The reason this may be the last of the series is that I do believe I've found my perfect pencil liner, which I'll save for last. =)
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil: I was fully expecting to love this, given all the rave reviews and attention it receives, but it just didn't work for me. Application was great, but apart from that, it didn't meet most of the other qualifications. I lost quite a bit of pigment to the back of the curler, and had considerable transfer to my almost-crease area. Staying power was good, though, and the shape of the line really held up. But I can't forgive the amount lost to the curler, and these also seemed to be a bit high ($24) for such little product (.04 oz).
Milani Liquif'eye Pencil: Better than the Bobbi Brown, and way cheaper too! Some of the liner came off on my Shu, and there was a bit of smudge beneath my brows, but both were fairly minimal. My biggest issue here is with the staying power, as the pigment definitely got lighter as the day wore on, and before 9 hours of wear was even up, the line was considerably smudgier than it originally was. Color selection is poor as well, since Milani only do these liners in three different colors. Overall, it's not a bad option if you're looking for a cheap eyeliner, but it's definitely not good enough to win the smackdown!
Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Liner: (Not pictured--sorry!). Mally was a brand I hadn't even heard of until emilynoel83 from YouTube started talking about the products in her videos. Emily rates this eyeliner as one of the best for being long-wearing, so I ordered one online (was almost overwhelmed by all the color choices, by the way) and couldn't believe my experience with it. This eyeliner is without a doubt, my least favorite of the bunch and might be the worst of all the liners I've tried on this hunt. Application is kind of rough as the pencil is harder than most, and definitely takes a bit more effort to get on. Once I had lined my eyes, though, I had high hopes seeing as the liner was perfectly dry. Gave it my customary wait, went in with the curler, and was horrified to have to peel my Shu away from my lashes. And then I saw it--the entire missing strip of my eyeliner, right by my lashline, which is the worst possible place to lose pigment. I tried to go back and fix it, but my now curled lashes made it difficult, and on top of that, this pencil doesn't seem to like going over itself. (But it's not as bad as Urban Decay 24/7 in that department). Smudging wasn't too bad, and it held up well--so there you go, Emily!--but I can't get past the missing line by my lashes. Sharpening it well and giving it to a friend!
|Believe me, that gap is much more noticeable in real life.|
Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Eye Enhancing Liner: These came in a pack of three with color suited to enhance brown eyes (what a gimmick), and are completely middle of the road. Not as bad as Mally, not as good as the Milani, these skinny pencils are just ehhhh. Application was fine, and I think I prefer the smaller diameter, but that was the only notably positive thing about these. I got some smudging, but not a lot, and the curler lifted off pigment to the point where the liner looked a little faded--but no noticeable gaps. Pigmentation wasn't great, either, as I did have to build up the color to get the intensity I wanted. They wore alright through the day, but towards the end of the night, the liner started fading in a very patchy way. These pencils simply aren't worth the money (especially as PF is one of the more expensive drugstore brands)
|Left to right: Milani, Bobbi Brown, Mac, Physician's Formula|
MAC Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner: Behold the winner! I'm kind of surprised by this, because a) apart from their eyeshadows, I don't have too much faith in MAC makeup, and b) apparently, this is not one of their popular liners (it's actually listed last online). Most people love Chromographic or Eye Kohl, but I had gone to the counter and asked for something that would stay put, and was pointed towards this. Strangely enough, this isn't even MAC's most long-wearing liner! Their Powerpoint one is marketed as waterproof and non-transfer, and Pearlglide makes none of those claims. But I love it. Application is nice and smooth (almost along the lines of Make Up For Ever), the pencil is very pigmented, and even if I don't wait for the eyeliner to "set", there's very little to no product on the back of my Shu. Yes, sometimes the curler lifts away completely clean--with no waiting time! I do get some smudging beneath my brows, but I had a little of that with all of them, so have resigned myself to a life of wiping at my non-existent crease. Even at the very end of my day, if I've had my makeup on for over 15 hours, the perfect shape of the line is still there, with only a bit of the color intensity fading. MAC does this liner in 7 shades, and I'm absolutely in love with Designer Purple--a bright, glittery eggplant. My one complaint is that I seem to be going through the pencil particularly quickly (probably a byproduct of sharpening) but that might be because it's now my everyday liner and a product I've come to rely on. Plus they come in such fun colors--am thinking I need to try the bright teal next. And while I do love the sparkly liner, I do wish MAC would make some matte colors in the Pearlglide formula, just for some variety.
Obviously the Pearlglide isn't 100% perfect, but it's close enough to make me very happy (and keep my Shu clean!) so I'll call off my pencil liner search for now. I don't feel the need to pursue that particular cosmetic product anymore, with maybe the exception of giving MAC Powerpoint a whirl.
But we'll see. I'll keep you posted!
(And if you have any Smackdown post requests, just ask!)
Hope you're well!