Ah liquid liner, I couldn’t be without you. I’ll admit, I am a bit of a makeup floozy, changing my look frequently. If I had to say I had a signature ‘look’ though, it would be some winged out black liner. While I sometimes do it with pencil or gel, in varying colours, liquid always makes the most impact. Besides mascara, there is nothing I am pickier about than black liquid eyeliner. I want it super black, super matte and to stay around all damn day. So I put three of my regular rotation liners to the test to see which checked off the most boxes…
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THE BEST BLACK LIQUID EYELINER
As mentioned I’m straight up snobby about my liquid eyeliner. I want to be able to get a super sharp wing, intense black pigment and a matte finish that doesn’t flake or smear. It’s no easy feat, folks. I put three eyeliners I’ve had in my rotation to the test: Lancome Grandiose Liquid Liner*, Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper and L’Oreal Infallible Super Slim Liner*.
This was the surprise hit for me I mentioned in my full face of L’Oreal products post. Leading up to this, I’d had dismal results from drugstore liquid liners, finding most of them a smudgy, fading hot mess. I was instantly impressed at how black the pigment is; I didn’t need to retrace my lines to get the intensity I wanted. While the product doesn’t claim to be waterproof, it does say 12 hour wear. I found that it did wear well through an entire workday without smudging, transferring or flaking.
Cons Worth Noting? It did fade in colour payoff throughout the day and bled a little during application (you can see it in the swatch above; it’s minimal, but worth noting). I also don’t love the felt tip applicator; It responds to pressure to get the product to flow, which means I can’t quite get that crisp flick I love. The finish is more of a satin, and depending on the shadow I am wearing it can pull quite satin.
I’m no stranger to this liner, and it’s been featured on the blog many, many times! I was surprised to see it actually wasn’t as intensely black as I thought when comparing to the other two liquid liners. It does build up nicely on itself, and doesn’t fade through the day like most black liquid liners. The biggest plus for me is the brush tip applicator; I’d love for Kat Von D to create a standalone liner brush featuring the same bristles. The tip of the brush tapers so perfectly that it allows just the right amount of product out and creates the sharpest wing, while still being controllable.
Cons Worth Noting? Well, it isn’t as black as I’d like, but more so it doesn’t dry down matte. On days when I’m wearing matte shadow it seems to flatten in appearance, but over shimmery shadows, it can pick up the sheen and lose intensity.
Now when it comes to super black and super matte finish, this is the liner to beat! I love the intensity this liner gives, and it doesn’t flake which is a huge problem with some matte finishes. The brand makes no waterproof claims, but it Grandiose held up against the ultimate tear-test: chopping onions, like a champ.
Cons Worth Noting? Sigh, there are a few cons that keep me from loving this liner the most. First, the gimmicky bendable handle (that supposedly helps you apply liner from different angles) while not exactly a con, surely isn’t a pro for me either. More so frustrating, the felt tip applicator on this is crap. I thought I would love how teeny tiny it tapered, but it’s simply too flimsy. In order to get the sharp winged out effect I want, I need to have the tip hold shape, and this sadly does not. Having said that, I’ve taken to using it with my own brush dipped into the pot to complete the final flick!
SO WHICH LIQUID EYELINER IS BEST?
I’d be a total jerk if I said it’s a combo of all three, right?
The intense matte black of Lancome’s Grandiose wins top marks in my book, but the brush tip of Kat Von D’s is undeniably the best way to apply liquid liner. A hybrid of them both would land a spot as holy grail liquid liner status! For ease of use, I’ll continue to always have Kat Von D Trooper around. The pen-style package makes getting ready in the morning quicker, with less chance of meme-worthy winged liner mishaps.
But for that perfectly matte black Adele-esque cat eye? I’ll make the Lancome Grandiose Liner work for me with my own brush because the formula is worth it!
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