Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Comedy of Errors in Liquid Eyeliner

I'm still practicing with liquid eyeliner, after all these years. Although I don't use liquid liner often, I do use it to go over a pencil and powder line when I need the line to stay put for extra-long days at work or traveling.

This morning, I was in a hurry to get out the door to yoga class and totally fouled up my liquid eyeliner. I was shaky, I didn't get a chance to look closely enough in the vanity mirror, and I ended up soaking my lashes in the process. What a mess! Amateur hour.

The product I was using, which requires a steady application, was the Benefit Magic Ink liner ($20). It comes in a triangular shaped applicator where the handle is the long, thin part and the bottom unscrews to reveal a little pot with the ink well.

The Magic Ink liner tip is actually a fine brush, which bends and weaves--completely the wrong product for someone like me. The color is a true, rich black.

My all-time favorite liquid eyeliner is the Lancome Artliner ($29) in black. After much trial and error, this has been the only product I've obtained foolproof, reliable results from.

The Artliner's pointy felt tip gives me control and still works even after application with a very shaky hand. The applicator looks like a marker, you unscrew the cap and the color is within the pencil part. The black is very rich and the tip stays wet through the application.

I've also tried A TON of other liners through the years: Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, the MAC fluidliner, L'Oreal Lineur Intense, Revlon Colorstay, HiP cream eyeliner, Revlon Smoky Crayon.

All of these either were too difficult/messy to apply with my shakiness, or they itched after application--a scary thought, since I have very sensitive skin on my eyes area, and tend to suffer from dry eyes as well (on top of everything!).

Your results will obviously vary from mine! Gel eyeliners seem to work best for those who have a knack with brushes and prefer a more noticeable look. Those with unshakeable application skills will enjoy the brush tip applicators that come with ink wells, for super fine or super thick application. Crayons seem fun for punk looks, but can also be tweaked for thinner lines. Pointy felt tips seem to work best for beginners or shakey folks like me.

If you suffer from the shakes or are just beginning with liquid liner, the old adage is true: start thin and small, and work your way up to thicker. You'll have an easier time.


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