Two Timer | Jet Black — This is a dual-sided eyeliner with a soft kajal eyeliner on one end and a liquid liner on the other. The kajal aids the transition from a day to night look with a smokier black eyeline. The kohl liner makes tightlining easy, as do all pencils, but it smudged on me, as do most pencils. The liquid liner is… ok, I guess. The pen is a little too long, hindering ease of use.
MAC Penultimate Eye Liner | Rapidblack — Provides smooth and controlled application every time and also dispenses constant color. Very easy to draw, but not up to mark in terms of opacity. The ends of my eyeline usually fades by late afternoon.
Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Pen | Blacquer — Oh dear, this one. @_@ I was so excited to try when I bought it! However the felt tip greatly disappointed me, it is my exact definition of an eyeliner-no-go. After a few uses, the tip lost its precision, became distorted and fuzzy (see picture below) which made application dreadful. I loved it for its intensely jet black shade, but it fades throughout the day. At the end of it, you are left with only a dark grey, a shadow of its glorious self in the morning.
3. Liquid Brush / Liquid Pen
My FAVORITE liquid eyeliner tip type! 😀
From my experience, liquid eyeliner brushes/pens tend to be able to withstand fading, melting, cracking, running. They’re made to LAST the whole day, until you take it off. The brushes comes in variety of length and fineness, but each will often glides across the lashline for incredibly fluid application. You can go from thin to thick, from straight to curvy, allowing you to create a variety of looks with ease, attributed to the flexibility of a brush. Unlike traditional felt tip liners, this brush tip will not fray – unless you treat it with as much negligence as you would to those in stores.
VDL Ready Action Pencil Liner: Firstly, this shouldn’t be here. Lol. The VDL eyeliner has a sponge tip so it should be under Category 2. Secondly, why it is named ‘pencil’ baffles me coz it is clearly not one! It’s a liquid eyeliner with a felt tip. This eyeliner allows for maximum control during application and glides pretty easily. Like most felt tips pens, the end of the flick fades throughout the day.
K Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner 24H | 01: This eyeliner has an ultrafine tip (less than 1mm wide?) for a smooth, controlled application, ideal when you want razor-thin lines, or winged cat eyes. But because of that, it takes more effort to achieve bold, dramatic lines. It is pretty waterproof but leaves behind a greenish-grey stain that can be quite hard to remove even after several attempts.
La Rose de Versailles: This eyeliner also has an ultrafine tip, but slightly thicker than the K Palette’s. Its flexible bristles easily move across the lash line, but I feel that it fades throughout the day and is not that waterproof. I like the brown version better.
Lioele Real Brush-Pen Eyeliner: This could have been my Holy Grail had it been more intense in pigmentation. The tip is fine but not too fine, the pen is shorter thus providing more control and it hardly fades. Dries fast and stays put without smudging too.
Clio Waterproof Brush Liner Kill Black | 01 Black: This is an improved version of the first generation and both times I was very happy with my purchases. I have a review here. The intensity is great, one of the darkest blacks I’ve tried, but still less pigmented than Shu Uemura Calligraph:Ink’s. The water-based formula glides on smoothly without flaking or caking. Application control is even better than Shu’s, but fades more quickly.
Shu Uemura Calligraph:Ink: Ah, finally we have come to my all-time favorite eyeliner! 😀 Ever since Shu Uemura sent me this eyeliner, I’ve been hooked. Unlike the K Palette, La Rose and Lioele, the Shu Uemura doesn’t have an extremely fine brush; instead it has a thicker brush body which tapers into a fine tip that allows you to draw a line that is precise, consistent, and intense. It is designed like a calligraphy tool to make it easy to draw a super slim line or bold strokes.
I bought my second refill (the body and refill are sold separately so you only need to buy the refill at $29) and on the way to get a third. As with most things in life, too much of something tempts us to make a switch, but every time I try to use something else, I’d think ‘My Shu Uemura one is better’ haha. I love how intense it is, and how I can easily achieve thin or think lines. I wish they would produce a brown one though, for variety and for when I want a more ‘demure’ look hahaha. 😀
The calligraphy pen design – firm yet flexible brush (does that sound funny? LOL) reminds me a lot of my childhood where I spent Saturdays in a calligraphy school learning how to write Chinese words with a long handle brush and black ink. Maybe that’s why I have a special connection with the Shu Uemura Calligraph:Ink.
Alright! I hope you enjoyed reading this post which took me sooooo many months to finally complete HOHO!
What is your favorite type of eyeliner? Do you prefer a strong or less intense black? 😀