Thursday, March 24, 2011

Liquid Eyeliner - swatches and reviews

Liquid Eyeliner

Hi, my name is indie and I have a problem with liquid eyeliner.  Okay, so truth be told, I don't really think it's a problem, but I fully admit that I love my liquid eyeliner.  I have two daily must haves, moisturizer and eyeliner.

I almost never use pencil liner.  It smudges so easily and wears off and overall is just far more transient a product than liquid eyeliner that I rarely feel the need to use it.  Liquid eyeliner typically goes on nicely, it stays where you put it and you never end up looking like a raccoon at the end of a long day.

I know that a lot of people don't like liquid eyeliner.  They find it difficult to apply and I admit, it is a skill that you have to work at, but it is well worth putting in the work (in my opinion).

I decided to do this post in two sections.  The first is swatches of the liquid liners I currently have and the other will be a review of my favorite liquid eyeliners.

Liner Swatches
As I said above, I'm swatching the liquid liners I currently have in my case.  I use liquid liner a lot and I experiment with different brands and colors a lot, so my current stash is pretty random.  Overall, I prefer liquid liners with a brush applicator but those are next to impossible to find.  I am really not at all crazy about the felt pen liner applicators, but I will say they've been steadily improving.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I usually tend to avoid the drugstore liner brands.  My experience has been that their coverage is often lacking and if it isn't lacking then they tend to be so thick that they flake off halfway through the day.  I'm a snob.  Sue me.

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack ($15)
Okay, not a liquid eyeliner, this is a gel liner.  But in terms of staying power, it is much more like a liquid liner than a pencil.  The fluidline goes on smooth with good coverage.  It does have a couple of drawbacks from my perspective.  First, once it's on, it's on and it can be difficult to remove.  Second, you have to apply it with a liner brush.  I don't like that simply for the fact that you then have to do something with the brush.  You either have to put it somewhere that you won't accidentally touch it with something else (or you'll have gel liner everywhere) or you have to immediately wash it (I wash the brush at least every other day if I'm using it regularly) and that just wastes the product.  (Overall, 7/10)

Arbonne Liquid Eye Liner, Black, #7822 ($24)
I should have taken a picture of the applicator.  It's strange, a floppy felt applicator that took me a long time to get used to.  The liner has great coverage with no flaking and it comes off relatively easy.  Right now, this is my go-to liner. (9/10)

Stila Liquid Eyeliner
The liner is only available as part of a palette and it's meant to be used with black eyeshadow to set it.  I take it back, apparently you can get the liner from  I'm still less than happy with it.  By itself, the liner is less than stellar.  It's watery with uneven coverage.  If you use it with the black powder to set, it's probably a lot better, but I personally do not have the patience for that.  (Overall, 5/10)

Covergirl Liquid Pencil
This was a drugstore find and I don't know if you can even get it anymore, which is just as well because the product coverage was crap and the applicator is bad. (Overall, 3/10)

Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner, BlackBrown ($4)
Again, drug store find.  I don't like the felt liner.  The coverage is okay, better than the Covergirl, but still nothing to write home about.  It's cheap, but that's about all it has going for it.  (Overall, 5/10)

Sephora Long Lasting Metallic Eyeliner
originally $10, currently $5 in aubergine and copper
These look like they're on closeout so I suspect Sephora won't be selling them much longer.  The coverage for the aubergine liner is MUCH better than the coverage on the copper liner.  The copper was incredibly watery and might work well as an accent, but definitely not as a liner itself.  (Overall, aubergine 6/10, copper 3/10)

Favorite Liquid Eyeliners

Here are my all time favorite liquid eyeliners:

Vincent Longo Liquid Eyeliner, Black/Brown ($17)
 I LOVE this stuff.  LOVE IT.  It has a brush applicator (SCORE), it goes on silky smooth.  It has great staying power, doesn't smudge, doesn't flake, doesn't run, AND it is really easy to remove at the end of the day.  I want to marry this stuff.  The only problem is that it is so hard to find.  Sephora used to carry it, now they don't.  I've found it on and on, but you can tell it's old stock.  There is a Vincent Longo site and you can buy direct, but the shipping charges don't justify it for me, so sadly I'm currently without a feasible supplier for my beloved product.  (Overall, 9/10 -- just short of perfect because it's so hard to find.)

Vincent Longo Vibrant Eye Waterproof Liner, Moreno ($18.50)
Very, very similar to the regular Vincent Longo eyeliner, but it comes in some really fun colors (bright green, white, bright yellow).  Overall, 9/10 for the same supply issues noted above.

Arbonne Liquid Eye Liner, Black, #7822 ($24)
Fabulous coverage, funky applicator.  Reviewed above.

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack ($15)

Fabulous, just high maintenance.  Reviewed above.


  1. Arbonne = Worst. Eyeliner. Ever. No way to get any sort of precision with that brush. Smudges and you cannot get it off. I would never recommend it unless you want to add 15 minutes and a lot of frustration to your makeup routine.

  2. Thank you, Indie, for posting your other reviews. I will definitely try switching to Vincent Longo