Eye pencil – how to choose the right color, quality, brand and value

The content of the article

A woman may not have a voluminous cosmetic bag with all the most modern and fashionable cosmetics, but most have the basic minimum for creating day and evening makeup. It necessarily includes products that perform eye makeup, and one of them is a pencil. What it can and should be, how not to get lost in the vast assortment offered by shops, and whether it is worth buying an expensive remedy?

What is an eyeliner

A cosmetic product for make-up of the upper and lower eyelids is visually identical to the writing equipment known from childhood: a wooden case, sharpened stylus (except for automatic pencils) – the format has almost not changed in half a century. Eye pencils can be considered the “heirs” of ordinary ones, which are written on paper, but you should not use the latter for your face: you injure your skin. A cosmetic product from writing is distinguished by the softness of the stylus, due to the composition, where there are:

  • oils;
  • minerals;
  • butylparaben (preservative);
  • wax;
  • resins;
  • natural dyes (pigments).

Gray eye pencil with shading

The lead of a traditional pencil is graphite, charcoal or dry paints, so even the softest will scratch the skin and give off color poorly. Cosmetic, even the most persistent, glides easily due to fats in the composition, thawing upon contact with warm skin. In addition to the format, the pencil differs from other decorative means intended for eye makeup with its functionality and features of working with it:

  • liquid eyeliners are ideal for thin hands, solidify faster and more reliable, but give an extremely clear line;
  • gel eyeliners (in jars) can also be shaded and layered, but they are quickly fixed, therefore uncomfortable for beginners, and their pigment is strongly eaten into the skin.


A cosmetic pencil can visually completely repeat the writing instrument – a stylus requiring sharpening, a wooden case, or have a twisting rod and be made of plastic. Only this moment is responsible only for ease of use: it is much more important to understand the differences between cosmetic pencils in terms of functionality:

  • Kayal – a soft wax stylus suitable for drawing on the mucous membrane, where it quickly fixes, lends itself to shading on the skin.
  • Contour – has an average hardness of the stylus, designed to create thin lines. Often the product is waterproof: the composition is based on silicones that replace oils, so that the trace left is resistant to spreading.
  • Shading – used for pencil technique, as a substrate for creating smoky makeup. The trace left on the skin is well stretched and stewed, but it does not always solidify qualitatively.
  • Shadow pencil – has a large stylus and soft texture, is a compressed shadow with a bold component.

How to use

There are several ways to work with such a cosmetic product: you can draw arrows, paint exclusively on the mucous membrane to give depth to the look and visual density of eyelashes, or to make a smoky effect on the entire eyelid. Basic points that help to learn how to use eyeliner correctly, from makeup artists:

  • The classic instruction for pencil makeup: first you tint the eyelid and powder, and then draw arrows with a pencil or make haze – so it does not print on the skin.
  • Always grind the stylus before use..
  • Use a bodily hue on the lower mucosa (water line) to make your look rested and fresh.
  • Drawing a dark line on the upper mucosa (for this eyelid needs to be slightly pulled away from the eyeball) under the eyelashes will help to deepen the look without the effect of painted eyes.
  • A thick black stroke of the eye contour followed by shading of the edge to the outside – a daily light smokey, which gives expressiveness to the look. Keep in mind that this technique is not suitable for owners of narrow eyes, and with round ones you need to stretch the external angle.
  • Arrows are the simplest thing you can draw with a pencil in front of your eyes, but their shape and size must be carefully selected according to the structure of the eyes: the larger they are, the thicker the line is needed. If the outer edge is down, the ponytail should be raised 1-2 mm earlier than the last eyelash.

Types of arrows for makeup

Best eyeliners

Case material, design, colors, the presence of bonuses in the form of a sharpener, sponge, brush – subjective moments that every consumer chooses for himself. Evaluating the quality of pencils should be based on their fulfillment of the declared function: you cannot require a hard stylus and a thin line from a kayal, and easy shading from a contour pencil. For this reason, the best product for each woman is his own, and as a guide for beginners, professionals are advised to take a closer look at such brands:

  • Maybelline;
  • Gosh;
  • NYX;
  • Clinique;
  • Guerlain.

