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If I ever bump into the Duchess of Cambridge reapplying her favorite lip gloss in the ladies room, the first thing I'll do is thank her for introducing me to my new go-to eyeliner. She might look at me like I'm crazy. Or she might agree and ask, "Isn't it lovely?"
While I can't say I've tested every eyeliner in the world, I did recently spend a week wearing the same Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner that the former Kate Middleton wore in her 2011 wedding. While Middleton probably wore it because she was worried about tears, I tried it because my makeup hasn't wanted to stay put this summer — until now.
Put down the pencil
For years, I thought all eyeliners were pencils. I usually bought a $5 one from the drugstore. It worked OK until it got dull and needed the sharpener that either didn't come with it or that I lost. So when I saw that this eyeliner from makeup maven Bobbi Brown is applied using an eyeliner brush, I was curious.
It's also the first time I've spent so much money on makeup. This eyeliner is $27. The Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush, sold separately, is $31.
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While I wasn't enthusiastic about the cost, the sheer quantity of reviews — more than 2,500 for the eyeliner and more than 400 for the brush — made the purchase a lot easier. (I also loved that Nordstrom offered free shipping and I got to pick out several free samples.)
Using the brush was surprisingly easy, and I kind of felt like a makeup artist. It offers the same precision as an extremely sharpened pencil, but it's not painful and I didn't worry about stabbing my eye.
A little gel goes a long way
Like my favorite wrinkle repair cream, this "highly pigmented" eyeliner is pretty potent. I just lightly dipped both sides of the brush in the gel and then applied it around my lashes (which were already sporting this fiber lash mascara with more than 5,000 reviews). The result was the solid black line that normally takes me a couple passes to get with a pencil. So while this gel might be more costly, it might be more cost-effective in the long run since you don't need much.
I played it safe by getting the Black Mauve Shimmer Ink shade. But now that I know I like the gel texture and look, I'm tempted to try Violet Ink since I have green eyes and keep reading that purple makes them pop.
It lasts longer than I do
Of course the main reason this eyeliner is so popular is because of its longevity. It promises "12 hours of waterproof and sweat and humidity-resistant wear." In other words, it's perfect for summer.
I wore it to hot yoga one day and was surprised by how well it stayed on — I could have gone for a date after class (had I not been as red as a tomato). I also wore it to Montana's Crow Fair Rodeo and Powwow. For 8 hours, I was out on the rodeo grounds, just feet from the dirt and action and walking around the world's largest teepee village in 87-degree heat. I also laughed so hard at my puppy barking at the miniature ponies (he wasn't sure if they were big dogs or if he was a small pony) that I teared up.
While the world's largest fry bread we bought didn't last long, and I was ready to turn in for the night by 10 p.m., my eyeliner was still going strong. If I ever get married, regardless of whether or not the world is watching, this will be the eyeliner I wear. Now if only finding a wedding dress was this easy!
For more beauty favorites, check out:
- The 8 new beauty products you should try this year, according to Allure
- 1 bottle of this affordable anti-aging serum is sold every 60 seconds
- 5 easy ways to get longer-looking lashes