Battle of the Waterproof Eyeliners
I never leave the house without eyeliner on. It’s got to a point where I feel totally lost, and in fact, don’t feel like myself at all, without eyeliner on. You might think that’s a bit sad, but I really enjoy wearing make-up, and I’m just used to those eyes that I see staring back at me, in the windows and mirrors as I pass, being tinged with black. I like it. I’ve worn eyeliner in the same way for several years now, so it’d be odd to change. I occasionally give it a try and decide I hate it, because the new way I’ve put it on just looks so unlike me.
So, because I am a huge eyeliner wearer, I have tried a fair few out in my time. I’ve given up on kohl, gel, or pencil eyeliners of any kind. I hate applying them, and find them fiddly. I stick with my trusty liquid eyeliner, usually the waterproof kind. My budget varies, depending on where I live. In the UK and in Spain, I spent more on eyeliner because firstly, it happens to be more expensive in those respective countries, and secondly, if you buy cheaply over there you will end up paying for it in the long run. My budget is lower in Korea, as make-up tends to be a little cheaper, and the quality is usually better even when the make-up is inexpensive.
So today I’m going to be looking at three brands available here in Korea. Back home in Spain I wore Sephora’s waterproof liquid eyeliner (€12), but that’s not available in Korea, so I had to look for a trusty replacement. Here are the three I have tried so far:
Etude House Oh M’Eye Line (4,000w = €3.20/$3.55/2.70GBP)
Too Cool For School Art Class Vasily’s Liner (15,000w = $13.30/€12/10.10GBP )
Mamonde Longlasting Liquid Eyeliner (10,000w = €8/$8.90/6.75GBP)
L-R: Mamonde, Etude House, TCFS.
I only wear black eyeliner, so that’s the colour I’ll be talking about today. Two of the liquid eyeliners (Mamonde and Etude House) are dip-in style liners, whereas the Too Cool For School is a pen-style draw on liner.
Let’s see how they advertise themselves. Etude House says this about Oh M’Eye Liner:
This highly pigmented, smudge-proof liquid liner goes on smoothly for precise application and creates strong, beautiful lines that last.
I couldn’t find anything online about the Too Cool For School liner in English. Seems it isn’t released on the English website yet. It doesn’t say anything on the box at all, and their website that has the eyeliner on it is in Korean. My translation skills are not good enough, really, but this paragraph here…
…roughly translated, states that they were inspired by Wasily Kandinsky’s use of sharp, bold lines, so you can now get them on your face. It’s lightweight, and ‘flexible’. I’m sure that just means easy to use – sometimes translate apps are not my friend!
The final product, Mamonde’s Long Lasting liner:
fits to skin powerfully to last long and vivid [sic] without flakes and smudging…low viscosity enables you to draw vivid line at once without lump or breakage.
I’m going to look at three separate things in this post. Ease of use, how long it lasts in day-to-day wear, and whether it does live up to its waterproof claim. First up, ease of use:
This eyeliner looks small and thin, so ideally you should be able to do a really close line to the eye if you want. I like drawing on a thicker line, so I usually go over it a couple of times. This eyeliner, whilst looking quite slim to begin with, I found to be a little broader on application and found myself getting quite thick lines on initial application. The eyeliner glides on easily and is heavily pigmented. It very rarely breaks, and has only just begun to do so after about 3 months’ use. Sometimes you get little lumps, but it’s quite easy to correct. You get a clear, slightly thicker, line of application, so it’s easy to go for wing styles. Closer to the lid is a little more difficult, but certainly do-able. Here’s my daily application with it:
Too Cool For School:
I have something to get off my chest. I’ve been waiting to since starting this review, but it wasn’t the right moment until now. I HATE THIS STUPID EYELINER.
There. I feel much better now.
Good Lord this thing is the worst eyeliner for application I’ve ever had. It is really difficult to get a straight line, and the pen style means it’s quite hard to get a clear pigmented line of product out every time. So you might start with the perfect line, which is hard enough to do anyway, and then run out of pigmented colour by the time you’re at your flick. I conceded that perhaps it wasn’t a liner meant for thick lines, so tried doing smaller ones, closer to the eye, but that was incredibly difficult to do with this pen liner. Because the application isn’t smooth, you have to start several times over, which means your line is never particularly clean, and you end up making it bigger just to cover up mistakes. I then looked at the pictures of the application on the website and it does indeed advertise big chunky lines, so whoever applied this on there is some sort of magician.
