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Okay, maybe "lackluster" is a little harsh, but I have a hard time resisting alliteration. The fact is that this eyeliner is fine, but since I've so often heard that it's THE BEST and since it costs $22, I was hoping for better than fine.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is felt-tip liquid liner that works like a marker, with the "ink" wicking up through the tip. This style of liquid liner is less messy than some other formats, but the downside, in my experience, is that the tip can get clogged or not flow immediately. If you apply your eyeliner after your eyeshadow, which you need to do to get the cleanest, crispest line, then it can pick up the product below and prevent the liquid from flowing properly. I also find that, even though I store the eyeliner vertically with the cap down, if I try to draw a line on my eye immediately after uncapping it, it's usually a little weak. I have to scribble on the back of my hand a little to really get the product flowing.
The other problem I tend to have with this style of eyeliner--and this applies to all the brands I've tried--is that the tip wears down quickly and becomes sort of floppy, which prevents drawing a perfectly sharp point. You can see that in the photo below, my wing is not "pointy enough to kill a man." It was the best I could get out of it after using this pen for a few months (though only a couple of times a week). The tip of this particular eyeliner also tends to end up with long fibers clinging to the end of it, which are part of the material of the tip. I have to pick them off with my fingers, making a mess of my fingertips. And it's hard to clean up (see below). On the plus side, I've been using it for months now, and it hasn't shown any signs of drying up.
The Black shade is a very dark, opaque, inky black, which is great. It has a little sheen to it--it's not completely matte. It's easy to draw thin or thick lines by varying the pressure. If you go over a line you've already drawn, the product below doesn't get picked up, which is has been a source of frustration for me with eyeliners in the past.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner definitely lives up to its waterproof claim, though not the "stay all day" claim, at least for me. It's very difficult to remove, even with a dual-phase makeup remover. I sometimes use this pen to label swatches I make on my arm, so that when I come back to my photos later, I know what's what. Here's my arm after trying to remove the marks with oil, makeup remover, and soap, AND THEN SHOWERING. I even used a scrubby Salux cloth in the shower, and the eyeliner isn't 100% gone. Maybe I should switch to Sharpie?
So if your main problem with liquid eyeliners is that they smear when your eyes water, that's probably not going to be a problem if you use this one. Unfortunately, despite being difficult to deliberately remove with oil, my oily eyelids devour this stuff just like any other eye makeup. Even with primer. Here's the state of my eyeliner after about 6 hours. And the photo below was taken in the winter, when I wasn't even at my oiliest.
You can see that the oil in my skin has sort of eaten the eyeliner away and caused it to crumble and flake, even though my eyeshadow has survived. The liner has completely disappeared at the outer corner of my eye where my crease dips low (for a clearer image of what I'm talking about, see this post). It still looked okay with my eye open, though the edges of the line had become more jagged and the tip of the wing was no longer sharp.
Overall, it's a decent liquid eyeliner. If I'm going to spend $22, however, I want something spectacular. I can find things that perform just as well as this, if not better, at drugstore prices. My favorite felt tip eyeliner is L'Oreal Lineur Intense ($7-10) (short review here), which I will write a detailed post about once I've used up this Stila liner. I am also curious about the Physician's Formula Lash Boosting eyeliner ($8-12) that Renee at Bad Outfit, Great Lipstick recently reviewed. I've added that one to my wishlist.
What do you look for in a liquid eyeliner? Have you found one that meets all your requirements?