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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can't apply liquid liner? I have SO got you covered!

If you love the look of black liquid liner but you have some issues with applying it, read on!

A traditional liquid eyeliner can take a LOT of precision to get just right. Especially if you're using a liquid liner that has a traditional (bristle) brush. Not only do you need a very steady hand, but the brush itself can hamper your chances of getting a nice, clean line. Also, with traditional liquid liners, you are dipping the brush into a pot of liquid (kind of like when you paint your nails) so the challenge is knowing how much product to put on your brush in order to make a clean, straight line. Sound like too much work? I agree, and it's not something I like to mess with if I'm in a rush to get ready in the morning, that's for sure.

Which is why I am currently loving eyeliner pens. Think of an eyeliner pen as a miniature version of a Sharpie pen. The tip is made of felt, and depending on the brand, it can be VERY forgiving (on first swipe, most eyeliner pens don't deposit as much color as a traditional liquid liner, thus allowing you to build for more intensity and, also, you can easily go over any mistakes to create a clean, smooth line).

So any of you who are reading this, and have eyeliner application issues, might be saying to yourselves, "Cool! I should pick up an eyeliner pen!" And that's where I'm hoping this post might come in handy, because you should know that not all eyeliner pens are created equal, and one might fit your needs better than another.

Today I'm going to show you three of my current favorite black eyeliner pens: Palladio Eye Ink (retail: $6), Wet n Wild Mega Eyes Defining Marker (retail: $3.99), and e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen (retail: $1):

Top: Palladio Eye Ink, Middle: Wet n Wild MegaEyes Defining Marker, Bottom: e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen (all in Black)

As you can see, the tips on each of these pens is different--here are some close-up shots:

Top: Palladio Eye Ink, Middle: Wet n Wild MegaEyes Defining Marker, Bottom: e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen

And here are some swatches of each pen, taken after ONE swipe of each on my hand:

Left: Palladio Eye Ink, Middle: Wet n Wild MegaEyes Defining Marker, Right: e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen

Now here's where the true differences really show! For me, it's as simple as this:

If you are a master of black liquid liner or even just consider yourself "pretty good", the Palladio Eye Ink is the way to go. One swipe and you've got a deep, true black color that lasts. The felt tip is firm but not too firm, and it's easy to control and get a very thin, precise liner. You can also build for more intensity but it's pretty darn intense to begin with. If you already love your traditional black liquid liners, this pen will be a welcome addition to your eyeliner stash. Trust me, I think you'll love it. As far as eyeliner pens go, this is the truest black out there.

If you're OK but not great at applying liquid liner, I suggest going with the e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen. The felt tip on this pen is softer than the Palladio and it has little bit more forgiveness if you need to re-trace your line. The color is not as pigmented as the Palladio pen, so you're going to be left with a softer black, which is also more forgiving if you're not yet a master of the clean line. You can also build for more intensity but no matter how much you apply, you're not going to get the deep, intense black of the Palladio, so it's perfect if you're looking for a slightly softer look.

If you're a beginner in the world of liquid liner and if just the thought of drawing a perfect black line on your lids makes you nervous, get the Wet n Wild MegaEyes Defining Marker ASAP. This pen was made for you, my lovelies! The felt tip is extremely soft and easy to work with, and here's the best part: the color of this liner is such a soft black that even if you mess up (I mean really mess up and make a huge mistake) you can easily go over your mistake to correct it. Because it's such a soft, almost dark-gray black, it's the most forgiving eyeliner pen I've ever used. You literally NEED to go over your line a few times in order to make it dark, so not only are you going to get in a lot of practice with this pen, but you're also going to get better and and better every time you use it.

So there you have it! Three black eyeliner pens for three different levels of skill. Oh, I almost forgot: the staying power of each of these pens is excellent and your liner will last all day if you choose either of them.

You can purchase Palladio products online or at your local Ulta or Sally Beauty. For e.l.f. products, Toma at the MakeupMixShop always has a terrific assortment, and you can also purchase them at your local Target or directly through the e.l.f. website. Wet n Wild products are available at almost every drugstore and big box store across the nation.

So tell me, are you a black liquid liner girl? If so, what's your favorite liner?

