Benefit “They’re Real” Push up eyeliner

I have been reading with great interest the reviews on the latest Benefit eyeliner and finally snagged a little mini sample liner to tryout. For real it’s small though – 0.1g.


It has the standard accuflex tip that allows a nice smooth line and makes the gel portable. I am naturally blessed with oily eyelids so was intrigued by the claims;

24-hour* & waterproof
91% said it was longwearing*
88% said it hugged the lashline*
84% said eyes looked visibly larger*

It is a very long wearing eyeliner – I found I was only missing the ‘flicks’ of my cateye by the end of the day.It is very easy to get a lovely black line on the hand but a little trickier on the eye especially with the itsy pen end.


To be honest, it wasn’t as black as I hoped but is a nice true black shade. I couldn’t get it right into the eyelash line as the tip doesn’t give you quite as much flexibility as a brush. I also have thick eyelashes so it does take a bit more work to get eyeliner right in close. (I like a close thin line as I have hooded eyes.



On the plus side

  • very waterproof and a nice black shade
  • you won’t have to clean it like brushes, and
  • it is much handier for any on the go touch ups (ie wanting to boost your makeup at work for after dinner drinks)


  • relatively expensive for a small amount of product
  • hard to get into the eyelash line and adjust how the product applies
  • only available in one colour

Star Gems Mirage Pencil Swatch

These eye pencils are utterly gorgeous and really soft for a pencil with a heavy metallic finish. Silver eyeliner has a very sort brightening effect for tired eyes….   I got this one in a swap from the US but wish I could buy locally – Savvy by DB is probably the best local dupe. Image

ELF liquid eyeliners

I have been eager to try some of the ELF liquid eyeliners for a while so I was quite chuffed when my makeuptalk Secret Santa (the lovely Buried in Boxes) sent me a selection in my Santa box.

I really liked the pigmentation and fluidity on the black and midnight (navy blue) eyeliner but was quite dissapointed with opacity of both the copper and stardust (opalescent) glitters. The applicator is a stiff-ish brush which isn’t entirely comfortable around my eyes, but I think I may have gotten a little spoiled with the applicators I am used to on other drugstore brands like Revlon and Rimmel. I find it hard to get a nice smooth cateye if the brush has no give so that’s a major thumbs down for me with a liquid eyeliner. Image

I think overall midnight is the best of these, and copper and stardust are probably best suited to layering. (Layering is more by teenagers style than mine so she has inherited all but the navy blue eyeliner out of these ones :)) The black eyeliner is *ok* but I wouldn’t pick it up unless you are a getting it for a great price as I think there are some just as good, if not better products in that price range. I’m stoked I got to try these before buying so I know what I’ll repurchase next time 🙂

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.

And so we begin…

So I think that the start must be to audit my current holdings so to speak. So I will start with cosmetics. This is my eyeliner stash, the revlon and illamasqua pens are definitely used most often followed by the cheapier designer brands brown one. As you can tell I am a bigger fan of liquid eyeliner than kohl which I use mainly for stage makeup.

The retail value on these would be around $26 each for the pens, $8 each for the rimmel eyeliners, $2 for the essence pencil and $5 for the DB eyeliner. So let’s say that I’ve got $75 in eyeliner invested, which I think we could say will last me at least a year. I can use the pens for 3 months each, and the other eyeliners have 2 times as much (rimmel brands) and 4 times as much respectively. So in theory it’s more like 2.5 years eyeliner but no doubt it will dry out and become usable before that stage…

Eyeliner Stash

Now I’ve ripped the bandaid off it’s time to tackle the other categories. Wish me strength!