Liquid Eye Liner Review – Designer Brands vs Revlon vs Illamasqua

Liquid eyeliners are part of my day-to-day makeup look, which adds that retro sexy vibe. I love the precise line that liquid liners get, and how easy they are to transport vs gel liner for on the go application. For years my HG was the Revlon ColorStay line but I thought it might be fun to do a comparison between my favourite drugstore brand Designer Brands Liquid Eye Liner in Brown-Black, Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen in the new pen applicator, Revlon Color stay Liquid Liner both in Blackest Black in the more traditional pot and Illamasqua Precision Ink in a pen-style applicator with the reservoir of pigment in the lid.

First things first, it’s worth noting the applicators. The Designer Brands Liquid Eye Liner has a very fine brush, which is how nearly all liquid eyeliners used to come. The other 3 have a felt tip, which most higher end brands use now. The brush could always splay a little, but I loved the control of the thickness and control you have over how much liner is on the brush in traditional eyeliner.

Applicators Bottom to Top; Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

Applicators Bottom to Top; Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

The advantage of the pen is a consistency in the amount of liner flowing out a smoother, easier line. It’s a good style for applying in a hurry. The Illamasqua Precision Inks have the reservoir in the lid which allows you to have a bit more control over the amount of eyeliner you are applying.

Comparison of Eyeliners

Comparison of Eyeliners

Now onto relative sizes, the Designer Brands is a whopping 6.5ml for $7.99, the Revlon Pen a paltry1.6ml for $26.95, the Revlon pot is a 2.5ml pot for $23.95 and the Illamasqua Precision Inks are 1.8ml and cost $26. I was initially a bit miffed that the Revlon Eye Pens are that pricy, it seemed a fair increase from the old price especially with a matching downgrade in volumes.

But as you can see in the pictures, it looks like the formula has had a nice upgrade at the same time and you get a much darker line now. I suspect I probably use less liner building up a dark enough line and it definitely is nicer to transport.

Finally, these all claim smudge-proof ‘ness’. I let a line of each products set for 20 minutes on my arm and rubbed hard, aka pretty similar to my hay fever eye rubbing. The Revlon smudged, the Illamasqua largely didn’t and the Designer Brands performed best of all (now can you see why I buy their products!). If anything my gripe with the Designer Brands Liquid Eye Liner comes at makeup removal time…

Smudge Test; top to bottom Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

Smudge Test; top to bottom Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

So which is the winner;

Designer Brands on price, quantity, smudgeproof

Illamasqua on colours, applicator

Revlon on… yeah, I’ll probably move on to other brands after my no buy is finished at this price point. I’ve heard good things about MAC but it’s so expensive in Australia.

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