Monday, August 19, 2013

Battle of the Eyeliners: Black Pencil Liner Edition

Okay the title is a bit cheeky but hey, what other way to call this showdown of all the top-rated black pencil eyeliners you've ever wondered about. I'll admit, I'm a bit of a pencil liner junkie (it was the first type of makeup product I ever really used) and have WAY too many to know what to do with. But alas, I have a found a solution for my eyeliner obsession .. to share my knowledge and years of experience (if that's what you call wearing them and figuring out the hard way which ones smear and smudge) with all the girls and boys out in the world. Today I'll be sharing my thoughts on the black eyeliners from high-end brands like Urban Decay, Make Up For Ever (MUFE), Stila, Dior, Sephora, to drugstore brands such as Milani, ELF, Rimmel London, and more. SO LET'S JUST HOP RIGHT IN :)

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero ($19): One of the most popular pencil liners out there, the Urban Decay 24/7 pencil liners are well-known for their smooth application, bright pigmentation (when it comes to the colored ones), and waterproof & smudge-proof abilities. The first pencil liners I owned were the UD 24/7 glide-on pencils in Zero and Bourbon (they came in a twin pack and were on sale :D) and I instantly fell in love with them. However, this post is about black pencil liners so we'll focus on Zero (for now!). Some of the things I enjoy about Zero is that it gives me a nice black line without being SO dark that it looks too harsh, doesn't pull on my eyelids when I'm drawing a wing/line, and is waterproof and rarely smudges. Note how I used the word rarely smudges - this is because I have noticed on a few (very few, but still some!) occasions that the liner has faded a little bit and left smudge or smear marks. These occasions are usually when I am wearing my makeup for a long time and/or it is a really hot day or I'm sweating a lot. Another thing I like about Zero is that it isn't SO creamy that it just "smushes" when I'm applying my makeup (something that occurs with the Milani Liquid Eye Pencil - see below) - this is something I think adds to the lasting ability of this liner which is quite long. I can't say it lasts 24/7 since I have seen some fading throughout the day if used WITHOUT a primer, but I am actually okay with that since it makes makeup removal easier at the end of the day. I also generally don't mind the fading on my lower lashline too much either since it's never been so much that it gives me "raccoon eyes" and actually gives me more of a natural or smoked out gradient look that isn't bad! I can definitely testify to the claims that this liner is waterproof because I have worn it to swim practice (meaning 2 hours of being in the pool) and it has lasted albeit some smudges usually due to me forgetting I had makeup on and completely rubbing my eyes -__-. Overall, yes I would recommend this liner, though it is a bit on the pricey side (look out for sales or sets that offer more colors for an overall cheaper price!), it is great for any occasion and can last through any event or day if used with a primer. I would recommend people with oily eyelids to give this a shot as I have used it on my friends with oily lids and they have seen little to no smudging!
As a side note, I would like to mention that I do know there is another color called Perversion that many enjoy and say has a darker pigmentation and more creamy texture than Zero, but I have yet to try it and can't give my own personal opinion on it. If you're not sure which one to get, you should try them out in store (ie. Sephora) and see which one you prefer. I think I would still choose Zero over Perversion though due to personal preference of what I like in my black eyeliners.
Image result for urban decay zero eyeliner
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Matte Black 0L ($19):The MUFE Aqua Eyes pencil liner has been around for a while and my sister was the one who actually first bought it and I just ended up taking hers because I liked it so much :) The best way to describe this pencil liner is probably to compare it to other liners as it usually is matched up against the Urban Decay one. The texture of this liner is definitely not as creamy/soft as Zero and requires a bit more pressure if you want it to be the same darkness as Zero; however it still doesn't tug on my eyelids during application and is more waterproof and smudge-proof in my opinion than Zero. I think this liner lasts a bit longer than Zero, but it's not such a big difference that I would choose this over Zero especially since I generally use Zero because I like the texture of Zero a bit more. If you're looking for a liner that you can wear for sports or water events and not have to worry about smearing, I would definitely choose MUFE (though I would probably choose their gel or liquid liners over the pencil liner if you're looking for a clean cut line that will NOT budge), but it does work for everyday school or work wear too. It is also really good for people with oily lids or monolids - I've used it on my friends for their prom/dances and they don't notice any smudging.
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Stila Kajal Eye Liner in Onyx ($18): The most popular Stila eyeliner shade is probably the nude one that many beauty gurus use on their waterliner, but I managed to snag this black liner at Costco (!!) in a set that came with their mascara and two eye shadows for about $10-$15 (I can't remember exactly, sorry! But I know it was a great deal and pretty cheap!). The Stila pencil is definitely more creamy and soft than both UD or MUFE 's liners with a texture that is similar to the Milani Liquid Eye liner, but with the softness factor comes more smudging. I probably wouldn't recommend this liner for those with oilier eyelids since it probably will smear or fade since it does smudge more often on me that my other liners and I don't have that oily eyelids. The good thing about this liner being soft is that it glides right on your waterline really well - for my MUFE liner, I usually have to go over my waterline 2-3 times to get a dark line - and has realllyy good pigmentation. The black color is super dark and one line is enough color for me! However, I think the one thing I can't get over about this liner is the soft texture. It's so soft that one use already dulls the point incredibly which means you get through this liner really quickly. Also since it's so soft, it can easily "smush" (something I have experienced when my friends were playing around with it Q.Q) and it's sort of hard to create a nice pointed wing since the point is rarely sharp/thin enough. BUT, don't let this get you too down - the creamy texture of this liner allows it to act as a base for eyeshadows if you're going for a darker look. You can also smudge this liner out (it takes a while to set and even once it's set, it's not completelyy set) with a brush to create a really nice blended gradient smokey eye. Just make sure you use a primer underneath this liner if you want to avoid the worst of smudges (though I would be prepared for transfer of the product onto your bottom lashline if you line your upper waterline - aka tightlining - with it). If you can't get this product at cheaper price, I would opt out and just go for the UD or MUFE liners.

