It's not that I'm trying to be mean about Jemma Kidd's eyeliners -- you'll recall I wasn't overly impressed with her recent releases for fall/winter 2012 -- but they just don't measure up to the $14 price tag. I am interested in trying a few more of her products, based on other reviews, specifically the eye shadows and the tinted moisturizer. Everyone looks for different qualities in makeup, so what is "Holy Grail" for some doesn't even come close for another. Since eyeliner is my number one, don't-leave-the-house-without-it product, I want a $14 pencil to be a multitasker, and Kidd's I-Conic line didn't hit the mark for me.
So until I can make it back to Target to grab a few more JK cosmetics to test out, here is a list of five eyeliners I think are worth the investment -- complete with links to the season's on-trend shades.
Urban Decay 24/7 Pencils
As I mentioned in the original article about Jemma Kidd I-Conic Eyes eyeliners, the Urban Decay Pencils are widely considered the best pencils on the market. They come in basic colors like black, brown and gray, but also in a wide variety of bright neons and metallics.
Best colors for fall/winter 2012: 1999 (plum with gold shimmer), Deviant (cobalt blue), and Mildew (deep green).
Granted, the names are pretty stupid -- they turn off some makeup bloggers so much they refuse to buy the pencils at all -- but these pencils are $19 well-spent. Note: Many of the colors are vegan-friendly, so if cruelty-free cosmetics are important to you, UD is a good line to check.
Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner
Two words: Life Changing. If you have been waiting to try gel liners, or if you thought they sounded as difficult to work with as pen/liquid liners, have no fear -- Bobbi Brown's gel liners are a breeze. I held off on buying Bobbi's accompanying gel liner brush, thinking my own angled liner brush would do, but I went back to Neiman's two weeks later and got the BB brush. In fact, most of Bobbi's brushes are a good investment. "Long wear" isn't just part of the name -- this is a top performer, and will last you all day long.
Best colors for fall/winter 2012: Forest shimmer (deep green), Cobalt ink (dark blue) and Denim Ink (navy blue). Tip: Go to the counter without makeup and have the sales associate show you how to work with the liner. $22 each, but with proper use (there is a specific way to take the product out of the pan, to keep the product longevity intact), it will last you forever.
Maybelline Eye Studio Master Drama
I took a chance on this one at CVS and it's become a real workhorse. A self-sharpening pencil in an extra-creamy, color-intense, waterproof formula, the Master Drama pencils are all coming home with me next time I hit the drugstore. The website claims it is waterproof and smudgeproof for up to 16 hours -- I have yet to see that much longevity (there was a little transfer from my upper to my lower lashes after about ten), but for $9? I'll take it, and keep experimenting with different primers to see if that makes a difference.
I'll repeat: NINE DOLLARS
Best colors for fall/winter 2012: Vibrant Violet, Sapphire Strength, Coal Commander. Tip: Always use a primer on your eyelids, even if you are just wearing liner. It evens out skin pigmentation, and holds whatever product you apply next, fast.
L'Oreal Infallible 16 Hour Never Fail Eyeliner
Another great drugstore find, the Infallible eyeliners come with an angled smudge sponge on one side that comes in handy if you don't own a smudge brush. This and the Maybelline liner (above) are in a dead heat for my "drugstore favorite" designation. The formula is extremely creamy, the color payoff is top-notch and the smudger on the back is pretty decent, for a drugstore throw-away tool. Again, I won't say I've gotten a full 16 hours out of this pencil, but it holds fast for at least eight before migrating. Another great deal at $9.
Best colors for fall/winter 2012: I love the black, but Slate and Navy will hit the right marks for fall. Keep an eye out for seasonal colors -- rumor has it this line releases seasonal, limited-release colors, which would be nice to have.
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Nars: Eyeliner Stylo and Soft Touch Shadow Eye Pencils
Nars -- the company that brought us such cult favorites as "Orgasm" blush -- has two winning products in their liquid pen (Stylo) and their soft shadow pencils (Soft Touch Shadow Eye Pencils). They perform two different purposes: The pen delivers smooth, clean color, while the pencils are perfect for soft, smoky looks. Get the Soft Touch Shadows for $24, or the stylo pens for $27.
Best colors for fall/winter 2012, Stylo Pen: Atlantic (blue)
Best colors for fall/winter 2012, Soft Touch Shadow: Calabria (deep purple), Dark Rite (Navy blue)