Summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere, and for commuters like me stuck on the hot-as-the-sixth-circle-of-hell subway platforms under NYC that means the dreaded second ring of eyeliner caused by oily, sweaty lids. Well, I suppose the tragic extra black semicircle effect can happen as a result of many things, but there’s something about rubbing dripping sweat out of one’s eyes below Herald Square that really seems to set pigment loose.
Another problem that I’ve noticed in my [not so] vast studies of eyeliner is the gray-black problem: pencil eyeliner that’s theoretically black, but lays down dark grayish, semi-transparent smudges. Rich blacks can be had from liquid, but liquid liners require a steady hand and sometimes one wants a slightly subtler effect. Pencils with staying power can be too hard and pull at delicate eye skin without delivering rich color.
The problems with eyeliner are clear: traveling liner, pigments lacking punch, tricky liquids, and painful pencils.
Here’s the solution: Tony Moly’s Perfect Eyes Gel Fit Waterproof Liner in #05 Galaxy. Let’s dig into the specifics.
It’s a twist up pencil delivering a soft yet solid stick of waterproof gel pigment in a rich black color with a metallic dark purple tone in natural light. The cool thing is that the purple doesn’t really show up once it’s on one’s eyes; the color looks like a very highly pigmented black, especially in indoor lighting.
There’s a mini sharpener for refining the tip of the pencil.
The very end is smudgy for creating a smoky effect before the pencil sets. This pencil sets in seconds so you need to be ready to fly in and smudge by the way, or this is stuck for good.
I discovered this pencil while watching Get It Beauty, a Korean show known for great product recommendations. I adore this show, but it’s seriously difficult to watch because I end up with lots of stuff on my want list by the time the show is over.
What I like about these pencils for summer particularly is that they can hold up to the heat and sweat without a primer. When I’m rushing out the door in the morning, always late due to needing to check into my kpop blog before leaving the house, it’s great to be able to slap on some pencil, smudge it a little to create a quick smoky effect, add a bit of liner without smudging, and run out. As the Get It Beauty video shows, smudged gel liner can serve as an eye shadow, too–and the waterproofness keeps it from moving.
I shot these photos outdoors, which really helps pick up the purple tones in the liner.
Here’s a swatch with more liner applied, then smudged.
And here’s what the liner looks like indoors under artificial lights: super dark black.
I’m such a fan of this liner that it gets a rare 5 out of 5 stars from me—if you’re looking for summer eye makeup with staying power, here’s the best I’ve found.
Where to get it: I bought mine from iamloveshop on eBay ($9.54 including shipping from Korea). This is harder to find than one might expect; I think such killer liner deserves wider exposure.
How to get it off: this liner is not a joke, so you’ll need a good remover. You can pick up a sample of Laneige’s Lip & Eye Remover Waterproof from TesterKorea for about $1.50 plus shipping. I tested this Laneige remover vs. another recommended brand on this liner and it took the crown.
Has anyone else ever tried this gel pencil? Other summer makeup favorites?
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