I first mentioned this curious little pencil in my Beauty Cravings post, and raved about how this ingenious thing is a gel eyeliner in the form of a pencil. Shu Uemura's gel liner is supposed to be incredible, but I've never tried it mostly because I don't have the patience for gel liner in the mornings. (If it requires two hands and a separate brush, I just won't do it). I like to think of this product as a testament to the innovative folks at Shu Uemura for putting their cult favorite gel formula into the signficiantly easier to use pencil.
As a longtime Shu fan, any time I try a subpar product from their range I'm disappointed on a different level. I had such high hopes for this gel pencil liner to be something extraordinary, so it stings a little more that it falls so short.
If this is the same gel formula that their cult favorite gel liner is made of, I have no idea how it's gotten to be so popular. The color itself is a stark black, but that's one of the two notably positive things about this product. The pencil feels very hard and tugs on my eyelid, and I have to go over a few times to get a rich line, so the pigmentation is clearly missing the mark. Worst of all, though, there isn't much longevity to this product--the liner never actually "sets" so you can rub it off at any time (and it claims to be smudge-proof!). The formula tends to rub off by itself anyway, but it doesn't transfer to my creases or lower lash-line which is surprising since almost every other liner I own does.
The eyeliner's redemption, which is the one thing preventing this from being a waste of money, is that it's excellent for tightlining. For those who don't know what that is, The Beauty Department has a terrific post explaining all about it. Something about the formula allows it to really last on my upper waterline, but not my lower one (or maybe that has something to do with my eyes?). On my lower waterline, it tends to wear off in patches very easily, but it stays incredibly well on the upper one. I obviously wouldn't recommend it for anyone who lines their lower waterline, but for invisible eyeliner fans, this is a great discovery. I love the look of tightlining but have never found any pencil to do the job without smudging and transferring to my lower waterline. This one only transfers a little bit and only in one particular area, but it's so minimal (especially in comparison to the other pencils I've used) that I don't mind.
Bottom line: This liner is crap for your eyelids, not great for your lower waterline, but terrific for tightlining your upper waterline. I really wouldn't recommend paying so much money ($24) for such an all-around subpar product, but if you've been on the hunt for the perfect liner to tightline with, it may be worth the price.
I only use this liner to tightline now, which feels like a waste given how versatile eyeliner can be, but because I've been so desperate for a good tightliner it doesn't feel like a waste of money.
Hope you're all well and that you didn't miss me too much (if at all) while I was gone!
It feels so good to be blogging again!