Black eyeliner

The basic gamut – gray, brown and black – is present in the assortment of all cosmetic brands: from luxury to the mass market, so there are no problems finding a black eyeliner, whatever texture you are looking for. The only nuance is the shade – coal-black is hard to find, the most saturated, according to reviews, at Maybelline:

  • Title: Maybelline Master Smoky.
  • Price: 360 r.
  • Characteristics: high pigmentation, soft texture, applicator on the opposite end.
  • Pros: low cost, thick lead for the convenience of creating smoky makeup throughout the century.
  • Cons: thin lines can not be withdrawn, average resistance.

In the “luxury” category, you can consider almost any manufacturer, since here all natural gamut is presented in excellent quality and the only question is price. If you are interested in a product that does not have to be searched through online stores in order not to wait for delivery (especially by mail), refer to the brands present in all major cosmetic networks: Guerlain, Dior, Estee Lauder. Chanel pencils lead the consumer rating:

  • Title: Chanel Le Crayon Khol (61 noir).
  • Price: 1800 r.
  • Features: soft lead, sharpener included.
  • Pros: suitable for smoky makeup, does not injure the mucous membrane, color is saturated, weight is higher than standard (1.4 g of product versus 1-1.2 g).
  • Cons: high cost.

Solid with sharpener from Chanel


Colored arrows can be neatly entered even in the office dress code if the shade is not bright. Blue in terms of popularity is on a par with the neutral gamut, but finding a eyeliner in such a color that makeup with it does not look cheap is difficult. Professionals offer a closer look at luxury brands (Clarins, Dior), aimed at mature women and therefore offering restrained, deep shades. Great choice – product from Guerlain:

  • Title: Guerlain Le Crayon Yeux (04 Katy Navy).
  • Price: 1900 r.
  • Characteristics: waterproof formula, the applicator for shading on the opposite end, soft stylus.
  • Pros: muted dark blue color, the presence of a sharpener included.
  • Cons: high cost.

Blue Feather


For women with fair skin and hair (non-contrast type) for daytime makeup, experts advise choosing muted dusty shades, so no black arrows – only gray ones. Such a color can also look expressive if it is not pale. Great gray options for Max Factor, NYX, Gosh, Isa Dora. The latter wins in the price-quality ratio:

  • Title: Isa Dora Perfect Contour Kajal (68 Steel Gray).
  • Price: 350 r.
  • Characteristics: soft lead, solidification speed average.
  • Pros: the color is deep, the trace can be stretched into a haze, does not injure the mucous membrane.
  • Cons: low resistance shimmer shades on oily skin, the brand is difficult to find on sale.

Gray from Isa Dora


If you need a universal pencil with which you can not only draw arrows, but also tint your eyebrows, or you want to have a color suitable for day and evening makeup, look at the shades of brown. There are a lot of variations – from chocolate to cocoa with lilac notes, bronze tints and even greens. Universal brown for Max Factor brand pencils:

  • Title: Max Factor Liqud Effect Pencil (Brown Blaze).
  • Price: 350 r.
  • Characteristics: thick lead, the presence of a soft sponge for shading, quick solidification of the line.
  • Pros: easy application, smooth contour, medium resistance (floats on oily skin), attractive color scheme.
  • Cons: hard to remove makeup without oil.

Brown with sponge Max Factor


The eye liner is liked by women who like thin arrows with a perfect sharp tip, or who don’t like the sharpening process, which may be required even with a twisting mechanism (the lead is dull from pressure).

