Instead of trying to keep track of which swatch was which, I wrote an abbreviation for the brand on my arm. The follow table has the abbreviation, name of the eyeliner, and type of eyeliner.
|Pi||Pixi Silky Eye Pen – Black Noir||Pencil|
|MJ||Marc Jacobs Highliner – Blacquer||Pencil – automatic|
|Mi||Milani Liquif’eye – Black||Pencil|
|Ri||Rimmel Scandaleyes – Black||Pencil|
|Go||Gorgeous Cosmetics iINK Pencil – Carbon Black||Pencil|
|LM||Laura Mercier – Black Ebony (w/ Tightline Activator)||Cake|
|Pr||Prestige Total Intensity – Deepest Black||Pencil|
|UD (left)||Urban Decay 24/7 Liner – Perversion||Pencil|
|UD (right)||Urban Decay 24/7 Liner – Zero||Pencil|
|An||Anastasia Covet Liner – Noir||Pencil|
|Top line||Milani Shadow Eyez – Black Ink||Gel|
|Middle line||L’oreal Infallible gel liner – Black||Gel|
|Bottom Line||Stila Smudge Pot – Black||Cake|
|PF||Physician’s Formula Eye Booster – Ultra Black||Pen|
|DW||Dollywink Pen– Deep Black||Pen|
|NYC||NYC High Definition Liquid Eyeliner – Black||Pen|
|MUA||Make Up Academy Contour Pen – Black||Pencil – automatic|
|Star decoration||Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner – Purple & Olive||Pen|
– As indicated, the Laura Mercier cake eyeliner was swatched with LM’s Tightline Activator, which I know from previous testing helps it last longer than using water.
– The MUA liner is quite bad; I included it only for comparison purposes.
– The Eyeko liners obviously aren’t black. I do have a black one, but had misplaced it at the time I did the swatches – luckily it has been found! So, I added the colored ones just for fun.
– I clearly have too many black eyeliners! I also realized that I forgot to swatch my NYX “The Curve” liner, which is fantastic.
The swatches – you can click to enlarge.
Initially, most swatches are fairly similar. The Pixi liner (other shades previously reviewed) is fantastic – very dark and smooth. The Marc Jacobs – which I have really been loving lately – is good, but not as evenly dark. My longtime favorite Prestige Total Intensity (swatches) is somewhere in the middle.
Urban Decay Zero is one of the least black; I sometimes use it when I want a softer look. The MUA is unsurprisingly the lightest shade.
Of the liquid liners, the NYC is darker than the Dolly Wink or Physician’s formula, which surprised me; however, despite how dark it is, I don’t like the nib so it won’t be replacing those as my go-to black liners.
After giving all the swatches plenty of time to set, I rinsed my arm under water and patted it dry with a paper towel. Apparently all of the liners are waterproof, because everything except the MUA liner (which was faded) looked pretty much the same as before – so no picture. I then rubbed my arm with my hand. The result:
At this point, the best of the pencils are the clearly Pixi and the Marc Jacobs – They’re both very dark and there is little smudging. The Gorgeous Cosmetics liner also looks very good, but is a little smudged. Urban Decay Zero, while lighter than the other shades, is very similar to the original swatch. The worst is of course the MUA liner; however, Rimmel Scandal Eyes is also quite faded and has smudged the most.
The Milani Shadow Eyez and both gel liners look great; I actually wonder if I wasn’t careful to rub that area of my arm, since all the swatches look so good! The Eyeko colored liner look fantastic, but they aren’t really part of the test.
Then, I took a few drops of jojoba oil (which I believe is similar to our skin’s natural oils), and rubbed it over my arm. The result:
Very significant fading at this point, clearly. The best of the pencils (darkest with no smudging) is the Pixi liner. The Marc Jacobs and both Urban Decay liners also held up well with little to no smudging. Once again, the Rimmel is the most smudged and the MUA is the lightest – it’s almost gone.
Milani Shadow Eyez, both gel liners, and the Eyeko liners look great (in comparison). I may need to go back to using gels more often than pencils!
Somewhat related – while looking up the Pixi eyeliner to link, I found this set on Target.com which has five mini Pixi liners ( Black Noir, Deep Plum, Black Cocoa, Sage Gold, Oyster Glow) plus a sharpener for $25. Given that each full size liner is $12, it’s an great deal, especially if you rarely finish liners. I would definitely buy it if I didn’t already own three of the shades – and I’m still tempted even though I do!
What’s your favorite black eyeliner?
*The Anastasia and Gorgeous Cosmetics eyeliners were press samples. I purchased all other products featured in this post. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.