Clean Beauty

Battle of the *Clean* Liquid Eyeliners

By now, I’m sure you all know that I’m a sucker for a liquid winged liner. It’s my daily go-to! So you can imagine how crushed I was when I first started #cleanstreak a year ago and struggled to find a clean eyeliner option, let alone THE perfect liquid liner that I could use on a daily basis. As releases began to trickle out over the course of 2019, I scooped up every option I could and immediately began putting them to the test. Several months later, I am happy to share my thoughts with you guys!

Now, before I share my pros/cons for each eye liner, here are my expectations and what barometer I am using to judge all liners against:

  • Cannot irritate my eyes! I’m a contact lens wearer and cannot be bothered
  • Needs to be bold and richly pigmented
  • Prefer matte liners over shiny, but not a deal breaker
  • Shouldn’t easily smudge or move around, as water-proof/-resistant as possible
  • Should dry quickly, so as not to transfer to my upper lid
  • Product shouldn’t dry out too quickly – can’t be repurchasing every 3 months
  • Color options, outside of black, are always appreciated
  • Check out my not-so-clean liner review here

OK – let’s start!

  • 100 Percent Pure Long Last Liquid Eyeliner
    • Pros:
      • Non-irritating
      • I like the ink pot style – can easily access more product as needed
      • Fine brush tip – easy to create any type of line and wing
      • Comes in two other colors besides black – blackberry & brown
    • Cons:
      • Not a rich black – requires a lot of build-up to achieve a rich look
      • Not very fast-drying – when going over a line to build up product, the brush may instead wipe that line away
      • Shiny finish

Overall, this was a no-go for me. Not bold enough and a bit too wet of a formula. Because of this – I would say I tested this product the least. Can’t really speak to it’s waterproof-ness or longevity, because even if both were amazing, it still wasn’t the right fit for my taste. However, this product has amazing reviews and if you are looking for more of a natural, barely there type when it comes to your makeup aesthetic, this could totally be your jam! I’m a big fan of the brand, just crave the drama factor when it comes to the eyes 😉 <<Sorry no picture or swatch – didn’t keep this one around long enough to do so>>

  • Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner
    • Pros:
      • Non-irritating
      • I like the ink pot style – can easily access more product as needed
      • Fine marker-style tip – easy to create any type of line and wing
      • A wide array of bright and bold color options, outside of Raven (black), in many different finishes: Nile (green), Azure (bright blue), Taureg (brown), Amethyst (purple), Luxor (peachy gold), Storm (navy), Black Pearl (shimmery black)
      • Opaque, saturated, bold color payoff
      • Very affordable!! $15 or less on sale!
    • Cons:
      • Not super fast-drying/doesn’t quite set – never experienced any transfer, but it will smudge if you accidentally rub your eyes
      • Not tear proof – I have watery eyes and experience fading around the inner and outer corner of my eyes by the end of the day
      • Transfers to lower lash line for the Panda eyes effect by end of day. I think this is only an issue for those of us who experience it. That being said, I always use an eyelid primer and set any under eye makeup with powder to avoid this as much as possible.

I discovered this brand early 2019 and have amassed quite the collection since then. Yes, this isn’t the perfect formula as evidenced by the pro/con list, but I can’t stop wearing the amazing colored liners because they are so bright and fun! I love to mix shades together to achieve the perfect shade to coordinate with my outfit. I keep a couple Q-tips handy when I have this on, for minor touchups, and I would never wear this on a humid, rainy, or emotional day, but these are really amazing and such a statement maker that I’m willing to let the smudgey-ness slide every once in a while. These aren’t my daily workhorse, but I turn to these when I am feeling bold or creative or at any Desi event 😛 I’m planning to grab Storm, Black Pearl and Luxor during the next sale to complete my collection! If you have dry lids and typically smudge-free – what are you waiting for?!