Dior Waterproof Crayon Eyeliner in Trinidad Black 094 ($29):Dior is definitely a brand that I would describe as high-end and expensive. At $29, you would expect their pencil liner to be freaking amazing, but no, it's just average. I wouldn't recommend anyone to spend their money on this liner unless they're trying to collect all Dior makeup products or something. This liner isn't terrible but it isn't anything above average. I don't find it to be waterproof and have seen smudges all the times I've used it which I suppose might be an innate trait of the liner since it comes with a smudger brush on the end of the liner. The pigmentation of this liner is in between the MUFE liner and Zero - meaning it isn't incredibly dark - but has texture that's more on the softer creamy side (though not as much as Stila's or Milani's). All I can say is don't waste your money and go for something that is actually waterproof, smudgeproof, has better pigmentation and lasting power, or is at least cheaper!!

Sephora Collection Flashy Liner Waterproof Eyeliner in Deep Black ($7.47 on Amazon, no longer sold at Sephora): I acquired this liner recently (meaning in the last 6 months) and have loved it since. I bought this from a girl at my school and it came with a black, brown, grey, bright turquoise green that I LOVE, and some other colors. When I tried to look up the price for this though, I couldn't exactly find it on the Sephora website (strange because it's a Sephora brand liner haha), or more like it said it was sold out/not sold anymore. However, I did find it on Amazon and Ebay being sold in packs with other colors or by itself so you can look there if you feel so intrigued to purchase it. I like this liner because it's a good soft and creamy texture (not too soft and not too firm either), goes on smoothly when applied, lasts for pretty long time (well the longest I've worn it for was probably a 10 hour period, but I didn't seem any/much fading and this was without a primer), and has good pigmentation (not the darkest or the lightest black liner I've used but an in between which is what I like). I can't say if this is waterproof but I feel like it wouldn't exactly smear on your lids if you were in the water and didn't touch your eyes (haha), but I know it's put up through some of the hot days I've been through where I've sweated a bunch so it gets a thumbs-up for the sweat-proof factor :)
Image result for sephora collection flashy liner waterproof

Milani Liquif'eye Liquid Eye Liner Pencil in 01 Black ($6.99):The Milani Liquif'eye pencil liner got a lot of hype in the past year (or was it more than a year.. haha I'm bad at keeping track of time) because everyone was raving about the creaminess, smoothness, and pigmentation of the liner. A lot of people were comparing it to the Urban Decay liners because of its texture and with it being less than the half price, who could complain? I'll admit, I fell for the hype and went and bought it early on, and it's great and all, but I still prefer my UD and MUFE liners. This liner definitely is one of the softer pencil liners, similar to the Stila pencil liner as I mentioned before though not AS creamy, and is great for lining your upper and lower waterline with great dark pigmentation. However, like I said, I'm one who prefers my pencil liners not so soft that they feel sticky or "smush" easily which is sometimes a problem with this liner. It does set well though, better than the Stila liner, and can last a good amount of the day, but it has smeared or transferred on a few of my friends with monolids and more oily lids. I generally don't reach for this liner as often because of this and only use it on the occasions where I'm wearing a smokey eye so that any transfer or smudging won't be too obvious. I have seen smudging and smearing with this liner when I sweat, but I can't say about it's waterproof abilities. I usually only use this for tightlining rather than normal lining my eyes because of it's softness but I know many other beauty gurus enjoy this liner, and at only $6.99, it's definitely a good alternative (but not substitute in my opinion due to the difference in texture, lasting power, and smudge/smear factor) for the UD and MUFE liners.
Image result for Milani Liquif'eye Liquid Eye Liner Pencil

E.L.F. Essential Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil in Black Bandit ($1): ELF is well known for its cheap and decent quality makeup products, and at only $1, this eyeliner pencil is no exception. The saying "You get what you pay for" certainly applies here because while this liner does work and do the job, it's not the best. It's has a firmer&harder, less creamy/soft texture making it a bit rough on the eyelids at times and you definitely have to be careful at the beginning when the point is sharpest because it HURTS when if you poke your eye with it (trust me, I've done it to myself!). I would advise you to dull the pencil out a bit when you first purchase it by swiping it a few times on the back of your hand. This will also help give you a feel of the texture and firmness of the liner. Once the liner dulls down a bit, it's better for at lining and works well for its price. It's not the darkest pigmentation and can require more than one stroke if you want a line like the UD or MUFE liners give. It also contains some glitter particles (hence the name "Shimmer Eyeliner") so I only use it when I want the shimmer (though it's not crazy noticeable). I find it easiest to use this pencil liner by holding it slanted (almost parallel to my face) rather than having it perpendicular to my face. Using the side of the pencil helps to apply more of the product in one stroke and avoids the problem of tugging or dragging your lids when using this liner due to it's more firm nature. If you do it this way, you don't have to dull out the pencil as much since you won't actually use the point/tip of the liner. It's also great that the pencil comes with a sharpener in the lid but I don't ever use it since it's not the best/I prefer to use my Sephora one that cost about $3 :) The lasting power of the liner is decent though I have seen fading throughout the day and since it's the least creamy of liners I've used, it smudges less. I don't think this liner is very waterproof, but can hold up against a little sweat. It smears/fades a little when I use it on my upper lashline since I get most oily there but overall, if you're looking for a decent liner, go for this one! It's only a dollar - can't hurt to give it a shot!
Image result for E.L.F. Essential Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil

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