Monday, February 27, 2012

Searching for the Ultimate: Pencil Eyeliner Edition

Looking, trying, testing, are all parts of the process when looking for the one.
The HG "X", once you find the one, you never look back, you never cheat on it, you tell others and rave whenever asked, and the search is all worth it.

For some, the one comes easily. For beauty bloggers, well, we seem to be pickier.

This will be the first edition to a status on my search for The Perfect Pencil Liner

Pencil liner was one of the first make up products I ever used. I used to line my lower waterline for YEARS. Never the top lash line or tight line but always the lower one

( I don't know when or how I started but that was "the look" I was faithful to for most of my make up youth)

I don't even remember what I used back then. I'm positive whatever I used the packaging changed because I no longer recognize it on drugstore shelves. I think Maybelline??

Moving on…

Since my "Maybelline" days, I have tried quite a *ahem* few pencil liners…yet I have still to find an HG…but the search continues

The reason why my search is taking so long:
My eyes are annoying. My top lid overlaps my lower lids when I blink. I need a very waterproof liner because every time I blink (which is often!) the liner rests on my skin, not on my lower lids.

Also my eye shape. The ends of my eyes on the top lid are longer than the lower (yes, I have had time to think about this) so the outer corners are always becoming racoony

If you experience the same issue: tight line the main and middle portion of your eyes and avoid the corners. You will never see those corner smudges again, but I am on the search for the ultimate liner, not the alternate routine!

*NOTE (My preferences/requirements)* I do not care if a black pencil is not the blackest black black out there, I just need it to be pretty black and stay on my waterlines for the whole day. I also do not like too smudgy liners, I want it to set and stay in place all day!

Liner's in my current collection:

Drugstore Liners

Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner: This is very black! This is very smooth, this also smudges within about 2 minutes on being on my eyes and is thus a fail for me.

Milani Liquefy Eyeliners: Super black, super smooth, super pigmented! Yet,the product attaches itself to my contacts and I go blind within 15 minutes. This is not the one.

Middle Range Liners

Sephora Waterproof KEEP Liners: These are actually not bad for the price. When applied to the middle parts of my lids they stay on most of the day but the corner smudges after about 4 hours so this is not the one, but very nice for the price

Sephora NANO liners: These come in nice colors but don't last on my waterline for past 3-4 hours when it begins to fade in patches

Higher end Liners:

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Liner: The black is not very black in my opinion. The sharpener is ok…I am not the biggest fan of retractable. This slightly tugs on my lids, and doesn't seem to last on my waterline for more than about 2 hours. This is not something I would repurchase.

Chanel Eye Khols: The colors are stunning, I only have 1 shade but it's not very smooth. It's very hard. This does not last long on my waterline for more than 2 hours and begins to smudge. Luckily this color is so gorgeous it starts smudging beautifully into a very nice shade. Too bad. Will not be the HG.

Lancôme Le Stylo Waterproof Liner: Also not very black, also retractable, also not very waterproof! One of the worst high end liners I ever tried. Smudges and not long lasting at all. A disappointment. Usually I love Lancome!

MAC Eye Khols: I love some of the shades, but these don't last long on my waterline. Fading begins about hour 4.

MAC Waterproof liners: Sorry smudge city! I don't care if they stick on "Waterproof "on the label.

Urban Decay 24/7 Liners: WOW, this smudges on me within about 2 minutes of application. Great colors, super smooth, nicely pigmented but ZERO staying power on me.

MUFE Aqua Liners: My current favorite but just not the one. These smudge on my lower outer corners. The rest of the eyes are fine but that damn outer corner! Nice selection of colors and quite pigmented. Not the most waterproof liner I ever tried, but definitely a good pencil.

Bare Minerals Big and Bright Eyeliner: Faded in about 45 seconds one of the worst I ever tried, period.

Clinique Eyeliner (retractable): Not too impressed, just ok, I forgot I even owned it, which states how much I liked it

Liners of my future:
So….the above list shows a list of liners I use but never am fully satisfied with.
Here are some of the liners I have been looking into to see if they can be the one for me!

YSL Eye Pencil
I have heard this is an excellent pencil! We shall see…. I recently have been using their new cream gel liner with great success!

