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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review: L'Oreal Infallible 24H Lacquer Liner and Infallible 16H Eyeliner

There are SO MANY new products hitting the drugstores lately that it's a bit overwhelming trying to cover even a small portion of them. So when I was shopping a few weeks ago, I decided to purchase BOTH of the new L'Oreal Infallible liners and do a little compare/contrast with them. I hope this helps you to determine which one might be a better fit for you and your liner needs.

Also, with summer here, there's no better time test long-wear eyeliners, right?

 L'Oreal 24HR Infallible Never Fail Lacquer Liner in Dark Slate (retail: around $9.99, 0.08 oz)
L'Oreal 16HR Infalliable Never Fail Eyeliner in Slate (retail: around $8.99, 0.008 oz)

These products are not yet on the L'Oreal website, but according to the Target website, the Lacquer Liners come in five shades. I'm unable to determine how many shades the automatic liner comes in because the Target site doesn't have the color I purchased, Slate, available. So I'm guessing there's five shades of the automatic liner as well (but I could be wrong).

click to enlarge:

Both liners are paraben-free, and it's interesting to note that the first or second ingredient in both liners is cyclopentasiloxane, which is a very popular ingredient in many face primers (such as Smashbox, Hard Candy, etc.):

Let's take a closer look at each liner:

L'Oreal 24HR Infallible Never Fail Lacquer Liner in Dark Slate

This liner comes in a traditional pot and it comes with a (very good) brush.

I'm serious when I say that this a very good brush. In fact, it rivals my e.l.f. Small Smudge Brush, which is my favorite brush of all time for applying gel liners. The L'Oreal brush is not like the first generation brushes that came with drugstore gel or cream liners--this one is of high quality and very soft. It's got a fine point for really getting deep down between your lashes, and it's firm yet not too firm, enabling you to create a nice smooth, clean line. You can also draw a very precise, thin line with this brush, if that's more your taste.

A closer look at the pencil:

L'Oreal 16HR Infalliable Never Fail Eyeliner in Slate

This is a standard double-ended automatic liner. On one end is the pencil, and on the other are the sharpener and smudger:


Both shades are of the dark gray/taupe variety. I'd say the gel liner is a truer dark taupe, while the pencil is a bit more of a dark charcoal gray.

Now, I wanted to show you what happened after my typical smudge test (I take my index finger and rub with a good amount of pressure back and forth for about 10 seconds):

Disaster! But I realized that I did my smudge-test too soon. So please note that it takes a few minutes for both of these liners for set. 

So I drew two NEW lines, waited a few minutes and here's the result:

Both liners held up pretty well, right?

So now I'd like to show you some before-and-afters on my own eyes.



Notice how I was able to achieve a nice, clean line with the L'Oreal Lacquer Liner and accompanying brush. I also was able to wing out my liner a bit, which is really easy to do with this brush:




Boo! This liner transfered and smeared for me in about six hours, but I waited two more hours before I took these pictures. What really bums me out is that I didn't even apply this liner to my lower lashline and you can see the smudges in that region. I'll talk more about this at the end of my review, but let's just say this really made me sad because I didn't even do anything terribly strenuous this day (I didn't walk a lot in the heat or anything like that).





More smudging and transferring, but it's harder to see because I accidentally applied mascara to my bottom lashes for this test (oops!). But I made sure, for BOTH of these liners, that I wore a mascara that I know for a fact does not smear or transfer on my skin, even in hot weather.

Also, if you notice in the "before" pics, I also applied this liner to my waterline. But as you can see below, it didn't hold up well in that regard:

For the record, I have NEVER had good luck with L'Oreal liners, or L'Oreal mascaras for that matter. I'm convinced that there's a particular ingredient in L'Oreal liners and mascaras that doesn't agree with the natural oils in my skin, and that's why, for literally decades now, every single L'Oreal liner and mascara I have ever used ends up smearing, smudging and transferring on my eyes.

But let's put all that aside and focus on how I think these might work for YOU:

LACQUER LINER: The formula of this liner is DIVINE. I love love love it. It's got a cushiony feel to it when you dip your brush into the pot, and it's easy to pick up just the right amount to successfully line each eye without having to go back to the pot multiple times. I love the ease of use of this liner, and I think it would be great for both gel liner experts and newbies because it's extremely user-friendly. It feels like a high-end gel liner, and I think the color payoff of Dark Slate is wonderful. This line takes a few minutes to set, so you've got plenty of time to go back over your lines if needed. I've heard that, on others, this liner has incredible staying-power, so again, it could just be me and my weird chemistry that's making this liner run and transfer. I've got very oily skin and I've tested this a number of ways (applying eye primer first, applying it to bare skin, applying it over face primer, setting it with setting powder, etc.) and every time I do, it transfers and smudges for me in about six hours. I'm really sad about this because it's such a luxurious formula and a joy to apply. But for me, this one's a cold-weather-only liner.

