The Best Black Eyeliners Ever!

Black eyeliners

So I’m not gonna lie…I am pretty boring in the eyeliner world. And it’s not because I work some professional job or that I consider myself to be Mrs. Conservative. Naw. I just really love black eyeliner. I wear it everyday and very rarely will I wear another color. Do I love emerald greens, bright blues and royal purples on my eyes? Yeeeep. But black liner is staple, girl. It just is. This edition of the Makeup Wars, us gals are sharing some of our favorite black eyeliners. I thought I’d stick with my faithful Urban Decay Zero, but really I’ve tried a TON of black eyeliners that I’ve loved.

 

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They are far from cheap but I can’t get enough of Urban Decay’s pencil eyeliners. Especially that Zero. For some reason, my eyes have gotten really sensitive over the years and the only pencil that I KNOW won’t leave me tearing up is Zero. Oh, and it doesn’t budge. At all. I’ve purchased and repurchased this pencil so many times. Like, you don’t even want to know how many times…

 

Physicians Formula trio

So they suck in the foundation diversity game, but Physicans Formula makes some realllllly nice eyeliners. Their liquid and pencil eyeliners are pretty cool, but really its their dark and smooth Kohl eyeliner pencil that just makes me go gaga. I can’t get enough of it for when I really want to smoke out my eyes.

Maybelline really gave us a gem when they put put their Eye Studio Ink Pen Eyeliner. The Black version of this liquid eyeliner pencil is spectacular.

A few years back, NYX gave us an entire collection of black liners that I couldn’t get enough of. They were so cool to give us these because each liner has a different formula. Everything from matte to sattin and liquid, NYX had us covered on the black liners front.

When I really want some pop to my upper lashline, I love Essence’s Metallic black eyeliner. It has just a very small amount of shimmer that really makes the eyes stand out. And it’s only $1.99 and does darn good around water and sweaty situations.

Urban Decay Perversion bottle

I did a review on Urban Decay’s Perversion cream liner and I still loving that baby from the moon and back. Other runner ups are Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream in Shade 27 and the cult fave MAC Blacktrack gel liner.

And let’s not forget Milani as they are always there to give us budget-friendly sturdy liners in all shapes and sizes.

 

Milani Eye Tech Liquid Liner

 

I could really go on and on, but I’ll stop here and let my girls share with you some of their favorite black eyeliners…


The best black eyeliners
 

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Mascara Monday: Essence Multi-Action Blackest Black mascara

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Soooo I’m back with an Essence mascara. I am slowly but surely making my way through these mascaras. They don’t seem to release as many mascaras as other brands and that’s totally okay with me. It gives me time to mess around with ‘em a bit. Next on the list is this kid…

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Price: $3.99 at Ulta and Ulta.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “This multi-talented lash lover offers an innovative brush and unique texture with carbon black pigments to ensure more volume, length and curve for the deepest black lashes! A must-have for dramatic eyes!!” (source)

The Truth: It is indeed a super black mascara but man, it’s a flaky son of a gun. Or daughter. I’m not sure of its gender.

What I Loved About It: I’ll always love Essence’s affordability.

What I Didn’t Like: It’s flaky and just doesn’t seem to volumize or lengthen well.

Overall: Ah well. You win some and loose some. My feelings aren’t too hurt that this mascara wasn’t all that. I’ve come across better Essence mascaras and so the disappointment in this one didn’t last too long. For one thing, I’m not a fan of this type of wand.

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I mean, it’s nothing to HATE. I just don’t love it. I find wands like these so tricky to use with my short and wonky lashes. Those with longer and plush lashes will have much better luck. Sweeping through the lashes is challenging if your lashes aren’t all that long but of course it is possible. It just takes some time and sometimes when you only have 5 minutes to do your face in the morning, you don’t really want to deal with super large wands.

But once you get past the wand, actual application is decent. The formula is nice without being too thick or too watery. In fact, I was confused as to why the formula flaked so much because I didn’t find it to be too thick. Typically thicker mascaras lead to flakiness. I’ll tell you one thing though, Essence calling this mascara Blackest Black is dead on. It is a super dark mascara that has the potential to really bring some darkness to the lashes. After 1 coat, I could really see a difference in terms of how dark my lashes looked.

But after 2 coats, I only saw minimal volume and not much length. In fact, if anything my lashes just clumped up a bit. Boo hoo. Hours later my lashes, the mascara seemed to disappear from my lashes and flake away. And nothing sucks more than a flaky mascara. *sigh* So while the mascara does have the potential to give super dark and lush lashes, its inability to last around for hours just wasn’t up my alley.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Doesn’t look like much, uh? And note the flakiness under my eyes. No bueno.