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and gratis samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. I actually just picked up the e.l.f waterproof eyeliner pen when I saw them at Target a couple months ago, because I was looking for something easier to apply than a liquid liner with a traditional brush. I absolutely love it, and I'm tempted to pick up the wet n wild one now too.

  2. The Palladio one sounds like one that I could use-- I love pigmented liners. And of course, my e.l.f. pen works like a wonder as well. My first one dried up a bit but I smagged another last month.

    My absolute fave is the e.l.f. liquid eyeliner (for $1!) with the more traditional packaging, not as a pen. Precision is wonderful, great staying power (when you're not on the Journey to Atlantis), and honestly, I didn't need to stick the tip back into the pot. One or two swipes are all I need.

  3. I'm definitely a liquid liner gal. My personal favorite is wet n wild's H2O proof. I've got dry eyes and my eyeballs seem to overcompensate by getting really watery and teary, so I need something seriously waterproof. H2Oproof fits the bill for me; it will not budge or smudge. Some people complain that it's hard to remove, but I think that's what makes it such a great waterproof liner and I have no trouble taking it off with baby oil.

    I've tried a few eyeliner pens: wet n wild, e.l.f., and Jordana. The e.l.f. pen that I had dried out really quickly on me. Also the pen tip on mine was kind of soft and fuzzy to begin with, and splayed out and got fuzzier after a couple of uses. I think mine was defective. Personally, I would've preferred a firmer, harder tip. As you pointed out, the wet n wild one just isn't very pigmented, and I totally agree. I have to say I liked the Jordana one the most. It was very black, cheap ($1.99 at Walgreens), and hasn't dried out on me yet. Unfortunately, none of these pens were waterproof (at all or enough for me), so I only use them when I'm running short errands, and will be out and back to the house quickly.

  4. Thanks for the suggestions! Need to practice w/ liquid liners.

  5. I wish I was a black eyeliner girl, but I never feel like it looks right on me. If these pens come in other colors though, I'm definitely up for considering it!

  6. This is a really cool post :) I haven't tried this type of liner before, but after reading I've determined that the elf one is the most suitable product for me. I'm gonna get it soon!

  7. I love the ELF liquid eyeliner marker! It is so easy to use, and so inexpensive. And it lasts all day! AWESOME product.

  8. Does your liquid liner ever smudge just a bit? I tried wet and wild liquid liner and the Loreal HIP creme liner a while ago and was just put off by both because after just a few minutes the line begin to smudge and run. any tips? maybe its just the brand, but what do you think? Have you ever had that problem?

  9. I use it (sometimes); I have one from NYX that sounds pretty similar to these ones. It is dark brown and not black, though (but they have a black one too).

  10. i LOVE liquid liner. LOVE IT. i used to wear it like an Egyptian in college, some days- out to THERE.

    my fave liners have tended to be the 'inkwell' style ones you mention (where you dip the tip). so far Prestige has not met its match.

    i recently had to buy Maybelline's version as my CVS only restocks the miniscule Prestige display once a year it seems but the Maybelline is far less pigmented and slower to dry. (thankfully i have since found an Ulta that has the full Prestige line.)

    SOO i think what i am saying (in my pre-morning-tea way) is that i will be hitting up Ulta to check for the Palladio liner!
    thanks for a good review (of uber cheap products, yay).

  11. Sandi: So glad you're liking the e.l.f. and I would LOVE to know what you think of the WnW if you pick it up! xo

    Shela: Journey to Atlantis! LOL!!! You always crack me up, love. I'll have to check out the e.l.f. liquid liner one of these days--I think it's the only liner by e.l.f. that I haven't tried yet. I think. xo

    Mimsy: I love a girl who knows exactly what she wants and needs in an eyeliner! lol!! I have to admit that I shy away from any liquid liner that says "waterproof" with the exception of the e.l.f. and it's for the exact reason you mentioned. Those waterproof liquid liners are horrible for me to take off. Do you remember the new Milani liquid liner I reviewed a while back? I think I did a video review of it and my GOSH it was the hardest thing to remove EVER. It just wouldn't come off for me, no matter what I did. I think you should look into those Milani liners if you like waterproof formulas. They come in the most amazing colors! xo

    ndoodles: You're welcome, sweetie! :) xo

    PB: The Palladio pen definitely comes in other colors. You should check 'em out! And I know what you mean about black liner. I can't use black liners either, EXCEPT for when it's liquid and ONLY on the upper lid. I look so bad if I line my entire eye with black--it just looks wrong. lol. :) xo

  12. I always have issues with sharpies like these (I have gotten one from Physician's formula another one from styli style) as they are usually dried out when I use those... I am more comfortable with cake eyeliner since they are already dry. lol.

