Get Ya’ Nibs Out

I’m a huge black winged eyeliner fan and have been since I was about 16 and saw a copy of Vanity Fair with Angelina Jolie on the cover nailing the cat eye look.

Back in the day I used a really old Maybelline liquid eyeliner that I can’t even remember the name of, maybe Express Liner or something? It was quite a watery, matte formula with a fat, flexible felt (wheyyy alliteration!) nib. It was easy to use for a first timer but not great for doing a fine subtle line. But if you knew me when I was 16 you’d know subtlety wasn’t my forte in those days anyway.

When I became a little bit older and a little bit more, ahem “metal” I graduated to an eyeshadow brush and black eye shadow. The brush was the shape and size of a shader brush but with a sharpish edge but again not sharp enough to create anything subtle. I was alternating between two Nars shadows at the time. The main one I used was Night Porter which is actually a gorgeous shade. It looks really green in the pic but it’s actually black with a green shimmer running through it. The other one was also Nars and was basically the same but with a more subtle, red shimmer running through it. So anyway as you can imagine they created quite an emo effect…

Once I’d learnt the fine art of subtlety I graduated onto Rimmel Glam Eyes Professional Liquid Liner. As you can see from the pic the brush is very fine and again the formula was very liquid-y but thicker than the Maybelline one. TBH I don’t know how I was so good at using this back then because I tried recently and it was a disaster! Oh, and do not get the bugger in your eye because MAN does it burn.

So since those heady days my method of choice has been gel liner and a fine or push liner brush. First it was the Bobbi Brown gel liner but I found that dried out quite quickly, way before the pot was finished anyway. I then moved onto MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack which has remained a firm favourite. I also recently discovered KIKO Lasting Gel Liner, which I’ve only used a few times but I quite like. The formula is quite different to Blacktrack etc. In the pot it looks really shiny, though once applied to the eyes it sets down to matte. The formula is also not as solid, it’s almost kind of whipped or cream like in the pot. It goes on really nice and smooth but I would say it is a bit “smudgier” which means its easier to work with before it dries but I find it’s also easier to make mistakes. It is a decent contender though and like most Kiko products, at a very reasonable price.

But the reason for this lengthy preamble is to say that in all these years I’ve never been a fan of the eye liner pen. I’ve tried a few but hated them all. Either the nib wasn’t flexible enough or they dried out while applying or they tugged at they eye or dragged so you couldn’t get a solid line or colour or they flaked off! Like seriously. No.

Then I started using a free Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner pen that came with an issue Glamour magazine. Now, I was NOT a fan of their Alexa Chung Eye Do eyeliner pen, it was an abomination as far as I’m concerned so I don’t know what possessed me to try this one (probz ‘coz it woz free innit) but I’m glad I did. I really liked it and would buy it again. For me I think it all comes down to a softer more flexible nib. If the nib is too stiff {raises eyebrows seedily} I just can’t work with it. It wasn’t as dry as other pens I’d used either, it’s not the inkiest, I still found it needed a bit of a rest after one eye (or some hot breath like on your felt tip pens at school). I did find I needed to use the side of the nib a bit to get the ink out across the lid but the nib was great for creating a feline flick without drag.

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So this made me wonder if there were other good ones out there or even dupes for the Eyeko one. I bought a Bourjois that I didn’t much care for but it wasn’t the worst one I’d ever used. Then when I was ransacking the KIKO online sale I decided to try one of their Ultimate Pen Long Wear Eyeliner and its pretty damn good! Really inky and pigmented, doesn’t dry out mid use and the nib is wonderfully flexible. It is finer than the Eyeko one so might be a tiny bit trickier to use if you’re not used to it but I really like it. AND LOOK AT THE PRICE! Bargain-o-rama. Howeverrrrrrrr what I will say is that it’s not the most long lasting, which I think is actually true of most pens. It does tend to smudge a tiny bit and if you have slightly oily eyelids like me then you do get a bit of “eyeliner transfer” on your upper eyelid, however a little extra powder sorts that out.

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My experimentation finally lead me to the Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner which I think is my favourite of the lot. It’s very similar to the Eyeko one, if not identical. Easy to use and gives a great fluid line all for a very agreeable price.

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So yes I’m a convert. They won’t be fully replacing my gel liner as I just prefer the effect when doing a dramatic cat eye but they are great for doing a defined/ winged look for everyday, when you’re in a rush or throwing in your makeup bag to use out and about. Get me?  

 

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