Is the new 'eyeliner stencil' all it's cracked up to be?

When it comes to creating the perfect cat-eye, two things hold true for almost all women.

1. We love 'em. 2. We can't do 'em.

I mean, sure, we can (maybe!) manage a tiny wing for Thursday night drinks with friends. Give us some drugstore liquid liner and we're good to go.

But as for designs that are actually visible to the human eye? We'd rather not try it.

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So sue me for dreaming big when I got my hands on a new product from Beth Bender Beauty that promised to change all that ... and then some. The brand's Eye Candy Gentle Adhesive Eyeliner Stencil, available for $19.99, had me bewitched at first sight. Not only do they come in the most adorable gold packaging, but I immediately began thinking up all the different ways I could use them. Liquid liner, gradient, rainbow, smoky eye (within the liner!), glitter, ... I mean, come on.

I decided I'd try a powder eye shadow look on one eye in a smoky-eye gradient, and a liquid black liner look on the other.

As for messing up any of my designs, I wasn't too worried about that, either. After all, the small package came stuffed with dozens upon dozens of stencils (32 sheets, to be exact, with 72 individual adhesives), so if I botched it on my first attempt, I could just try, try again.

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Well, try, try, try again I did. And try some more. These things were NOT easy! And I'm talking about the application alone. Getting the adhesive on my eye without getting it *in* my eyes was nearly impossible. Then there was the issue of matching one eye with the other. Once I'd gotten the right eye just where I wanted it, I had to make sure it looked the same as the left eye.

Before I'd even filled them in with pigment, I was nostalgic for my normal "freehand" style.


But let's not get bogged down with negativity here. Eventually, something did work: the powder look! I felt like the eye shadow was forgiving enough to allow for minor imperfections.

The liquid liner was a different story. It seemed to seep through the paper exterior of the adhesive, causing mayhem — MAYHEM — on my right eye.

In the end, I'd encourage any beauty geek looking to have some fun on a Saturday night to purchase these and play around with a gradient shadow look.

But if you're hoping to create that same gorgeous, sweeping wing using liquid, well, you should really stick to freehand.