Do I recommend it?: Nope. But worry not. Essence has plenty of other awesome mascaras.

 

Have you tried any Essence mascaras?


Pretty Polishes: More Essence Colour & Go polishes

I’m back with more Essence polishes to show off. Since their epic packaging revamp, trying to find these polishes in Ulta stores has been virtually impossible. In fact, when I went looking for them, I only saw TWO of them available. Of course you can still purchase them online but *sigh* who prefers online shopping over actually getting a product without having to pay for shipping? Okay, don’t answer that. Ordering online isn’t always that bad. But still. I hope that Ulta stores everywhere stock up and stay stocked up on these polishes. In the meantime, here are 4 that I snagged.

These will keep me quiet for now but I’ve got like 5 more Essence polishes on my WANT list.

Grey-t To Be Here is a pale grey with subtle pink iridescent shimmer. And by subtle, I mean you can barely see it. But when your nails hit the light, POW, there it is. I really really like this polish. I haven’t seen anything like it before.

Off To Miami is a coral with a dose of tangerine. I spent so many years being anti-coral nail polish which is crazy because I find polishes like this so pretty now. And compliments nail polish lovers of all hues.

Break Through is a rich and vibrant violet. When I first saw it in Ulta, I was all like “Meh”. But I picked it up anyway and after polishing my nails, I fell in love with this creme. It is gooooorgeous.

Fame Fatel is just your typical rich blood red polish. Yep, there are trillions of red polishes and this one isn’t all that unique but it’s still pretty.

As much as I love the larger nail polish wand in the new Essence bottles, some of them are a bit on the wonky side. You can trim them using cuticle scissors but it’s still annoying. I also found the formula of some of these to be on the thicker side. Also annoying. But hey, for $1.99, there isn’t much complaining I’m going to do about these polishes.

They are available at Ulta stores at Ulta.com.

Have you managed to grab any of these polishes yet?

Mascara Monday: Essence Get BIG Lashes Volume Boost Waterproof mascara

Oooh baby baby! It’s an Essence mascara. I love me some Essence products. Have you seen their new swoon-worthy nail polishes? Girl. GIRL! They are hot stuff. I’ve played around with some of their mascaras before too haven’t been too impressed. But the other week I was in Ulta (for no real reason, of course) and came across this mascara. I’m always getting requests to review waterproof mascaras so I decided to give this baby a whirl.

Price: $3.99 at Ulta.com and you may spot it at Ulta stores.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5

What It Claims: “Essence Get Big! Lashes Mascara. Good things may come in small packages, but bigger is always better when it comes to lashes. Available in the original and waterproof formulas, with the option of two different brushes, this mascara from Essence will make batting your lashes a breeze.” (source)

The Truth: Oh no. I hate to say it but it sucked. Not just a little bit but a lot.

What I Loved About It: Well. Um. It’s affordable!

What I Didn’t Like: It was a hot and flaky mess. To make matters worse, I barely got any noticeable volume. Fail!

Overall: Oh geez. I really do hate writing mascara reviews about mascaras that sucked. But I’ve got to be honest with y’all. It comes with the territory. *sigh* But yeah..this mascara’s performance certainly wasn’t up to par. And it’s a shame really because I find that most of Essence’s products perform really well despite their affordable price tags. I mean, where else can you get decent products for your entire face for under like $10? Yeah. Essence rocks and I’ll continue loving them as a brand but when it comes to this mascara, it’s unlikely that you’ll hear me recommending it.

The wand…

The wand isn’t THAT terrible. I mean, yeah…it’s huge and uncomfortable for those of us who prefer smaller wands. Because the bristles are so large, it’s really hard to comb through the lashes. A wand like this is best suited for guys and gals who have long and thick lashes or those who don’t need to do much separating. My lashes, however….they ALWAYS need some form of separating. It’s difficult to get it with this wand. But it’s not the wand’s fault that I have special needs lashes.

Now let’s rap on the formula. WOW. And not a good WOW either. In first glance and with the first stroke of application, the wand doesn’t appear to be all that bad. It’s got a nice consistency. But with the the huge wand, the formula doesn’t seem to thicken up as well on the lashes. Even after a second coat, I didn’t really notice anything. A third coat showed a bit of omph but still not enough to appease me.