You can see in the last picture how the line is not particularly pigmented.
In contrast to the above eyeliner sent from Satan himself, the Mamonde eyeliner is the easiest to apply. The liner itself is super thin and really has a seamless application. It’s so light gliding on over your eyelid, making a straight, pigmented line really easy to achieve. It doesn’t run out by the time you get to the other side of your eye, and the colour is black as black can be. It’s really good for styling, and I’ve got better results from this one regarding eye flicks, as it’s so pleasant to put on and easier to control. It’s never once given me a broken application, so it’s good to see it lives up to its description from before (vivid line at once without lump or breakage).
Okay, next category: how long the liner lasts with standard day-to-day wear. Let’s see how long each one lasts before I feel the need to touch up.
I can usually go a full work day without having to touch this one up. That’s 8:30-4:30, and while the colour sometimes slightly gets weaker, and the line isn’t as bold, it doesn’t break off in clumps or come away noticeably. If I go out in the evening, I usually touch up before leaving the house, and it generally lasts me most of the night. If the day is hot, it doesn’t last as long. One touch up at work is generally required, and once in the evening too. The colour lasts well though, and even if rubbed slightly or accidentally touched, it doesn’t come away.
Too Cool For School:
This eyeliner has genuinely caused me to make stupid noises at the mirror in how exasperated I am when I see that it’s rubbed away for the nth time that day. I apply in the morning. Go to work. After one hour, check my eyeliner. A big chunk has usually come away. I touch up. Check the upstairs bathroom five minutes later. Chunk is back. The entire day is just return of the chunk. I have to rub off and start again most of the time, which is entirely pointless and just irritating when you’re doing it almost every hour on the hour. I don’t even bother wearing it on nights out because otherwise I spent most of the night in the loos retouching.
This is after about an hour or so of wear. The centre chunk nearly always vanishes.
Instead of a paragraph, I would just like to place my heart here to represent how I feel about this eyeliner’s durability. It lasts all damn day. I don’t need to touch up at all – it lasts me the full work day and the evening as well. It still looks just as good as it did when I applied it in the morning, and on top of eyeshadow lasts really well, if not longer.
However, are these products really waterproof?
I took some photos of the liners on my hand for you to see. I’ll start off by saying, though, that how these liners act on my hand is nothing at all like they behave on my eyes.
After running under water:
Mamonde is coming off, Etude House is affected a little, and Too Cool For School doesn’t care one bit.
The stages of scrubbing: rubbing with finger, then running under water again, then starting to scrub with a sponge.
On my eyes however, this is a totally different story. The hand test is a total bunch of lies. I’m going to think twice about swatching with certain things now, because in reality, the opposite is true for how waterproof and lasting these eyeliners are. I showered in the eyeliners, for science and all that. I didn’t take pictures because well, I was showering. I don’t post drowned rat pictures. Under the water, the Etude House and Mamonde fare equally well. They don’t come off significantly. Maybe a tiny bit breaks off, but only if you rub away at it or get soap/water in your eye and have to touch it. If you’re just under the water these guys stay put. You can probably guess what’s coming with Too Cool For School.
It leaves my face faster than my kids run to me if I have Moomin stickers. Well, okay, some of it stays on, but unless you fancy blotchy eyeliner, I don’t recommend this around water. Perhaps this post has seemed a little biased against the TCFS eyeliner, but until you’ve had it on your face, YOU DON’T KNOW. YOU WEREN’T THERE, MAN. I don’t think I’ve ever hated a product so much. Considering how it’s the most expensive, I thought I was grabbing myself a surefire great product. I’m so betrayed!
So, that means it’s a toss up between Etude House and Mamonde as to which is the best waterproof liquid eyeliner.
It’s close, but I’d have to give Mamonde the crown. The application is really smooth, and it is just that bit finer than the Etude House. It’s over double the price, but I’d still say it’s worth it, given that it lasts all day and is in no need of touching up. The Etude House is a really good eyeliner too, and I’d definitely buy it for day-to-day wear. The Mamonde, however, has the wow factor regarding precision and pigment.
Mamonde! My eyes love you! One of the best eyeliners I’ve used. It’s now going to be my go-to eyeliner and has earned a permanent place in my make-up bag.