Benefit Bad Gal:
Which I just purchased today. This received so many mixed reviews. I know I tried it last week and it was great on my top waterline I did not try the lower water line, we shall see...
(ack why is the picture blurry!!!)

So tell me ladies, do you continue searching for the ultimate? What is your HG liner or at least favorite if you have one!! Please share!


  1. i like the physicians formula shimmer strips custom eye enhancing eyeliner trio. but the urban decay 24/7 is one of my favorites and it didn't work for you, so those may not work for you too:( good luck in your search!

  2. that's ok, thanks for the suggestion
    When I purchased the BAdGal the Sephora rep REFUSED to blv UD and MUFE did not work on me....ugh i wanted to get away from her lol

  3. I have an pencil eyeliner smudging problem as well! This'll help save me some trouble. I got the UD 24/7 from frances (a blogger) to try and was disappointed it didn't work but I had a feeling it wouldn't work for me anyways...I can't wait to hear if one works for you!

  4. the UD ones lasted about 2 min on me and all my friends who are Asian told me they had the same issue but of course we still have diff eye shapes. I tried this Benefit one last week and it wore sooo well on my top lash line but the waterline is the KEY! will try it this wk!

  5. Some beauty bloggers say that they "set" their liner with black eye shadow so it stays put. Wonder if that will help stop the smudging especially with creamier formulas.

  6. mmhmm, I have tried that and it does help extend the lift but sometimes my shadow smudges! lol that's why I keep looking for the liner lol

  7. I have this problem too!!! Luckily, I usually only use a nude liner on my waterline now. The NARS Larger Than Life pencil in Rue Bonaparte sticks around pretty well, but it's nude, so it's a bit hard to speak about smudging. I did fall asleep with a swatch of it on my hand though and it was perfectly intact when I woke up. I'm planning on buying the black version of that liner soon, so I'll let you know how it fares!

  8. ohhhhhhh i heard many ppl speak of the new NARS flesh colored pencil (finally right) I usually use the MAC Chromographic pencil in NC15NW20, when it fades it's kinda hard to tell u know... bc not much color was there in the first place and its supp to fade so it dosent look un natural. When I finish the MAC pencil i will try the NARS bc the MAC Caps are driving me insane! they all CRACK and then dwindle the pt of the pencil whehn u close it which is a waste of product!

  9. What a bummer! The NARS pencils are really great for keeping in your bag for touch-ups too because they twist up and have a sharpener in the end. I think I'm going to buy a few more and keep one in every bag I own because it really brightens up my eyes when I'm fighting through those drowsy afternoons at the office.

  10. im currently using majolica marjorica chocolate cream liner- very water proof and does not smudge that much though quite difficult to remove at the end of the day. i've also heard that dollywink pencil liner is very good for tightling...
    i really love japanese drugstore cosmetic esp with the eyeliners which usually stay put on my oily monolid eyes!

  11. Oh the Dolly Wink liquid liner is my FAVORITE!!! i may have to give the pencil a try and the MJ if I can find it, thank you!!

  12. I gave up on pencil a long time ago because it would always smear deep into my crease or run off the waterline. By the end of the day I had raccoon eyes. But, just recently, I feel in love with the Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner. It stays on ALL day without a single smudge. It also helps that there's a built in sharpener to help create that precise line. Days that I don't use the Revlon pencil, I stay loyal to my L'oreal waterproof telescopic liquid eyeliner. I've been using that on my upper lids for over 5 years now! It's the best thus far for my oily lids and humid weather. :)

  13. wow thanks for sharing your reccs! i actually have the revlon liner but never tried it!! i may have to bust it out! the loreal liquid liner i heard is sooooooooooo good but i suck a liquid liner T.T
    I may have to give it a whirl if this whole pencil thing dosent work out!! lol

  14. I have very similar smudging problems as you with most of the long lasting liners. However, the physician's formula 24hr liner trio have lasted on me without smudging. It's amazing. I get the trio for brown eyes, which comes with a black, brown and purple liner. It has lasted all day on me without budging, which UD 24/7 or MUFE waterproof can't beat for me personally. I suggest you give it a try.

