The concept behind this liquid eyeliner is that you can produce a thick or thin line, depending on how you hold the applicator. The flat side delivers a medium-thick line of color; rotate it 90 degrees, and you'll get a fine point for thinner lines. It's a little tricky to figure out at first, but with practice it works.
The problem is that this liquid liner has too many other flaws to make the dual application feature worthwhile. One issue is that it contains the skin irritant, alcohol, which is of particular concern when used in the extra-sensitive eye area. Another disappointment is that the film-forming agents in this eyeliner can make eyelid skin look crinkly and aged.
Another issue is that the wet formula takes too long to set and because of the way the short handle is engineered, the product can end up on the lashes, causing them to clump. The black shade goes on smoothly, but for unknown reasons some of the other colors, like Violet Luster, look watery and apply unevenly. Forget this dud, and go for an eyeliner on our Best Eyeliners list instead.
- Dual applicator allows you to create a thick or thin line.
- Contains the skin irritant alcohol.
- Wet formula takes too long to set.
- Some colors look watery and apply unevenly.
- Formula has ingredients that cause eyelid skin to crinkle and look aged.
Maybelline is one of the best-known and most recognized mass-market makeup lines in the world—it's available in 90 countries. Throughout its long history, which began in 1915 when T. L. Wilson founded the company and named it after his sister, Mabel, and Vaseline (which he combined with coal dust to concoct a mascara for her), the company has prided itself on bringing innovative products to the marketplace. L'Oreal purchased the company in early 1996 and that's when things really started getting much better. Both companies specialize in offering a large selection of lipsticks, nail polishes, and mascaras, and many of their foundations have the same strengths and weaknesses (smooth textures and finishes plus the inclusion of sunscreens that are often without much-needed UVA-protecting ingredients).
The powders, several mascaras, pencils, matte-finish concealers, and Superstay Lipcolor are impressive and inexpensive. Although L'Oreal remains the more sophisticated and refined of the two lines (and now they have credible products, not just sleek ads, to back this assertion), Maybelline's latest urban image is a positive step, as many of their latest launches have been innovative without resorting to "been-there, done-that" gimmicks. Price-wise, Maybelline is the least expensive of the L'Oreal-owned cosmetic lines (which also includes Lancome, Biotherm, Vichy, and Kiehl’s), and smart shoppers will note the similarities among brands that, with conscientious shopping, can really save you money without sacrificing quality or performance.
For more information about Maybelline New York, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 944-0730 or visit their interactive Web site at www.maybelline.com.