Eyeliner Shopping Guide

EyelinerImage by ookikioo via Flickr

While chatting with some of my readers over the new Gtalk widget (to your right - topmost) I discovered that some of them are very new to make-up having started to experiment just recently. So I felt that a shopping guide to make up would be useful. I start off with Eyeliners – because I felt that this is amongst the most commonly used make up item with Indian women.
Why use eyeliners:
Eyeliner is primarily used to give the eyes definition and to make them stand out.
Choosing Eyeliner
Factors to consider when purchasing an eyeliner. 
1.  1. Type: The most commonly used are Liquid and Pencil.
Both are special in their own way. Pencils are easy to use and transport. They are available in a lot more colors, even with glitter as compared to liquid. They can be sharpened to create sharp looks and even smudged before they set for smokey eyes. But you will have to buy a separate sharpener for this.
Liquid gives a very matt, bold defined look, but it takes some practice and steady hands to master. These are available in felt tipped pens these days. Lakme and Colorbar offer these studio eye artists. Some brands like Diana of London and NYX also offer gel liners – they look like liquid liners but are actually transparent and full of shimmer. They can be applied by themselves or on top of a matt liner for more drama.
Mechanical roll up eyeliners are very cost effective since you don't waste any product from sharpening. The majority of these automatic eyeliners come in basic colors without shimmer, however some people don’t like these as they can’t be sharpened like pencils to remove bacteria.
Cream liner is a higher intensity pigment. It's ideal for creating smoky eyes and there is often a wide range of colors to choose from. Not all cream liners come with a brush so you may need to buy your own. These are yet to launched by most brands in India. MAC sells these under the name Fluid line, and I have heard that Maybelline is about to launch their own versions of this.
Powder eyeliner, also called liner cake, is like eye shadow, but it has more intense pigments to create bold lines when mixed with water, much like the effect you would get from a liquid liner. You can even experiment with your eye shadow to create this look. 

2.   2. Color: Whether basic black Kajal is your favorite or if you prefer colored eyeliners, go with your instinct. Spend more on the colors you'll use most (generally black, browns, blues and greys) and try cheaper brands like VOV or Jordana for experimenting with random colors that don't fit into your everyday routine, if you like they way the color looks on you, you can always opt for a more expensive branded line.
If you want to brighten your eyes and make them look bigger, try using nude eyeliner (Chambor Soft Star is what I use)  on the inner corners of the eyes. It will instantly make them appear wider and it will even help draw attention away from dark under eye circles. 
Also keep in mind the color of your eyes and your skin tone when shopping. If you are light eyed and of cool undertones, black may not always be the best bet - dark brown may be much better instead. Browns are a safe color and look good on all eyes and most skin tones. Experiment with different colors till you find your own special colors. Don't just stick to black because it seems safe and error-proof.

3.   3. Smudgebility/long last/waterproof: Some people like their eyeliners to be set in stone once they have been applied. Others like them to be smudgeable to create smokey eyes. If you have to travel in the hot sun, have oily eyelids or have a habit of touching your eyes choose waterproof long last eyeliners.

4.   4. Quality: Eyeliners last a long time, even if you use the same pencil day after day. So when it comes to everyday liners or those that you use often, choose branded ones that have been ophthalmologically tested for safety. Keep them in a closed container.

Brands to try
  • Colorbar - love their I-glide & I – define both. They also offer pen liners. Range from 250 to 325 Rs.
  • Maybelline - their new studio eyeliners are very pretty, smudge proof and cost Rs. 200/-. I got them in grey, green (which looks like a close dupe for Colorbar’s Moss) and a wine colored one. They also have liquid liner in black & brown – which are extremely long lasting. I have the black one
  • Diana of London - I know, this sounds like a tacky brand, but I like their gel shimmer liners (I have the golden one) and their shimmery pencil eyeliners are cute too – plus they are smudge proof too. A little bit on the expensive side though.
  • Lakme - their 9 to 5 range has mechanical liners of which I really like the purple shade, their pencil eyeliners are good too and have a wide color range, they also offer liquid and pen liners
  • Chambor – their eye artist liners come with a smudger on the back. For some reason they don’t smudge on me – but they seem to do so on everyone else
  • Revlon – Kohl liners in blues and lilacs. Smudges and flows around my eyes like water. :-D
  • Jordana – I really like their Glitterama pencils, as well as their mechanical liners. They have a large range of colors – both matt and shimmery
  • NYX – again has a very distinctive color range in pencil liners– boasts colors of a wide range of colors like taupe, jade and steel grey. They have a very large collection of different browns, but they are not smudge proof. Their shimmery gel liners are also very good and available in a lot of colors like turquoise blue. 

I hope this guide is useful to you when you step out for shopping. Please note that this is just an indicative guide.
What are your favorite liners at the moment?
UPDATE: Just wanted to say Thanks to all for supporting Simran so much in her first attempt at blogging. It really meant a lot to me :-D
Also I have tried this AromaMagic Peppermint Exfol Gel myself (happens, with sister, you end up sharing a lot of things) and it was mild enough for use on my dry combo skin as well. 

I didn't experience any dryness and skin was softer after wards. Though I didn't notice any reduction in my blackheads - coz I don't have any to start off with - I am plagued by the fairer sister - the Whitehead. And nothing but daily exfoliation keeps it under some control.


