Sunday 11 December 2016

Super liners - eyeliners tried and tested

Sarah Caden

Published 28/09/2010 | 05:00

Pictured, from top left: Clarins Kohl Eye Pencil; Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil; Chanel Automatic Liquid Eyeliner; Rimmel Glam'Eyes Professional Liquid Liner; top right: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
Pictured, from top left: Clarins Kohl Eye Pencil; Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil; Chanel Automatic Liquid Eyeliner; Rimmel Glam'Eyes Professional Liquid Liner; top right: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

Eyeliner is a funny one; it's a feature of almost everyone's make-up routine, and yet it's one that many of us aren't sure we're getting right. We don't have the same confidence about lining our eyes as we do about coating our lashes, so there are some who own countless eyeliners, but have no sure sense of whether they're wearing any of them correctly. Still, we persist because when it's done right, the effect can be eye-opening.

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We tested eyeliners right across the brands, price ranges and formulations, and we settled on five that did what they advertised and proved to be the easiest to apply and to wear.

Quite a few of our panellists were pleasantly surprised by the various gel eyeliners, which go on creamy and then set to a surprisingly smudge-proof finish. But there were good, old-fashioned pencils too, and there will always be a place in our hearts for a quality liquid.

These were the best of the ones that we tried, the ones that could usurp all the others in our make-up bags.

Best Overall

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, €22, House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Brown Thomas

Not just the best of the gel eyeliners, but the outstanding eyeliner of those we tried. Available in 14 shades, there's a colour for everyone and, if applied with a flat, fine brush, you can go very close to the lashes, or draw more heavily for added drama. This goes on smoothly and dries to a soft-looking, pencil-like finish. "I thought this would be hard to apply correctly, but it's just slippy enough that it skims on," said a panellist, "and I was stunned at how well it stayed put."

Best Liquid

Rimmel Glam'Eyes Professional Liquid Liner, €8.91, available nationwide

In four shades from a classic black to a zingy lime green, this scored well on performance, and the price is a bonus. The pigment is good and not too much comes out on the brush, so you can play with the intensity and thickness of line. "I've tried many liquid eyeliners, but this beats all," said a panellist. "The skinny brush makes application easy and it lasts just as long as the more expensive ones."

Best Long-Lasting

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil, €24.50, Estee Lauder counters nationwide

Surprisingly, given its durability claims, this is not the hard pencil you might expect. It glides on smoothly and then simply stays where you put it. We particularly liked the Forest shade, what with khaki being the new black. "I didn't have to do all that pulling of the eyelid to get it on evenly," said a panellist, "and I needed eye make-up remover to get it off later. This one does what it says."

Best Classic Kohl

Clarins Kohl Eye Pencil, €15.50, Clarins counters nationwide

A black pencil, this is very soft and yet it's more than able to stay put. A hit with those who like to line inside their eye or favour a smudged finish. "My last brush with kohl was way back as a teenager, when whatever stuff I used would invariably slide halfway down my face," said a panellist. "I expected the same here, but not so. It stays put perfectly, doesn't look too 'Hindu bride', and is really quite sexy."

Best Felt-Tip Effect

Chanel Automatic Liquid Eyeliner, €30, Chanel counters nationwide

Like a super-cool marker, with its neat nib and twist-up mechanism, this liner also delivers on deep colour that's easy to draw into as dramatic an effect as you desire. Available only in black, it's all about that classic, cleanly defined eye, preferably winged out at the end. "I found this incredibly easy to use, which was a huge plus for me," said one panellist. "Foolproof and really chic."



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