Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner, $23 at sephora.com: So I popped into Sephora after work yesterday to pick up this Aqua Liner from MUFE. And then today I promptly returned it (yay for Sephora's generous returns policy!). This liner got rave reviews from all the beauty blogs I saw it on, so I thought I'd love it. I use a gel liner from MUFE everyday currently, and have for the last 18 months or so. I've never done liquid liner, and I thought it would be fun to try it. I was wrong.
Let me break it down by category:
-Packaging. There's nothing great or bad about the packaging, it's very simple. You don't get a lot of product for the price, though. I'd go through this liner in about a month, and the gel liner I use is the same price and lasts 4-5 months. So...As far as the brush goes, I really don't like it. It's a very short, firm, pointed foam tip, and I found it really difficult to lose. I need a brush with more flexibility. This I struggled to get to apply liner in straight lines, and I gel-line my eyes every day.
-Formula: I got this liner in matte black. My first issue is that it wasn't matte. It dried shiny. Also it wasn't the darkest black, and it wasn't very pigmented. It took me two layers to get it opaque, which is just annoying. It dried relatively quickly, and didn't transfer onto my lids or crease during the day. That beats my normal gel liner. However, this liquid liner doesn't wear well. It flaked off throughout the day and disappeared completely from the inner half of my eyes. It took me forever to remove, even with waterproof eye makeup remover.
-Overall: Maybe if you like one of the glitterier colors and you only wear liner along your lash line, then this might be a good option. But for most people, I strongly don't recommend this liner. I'd give it a D+.
Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint in Enchanted, $24 at sephora.com: When I returned the liner, I picked up this Tarte lip-stain in Enchanted. I've wanted one of these for a while now. I don't really do lip products. I own four lip-glosses and one lipstick, and that was a recent purchase. What I love about lip-stains is that they give a sheer wash of color. It looks much more natural than a creamy lipstick. This lip-stain comes in a four-inch long tube that looks like an oversized crayon. It twists up from the bottom, and you get a good amount of product for the price. I really like that the name of the shade is in the middle of the tube instead of on the end where it rubs off quickly.
Sephora calls this shade a rose. I'd add that it's a medium hued, bright rose. It claims to be ridiculously moisturizing (increases moisture content of the lips 60x. I don't think so.), which I think is just silly. Most lip-stains are very drying. This one adds a little moisture to my lips (not a ton, but a little), so it wins on that front. It applies very smoothly--like butter!--and feels very comfortable on the lips. The color goes on in a sheer wash, and is easily layered for more or less impact. My lips are decently pigmented, so on me this looks like I ate a strawberry popsicle. It's just bright enough to be noticeable and feel fun, and it adds a little depth to my natural lip color. For someone that's afraid of non-nude lip colors, I really like this. You can see the color pretty accurately in the swatch, and how pretty and shiny it is. Once the glossy wears away, the stain is left behind. You can see the stain very well for about 5 hours, and then it really starts to fade away.
Overall I'd give this lipstain an A-. I wish it was a little more moisturizing, but it definitely beats the other stains I've tried in terms of moisture and lasting power, and plus I love the color. These stains also come in a shimmery finish and a matte finish. The packaging makes me feel like I'm painting my face with a giant Crayola, which I strangely enjoy. Oh, and these are certified animal cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and sans nasty chemicals, which is always great.
Images via sephora.com.