Monday, May 19, 2014

Swatches and mini-reviews of all my retractable/automatic eyeliners

Disclosure: This post contains some Amazon affiliate links.
This is another one of those posts that is the result of my swatching all of the products I own in a certain category in order to determine if I want to keep them all. I'll write a more detailed post in the near future about how I decide what's working and what's not, since I'll be moving in a couple of months, and so I'm try to sort through my hoard and do away with things I don't need. For now, here are swatches of all the retractable eyeliner pencils I own. There weren't as many as I thought before I pulled them all out! But still too many, in general.

Oops, not the best camera setting. They are all quite straight in reality.
I swatched most of my regular pencil liners (i.e. the type you have to sharpen) a while back. As a rule, twist-up liners are stiffer and/or don't set as well as pencil types (for the reasons outlined here - scroll down to #4). Some of these retractable liners are just as good as some of my pencil liners, though.

On to the swatches!

Swatches (left to right) of: ULTA Automatic Eye Liner in Golden Eyes (wearing it in this post) Avon Glow Eye-liner in Copper Paradise Jordana Easyliner in Eggplant ULTA Smokey Eyes Automatic Eye Liner in Cobalt (wearing it in this post) Stila Smudge Stick in Blue Ribbon ULTA Automatic Eye Liner in Teal Blue Essence Long-Lasting Eye Pencil in Tu-Tu-Turquoise Milani Liquif'Eye in Green NYX Retractable Eye Liner in Gray

Swatches (left to right) of:

Though the gold liner looks like it has glitter in it in the swatch, it's really just a smooth metallic. The coppery Avon liner has just a touch of metallic sheen to it. The Stila liner has a very fine silver glitter throughout that doesn't show up too much when applied to the eye - just enough to stop it from being flat. The only one with actual chunks of glitter in it is the Essence liner, which means I'm not a fan of it (somewhat like this NYX eyeliner), even though it is very opaque and easy to use.

The softest, and therefore easiest to apply and blend/smudge, are the ULTA gold liner, the Stila liner, the Essence liner, and the Avon one. The stiffest and hardest to use are the Milani and Jordana ones (same company!). Below are a couple of photos of the Milani green liner on my actual eye. Even with the fairly shitty lighting in these photos, I think you can see how patchy and uneven it is. This was after a few attempted layers. It's really fucking hard to get it onto my face.

Milani Liquif-Eye in Green
Milani Liquif-Eye in Green
Milani Liquif-Eye in Green
Milani Liquif-Eye in Green
The others are somewhere in between in terms of performance. Price doesn't seem to correspond to quality - while the Stila is one of the best, there are equally good ones at lower prices. And this is a small sample size, anyway, since I only have one expensive eyeliner of this type to compare.

So I think I am going to ditch the Essence and Milani pencils, though for different reasons. I'm torn on the Jordana one. I like the color, but it's a bit of a pain in the ass to use and it wears off more easily than most of the others.

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