  • Title: Rimmel Micro-liner.
  • Price: 420 r.
  • Characteristics: 1.1 ml volume, felt tip, waterproof formula, water base.
  • Pros: thin tip for neat arrows, it is convenient for beginners to use, the line does not float.
  • Cons: pigment is corrosive, makeup must be removed with oil, the palette is narrow, the line may print on the overhanging eyelid, the felt tip dries quickly (service life is 2-3 months).

Liquid eyeliner Rimmer


In automatic pencils, the main problem is the quality of the mechanism – a poorly made one can stop scrolling at any time and it becomes difficult to extend the rod. Unpleasant situations also occur with a break-off stylus, which can lie freely in the nest, and therefore hangs. According to reviews, Clinique automatic eyeliners have excellent quality:

  • Title: Clinique Quickliner for eyes.
  • Price: 1550 r.
  • Characteristics: a sponge for shading on the back, soft stylus.
  • Pros: high quality mechanism, excellent durability, hypoallergenic.
  • Cons: real shades do not match those stated in the palette, the texture is not suitable for blending.

Unscrewing with soft stylus from Clinics


The mark “waterproof” does not always correspond to reality – if possible, look at the composition where polyethylene, polybutene, resins should be present: these components are responsible for reducing the risk of spreading of drawn lines. The best in terms of durability are recognized products of professional brands, especially pencils ArtDeco, Urban Decay:

  • Title: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on pencil.
  • Price: 1350 r.
  • Characteristics: universal thickness (standard sharpeners are suitable), classic case, soft stylus, high resistance, solidification for 30 seconds.
  • Pros: more than 40 shades in the palette, the presence of moisturizing components in the composition (jojoba oil, vitamin E).
  • Cons: high cost, the need to order through the online store (if you are not a resident of Moscow or St. Petersburg).

Waterproof soft from Urban


An excellent alternative to liquid eyeliner can be an eyeliner with a solid stylus, which after sharpening will not immediately lose the sharpness of the tip, so accurate thin arrows for it will not become an impossible task. In terms of durability, such options are often also a cut above the soft ones, so they are suitable for owners of the impending century. From budget products, GA-DE, El Corazon brands show themselves well, and makeup artists choose MUFE:

  • Title: MakeUpForEver Aqua Eyes XL.
  • Price: 1550 r.
  • Characteristics: thin lead, waterproof formula.
  • Pros: wide color gamut, high durability.
  • Cons: not all shades give a uniform coating – bright ones are pigmented worse than neutral ones, makeup must be washed off with oil, the brand is not on sale in all perfumery and cosmetic networks.

Makeup pencils


To work out the ciliary edge and mucous, makeup artists recommend buying pencils with a soft stylus, and here it is advisable to focus not on the rating in online stores or cosmetic portals, but on personal feelings during the test. Brands of different categories have a large number of well-shaded and non-scratch-eyed options, but mostly women choose Pupa, Eva Mosaic and Vivienne Sabo. More about the latter:

  • Title: Vivienne Sabo Regard Coquet.
  • Price: 170 r.
  • Characteristics: plastic cap, soft lead, medium pigmentation.
  • Pros: convenient to blend, interesting shades, you can buy in any store.
  • Cons: low resistance, can leak in the heat.


How to choose an eyeliner

A high price is not a guarantee of a successful purchase – make-up artists say: even without promotions and discounts you can find a great product with a low cost. The main thing is to clearly determine its purpose, to be able to draw with a stylus on the hand in the store and remember a few points:

  • When purchasing a mechanical pencil, be sure to look at the shape of the rod – manufacturers make a beveled tip, flattened, round: it depends on this, you can, without resorting to additional sharpening, draw an arrow or just stroke.
  • To work in pencil technique (creating a substrate under the shadow) do not buy automatic pencils – even a slight pressure on the lead will break.
  • A wooden case is preferable to a plastic one – it is hypoallergenic.
  • Carefully look at the condition of the stylus: it should not be plaque, bubbles, changes in relief.
  • Do not buy shimmer textures (with sparkles) for sensitive eyes.
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