Project Swatch #9: Black Eyeliner Swatches, Comparison and Wear Test

For my 9th Project Swatch post, I’m going to show you all my black eyeliner.  Since there’s not much difference between the blacks – though there is a little difference – I thought I’d do something a little bit different, and test out the wear in a couple different ways.

First, here are the basic swatches

First, we have three pencil eyeliners: Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Deepest Black, Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Zero, and Milani Liquif’eye in Black. All three are soft, smooth, and great for lining the waterline. I use all of them interchangeably, and I don’t have a favorite. Upon review of the swatches, it’s clear that Zero (which has a narrower line because it was sharper than the others) is a less intense black than the others.

Next, we have the three gel/cream eyeliners. First up is my go-to for lining, my mini Stila Smudge Pot. I love this and use it almost daily. I always set it with black eyeshadow, and it lasts perfectly all day long. I also own the Wet n Wild gel liner, which I bought because of the good reviews but don’t use, and the Maybelline gel liner which I like, and keep in my travel makeup bag.

I decided to use my hand for the wear test. Here are the swatches immediately after application: Stila is on top, and the left –> right goes Prestige, Urban Decay, Milani, Wet n Wild, Maybelline.

Everything looks great

I ran my hand under water, and everything held up perfectly; no smudges, no smears, just a wet hand. After my hand dried, I gently smudged the liners. No change. More vigorous smudging ensued. Eventually, my hand looked like this:

Urban Decay & Wnw are not up to par

Urban Decay and Wet n Wild are not holding up, but everything else is perfectly intact.

Then, I went to bed. When I woke up, the liner looked liked this.

We have some definite wear going on here.

I tried to smudge the liners again and had this result:

So, it turns out that Prestige & Maybelline have the best lasting power.  Milani and Stila are also good. Urban Decay is, surprisingly, not great – and Wet n Wild is the clear loser.

This is great to know – I’m going to make Maybelline my go-to gel liner, and Prestige my go-to pencil liner.  And I’ll probably throw out the Wet n Wild!

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  • L

    Hi,
    I was just wondering if the liners migrate from waterline on you and create those raccoon eyes because I feel like mine do all the time lol and i usually use the urban decay or milani and if yours doesn’t any tips?(: thanks and great post!

  • Hi L – I don’t have that problem. It might be because I have normal to dry skin, but I do have one tip. After I apply the liner to my waterline, I use a sponge tip applicator or small brush to go over it with matte black eyeshadow. This sets the liner and really helps it last! I have a post coming up with all of my black eyeshadows – I recommend the matte black from the wet n wild greed palette if you don’t have one you love.

  • This was really informative. Thanks for directing me to this post. I’ll have to check into picking up one of the Prestige liners sometime.

    • I’m glad it helped! The results were really surprising for me, too.

  • Maria R Oxman

    Thank you, awesome test!

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