Without a doubt, black liners will always be in my kit in usually more than one single formula, texture or medium. I can safely say that if I have at least one of the below liners, I can work and do a myriad of looks using it with conjunction with other products.
I approach black liners in a few ways. Obviously to use it as what it was designed for i.e. lining the eye but also as a way of deepening shadows/pigments and as a base for other products to sit on. To put it simply, if I wanted a smoky eye, I would usually apply black liner to the lid and then smudge using a brush or finger and then repeat till I get a desired depth of colour then I layer on a shadow or pigment to add dimension and if needed, colour. Doing a smoky eye or in fact any eye this way means that I can build incredible depth with minimal layers and it also allows the eyeshadow to cling on to something. Try it the next time you're doing a smoky eye!
Well let's look at the various stars of my black liner kit shall we?
The easiest and most convenient form of a black liner. I carry about 7-8 different brands of various textures and depth of colour and I can safely say these are the ones I go back to all the time. Great for lining inside the waterline and to also create a guide for the ultimate flicked liner. By this I mean to start lining the eye with pencil, go over with liquid once you're happy with the shape to get a precise inky black flick!
L-R: Givenchy Magic Kajal, YSL Long-Lasting Waterproof Eye Pencil in Black Ink, MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder, MAC Eye Kohl in Feline.
These 4 pencils are the darkest, blackest pencil liners in my kit.
Givenchy Magic Kajal: By far the blackest pencil I have ever used and I use it a lot when I am doing a dark eye on black skin when it is often hard to find a pencil black enough to show up.
YSL Waterproof Pencil: Great for when I am doing red carpet looks for celebs I look after as once they set, there's no budging or flaking or smudging so always looks great.
MAC Smolder: A great all-rounder with a soft, easily to blend texture. This tends to be on the slightly greasier side so I love it for creating smudgy smoky eyes.
MAC Feline: A limited edition product that comes out once in a while and one to definitely get if you chance upon it. Intensely black and not as greasy as Smolder so for people with greasy lids, this is the one for you!
Every brand does one now and I have tried quite a few but these 3 have so far remained in my kit. Requiring a bit more of a deft hand, gel/potted liners used with a fine brush gives you that flicked liner that's oh so popular. I also love it mixed with pigments to create my own deep cream shadows that have the benefit of drying to a budge-proof finish!
L-R: YSL False Lash Effect Cream Liner in Deep Black, MAC Fluidline in BlackTrack, Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner.
Over the years I have tried many brands and to be honest I like them all. I think they all have a place in my kit but at the moment these 3 are ones I have all the time with me. This is not to say that I won't use other brands. I simply ran out and decided to try others. Ones that I love that I have yet to replace and worthy of naming are Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner and Lancome Ink Artliner Pot which I adored for it's budge-proof finish once it dried.
YSL FLE Cream Liner: Incredibly dense cream liner that is intense and black. Once it dries it doesn't flake or smudge.
MAC BlackTrack: One I have keep going back to over the years. Inky-black and great texture but do not layer too many layers as it will crack and crumble due to it's gel texture.
Maybelline Gel Liner: Great affordable gel liner on the high street that performs like the more expensive brands. Great "blackness" and it comes with a fabulous brush that I have now included in my brush kit to do liners with!
For those not nifty with a brush and pot liner, these come as the next best thing. Easy to use like a pencil but the finish of a liquid or gel liner! I'm really fussy when it comes to these because I demand seriously ink-black depth and good firm nibs!
L-R: YSL Shocking False Lash Effect Eyeliner, Shiseido Automatic Fine Eyeliner in Black, Iman Luxury Liquid Eyeliner in Onyx.
One thing I find handy with these liners are the ease of use. Sometimes I just do not have the time to fiddle with a brush and pot liner so these are incredibly handy to creating a strong black liner speedily. I also love these for "touching up" liners that might have a spot missing in them, or for covering up where false lashes stick to the lid.
YSL Shocking Eyeliner: Great deep black ink liner with a great sponge nib that's easy to use and handle.
Shiseido Fine Liner: A beautiful felt tip marker like pen with intense black ink that dries very quickly.Iman Luxury Liner:
So there you go, my black eye liner kit that I carry around with me all the time. As brand come up with newer formulas and textures, my kit may grow or change but so far these babies have done the job brilliantly for me. If you've tried any of them, please feel free to share or comment.Tweet