Hours later, I would notice this mascara flaking down my cheek. No bueno. I HATE when this happens. I can tolerate a lot of mascara woes but flaking is just a no no in my book. Flaking also means that the waterproof-ness of the mascara isn’t even that effective. What a waste! With the ginormous wand, flaking formula and ineffective waterproof properties, I’m thinking this isn’t one of Essence’s greatest hits. No worries. I still love you, E. But let’s step that mascara game up a bit, eh?

[NOTE: Okay now, check this out - the camera I used to use for eye close mascara pics has decided to leap to its death. I'm in the process of learning how to take pictures with my DSLR. Sooooooo bare with me, okay? ]

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats



Do I recommend it?: Nopers. Grab one of their awesome polishes instead.

Okay Essence lovers…have you tried this mascara? Or any of Essence’s mascaras? What do you think?


Amor de Lacquer: Essence’s pretty new bottles!

I freaking love Essence nail polish. Always have. Even though their bottle sizes freaked me out a bit (come on, Essence…you know they were too small) I was always in awe of the beautiful colors that they released. Very rarely do the affordable brands of nail polish come out with groundbreaking nail polish colors. I mean, it happens, but not every often. I can count on TWO sets of hands the gorgeous shades that Essence has. And now they’ve got larger and chic’er new bottles.

Looky!

Cute, right? I’ve got 3 shades here but I’m pretty sure I’ll be hoarding more. I am so in love with the bottle design, redesigned brush and beautiful shades.

L.O.L. is one of those Shrek greens that have been pretty popular. I’ve seen similar shades like this and if you’ve always wanted to snag one but didn’t want to spend a mess load of money on them, get L.O.L. It’s pretty, creamy and such an “interesting” shade that all nail polish lovers need to have in their stash.

Ultimate Pink is a hot pink and it’s a pretty awesome pedicure color.

Let’s Get Lost is more of a aqua blue but of course my camera is being nutty. As much as I love blues like this, I very rarely wear them because they always end up staining my nails no matter what I do. Grr.

Comparing the old Essence bottle to the new Essence bottle…

The newer bottle is just a bit taller but is obviously wider than the old bottle. Do you get as much product as say a bottle of Zoya?

Not really. But then again, this Essence nail polish is only $1.99. Oh! And then there’s the new wide brush.

…you’ll either love it or hate it. I actually really like brushes like these because I’ve got long and wide nail beds so I find them to be perfect in helping me achieve a smooth and even coat with just one stroke. I know I’m in the minority with the freakishly long nail beds so I’m pretty sure many nail polish lovers are not happy with the change.

But overall, I’m loving the updated look of these Essence nail polish bottles. They look classy, quirky and fun. I’m not sure if the update means they’ll be getting rid of the shades of the old bottles. I hope not because I’ve got some beautiful polishes in the old packaging that I don’t want them getting rid of. Time will tell… These babies are currently in Ulta stores and online too!

Any Essence nail polish lovers in the house? Whatcha think about the new bottle design?

Mascara Monday: Essence All Eyes On Me mascara

Essence rocks. And of course y’all know this because I am forever bragging about this insanely affordable brand. From their cheap (and awesome!) gel liners, their metallic eyeliners, $3 blush and world glass glosses, Essence is hands down one of my favorite drugstore brands everrrrr.

Fellow Essence lover Anne reached out to me to see if she could do a mascara review on an Essence mascara and I was like “Um…yeahhhhh!”

Take it away, Annie!

Essence all Eyes on me, with my new Amika hair bow (haha, a joke kinda, cuz it’s a bow…made to look like hair…that you wear…in your hair). Both available in Ulta stores and Ulta.com.

Price: $1.99 at Ulta.
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5

What It Claims: “The all eyes on me multi-effect mascara has it all! the innovative brush and the unique texture of the mascara provide your lashes with extra volume and breathtaking length. Each lash is perfectly separated making your eyes pop!” (source)

The Truth: Amazing length and definition add awesome drama to any eye look.

What I Loved About It: This is a fabulous mascara, for less than the price of a soda and bag of chips.

What I Didn’t Like: Ummm…… It would be nice if this mascara would do the dishes and switch the wash for me, but I don’t have any real complaints.

Overall: This is a superdupertotallyawaesome mascara, Like f’real. The spiraled brush really helps the smooth formula glide over lashes to provide mega-long, dark, defined lashes.

I would pay 5-10 times the original price for a mascara of this quality, so the fact that you can get it for under two bucks makes it all the better. Color me impressed because not only is this the cheapest mascara I own, but also one of my favorites. I own most of the Essence mascaras and use them on a daily basis. I know this is probably really terrible, but I sleep in mascara from time to time (yeah yeah I know, “you’re gunna mascara your eye out, kid!”)

