Monday, August 26, 2013

Product Showdown: Best High End Black Eye Pencils for the Waterline


To set the stage, a few weeks ago I decided I wanted to try lining my lower waterline with black liner, like I have seen on many You Tube videos. Now you may think, “Wow, Denise! Get with the program! I have been doing that for ages!!!” Yeah, I know. I guess I am behind the times because I had never tried it on myself. So it was time! I decided to do a product showdown between high end liners and drugstore liners to see what I could find in each category. The lower waterline is really a special area---it’s wet, sensitive and some liners do not “transfer” well onto that area, leaving the color patchy or non existent. My objective was to find a black eyeliner that didn’t smudge, provided a deep, dark color and stayed put on the waterline at least four hours. Today’s showdown is on high end  liner pencils and after I finish testing all of my drugstore finds, I will post about the lower cost liners.

For each of these tests, I used the same eyelid primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion), mascara (Trish McEvoy—upper lashes only), gel liner on upper lid (Bobbi Brown), under eye concealer (Bye Bye Undereye, set with loose powder) and eye shadows that I find to be long lasting (Mac and Wet N Wild). None of these products smear on my eyes.

Mac smolder chanel Ebene MUFE 0L
Top: Mac Smolder
Center: Chanel Ebene
Bottom: MUFE Aqua Eyes 0L

Mac Smolder

I was in Nordstrom when I remembered that Mac had a deeply black eye pencil that I should check out. The SA told me that the Smolder kohl pencil was the only one that was rated for the waterline and that it provides the best coverage and is long lasting. She said that she got about 4 hours of wear out of it and that it was the best on he market. Skeptical that four hours would actually be consider “the best,” I decided to take a chance and purchased it. True to her word, the color was the richest of the three high end pencils I’m reviewing. See below how great it looked when it was applied!

Mac smolder at Application
Mac Smolder upon application

Beautiful, right? Well, unfortunately, after one hour, I had smudging under the both eyes and virtually none of the liner left on my waterline. At four hours, the smudging was significantly worse and at eight, I had black eyeliner deeply down into the troughs of the eyes. For some reason, I am unable to find the pictures. It’s possible I was so disgusted that I didn’t take pictures, LOL! Beautiful pencil, but definitely a fail on the waterline. I will, however, try it on the upper lid and also use it in future smoky eye looks!

Ages of Beauty rating (for lower waterline): zero stars

Chanel Ebene Eye Pencil

This pencil has been in my collection for awhile and I’ve enjoyed wearing it, with good results, on my upper lid. It’s a nice, dark shade of black but not as intense as Mac’s Smolder. The pencil glides easily over the waterline and transfers color easily to that area. See the pictures, below, at application, after 4 hours and after 8 hours.

Chanel Ebene at application
Chanel Ebene at application

Chanel Ebene 4 hrs after application
Chanel Ebene 4 hours after application

After four hours, the Chanel pencil had slight smudging under each eye but nothing too serious. There was still a little bit left on each waterline.

Chanel Ebene 8 hrs after application
Chanel Ebene 8 hours after application

After eight hours, Ebene left significant smudging but no where near as bad as the Mac pencil. the worst of it was on the right eye (the left side of the picture) at the outer corner. In real life, I would have cleaned this up at the first sign of a smudge so this wouldn’t have been that bad after a full day of wear, although it was completely gone from the waterline and definitely would have needed a refresh after four hours.

Ages of Beauty rating (for lower waterline): **

Make Up for Ever Aqua Eyes in 0L

This pencil is part of the famous “Aqua Eyes” line that was supposedly developed for synchronized swimmers. I have many of the cream eye shadows from this collection and they definitely stay put. The color 0L is a slightly muted black, making it the least intense, color-wise, of the three high end pencils I tested. It went on very easily and didn’t pull the skin upon application.

MUFE Aqua Eyes 0L at application
MUFE 0L at application

MUFE Aqua Eyes 0L 4 hrs after application
MUFE 0L 4 hours after application

Four hours after I applied the MUFE pencil, I experienced very minor smudging at the corner of the eyes but there was nothing left on the waterline. Since smudging is the bane of my existence, I was very pleased with this (if only it would have stayed on the waterline!!!).

MUFE Aqua Eyes 0L 8 hrs after application
MUFE 0L 8 hours after application

After eight hours, the smudging at the corners was only very slightly worse, making the Make Up for Ever pencil the winner of these three pencils, for lower waterline use. Since there was no color left on the actual waterline, this pencil isn’t a home run, but it is definitely what I would consider usable!!

Ages of Beauty rating (for lower waterline): ***

Interestingly enough, I tested one drugstore pencil in between these three and it performed better than all of these (I was shocked!!). Starting today, I’m testing a few more and should have a post on my drugstore results later this week!

I’ll keep testing high end brands as well and will let you know if I find anything better than the MUFE pencil for the lower waterline.

Do you use a black liner on your lower waterline? Have you found anything that doesn’t smudge and stays put? Please share!!!