  15. you are the second person who recc those PF liners! I must be missing out on something! must give them a peek!! thank you!

  16. I know how you feel. I have dry eyes but oily lids, basically I end up looking like a raccoon 5 mins after applying eye liner. I have tried quite a few of the same pencil liners you have and have the same thoughts. I pretty much stopped using pencil liners and switched over to gel cream liners because I can mix it with the eye seal from make up forever, which does the trick for me. It stays put all day, no transfer, no migration only problem is that it requires a bit of time and effort. Next on my list to try was actually the YSL gel cream liner, I would love your thoughts.
    I just recently bought the physician formula's liner, and experience minimal migration. I just used them today so I can't vouch for them yet. I hear that Armani has a water proof liner that is suppose to be budge proof. Only problem its often released as a limited edition. That's also on my list of items to try.

  17. dry eyes and oily lids o no...i have been using gel for the better half of the years but sometimes i just want a little liner on my lower waterline for nights out and such and have less of a wide eyed look
    oh you have quite a process i know of sealers and such but nv tried them myself bc it seemed like a bit of a few too many steps for lazy o me....
    I have only tried the liner a few times but should pop up a review soon!
    Seems like Physicians Formula is popular! i do like their liquid liners!!!
    Waaaaaaaaaaaat Armani and Limited Edition...... BOOOO i want to try something bullet proof!!

  18. wow you have tried so many brands! ack i am in the market for my HG liner as well. in pencil form and liquid form. i really like feline but i am the worst person for liner recs because my eyes are pretty normal. no unique lids, watery eyes. nada. the only thing my eyes are picky about is my contacts! all drugstore liners coat and stick to my contacts making me blind, ESP that milani one. but Arianne suggested to me to try the GA pencil when it ever comes back out. it is supposed to be amazing, in staying power and intensity of color. and i totally and completely care about how black the liner is haha! it is so important to me. :)

  19. why would Armani make the so called perfect eye pencil and then remove it from the market so the rest of us who dont follow Armani can try it!!!
    blackest blackest black! lol that's why u got the new UD one lol I swatched it today, yes it was me theyre all BLACK lol I dont care as long as it stays on the eyes and not under em!

  20. Wow, what a comprehensive review! I think I have similar feelings; there are good ones out there, but I'm not falling head over heels with any yet. Every pencil liner, no matter how good, tends to run towards the end of the day (and that's on top of primer too :) The last pencils I really liked were a NARS Larger than life and MAC Technakohl. Of course there was some running, but they did their best despite the inevitable run. Most of my pencil liners are black, but lately I feel like black is a little harsh. I've been using a dark eyeshadow (w/ or w/o water) line and lots of mascara for defining my eyes for a softer effect. I also find that it's easier to wipe off a smudged outer corner run when it's eyeshadow and not pencil! I think I might go back to gel liner soon; I'm planning on purchasing BB gel liner in expresso (I believe it runs less than black ink, which is what I currently have!)

  21. I've tried them all too. The YSL waterproof eye pencil is probably the best, imo...
    Thanks for sharing!

  22. Smashbox limitless eyeliner is my go to. I hate raccoon eyes at the end of a long day, so this was a godsend. It last me my 12 hour shifts + a quick dinner date! Ive tried dozens and this One is my HG.

  23. i'm currently using the Dolly Wink pencil eyeliner in black, it's a very deep black, glides comfortable on the waterline, bc the pencil quite soft and it doesn't tug on the waterline. but having said that, i need to sharpen it alot and it's super smudgy. pretty much panda eyes in an hour or so. although, it is nice for creating soft smokey eye on the eyelids.
    can't wait to hear your thoughts on benefits bad gal - i note many bloggers swear by this.

  24. Give Mabelline Master Drama Eye Pencil in Bold Brown a try. It is a very deep, rich brown, which I think, looks more flattering on yellow skintone compared to Mabelline Master Drama Eye Pencil in Midnight Master (very deep black, but it smugdes within 2 hours). I have super oily hooded eyelids but this(Bold Brown) performs so well without smudging once it sets. I am so impressed and it is not expensive at all. I tried UD Zero, MUFE aqua eyes in black, Milani's pencils. CG's liquidblast pencils, dollywink pencils, and other various brand. This is the best.

