You may read this and think I've gone mad. But seriously, you have no idea how relieved I am. I've been on the hunt for the longest time for a truly 1) smudge-proof, 2) water-proof, 3) black 4) twist up 5) pencil liner that 6) glides on like butter. Is that too much to ask for? Thankfully, after going through my fair share of crappy drugstore & department store eyeliners, buying into misleading marketing taglines, eating up false promises, and falling prey to the hype for 24/7 Urban Decay Zero and Perversion pencil liners I thought would solve my eyeliner dilemma...I've found it. I'VE FINALLY FOUND IT. THE SEARCH IS OVER!
Everyone? Meet the Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner ($23) in Via Venuto.
Yes, it's pricey. Especially considering that the Prestige pencil liner I've been using for the past year has been doing pretty well for me at $3.95. But let's take a closer look shall we?
We'll start off with why I've been looking for these specific qualities
and the pros/cons of the different eyeliner types (although I would
think they should be obvious to anyone who's ever had to deal with an
ultra craptastic eyeliner).
I have small Asian eyes and at the end of a long work day or after an evening of laughing, eye crinkling, and a multitude of other facial expressions, I end up looking like a
raccoon. I think it has to do with my upper eyelids stamping themselves onto
my bottom eyelids when I wear an eyeliner that won't stay put. I had
hoped that the Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners would live up to expectations,
but to my disappointment, I found Zero and Perversion stamped on my
lower eyelids again when I got home from a party. I'm all for a smoky eye, but this is not what I have in mind. I constantly hear about how tired I look when this happens because people think I have bags under my eyes. I needed a solution!
Why a pencil liner and not a liquid or gel?
- Pencil liners are more convenient, quick, forgiving, and softer so
that you end up with a more natural looking liner. You can use it on your lash line and your waterline comfortably. And let's face it:
I'm lazy. I'm all about quick and convenient. The more time I can shave
off my makeup routine, the better. I don't want to have to set it with a powder! Don't get me wrong though, I really do like liquid eyeliner ever since I'd gotten more practice with it. I love how it doesn't smudge once it dries but I feel it should be reserved for more formal or glam, attention-getting,
look-at-me looks. Pencil liner, however, is great for everyday and
doesn't look as harsh. Since I'm always on the go, I don't want to have
to sit there as still as possible lining my eyes, cleaning up any
mistakes, and waiting for it to dry. Nor to do I want to have to dig out
an eyeliner brush out of my makeup bag to painstakingly paint gel liner
on either. With a pencil, I can do it without looking in the mirror and
even in a bumpy car ride if need be. Pencils are less likely to dry out as well. But it has to be soft, it has to glide! I made the mistake of using a cheap white and black double ended eyeliner from N.Y.C. and felt like I was giving myself a tattoo. Never. again.
Why a twist up pencil and not a regular pencil?
- While it's obvious that pencil eyeliners tend to be more affordable but raise your hand if you feel
me on this one: sharpening pencil eyeliner SUCKS. I will always WITHOUT
FAIL break off the point I've just nicely sharpened. What a waste! And
not to mention it's super messy! That's why I had to have a twist up
pencil. And you have to carry a pencil sharpener around with you just in case. That's less room in my makeup bag for other goodies. The problem, however, with a twist up pencil is that after you've worn down
the initial point with the first few uses, it's hard to get the pointy
tip back for precision lining. That's why this NARS pencil is so awesome.
Because even though it's a twist up, it comes with a mini sharpener on
the end to make the point good as new again.
How long lasting is it? - This is the story of how I was so utterly convinced that at long last, my search for the perfect eyeliner was over. It happened when I walked up to the NARS counter to play with their nail polishes (of course). The girl at the sales counter was digging around the drawers for me to see if they had the Adelita nail polish in stock. While waiting, I swatched the Larger Than Life eyeliner sample on my hand out of boredom and rubbed it to test its staying power before letting it dry. I was expecting it to smear instantly. To my shock and awe, it did not budge. It didn't even smear. I had to rub the swatch a few more times just to be sure because I could not believe my eyes. The other eyeliner that I had swatched next to it earlier was completely smudged but the NARS swatch remained like a I had written on my hand with a Sharpie. Even when I used a makeup remover towelette from the MAC counter to remove all the other lipstick and eyeliner swatches from my hand, it took some pretty vigorous rubbing before it even started to budge. Super scientific, right? That was it, I was sold. I didn't even know how much it was. I asked if it was water-proof. Yes? Fantastic! I have to have it, no matter what the price. Gimme!
As it turns out, I'm not the first one onto the trail of this bad boy and the black color (Via Venuto) was sold out in store as of late. But Nordstrom's is awesome like always and I had it ordered and shipped to my house.
Conclusion: So voila, long story short, no more raccoon eyes! Whoo hoo! Case solved. I'm keeping the Prestige eyeliner I have around for a backup, and the Milani one as a backup to the backup but the likelihood the Milani one being used ever again is slim to none. I bought it on the recommendation of YouTuber hollyannaeree. Yes it's smooth, it glides, it's super black, but it also smears a LOT. I would trash it but I know I'll need it in case of emergency someday.
Next review: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil vs. E.L.F. Matte Lip Color