  • Honest Beauty Liquid Eyeliner
    • Pros:
      • Non-irritating
      • Fine marker-style tip – easy to create any type of line and wing
      • Matte, opaque, saturated, bold color payoff
      • Very affordable!! $10 or less on sale!
    • Cons:
      • Not super fast-drying – never experienced any transfer, but it will smudge if you accidentally rub your eyes
      • Although I typically prefer the ink pot style – this formula is super messy and the product just gets everywhere. I find myself wiping the top of the pot with a makeup wipe weekly and sometimes the outside of the bottle as well.
      • Not tear proof at all! – I have watery eyes and the slightest bit of moisture will make this product move
      • Transfers to lower lash line for the Panda eyes effect by end of day.
      • Only comes in black so far (this is a pretty new release though)

Overall, I don’t think I’ll repurchase this one. I love the application, bold opacity and how matte this is, I mean it looks stunning, but I can’t quite get over the messiness that comes along with that. Even my sister, a makeup minimalist, experienced transfer and getting product everywhere as well. As I mentioned above, this is a very new release (2019) and I have hope that a future version of this product may address the messy/smudge-y issue. Ready and willing to give this a second try then!

  • Ilia Beauty Clean Line Liquid Liner
    • Pros:
      • Non-irritating
      • Fine marker-style tip – easy to create any type of line and wing
      • Matte, bold, opaque formula
      • Water-resistant
      • Can buy at your local Sephora
    • Cons:
      • A very dry formula. I haven’t had my liner pen for very long (opened it in January) and its already hard for me to dispense product. I keep finding myself pressing the side of the tip against a tissue to bring the product to the surface (shaking the pen isn’t very effective) and hate that I have to waste product to get product!
        • It was a juicier formula the first few applications – don’t recall that juiciness lasting very long, unfortunately.

*Note* I purchased this product at the end of November 2019. Ilia has since changed their packaging/branding and I don’t know if that also includes changing the formula. I doubt it though, since it’s a pretty new release. Based off the 2019 formula, it’s just OK. I do like that it’s matte and not smudgey, but it’s almost too dry for me. I find the tip dragging against my eyelid when I’m trying to build up product. One of the biggest issues I have with the pen-styled liner (as compared to an ink pot style) is that it’s harder to coax the product out. Typically, a quick shake of the pen should get the product moving, but I didn’t always find that to be the case with this. There is no way to tell if the product is dried out and finished or just not able to dispense for another mechanical reason. At $28, this isn’t something I want to keep replacing every couple of months. I am willing to give the new packaging a try to see if anything has changed, when it’s on sale.

  • Lovinah Beauty Liquid Eyeliner
    • Pros:
      • Non-irritating
      • Fine marker-style tip – easy to create any type of line and wing
      • Opaque, bold and rich black color payoff
      • Super long-lasting formula – does not budge until removed!
      • No panda eyes/transfer/smudging
    • Cons:
      • Wish it was matte
      • Only comes in black

I’m pretty sure I’ve found *the One* <<cue angels singing>> But seriously though, this is such an amazing liner! And when I say that, I mean amazing period. Not amazing for clean beauty. This is the best of all the liquid liners I’ve tried EVER! I’ve only been using this for the past month, but I haven’t experienced any change in formula, opacity, brush tip etc. I took a three hour nap while wearing this and I woke up looking like I had freshly applied my liner – true story! This does take 3o seconds longer than the other liners to remove at night with my cleansing oil, but that’s it! No tugging or pulling required. This is the liner you wear for that important meeting, to a wedding, for any special occasion. I have not tested the waterproof-ness of this, but I haven’t been able to wear anything else for the past two weeks (in rainy Pittsburgh) and have had zero issues! Will keep you all posted if anything changes, but buy this! This is the one! Yay!!! Side note: the Lovinah Beauty palettes are also incredible. Super impressed with this brand so far!

 

I hope this is helpful for anyone in the market for a cleaner liquid liner option. If you have any recommendations for me, please feel free to share! I am always excited to try another 🙂 I just picked up the Undone Beauty three-way liner, excited to see what this one is like 🙂 😛

Cheers!

Maneesha

 

 

 

 

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