Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Product Review: Trish McEvoy Eye Definer

Is there another beauty product more intimidating than eyeliner? A subtle application is universally flattering, yet many of us fear we're going to end up looking like Amy Winehouse if we don't poke our eyes out in the process of applying. Getting the line straight, super close to the lash line and equally thick on both eyes is a challenge, but it's a challenge that's not impossible to overcome with the help of a foolproof liner technique and a few q-tips. Here's the story of how I learned to love liner and actually not look like a fool or injure myself in the process.

I've tried basic pencil liners, only to find that the twist-up variety tend to break off during application and smear on my shiny eyelids. I've used cream liners and gotten frustrated when I smudge it and am unable to remove the offending mark without taking all my eye makeup off (why these formulas have to dry so quickly and stay on so resolutely is beyond me). When all the bloggers were raving about Physician's Formula Eye Definer Felt-Tip Eye Marker, I ran to CVS and bought one for myself. The black shade came out gray and was barely visible, and 3 days after buying it I accidentally left the cap off for an hour and it dried up on me. And liquid liners? I won't come within 10 feet of those torture devices, at least while I continue to enjoy being able to see. With my clumsiness and heavy hand, I'll lose an eye in the process of application.

But eyeliner looks so good on me, especially since I have glasses and getting my eyes to pop is a challenge, so I was not ready to throw in the towel just yet. I went to Nordstrom (this was the same trip that I bought the Trish McEvoy concealer) and explained my eyeliner plight to a sympathetic saleswoman. She asked if I'd ever tried powder liner and I said yes, a long time ago, but that I could never get the application down and often ended up with bits of powder all over my eyes.


She brought over a small tin, Trish McEvoy Eye Definer, and an angled liner brush (I'd never used such a thing). Promising me that this was easy and painless enough for even me to master, she dropped a couple of drops of Trish McEvoy Finish Line (a waterproofing liquid) into the tin and applied the product (in Rich Brown) to the upper lids of both of my eyes. The process took about 5 seconds per eye, and when I picked up a mirror, I loved how it looked. It wasn't in-your-face, look-at-me eyeliner, but really defined my eyes, brought out the blue and made them appear larger. It's also very pigmented, so you really can see the color (it comes in 8 different shades).

I asked for a tutorial and she showed me how she took the brush, dipped it in a little bit of liquid (she said water works great, but if you really want waterproof, you can use a special formula like Finish Line of Benefit's She Laq) and then slid the brush across the product. She then took her finger and gently pulled the corner of my eye to make my lid straight, then lightly tapped the brush against the lash line, one after another until the line stretched from one corner of my eye to the other. She didn't run the brush across my eye as I would normally have done, and I found that this method creates a foolproof, straight and even line. And if you realize you've messed up a bit, just wipe off the excess with a q-tip, as it takes a minute to dry.

I've found that, unlike most of my makeup purchases, I was easily able to replicate the look when I got home, and the addition of eye liner has added mere seconds to my purposefully brief makeup routine. It looks great, is easy to use, and best of all, I never have to fear losing an eye.

What's your favorite eye liner? Got any application tips?

13 comments:

Nat said...

After discovering an angled brush about two years ago, dry eyeliner is really the only method I use anymore. It stays put like nothing else - I just wet the brush and sweep it across my favorite dark eyeshadow and then line away.

As you said, Meg, those retractable pencils are terrible. They're easy for me to apply, but they ALWAYS end up sliding down below my eyes and leaving unattractive raccoon-like shadows.

It's powder all the way for me!

Erika said...

I love Clinique's quickliner in dark chocolate. I'm almost out though, so maybe I will venture into the world of powder liners.

Elle said...

I just recently learned to apply liner from the inside, along the roots of my eyelashes. I only do it on the top, by stretching the eyelid slightly up and outward, and I use a CoverGirl eyeliner that's like a felt-tip pen (They're showing this one as new on their web site, but I've had mine a little longer.) The effect is a subtle enhancement of eyes, not an outlining.

Where did I learn this? From Carmindy on "What Not to Wear"! (I don't watch often, but the hair and make-up are my favorite part of that show.)

EthidiumBromide said...

By far, the best eyeliner I have come across is Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner. It is SO easy to use and goes on super-smooth -- no feeling like you are tugging on your skin, no breaking tip or retractile tip that pushes back in. I think it's even easier to use than powder eyeliner and stays in place better. Plus, it takes about a minute to 'dry' (it's kind of a creamy texture) so you have time to fix mistakes or smudge the eyeliner if you so desire. I have recommended it to all of my friends with eyeliner-phobia, and they have all been converted!

catherine said...

I always use powder eyeshadow and apply it as eyeliner with a lip brush. Since the brush is so tiny it's easy to get it right up to the lashline and keep the line small or get it a little bolder. I generally use L'Oreal HiP eyeshadow duos, because they're cheaper and have a good range of color, but anything really works.

Linda said...

I adore gel liner (using Bobbi Brown's Bronze Shimmer at the moment) applied with an angled brush. I angle the brush so that the non-brush end is pointing up and away from my face and relatively perpendicular to the ground(allowing me to get it close to the lash line) and line.

Anonymous said...

i have been using a felt tip liner from maybelline for years. it has a long tip that tapers which is great b/c you can vary the width of your liner and get into the corners really well. I also really like it because it has a bronze shimmer to the brown.
That said, I love eye makup and have found that with liquid/gel liners it is best to start from the in to out but with powder and pencil it is best to line from out to in. Liquid liner gives a very tailored look and the powder can give you a more natural look or smoky eye when blended with shadows. powder also looks really great without wetting your brush - just work a natural tone that is between your hair tone and skin tone into the lash line for a natural enhancement. I love the angled brush too:) - it is fantastic!

Beauty Bug said...

Hey Meg,

Just for the record - I HATED The Physician's Formula Eye Definer (see reviews here http://www.bitbythebeautybug.com/?p=410). The color was very lacking, the tip ran out of pigment about 3 uses in, and yes, that darn cap is so so so easy to us - it doesn't even fit on the bottom of the marker. Glad you found a product that's working for you.

Anonymous said...

By far I've had the best success w/ the gel eyeliners. My favorites are MAC and bobbi brown. You have to use the angled brush and it seems a little daunting at first, but its easy to get used to. The best part is that it doesn't rub off or run which is what usually is my problem.

Nana said...

another tip, regardless of which product you use...look DOWN at the mirror. Lay a make-up mirror on the table.

Pricier tip: get permanent (tattoo) eyeliner. I've had it for 7 years and it's still looking good.

Anonymous said...

Stila Smudge Pots are great, a gel I love. It is sort of hard to get them on to look good, they are the most heavily pigmented ones I have found and I use the black almost daily. I have tried MAC and Clinique, both are fine. Also I have Smashbox, and those are probably the second best to the Stila.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for the Stila Smudgepot, with a brush. I have greasy, creasy eyelids and any other kind of eyeliner ends up transferring to my lids. I have tried MANY different types, including pencils, creams (like Smashbox), and powders, and Smudgepot by far has the best staying power even without eyeshadow or lid primer. I like the dark brown.

Kristen said...

For the most part, angled brushes are easier to apply liner with than anything else. Since it's flat you can rest it against your lashes to get a smoother straighter line, without having to worry about the perfect sweep. Not to mention the brush will stay the same width and not dull itself and get fatter. That being said, once you master your angled brush you should be able to delve into any liner (powder, cream, gel etc..). Don't write off cream and gel liners just yet! Try MAC fluidline to get the richness of a liquid without any of the work. Try using visine instead of your converter once you run out. It's cheaper and (usually) works just as well