  13. Ida: Thank you! I would love to know what you think if you end up trying either of the three brands I mentioned! :)

    Marilyn: I TOTALLY agree. :) xo

    shei: Definitely I have that problem--if you read any other eyeliner review on this blog, I think I mention my constant struggle with my liner running and smudging! lol. I feel your pain! But the funny thing is, I rarely experience running with liquid liners--it's usually only with pencils. Have you tried any of these eyeliner pens? They never seem to run for me. But another great liner that NEVER runs for me is ColorStay pencil liners. They are fantastic. Hope that helps!

    Maaike: Oh, thanks for the tip! I have yet to try the NYX eyeliner pen. :)

    beautifulmonday: OMG, like an Egyptian! lol! :) In terms of traditional liquid liners, my fave is still the old school Almay liner that I've been using since the 90s. You know, the Prestige LL is probably the only Prestige product I have yet to try, and only because it doesn't have a safety seal. I'm paranoid, yes, I know. lol. Plus, you're right, it's hard to find those suckers anymore. But now I think I might have to set aside my fears and check 'em out. And if you pick up a Palladio pen, I would LOVE to know what you think, of course. xo

  14. Citrine: You raise some good points, but I think that you'd be pleasantly surprised by the Palladio. It is nowhere near dry, I promise! lol. :)

  15. No but seriously, I was dunked and drenched at Sea World and that liner just couldn't withstand the water. Other than that, it's fool-proof.

    And by the way, I just might bump into you at the Warehouse Sale this weekend. I got an invite =)

  16. I too was terrified of applying liquid lines but ladies, Revlon ColorStay has the BEST eyeliner pen!! You NEED to try it out. Its an intense black with just one swipe and stays for at least 8-9 hours on my ridiculously oily lids but comes off easily with any regular facewash/makeup remover. I've had it for over 6 months now (I dont wear eyeliner everyday) and its working just as well as when I first got it.

  17. R,
    Thanks for the heads up about the Milani liners. I think you must have reviewed it before I discovered your wonderful blog. I just watched the vid and it looks promising ;)

    I've been on an eyeliner kick lately. Now I have 4 liners on my shopping list: elf Studio cream e/l, wnw cream e/l, Milani liquid e/l, and the Maybelline eye studio gel e/l. :)

  18. Shela: Argh! I don't think I'm going to make it up there after all. Darnit! I've just got too many things going on this weekend. :( So you will have to shop till you drop for the both of us! I can't wait to hear all about your haul. xo

    Anu: Would you believe that I have never tried the CS eyeliner pen? I am a HUGE ColorStay fan, but I think that's the one product from this line that I have yet to try. I'm sold! I can't wait to get it now! Thank you! xo

    Mimsy: I'm glad I could help! I reviewed that back when it was a brand new product (which is now a part of their permanent line) and the colors are just stunning. I'd still be using it if it just wasn't so darn difficult for me to remove. But since you're used to WP formulas, I think you are going to LOVE it. Keep me posted? xo

  19. I'll let you know if I do go. Still waiting for the other girls to give me an okay so that we can work out a carpooling plan but if I'm there, you can bet I'll post a follow-up ;)

    XX, Shelly!

  20. I like Wet n Wild MegaEyes Defining Marker, an awesome and fool-proof product to tightline with. It fares well on my oily lids, dries fast, except the tip dries out after a few use while the side still has product. I probably won't buy this again. Thanks for the review!

  21. Great recommendation on the e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner pens! I love these, I have every shade and rarely use anything else.
    Is it crazy that it actually makes me happy to see great bloggers recommending these eyeliners! I was on the fence about liquid liner before these and now other makeup lovers can give them a chance too!!


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