Lashes in the Lush


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Battle of the Liquid Eyeliners

In the almost 2 years that I’ve been living in Singapore, I’ve been blown away again and again by Asian cosmetics brands, in particular makeup and more specifically lip products and mascara. Just about everything seems to be better about makeup at this side of the ocean: innovative products, eye-catching design & packaging, amazing textures, long lasting quality and friendly prices. One product type I haven’t tried yet is liquid eyeliner, as I’ve been pretty pleased with Lancome’s Artliner for over a decade now. I’m curious though whether within this category too, Asian brands will kick my favorite Western liquid eyeliner out of my Holy Makeup Essentials Pouch. I have pouches and pouches full of makeup, but only one special pouch for the winning can't do without essentials - and spots aren't easily given away...

I personally prefer the pen or liner-style liquid eyeliners over pots with liquid eyeliners that need to be applied with a brush, mainly because it’s quicker and easier. As said, Lancome’s Artliner (42 SGD, available at a.o. Tangs, Takashimaya and Sephora) to me is a must-have product that I seriously stock up on to never find myself without. The felt tip is flexible, which makes it easy to follow the line of your lashes and can be used for both fine and thicker lines - perfect for a winged line. I also really like it that the tip doesn't easily block when you use the liner on top of layers of other makeup, like concealer and eye shadow, which is due to the ingeneous fact that the liquid liner doesn't come through the felt tip (as with most liquid eyeliners) but from the container part you take the felt tip out of.

Long time favorite: Lancome's Artliner

Even though it will be a tough favorite to beat, curiosity calls due to all the awesome Asian makeup brand that I’ve discovered over the past months. I’ll therefore be testing two different Asian brand liquid eyeliners: Holika Holika Magic Pole Eyeliner and Kiss Me Heroine Make’s Smooth Liquid Eyeliner Super Keep.

Kiss Me Heroine Make’s Smooth Liquid Eyeliner Super Keep, Holika Holika's Magic Pole Eyeliner and my favorite, Lancome's Artliner

LIQUID LINER 1: Holika Holika - Magic Pole Eyeliner 2X

The first liquid eyeliner I’m testing is the Magic Pole Eyeliner in 01 Black by Holika Holika, a popular South-Korean beauty brand that provides ‘fun practical cosmetic products to enhance every woman’s natural beauty’ and is mostly known for its quirky, cult-style products. Think ‘Golden Monkey Lip Glamour Lip 3 Step’ for plumb lips, ‘Smooth Egg Skin Soap’ for smooth skin and tight pores and ‘Wonder Drawing Hairline Maker’, described as ‘a shadow type corrector to cover hairlines and fill in empty areas of bang hair for a younger looking face’. Interesting products.

Fascinating and quirky cosmetics by Holika Holika

The Magic Pole Eyeliner has a spacy pack, with a purple-blue sky in which the Magic Pole is displayed as the center of the universe, with BIG EYE written to emphasize the promised result. The product description reads furthermore that "this stablized powerful, and magic wand-shaped brush helps stop your hand from shaking, allow you to draw line much easier. With only one touch, a bold and vivid line that makes your eyes look bigger is accomplished".

Fortunately, my hand is rarely shaking when I apply liquid liner, but I do wonder how an eyeliner actively helps to stop hands from trembling, though. Some other key promises: 2x BIG, 2x MAGIC, 2x LONG but what this refers to remains a mystery as the rest of the description is in Korean.

The felt tip is indeed a pole with a small ball on top it, which reminds me more of an antenna (which could explain the the reference to outer space?) than a magic wand. The ball is part of the felt tip and makes the tip actually wider than Lancome's Artliner:

From left to right: Lancome Artliner, Kiss Me Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner Super Keep & Holika Holika Magic Pole Eyeliner

As the round tip is not so thin, I find it hard to draw thin lines. But hey, that's not what they promised - "bold and vivid" lines are what this pole liner should bring. And it does. Heavy to heavier lines go very smooth and easy and the lines are deeply pigmented, hence very very black. The product dries very fast; good against running and smudging, but not so forgiving and hard to adjust once you drew the line. This eyeliner is SERIOUSLY waterproof, just water doesn't get the product off, you do need a special eye makeup remover.

Effect: so bold!

Holy Makeup Essentials Pouch Material? I'm deeply impressed by the intense black pigment. Just wow. But, I don't know what it is - maybe the fast drying or layer of pigments (intensity has to come from somewhere...) - but the liner doesn't feel so comfortable on my eyelid, like something is constantly lightly pulling it. It's almost like my eyelid is twitching. I can't get used to it and it won't go away the first 30 minutes after applying, so I took it off again. Sorry Holika Holika, no place for you in my Holy Pouch.

Holika Holika Magic Pole Eyeliner 2X - 01 black
Price: 13 SGD
Available in Singapore through Althea

LIQUID LINER 2Kiss Me Heroine Make - Smooth Liquid Eyeliner Super Keep

The second liquid eyeliner I’m testing is the Smooth Liquid Eyeliner Super Keep in #01 Jet Black by Kiss Me Heroine Make, Japan’s leading drugstore makeup brand. The brand believes ‘that every woman plays the leading role in her own life story’ (I sure do) and is especially known the long-lasting and smudge-proof quality of its eye makeup, which I second - love their mascara's. The packaging of Kiss Me Heroine Make's products is hard to miss; Barbie meets manga with storybook romantic colors, curls, roses and sparkles.
Barbie meets Manga makeup by Kiss Me Heroine Make

Like all their products, the packaging of the eyeliner shows a manga barbie maiden, big bright blue eyes, heavily crying though, I suspect to promote the 'super keep' waterproof qualities of the product. Or because her Japanese Ken just cheated on her, who knows. Anyway, the pack furthermore shows a close-up of the felt tip, explaining it's only 0,1 mm - very thin. The back of the pack thoroughly explains the product in English as well, which is nice, promising the following: Waterproof & Smudge Proof, Ultra fine brush tip, Washable with lukewarm water and Jet Black color. 

The felt brush tip is indeed incredibly thin, in fact thinner than the tip of Lancome's Artliner:

From left to right: Lancome Artliner, Kiss Me Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner Super Keep & Holika Holika Magic Pole Eyeliner

They don't come any thinner than this; using this eyeliner is almost like Japanese calligraphy. Downside is that the product isn't very pigmented, the line isn't through and through black but more soft black instead. Which is good though if you want a more subtle result.

Effect: so subtle!

The thin tip is easy to manouvre and follows the round line of the eyelid well. The liner dries fast; faster than Lancome's Artliner but not as fast as Holika Holika's Magic Pole liner. This eyeliner too is SERIOUSLY waterproof and doesn't smudge in any way, not even when you rub.

Holy Makeup Essentials Pouch Material? I'm deeply impressed by the subtle effect you can create with this liner, that is barely there if you don't use much pressure on the tip. I generally like an effect that is slightly bolder, but will definitely experiment with this eyeliner when I opt for a more natural look. Keep? For now, entry into the Makeup Essentials Pouch because I want to try it more often. No official spot yet.

Smooth Liquid Eyeliner Super Keep - #01 Jet Black
Price: around 16 SGD (I bought mine in Kuala Lumpur for 52 MYR)
Available at a.o. Sasa and Watsons


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