AUTOMATIC LINER: Automatic liners are my favorite types of eyeliners and, thus, I've tried a zillion of them over the years. This one is absolutely average in my book--not terrible but not out-of-this-world. This liner has a drier consistency. It's definitely not the creamiest automatic liner I've ever used (that award goes to Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Automatic Liners, which are my holy grail automatic eyeliners). This liner can tug a tiny bit during application, but its dry consistency is also what makes it hold up better on my oily skin vs. the Lacquer Liner. But the thing is, I'd deal with the drier texture of this liner if it meant stellar staying power, but that's not the case for me. So I'd rather stick with the Physicians Formula automatic liners because those feel like gel pencils that glide across the lids effortlessly and they have great staying power. Also, I wish this one would last longer on my waterline, but that's not the case.

FINAL VERDICT: Considering all factors here, I'd say that L'Oreal 24H Infallible Lacquer Liner is the one to get if you're contemplating a purchase. Granted, it didn't hold up even close to 24 hours on my oily skin, but I told you before that I've never had good luck with L'Oreal liners, so this didn't surprise me. HOWEVER, don't let my results sway you into not making a purchase, because I've heard from many readers who say this liner holds up all day and night for them. Also consider that the texture of this liner is absolutely fabulous and, combined with the excellent accompanying brush, you should really enjoy the experience of using the product. As for the Infallible Automatic liner? I say skip it. There are better automatic liners out there that don't have the dry consistency that this one has. There's just nothing stand-out about this automatic liner that would make me feel like I could justify a purchase.

As I always say, if you're on the fence about a purchase, buy this product at Walgreens, CVS or Rite Aid and keep your receipt. All three of these drugstore chains accept returns and exchanges on USED products, so you've got nothing to lose if they don't work out for you.

Have you tried either of these new liners from L'Oreal? Thoughts?


  1. Thanks for the review G! This was sooo helpful, considering that I'm a liner junkie, and would have 100% purchased these both. But now that I see your review, I totally will not be buying!

    Also, I have & love those Physicans Formula eyeliners that you mentioned. They used to be my fave, too. But then I discovered Maybelline Master Drama eyeliner. It's seriously the best eyeliner I have ever used. It's super, super creamy but stays on for the entire day, even on my waterline, and in the 100 degree heat. You MUST try them!!

    And once again G, thanks again for all that you do. You are simply amazing!


    1. You are so sweet, Aly! Thanks so much for that. :)

      Even though the gel liner didn't have incredible staying power for me, I still think it's worth a shot! The formula is amazing to work with, and you might have better luck with the staying power than I did!

      Thanks so much for the tip about the Maybelline liner. You KNOW I love Maybelline, and I honestly don't know why I haven't tried that one yet!

  2. Ordinarily, I am a pencil and liquid brush eyeliner gal all the way but, I am in LOVE with this gel liner. I hated the one from ELF and WnW and just gave up on them. I had to dip into the pot multiple times.

    But, I read great reviews on another site and I'm so glad I gave it a go. The brush indeed is fabulous. I'd been using the straight angled brush previously and those just did not work! The ELF smudge brush is just sitting in my drawer - thanks for the heads up on using this as eyeliner brush!

    1. So glad to hear this is working out for you!

      And yeah...I have NEVER been able to use angled liner brushes...they just do NOT work with the shape of my eyes, so i'm glad i'm not alone with that! PLEASE let me know what you think of the elf small smudge brush when you try it! I think you might love it! :)

  3. I tried the automatic liner in Navy, and I wasn't overly impressed. The color payoff was somewhat lacking for me, and, while I didn't notice smudging, it clearly faded quite a bit throughout a full workday. I ended up swapping it away not too long ago.

    1. Aw man, i'm sorry to hear you didn't have luck with it either. :( Thanks for sharing, and I hope you have better luck with the gel (if you try it!).

  4. The ELF smudge brush is my favorite liner brush as well, not only does it do a fantastic job of putting the liner where I want, without it going where I don't, it's soft and rounded so it doesn't poke me in the eye when I tightline and it cleans really well.

    I have to agree there have been soooo many new products in the drugstore this year.. and even better there have been so many fantastic products. It really has been the "year of the drugstore". Shame these smudged/wore off on you.. I believe we have similar skin. I'll stick with my Maybelline gel. I also really like Rimmel kohl for the waterline, I cannot wear anything waterproof, it drives my eyes nuts, and the Rimmel does last all day for me (with some fading, but it's still there). Always looking for something better that does not hurt my eyes though if anyone has any suggestions.

    1. Soooo glad to hear you love the elf small smudge brush too, and I agree with everything you said about it! That baby is worth five times its price to me. :)

      My holy grail eyeliner for the waterline and the ONLY liner that's ever lasted 8 hrs+ on my water line is the Palladio liner. You can check my review under the Holy Grails section of my blog on the right hand sidebar for details, if you're interested (I list all my favorite liners there.).

    2. Aha, I have loved everything I have tried so far from Palladio, but have yet to try those. The eye crayons are wonderful, and their eye primer is my favorite of every one I have tried (ELF, TFSS, UDPP). I just picked up an eyeshadow quad the other day, will have to go back and grab a liner to try. Thank you for the recommendation, I would have not thought to try it. I have sooo many liners that just sit in a drawer, because they kill on the waterline and I hardly ever wear liner on top of the lashline.... but I can't bring myself to toss them because I've spent so much money on them.