There is a reason behind my madness though, several of the essence mascaras claim to dye the lashes, and I find this true. I have very fine blonde lashes, and letting a mascara really set in leaves me with darker, more noticeable lashes for the many times I am too busy/lazy to put on makeup. I have yet to test the longevity of All Eyes on Me, but the formula is smooth and flexible and did not flake in the time frame I wore it. I don’t say this often, but this may be too much of a good thing. I mean it would be very hard to achieve a subtle eye look using this mascara, because it definitely gives that rimmed in black, look at me lashes with just two thin coats.

I don’t know if this mascara would give the same results to someone starting off with darker, thicker lashes, but at two bucks, I am recommending it to just about everyone.

 

Bare Lashes

Lashes after 2 coats

 

Do I recommend it?: In a word? Yeah. I mean really. Come on. For two bucks? I mean if you don’t want big lashes (who doesn’t want big lashes???) then take your eight quarters and buy yourself something really nice like a bottle of water and a candy bar. Oh, wait, you cant have a bottle of water and a candy bar for two dollars. But you can have these lashes! FTW!

What do you think? Have you tried any Essence products? Is there a cheap brand you love?

Essence has the cheapest and bestest gel liners ever!

When it comes to gel eyeliners, very rarely do I venture off to different brands. I stick with what I know and what I’ve known for many years has been MAC’s Fluidline. Now don’t give me that look. I’m not one of those “I wear MAC everything” kind of gals. In fact, most of my makeup collection ain’t MAC Cosmetics. But let’s face it…when it comes to gel liners, MAC knows what they’re doing. I’ve tried many brands of gel liners and haven’t found one that’s comparable to my beloved Fluidline.

Until I ran into Essence’s Gel Eyeliner.

O.M.G!!!!  Why didn’t y’all tell me how fantastic this eyeliner is? And it’s only $3.49 too! Hollers!

My only gripe with these gel liners is that there are only 3 shades of them. Not pictured is a a black called Midnight in Paris and then you’ve London Baby (brown) and Berlin Rocks (purple). These are just fantastic. I found the consistency to be a little more fluid than MAC’s Fluidlines. They are creamier and because of that, applying on the lower lashline may be a little challenging. When applying with a brush or your finger, you may have to go over your lines a second time. Essence’s liners will also work beautifully as eyeshadow bases. I do, however, recommend wearing a primer first. Especially if you’re like me and have super oily lids.

Okay, this is weird – although the the packaging pictures of London Baby looked to be brown online, I found it to be more on the dark blue-ish/gray side. Which doesn’t bother me a bit considering I don’t own any eyeliners this color. Aaaand, I was surprised at how long these stayed put. I got a good 12+ hours of wear time with London Baby on and that was during a workout.

*sigh* These liners are so dreamy.

I love everything about Essence. But you already knew that, uh? Have you tried their gel liners yet?

Cost: $3.49 a piece
Where to Buy: Ulta and Ulta.com
Best For:
Gel eyeliner lovers.
MAC Fluidline lovers who want to try a cheaper version of gel liners

Essence’s $1.49 metallic eyeliner. Rocks or flops?

Well, well, well…what have we here? Another affordable wonder from Essence, uh? I have totally fallen in love with this brand and their metallic eye pencils are no exception. And check this out, these pencils are only..wait for it…$1.49.

Yeahhhh buddy! I’ve been wearing these for a few weeks but wanted to take them to the beach for a mini photo shoot and to see how well they held up in the waves. When you come across an eyeliner pencil as cheap as this, you kinda hope that it’s all that and more. At least I do. My first thought is, “Gee wilikers, I certainly hope that this is better than my current overpriced eyeliner. Then I can retire it and only wear cheap eyeliners for the rest of my life.” A little overly dramatic, I know but I think about these things. Will these eyeliners have me saying buh bye to my Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners? Not quite. But will I keep them on standby? Fer sure!

(l-r) Heavy Metal, Black Knight, Green Day

 

I found these pencils to be intensely pigmented making them ideal for wear on the waterline and lower lashline. Essence doesn’t say that they are waterproof but they held up with all day wear and 3 hours of beach play .

Not bad, yo…not bad at all. If you’re in the market for some new eyeliners, try these. Even if you don’t like them (which I think is highly unlikely), you’re not spending your savings on purchasing them.

Wipeouuuut!

Essence is somethin’ else, I tell ya. Everything I’ve tried from them—I’ve loved. How can this be? You can get these liners at Ulta.