  1. Yeee me first:)

    First of all its a great review...
    eyeliner are some thing which changes whole outlook of a person.I always keep trying in different ways.

    Such as some time i smudge it,smmoky effect,70s look and make thick line with them or thin..

    i can just go on and on with eyeliner.
    I recently bought powder eyeliner of loreal .Its little gray in color and looks great.

  2. @Anamika: :D..

    Thks. I love eyeliners myself - have like a truckload of them.

    Hey, what is this 70's look you are talking about? Do a post! I would love to know what this is. :)

    I have never tried powder eyeliners - mainly because I am worried about fallout once it dries. I will chk out this grey one you have mentioned!

    Thks for being the first one to comment :D

  3. Yes i like to comment first on your blog...and i don the reason for it:D

    Powder eyeliner has to be handled carefully but best part is you can use it both ways..

    Sure i will come up with a 70s look soon:)

  4. Hey Tanvi,

    Nice post on one of my favourite makeup items.Yes, I always have the tendency to buy eye makeup more than anything else..ooh btw, you got the maybelline ones is it? Did you like them?

    Have you tried Maybelline's powder finish eyeshadow? Comes in a sleek bottle and with a wider felt tip.

  5. @Anamika: Thanks :D.. will wait for the post :)

    @Poornima: Same here. I have lots of eye makeup - esp liners, followed by blushes.

    I really liked the maybelline ones - thks for posting about them. The colors are very innovative. But I did miss browns amongst them. Wish they would do a nice brown or deep purple too.

    I have swatched this powder eyeshadow at the store. & I really liked it as well. But didn't get it as I am trying to finish my current lot first.. Have a lot of make up now.. LOL. :D

  6. Tanvi, its high time u do "makeup collection" post :)

    love the post, very informative as usual :) looks like i must and shud try Color Bar after you ppl rave and rant!

    it was a real pleasure to meet simran, in fact! does she have a blog?

    find time for the makeup collection photo, tanvi :) pls...

    ur new layout looks uber chic, but i dont understand why does it end up all the time in white below :) it took me ages to figure out the lips on the top part of ur layout :)

  7. @Divs: :D.. are u talking about that post we were to do on yr blog? if yes, lets chat about it today offline frm this blog :)

    No simran doesn't have a blog... yet. Let's see if it catches her fancy.

    Thks for the layout. I was trying to make a compromise b/w color and white - coz quite a few readers told me offline on chat that they prefer the cleaner white look, while some said they wanted color. So it was my way of getting both. In any case I tend to veer towards clean white frames myself, and I don't like a lot of flowery overtly feminine look so....

    But i'll keep your feedback in mind when changing it.

  8. Boss...These are exactly the kind of the post that make you and your blog stand apart...Though it has all the necessary stuff for a makeup blog you also understand a indian girl's way of thinking....your post are intuitive, informative and most of all logical ....

    Is there a icon or smiley which would say I bow to you..?


  9. @Shweta: Thank you so much sweetheart *blushing furiously*.. your comment has made my day and my blogging worth its while. :D

    Your appreciation means a lot to me, and I am glad that you find these posts useful. I will definatly try and have more of such posts. Thanks a lot shweta for all your support and reading the blog! :D

  10. That was really informative. I use the automatic/mechanical ones cos I find them so easy. Should try it with eye shadows the way you suggested.

  11. Hey T, just writing to let you that "Addicted to Blush" is getting me addicted to her :)

  12. Just wanted to tell you..found the codes on google dashboard..tx for the help.

  13. I am a huge fan of Kajal's and liners my fav would be from Himalaya and the lotus one both herbal.

  14. Who better than u to write about eyeliners??
    My fav are pencils- easy 2 use and correct if gone wrong!Bt not very long lasting..Evn the smudge proof ones don't work on me!
    Fav colors-dark browns,greens n now blues

  15. lolz diana of london is available in pakistan too , and they got these glitter eye pencils, jumbo ones, i passed them , i dont like the brand's name:P i might have to pick some now

  16. I'm so into my cream/gel liners right now. I use it almost everyday because it stays for a long time on my eye lids and water line.

    thanks for stopping by. i'm glad you nyx blushes like me ^_^

  17. Very nice post T. Eyeliners are the best!


  18. @Rads: I too have some mechanical ones. I tend to gravitate towards pencils though for some reason..

    @Chibu: Thks

    @V: hehehhehhehe.. Thks :)

    @Rima: Thks

    @Vintage: sadly I can't carry off black liners or kajals, unlike u guys :)

    @Simran: Glad u like liners too. They just perk up your appearance.

    @Sarah: I too wld skip this brand thinking it was cheesy. But it is actually ok, good for some things :)

    @Becky: yet to try cream/gel.. waiting for maybelline to launch here. & I love NYX blushes *pure love*

    @Rati: Thks :)

    @cynthia: Thks. even I love them.

  19. I never used any of liquid liners but now im lookin forward to dem and i vl also try out different colours. Thank you so much.

  20. revlon colorstay one stroke define eyeliner has never bled or smudged on me. sets within a few seconds. i wear contact lens and use eye drops frequently to prevent dry eyes. sometimes my eyes get watery too - it has neither smudged nor bled love it...


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