    3. I just wanted to thank you soooo much for the Palladio liner recommendation. I picked up the brown one a few days ago and it is amazing. Not only does it stay exactly where I put it on my wl/tl ALL day, it does not hurt my eyes. I've tried so many, even the really expensive ones, and this blows them all out of the water. Every creamy liner I have ever tried has killed my eyes, some so badly I had to remove them immediately- I can't even feel this. I will be going back asap to pick up every shade, just wish they had a green one. I have to try more of their products, so far every single one has been amazing and they are inexpensive as well... I don't know why they are such a big secret, you never hear anyone talk about them.

  5. Now that the PF is on sale, it's time to get those shimmer strips automatic liners in Nude! Retractable taupe e/l, here I come.

    1. Yes!! I think I'll be getting a backup myself, m'dear! ;)

    2. Went a little crazy with the sale and got 6 things! Swatched the liners and they seem awesome. I think I'll have to return the age defying powder you reviewed (in blue metallic case), though-- "translucent" is too dark for my skin! =O

  6. Thank you for the review, I was debating on whether if I should try these. How many shades were you able to find and where did you find them? The only place I have seen them is at my Shopko. They have about four or five shades on the displace.

    I have tried the Physician Formula shimmer strip automatic eyeliners and really enjoyed them. Last week I have found them and the eye booster eyeliner BOGO at my Target. I went to check at my Supper Target and it did not have this deal so I don't know if the deal is just at select location.

    1. You're welcome!

      I found the liners at Rite Aid, and they were in a large counter display along with the new shades of Infallible eyeshadows. I believe there were five shades of gel liners, but don't quote me on that!

      I posted about those PF BOGOs at Target about a month ago (I think?) so that's probably why you didn't see them at your Super probably caught the tail end of the promotion and your Super Target probably sold through their inventory by the time you got there.

  7. Oh, man, I have the same problem with L'Oreal... I honestly don't think I have a single L'Oreal product that doesn't induce oil production in my skin, except for lippies. The Bare Naturale foundation would last two hours before turning my face into an oil slick, and even the Infallibles crease pretty quickly. :/ IDEK how I'd figure it out, but I'd be curious to know the mysterious ingredient...

    1. You are the first and only reader ever to tell me you have this issue too! I wish I could hug you right now because, with all the raves about L'oreal liners and mascaras over the years, I was seriously beginning to feel like a freak for not having the same results as everyone else!! So thank you! :)

      I actually don't have this problem with their shadows...the infallible shadows and HIP shadows both work great for me, but i'm so sorry they don't for you!

      Now that I think about it, do you remember those jumbo automatic HIP pencils from a few years ago? Those worked great for me too, but of course they were promptly discontinued. Lol!

      What IS that mystery ingredient??

    2. Hi, I have to poke in, I have too problems with Loreal mascaras and liners, I have always had that. I have tried couple ones but smudgin is so bad that I gave up. I bought couple months true match foundation (it promised super-blendable effect, I thought it was super-painfull to blend ;) ) and after couple hours my face looked like after oil shower (and I have dry skin) and it had funky discoloring; my forehead was ashy-greeny with cheekbones and rest of face was yellow, I was little horrified when I saw :D Tried with other moisturizers and without and always same result. I love their lippies, have always loved them, but others well... I leave them in counters .

  8. Please try this little cheap beauty supply gem by Ruby Kisses its their HD gel liner in Rich Black i have tried wet n wild that was ok, black radiance cream liner that was better for me than the wet n wild, i have very very oily eyelids and the Ruby kisses hold up on my lash line its stays for while on my waterline too, so check this out ladies

  9. Great review, I have been on the hunt for a great long wearing liner, particularly for the waterline but it just seems like that is a never ending search. I thought about getting these but smudging is no bueno in my book! haha Any others you might suggest?

  10. Nice review. I, too, never have luck with L'Oreal eye products. For me, I'm allergic. My eyes will be red and itchy in a minute after applying their mascara.

  11. Hi G! I just saw the gel liner display yesterday and took pics for you incase you hadn't seen them yet, lol. I looked at the color you picked up. Looks pretty! I'll be checking those out for sure! Great review!

  12. I will definitely have to try the PF liner!

    I, too, have tried every liner under the sun, and the only one that wears well for me is the Sephora brand retractable waterproof eyeliner. It's an automatic pencil, and although I can only vouch for the black, it is my holy grail! It stays on, even through an intense workout at the gym.

  13. Great review, thank you G! I have you to thank for my love of PF Shimmer Strips eyeliners. They are my HG too...I buy the set for blue eyes and I adore the blue/black one. I wish they sold it by itself, but it's okay, I just don't go through the other two as quickly (brown and blue).

  14. L'oreal eye products also don't agree with me. Their wp mascara smudges on me within a couple of hours. But I was still thinking about trying the gel liner because of 24hr claim. Must remember that what they claim is just their claim... :(

  15. The Lacquer liner is a dupe for the YSL gel liner, right down to the packaging! Owning both, I can say that there's not much difference between the two, although I know L'Oreal owns YSL beauty.


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