I basically consider myself a liquid eyeliner beginner. I dabbled with it years ago then walked away as I exited my twenties. But after years of fearing look like a toddler with a shaky hand took a black Sharpie to my eyelids, I’ve finally tracked down some of the best liquid eyeliners and I’ve given in completely. Here are two I’ve really taken to, at two price points, both of which are being put to excellent use in my makeup bag these days. Hope it helps you discover the joy of the modified cats eye too.
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Liquid Eyeliner Splurge: Chanel Ecriture de Chanel Automatic Liquid Eyeliner
Price: $35, Nordstrom or similar department stores
I had seen mixed reviews on this product (mostly from older users who seem to be unhappy with a formula change) so I was reluctant to buy it at the suggestion of the lovely gentleman at the sales counter. But I’ve concluded over the last few weeks that it’s the best liquid eyeliner I’ve ever tried. It’s dummy-proof, and I would know. This is actually an eyeliner pen, cap and all, with a felt tip that’s incredibly easy to control. The width is simply perfect for me and it feels like it gets just the right amount of eyeliner on every time–although if you like a very thin line, you may find it a bit too wide for you.
The staying power of the liner is amazing–pass out in your clothes one night from exhaustion (hypothetically speaking) and in the morning you still have a really nice looking eyeliner line. And that’s a new one for me. Each time I open the Chanel Eyeliner Pen, I feel like I’m about to accomplish some great feat of calligraphy. I can even get a little wing off the corner of my eye without looking like a Halloween Cleopatra.
A few days ago I couldn’t find it in the morning and got a little panicky, which is how I know I’ve really come to rely on it.
Liquid Eyeliner Steal: Almay Liquid Liner
Price: $4.99, Target or drugstores near you
Stuck out of town having forgotten my cosmetics bag (d’oh) I popped into a local drug store and grabbed the miniature inkwell of Almay Liquid Eyeliner off the rack. And as someone who rarely does that and is happy two days later, I’m still using it. The super long handle with the teeny pointed “flex tip” brush makes it quite easy to hold and apply correctly. Especially if you like a thin line. And I’ve found you still have a little time to correct before you dry, if you get jostled by a toddler underfoot.
It dries into a nice matte finish and I haven’t had major issues with smudging, but if you rub–it will smudge. While it doesn’t have the staying power of the Chanel (I don’t find it gives you quite the 16 hours of wear that Almay promises), and the application tip is definitely thinner, you really can’t beat it for the price.
Another plus: while the Almay Liner comes in the same .1 oz size as the Chanel, it’s the perfect compact size to slip into a bag for an after-work touch-up. And did I mention $4.99?
First, know that my eyelids don’t tend to get oily. If that’s an issue for you, these formulas may not be ideal for you or you probably need to apply a good eye primer first. As for me…well, it’s hard to pick a winner. If you’re a cosmetics junkie with $35 to spend, the Ecriture de Chanel Automatic Liquid Liner pen is a fantastic product with easy application and truly impressive long-lasting wear. If I had all the money in the world I’d own a never-ending supply of it. But considering you can buy seven (!) of the Almay Liquid liners for the price of one Chanel liner, I imagine the majority of the world will be perfectly satisfied with the thinner line and even application of the Almay, even if the color doesn’t have quite the same staying power.
If you’ve never dabbled in the world of liquid liners before, pop over to your local drugstore and try out the Almay for $4.99. I bet you look smoking.
Also, for a way to get a really perfect cats eye, check out this fantastic post at Elle Beauty for a great trick for applying liquid eyeliner perfectly using Scotch tape. So smart!
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