  25. Thats's a shame about the Urban Decay 24/7 liner, it's actually the only one that holds up on my oily skin…have you also tried applying shadow primer around your whole eye, that works for me………..I also wanted to say that I love your blog, you always have something that simply catches my eye…and I'd love the support. When you a chance please take a peek (

  26. Wow, you've tried a lot of eyeliners! I have monolids which sometimes form tiny creases but I don't have a whole lot of trouble with transfer (which is amazing considering my oily skin). I never line my waterlines so I can't be of much help to you :( I know some people line their waterlines with gel liner which seems to hold very well (although the safety behind that is hotly debated).

  27. Holy Crap. you have to try the new NYX liners they're called the slide-on liners! they are amazing, similar to UD 24/7 but with much better staying power! highly recommended!

  28. I always have a hard time with liners too. For me MUFE ones smudge like heck on me. The urban decay ones work a little bit better but only last for 4 hours. Even the koji dolly wink ones swear slightly one meeee

  29. Of all i've tried, NARS Larger than Life is HG. Both black and brown (via appia). BEST!

  30. i totally have the same problem! i've given up on pencil eyeliners x_x i'm going to give stila's smudgestick waterproof eye a try on my waterline as my last glimmer of hope.

  31. ohh i went through a phase of gel liner and then shadow as a liner esp wet loved it but for some reason i went back to pencil. I have a huge array of blacks and brows the NARS ones seem popular need to investigate! thanks for the tip!
    Mascara for some reason is something i just never got into, hmm prob bc severe lack of lashes!

  32. thanks jade i think im going to try that next!

  33. thanks for the tip Faye i love the dolly wink liquid liner but the pencil sounds too smudgey for me i love very clean lines i can smudge them myself if i want but i dont like that for work
    the bad gal did not work for me after hour 4 im going to try ysl next i think!

  34. REALLY? i have seen that in stores but never picked it up i may have a look the next time maybelline is on sale, thanks girl!

  35. hello lola!!! yes the UD did not work me, grrrrrr and yes I apply eye primer every single day! :) thanks for your link!!

  36. i actually lined my waterline everyday for like yrs then since working stopped for like yrs i have only picked it up again recently! lol usually for work i just line my waterline with a nude pencil to look awake!

  37. OHHHHHHHHHHHH thanks for the tip i have not seen them yet as NYX is a little hard to find but next time i see em i will look for them!! thank u!

  38. REALLY????? they seem to be a new favorite!!!! must see what the hype is about!

  39. oh i wanted the smudge sticks in sting ray? but i heard they give u so little product :(
    I think im going to wait for the sale, but its on my list!!!

  40. wow what a great overview of your collection! We share the same goal- a liner that would simply stay put! Like I said I don't use eye pencils because I know 90% of the time it will smudge on me - regardless what pencil it is... I prefer using shadow as liners and liquid types :)

  41. Hey there, I read your interesting article of lasting eyeliners. I have quite greasy eyes and high cheekbones, so within a few hours, my bottom eyeliner always ends up down my cheeks! Was wondering how you were getting on with the Benefit and YSL?? Ange

  42. I also wear eyeliner on my waterline and have tried a million from many different ranges...the best one so far is definitely Revlon Colorstay! No joke. Lasts all day on my waterline (as well as upper lashline) with no smearing/smudging/migration/raccoon eyes. Maybelline Unstoppable is also great. Both are retractable pencils.
    Have tried many of the hyped brands at Sephora including UD 24/7 and MUFE Aqua Eyes and had bad experiences with all - stick with these drugstore brands and let me know what you think!

  43. Was just about to comment but Marrissa has beaten me to it.
    Revlon Colorstay!

  44. i have all the same issues! have you settled on a pencil liner that won't smudge for tightlining oily monolids??

  45. Hi There, I know this is an old post, but I'm on my eternal search for a waterline eyeliner, pencil or gel, I don't mind as long as it stays! The best I have found are Makeup Atelier gel and Inglot gel, which may be helpful to you, but I wondered a year on if you had any other recommendations? Thanks! I have a you tube channel btw if you want to check out who is asking the question hehe, beauty of course on the channel :0)


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