When I first started wearing makeup regularly, eyeliner was something I skipped. I couldn't figure it out. It's likely 90% of my lack of skill was due to the fact that the one eyeliner I owned was a 99 cent black one from New York Color, which is not a stellar example of eyeliner, but also because I had only ever seen people apply eyeliner with their eyes closed, and I couldn't figure that out. Eventually, I decided to give eyeliner another go, using a fine brush and a dark purple cream shadow from some discount brand at the dollar store. Those shadows were actually amazing - I read about them in some Canadian teen fashion magazine that was published quarterly in the early 2000s that I cannot remember the name of, and neither can the internet, so they were legitimate enough for me to feel safe in forking over my $3.45 to buy them. After several months of this, I decided to try a real eyeliner. Armed with my allowance and some of my mother's Shoppers Optimum points, I marched across the main drag and into the Shoppers where I picked up a couple of different eyeliner pencils. Probably Maybelline and Rimmel, and I seem to remember a Covergirl one from back then too. I was determined to smudge some black eyeliner on my eyes. And after an afternoon of practice, I figured out how to line my eyes with my eyes open, as demonstrated in this post.
And that ushered in a love of eyeliner. This love was intensified once I found my very favourite eyeliner formula, which remains so to this day: the Urban Decay 24/7 pencil liners. They're creamy, easy to work with, don't drag on my eyelid, and stay put on me. I don't line my waterline ever, so these opinions are strictly for the lashline.
I have branched out a little recently: I got a sample of the Kat von D Tattoo liquid liner and fell in love. I tracked down the Physician's Formula dupe and have been using that almost every day since October. The Sephora Contour pencil liners have a formula very similar to the Urban Decay ones that I love and are half the price. I love my one pot of gel liner from Colourpop, but am much less enamoured with their pencil liners.
I bounce back and forth from using one workhorse liner every day (like right now) and using a different colour every day. Since I've stopped wearing eyeshadow, I like to use a swipe of coloured liner to liven up my look but still keeping it simple. I've been fortunate in accumulating a lot of different colours: the bulk of my collection is Urban Decay liners, and they come from two sets. I picked up the Black Market set of liners for my birthday when they were out in 2013. They're a set of six deluxe size eyeliners in blackened colours. All of the arm swatches in this inventory make them look terrible, but I swear they aren't.
The other big win was scoring the Ocho Loco 2 set for $30. One solitary Urban Decay liner is $25 now, and I think they were $23 back then. Either way, I read about it on Reddit and then skipped over to Sephora and ordered. It's a set of 8 full sized liners, plus a sharpener. This probably remains the most amazing beauty deal I have ever scored.
Because of these two sets, I haven't bought a lot of other liners. I've had a few find their way into my hands via Sephora perks and birthday gifts, and a few I've purchased on sale or to try a new formula.
I haven't really reviewed any liners on here, surprisingly, but I'll link to the couple of reviews I know I have kicking around.
- Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in Blacquer (deluxe sample)
- NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Via Veneto (deluxe sample)
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Black Market (mini)
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Crave
- Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Deep Brown
- Colourpop Creme Gel Pencil in Show Me
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in West (mini)
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Twice Baked
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Roach
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Riot (mini)
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Tornado
- Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in Snakeskin Dress
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Mars
- Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in Summer Cruise
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Deep End
- Colourpop Creme Gel Pot in DTLA
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Ultraviolet
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Ink (mini)
- Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in My Boyfriend's Jeans
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the state of my eyeliner collection. I do want to cut down the number of black liners I have, because really, how many do you need? The Marc Jacobs and the NARS aren't my preferred formula - both are a little too stiff and draggy - but are minis and should be easy enough to finish. I just cracked open a new tube of the Physician's Formula liner because my original ones was drying up/almost finished, so I think it's safe to say that's now a staple. I have bought more eyeliners than usual in the last year, but as long as I keep in mind that I have a really great selection of colours that I can work with, I should stay on this side of sane when it comes to liners.
And only tangentially related: but eyeliners officially have the longest, most obnoxious names in all of makeup.