As indispensable as liquid eyeliner is for creating the perfect cat-eye, more often than not I tend to reach for an eye pencil. For my everyday makeup, it's a lot easier to add some quick definition to my eyes with a slightly smudged pencil eyeliner (and I love how soft and sexy it looks).
Unfortunately, I recently ran my favorite pencil eyeliner, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil, down to a stub. I don't feel like forking over the money to replace it, so I decided to check out a few drugstore options for the first time in years.
I generally stay away from drugstore pencil eyeliners because of a few bad experiences involving extremely sharp, dry pencils that made it feel like I was using a literal #2 pencil on my poor eyelids. However, Marci mentioned that a certain Maybelline pencil eyeliner was amazing, so I picked that one up along with a couple others and put them all to the test.
For $1, how could I not give this one a try?
This one is the most pencil-like of the three, and its pointy tip definitely scared me. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn't hurt at all, however. In fact, it glided gently along my skin with nary a snag or poke. Its ultra-sharp tip really lets you get a thin, precise line, although it's not super dark.
It's easy to smudge, too — perhaps a little too easy, but I like smudgy eyeliner, so I'm OK with that.
It's available in three colors (I tested the black) and I highly recommend picking up all of them. Oh, and as an added bonus, it comes with its own sharpener.
This $7 liner is available in five colors; I tried Sapphire.
I think this is a really gorgeous shade and a really nice eyeliner as well. The packaging is quite nice. But does it count as a pencil when it's a twist-up? For the purposes of this article, we'll say yes; it's just more of a mechanical pencil I suppose.
It's very creamy so it glides on smoothly and smudges easily if you want it to, but it also stays put when you're done. I definitely want one of these in every color.
This is the darkest and creamiest of the three liners, which is great if you want a really dramatic, highly pigmented line.
It's also the thickest, which isn't my favorite feature. I don't have a lot of visible lid space, so it only takes one swipe of this liner to cover most of it. However, that's fine for when I want a dramatic look.
Since this liner is so creamy, I recommend caution if you like to smudge your liner with your finger — things get messy. Better to use a smudging brush with this liner. Once it dries, however, it's fairly smudge-resistant and lasts all night. It's goes for about $7 and is available in six colors.
For both the Flower and Maybelline liners, I found it was essential to use a good eyelid primer to avoid having them transfer to my crease. The e.l.f. liner wasn't as creamy, so it wasn't as much of an issue.
I think if you're interested in the Urban Decay liner or the new Make Up For Ever Aqua XL liners that I reviewed, the Flower or Maybelline liners could be a good budget-friendly alternative, especially since they have some fun colors as well. They're not quite as smudge-proof, but with a good primer, you'll probably be fine.
- What's your favorite drugstore eye pencil?
- Did you ever have an experience that turned you off a certain kind of beauty product?