Just before summer started (and before E&N was born), a friend reached out to me- she had suddenly become sensitive or allergic to our beloved Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. A tragedy!! So she was wondering if I had any other liquid liners that I liked. Truth is, I was so devoted to the KVD, I hadn’t even bothered to try anything else. So, since I was about due for a fresh liner anyway, I set out on a quest to discover new liquid eyeliners! I mean, come on, my arm didn’t need to be twisted that hard.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper is ride or die. It is holy grail. It is the best liquid eyeliner to have ever existed. Why is it so great? Two things: the formula is bulletproof, and the unique brush applicator is so easy to use. It gives you a perfect delicate flick on the end of your wing. I’ve heard rumors of dupes out there, but I really believed nothing would live up. This summer, I tried three low end and two high end liners, hoping to find the next best one. The TL;DR version is that all of these liners are fine- great even- and yes! I have a new favorite I’m reaching for daily that might surprise you!!
Here are my thoughts on these puppies, in no particular order:
One of my favorite YouTubers, Claire Marshall, swears by this eyeliner so much, I’ve seen her buy several at once just to be sure she is not without it. It’s pretty good! It has a felt tip applicator, which is somewhat (but not too) flexible. It is easy to apply, the color is opaque, and it lasts all day without transferring. The packaging includes a nice little grippy spot so it doesn’t slip out of your hands. I say this is a perfectly fine eyeliner. I don’t reach for it every day, but when I do, I think “this is a perfectly fine eyeliner”. The only challenge I had with it was tracking it down- only one of the CVS stores on my side of town carries it.
This is a great Monday eyeliner. I know, there’s a meme going around about not applying liquid liner if you’re in a hurry, but I disagree- a liquid line and a bold lip can be a 3 minute face that looks like you actually tried. This liner also has a felt tip, but it’s longer and wigglier. This actually helps it to be super fool-proof and easy to use- you just lay it down on your lid, swipe it to the outside a bit, and boom. Done. The formula is a little thinner and less dramatic, which is great for daytime, but also means it fades a bit as the hours drone on. It does not transfer or flake, though, so again, fine for a Monday. I reached for this one a lot after I first got it, but it started to dry out within about a month of regular use.
Swatching this liner on my hand in the store, I was instantly enamored- the pigment is SO BLACK! I have had good luck with other Tarte products, so this one came home with me. First of all, this is a dual ended liner- it has liquid on one side, and a mechanical pencil on the other. Handy! But… with all this included, it actually changes the length and weight of the packaging- this thing is super tricky to maneuver! You know how hard it is to write with a comically large pen? Like that. Also, the product is SUPER MOTIVATED to come out of the felt tip applicator. So much so, I’ve even had it blob onto my lower lid. It’s also quite inky, and can really feather. If you use a light hand and hold your breath the whole time you have it near your face, it is really pretty and lasts all day, but I find it so stressful to use, that I don’t go for it too often.
You all know how much I adore Urban Decay, so when they reformulated and relaunched their Perversion liquid liner this summer, I was all over it- it’s possible I ordered it before I even got out of bed the day it launched. This, I expected, would be my new holy grail. It seemed to be a perfect replica of the KVD- same size, same shakey ink cartridge inside, same size tip. Sadly, though, the tip is a felt tip, not a brush, and a super hard one at that! Like, it can poke you if you’re not careful. Once you get used to the applicator, it goes on ok. It’s not my favorite. It looks great, though, and lasts all day. And the next day. Seriously, this stuff is IMPOSSIBLE to get off. Cleansing oil, makeup remover, facial cleansers… I have almost started crying in the bathroom late at night when I can’t get this off and I just want to go to bed!! Sometimes I will use this on top of one of my easier to apply options, just to add to staying power, but again, it is reserved for long, loooooong days.
Fact: I had no idea this would even be in the running, much less become my favorite. A casual side-comment about this liner being a KVD clone on a YouTube video perked my ears up, and had me scouring my side of town to find it. They sell it at Ulta, but not in the shade I wanted (Ultra Black). Walgreens and Target seem to have stopped carrying this brand. Ok- side tangent here- did you guys know that some Bed Bath & Beyonds sell MAKEUP?!? Mine does!! And it’s great! Not only did I find this liner in the shade I wanted (and all the other shades), it’s every day price ($8.79) is like $2 cheaper than everywhere else. I also picked up a mascara and some shampoo while I was there. Who knew?!
Aside from the budget-friendly price, the most exciting thing about this liner is that is has the same type of fine brush applicator as the KVD. I felt like running a victory lap around my house when I opened it up. But then… my heart sank as I swatched it on my hand- the formula was really thin and not very opaque. The next morning, I decided to shake it up and give it a go anyway, and much to my shock and delight, found that IT IS THE BEST. I don’t know what changed from my hand to my face, but this eyeliner is ACES. The thin formula and brush applicator make it super easy to get a clean line without much effort. THIS IS THE DUPE I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR. I have been reaching for it daily, on weekends, on no makeup days, fancy dress nights, you name it.
If history has taught me anything, it is that any products I love end up being discontinued, so I should by 72 tubes of it now.
Did I miss one that you love? Let me know in the comments! I bought these all with my own dumb money so I feel obligated to continue rotating through them all. I thought you should know in case you see me in a ball crying with a clean face but that UD eyeliner still looking fly.